CentralDesktop adds web-conferencing to its collaboration software

CentralDesktop

CentralDesktop (CD) has added Central Desktop Live, an integrated web conferencing tool that would allow its users to schedule and host real-time web meetings directly within CentralDesktop. CD’s other tools provide facility for discussions, Notes, Tasks, Milestones, Databases, Calendar, Files, Image Gallery, and User management. CD is co-founded by Isaac Garcia and Arnulf Hsu and is located in Pasadena, CA.

I signed up for CentralDesktop and gave the conferencing tool a try. To setup a conference you are required to install an Activex plugin. For each conference CentralDesktop provides a URL and conference number (US) that can be shared among other participants. At maximum 10 people can attend a conference. Other users can be invited by getting contact info from Microsoft Outlook or standard email. CD Live events are integrated with user’s CD Calendar. During the meeting you have options to transfer control to another user, change presenter, and annotate. Also you can host CD Live conference only on Internet Explorer, just like IBM Lotus Sametime. Overall CD has integrated the conferencing module really well into its existing product range.

However, having a US based conference number (problem not unique to CD Live) means that teams spread out across different countries will have to look for alternatives like Skype or Gizmo Project or Yahoo conferencing. As compared to leading conferencing tools like WebEx, Sametime, Gotomeeting, and startups like Instacoll, the conferencing tool gives Web1.0 era looks. One big concern with CD Live is that you cannot pick and choose certain programs for sharing nor can you share certain part of screen. By default your entire screen is setup for sharing. CD Live is also missing on smart features like chat, poll, conference recording, and encryption.

From the price perspective, Central Desktop is charging $35/month for the service with Max Number of Concurrent Web Meetings being 1 and Max Number of Attendees allowed per Meeting is 10. As compared to this, GotoMeeting costs $39/month (yearly plan) with more features and better quality than CD Live. I think CD Live needs to improve upon and give a better ROI. I am personally interested in having all-in-one web-based toolset where I can create docs, upload files, schedule conferencing, blog, and manage my work. Central Desktop has a long way to reach there but they are moving towards that goal. Still, this is a commendable effort by Central Desktop to enable conferencing in web-based Project/Team Management software.

Links:
CentralDesktop
CentralDesktop Blog

Central Desktop Live

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4 Responses to “CentralDesktop adds web-conferencing to its collaboration software”

  1. Arnulf Hsu Says:

    Thank you very much for your candid review.

    We will release a new version by the end of the year that will contain features such as application sharing, chat, etc… and offer Firefox (for hosting web meetings, you can join via any Windows based browser today already) and Mac support as well.

    Our goal is to bring businesses an easy to use and simple collaboration experience.

    Thanks again for the review,

    Arnulf Hsu
    CTO, Central Desktop

  2. StartupSquad » Blog Archive » CentralDesktop reaches out to Salesforce users Says:

    […] {Wiki Document  + Spreadsheets + Tasklists + Calendar + Conferencing + File Storage + Discussions + Reports + Extranets} makes CentralDesktop one of my favorite team based collaboration destination. Keep up the good work Isaac and Arnulf. […]

  3. StartupSquad » Blog Archive » Yuuguu: yet another desktop sharing app Says:

    […] Updated list of companies operating in more or less similar area includes: WebEx, GotoMeeting, LiveMeeting, Adobe Connect, WebDialogs, Central Desktop, DimDim, LiveLook, CrossLoop, InstaColl, Yugma(from comments), CoPilot(from comments), and now Yuuguu. […]

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