Entering a market dominated by well-established, well-funded players can be a daunting task. But one startup thinks there are advantages to challenging the likes of WebEx, the popular collaboration and conferencing tool bought by Cisco last year for over $3 billion.
"The more people know what's out there, the better it is for us," Bob Goldstein, CEO of startup Apeer, told InternetNews.com. "I would say a hundred percent of the enterprise clients we demo to are already using something so we don't have to sell why collaboration is important. What they do say is they wished they already had (Apeer) because it offers things the others don't."
Goldstein said the inspiration for Apeer came from a two year book project he co-authored called "Going Visual: Using Images to Enhance Productivity, Decision Making and Profits." Part of the research for the book involved interviewing digital media users at companies of all sizes to find out what how they used online tools and what new features they wanted.
The potential opportunity is huge. IDC projects the collaborative applications market will reach $6.3 Billion in worldwide revenues in 2008, nearly 20% of which will be conferencing applications.
Apeer, officially launches Apeer Professional on Monday as a private beta. The software is designed to facilitate digital media for collaboration. "It will fundamentally change the way professionals engage in customer interaction," Goldstein declared.
Once you've loaded the Apeer client, the software is ready for action, which means users can instantly share, resize and edit photos and graphics, and share music and video in real time over the Internet in a single window. A voice/chat feature is also included. A typical application might be a marketing firm brainstorming a new ad campaign with a client. Or, it could help a project team member's need to share materials online in real time with other, far-flung members on the project.