Speedshare, a new websharing service developed by the OSIX Corporation, has come out of stealth mode and is helping business users create a shared experience around Web-based content. The service allows users to collaborate by viewing, sharing or interacting with content on the Web or within an application together, in real time.
"The ability to view demos or collaborate together with people who aren't next to you sets Speedshare apart from typical screen sharing because both sides can interact equally," said Linda Saindon, senior consultant for the Altimeter Group, LLC. based in San Mateo, Calif.
Speedshare facilitates real-time internal collaboration, external communications
Unlike screen sharing through tools like GoToMeeting, WebEx or TeamViewer, cloud-based Speedshare technology allows users to interact within a website or application simultaneously. Speedshare users can collaborate by viewing and sharing content and media with others across business applications or websites. It can simplify employee training sessions for new applications or business processes. Consumer-facing businesses can also benefit support personnel helping customers make purchases online by browsing together, or walking clients through forms, without asking any participants to download any plug-ins, said Cary Cole, CEO of the OSIX Corporation, a developer of real-time collaboration software, based in Redwood City, Calif.
"Users can do anything that they would do on the Web, except together -- we aren't just sharing a screen, and we aren't just tied to one site," Cole said.
To get started, users can log onto the Speedshare website and create their own Speedshare channel for free. Users can instantly invite others to join them -- via a Web link embedded in an email or instant message -- on the same website, form, multimedia content or application. The host provides mouse and keyboard control to guests, and everyone becomes a "presenter" -- that is, each user in the websharing session has the ability to navigate around the screen once a session has been initiated. The Speedshare service works across any browser or mobile device, and is available as free service. Premium services are available for enterprises.
Downloads and browser requirements can complicate meetings and collaboration. But Speedshare eliminates these speed bumps, Cole said. "Web-based meeting and collaboration platforms might work fine, but it takes five minutes to start a meeting," Cole said. "With Speedshare, you can be interacting together after one click." The original meeting initiator can also take interaction permission away from invitees, allowing for a more traditional presentation experience.
While Speedshare was originally designed with the enterprise in mind, small businesses and even consumers have been taking advantage of the service, Cole said.
Fashion nail design company Jamberry Nails has been involved with the beta test program for Speedshare, and is using the service to help new consultants get up and running on their Web-based workstations, in addition to driving its online sales. Sara McGrath, an independent sales consultant who works for Jamberry Nails, uses Speedshare to train team members, and she also uses the service as a way to assist clients with ordering or booking parties, as well as to engage with prospective customers.
"Speedshare really opened up the possibilities for communication and engagement -- it's really great for showing [team members] how to use an application online," McGrath said. "It's really helpful in giving [participants in the session] that extra visual layer, and keeps everyone on the same page, without having to rely on screenshots or describing what you are seeing."
McGrath also enjoys the built-in chat functionality. "It doesn't have any audio or video components, but it is great to have the ability to communicate right there."
Websharing: Browsing doesn't have to be a solitary activity
Social selling has changed the game for many consumer companies. Enterprises are looking for new ways to engage with customers seeking products or services, and services like Speedshare are making communications with customers easier, the Altimeter Group's Saindon said.
Many marketing teams are already harnessing social tools to improve the way they reach their audiences, and sales teams are catching on, too, she said. "Instead of sitting with a [customer] and writing up an order, you can do that very seamlessly together online."
Regardless of the application -- a critical business app or social app within a browser -- Speedshare allows users to share within that website. "In the future, users are going to be accustomed to a shared Web -- it's an experience that doesn't have to be solitary," Cole said.
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