Imago Group plc, video communications distributor, has announced an international distribution agreement with Watchitoo, the online collaboration platform that allows up to 25 participants to take part in a ‘virtual’ video conference simultaneously, whilst being observed by an audience of thousands. Imago will be making Watchitoo available to resellers via a software-as-a-service model.
Watchitoo made news when the National Basketball Association powered its season kick-off ‘Facebook Townhall’ using the technology. The league wanted to create buzz and reignite interest in the players and the teams by connecting them from various locations and enabling them to interact with fans. The platform allowed thousands of viewers the chance to comment, ask questions and see their heroes by simply clicking on a link that took them to the custom branded event, seamlessly embedded in the NBA Facebook page.
Watchitoo offers a feature-rich, powerful video conferencing solution that enables real-time collaboration. Up to 25 web cams can be active on stage at once, collaborating around nearly any form of rich media whilst thousands can actively view and interact via chat. Any viewer can become a participant and any participant can then be switched back to a general viewer. Additionally, moderation controls are available to view and test a participant’s volume levels and camera functionality.
“The Watchitoo platform is very flexible,” said Peter Nice, Head of New Business at Imago Group, “It can be integrated onto a company website to encourage community collaboration, host conferences and live events; it uses Flash to deliver content and also features an accelerator to support live HD video to android smartphones, iPhones and iPads; and it can be branded, allowing users to invite third parties to take part in conferences.”
Watchitoo provides solutions for education, training, events, entertainment and corporate applications. The growth of distance learning in the educational field and the need for training sessions for home working staff is becoming particularly important. The difficulty of travel for business meetings during the forthcoming Olympics will highlight the need for a communication solution that Watchitoo can easily provide.
“We are excited to partner with Imago to expand Watchitoo’s distribution worldwide,” said Rony Zarom, CEO of Watchitoo. “We think there is a great need for our innovative and uniquely engaging platform”
Marketing Watchitoo via a SaaS model, Imago will be targeting its network of resellers throughout Europe and South Africa for whom there will be commissions on subscriptions to the Watchitoo platform. The minimum contract for the standard monthly rental packages will be over 12 months but single event packages for large audience events will also be available and resellers will have the opportunity to provide AV set-up and moderation services as part of the package.
Peter Nice said: “This is a service that will have wide appeal to a broad range of organisations, meaning that our resellers will be able to target their entire customer base, receive ongoing revenue and easily extend the use of video conferencing as a business support solution throughout the enterprise.”