Next-generation Open Cloud Platform Offers Enhanced Engagement, Interactivity, Extensibility
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – April 13, 2010 – ON24, Inc., the global leader in webcasting and virtual event solutions, announced today the launch of an open webcasting platform which enables customers to create completely custom experiences and integrate applications developed by third-party developers. This open cloud platform also enables enterprises to deliver “social webcasts” and features enhanced interactivity capabilities. The result is a more immersive end– user experience, increasing engagement and effectiveness.
“Enterprises want flexible communications and branding tools that shift control of the virtual experience to users and viewers. Social webcasting is part of this ‘have it my way’ trend,” commented Ira Weinstein, Wainhouse Research Analyst and Partner. “ON24 has developed a winning combination—a user-friendly experience within a controllable, flexible environment—that puts its new webcasting platform ahead of the curve.”
“This represents a revolutionary new direction for ON24,” said CEO Sharat Sharan. “ON24 has been in the virtual communication space for over 10 years. Our priority has always been to work closely with our customers. Based on the feedback we receive, we constantly innovate. That is what led to the development two years ago of our flagship product, the very successful ON24 Virtual Show. Now, however, enterprises are demanding webcasts that are equally dynamic, powerful and engaging.”
The market environment underlying the emerging need for an open webcasting platform which integrates social applications has resulted from the convergence of several industry trends:
Content delivery is being recognized as the single most important part of any virtual event.
Social networking itself is of keen interest to virtual event customers.
As virtual events have evolved into “always-on” virtual destinations, the importance of the quality of the end-user experience has increased exponentially.
About Social Webcasting
The new ON24 webcasting platform maximizes the impact of a webcast producer’s content by delivering social webcasting capabilities and providing users with a more personalized solution and greater control over their individual experiences. “ON24, the world’s webcasting leader, has, in effect, redefined and revitalized the category,” explained Sharan. “A webcast isn’t just a webcast anymore. With our new solution, webcasting becomes more engaging and interactive—a truly immersive experience.”
Unlike traditional webcasting, social webcasting puts hosts in control of their own webcasts. They, in turn, can allow the end user to make a social webcast a custom solution, based on individual preference. “With greater control and exciting visual options, social webcasting is simply more fun,” Sharan said.
He added that with social webcasting, the viewer more easily engages with content, presenters and thousands of other viewers. “Social webcasting is interaction between webcast producers and participants, but on a whole new level,” explained Sharan. “This is an example of what we mean here at ON24 when we talk about engaging communication.”
Incorporating social interaction in a webcast provides a number of benefits to ON24 customers:
- Re-engages multitasking users by giving them more control
- Drives quality traffic to the host’s site, increasing the company’s brand awareness and the number of qualified leads
- Connects content to the audience’s digital life
- Helps the host develop a deeper relationship with customers
“Social media have emerged as critically important to all online marketing and communications initiatives. With the extensible ON24 Webcast Center platform, open to third-party components such as popular social media widgets, the customization possibilities are limited only by your imagination,” Sharan added. Social webcasting capabilities include group chat, Twitter, moderated Q&A and sharing tools.
Future releases will include support for customizable resource widgets. “We will open the widget platform, enabling the subcontracting of widget development and the building of custom, customer-specific widgets,” Sharan said.
In addition to providing powerful social media capabilities and engaging webcasts that put customers and their audiences in control, ON24’s social webcasting platform also provides powerful new performance-based engagement tools to help measure event success and capture and qualify leads. With this invaluable market intelligence, ON24 clients can easily track campaign ROI, measure the effectiveness of their content and analyze the engagement levels of audience members.
ON24 Virtual Solutions and the Cloud
The ON24 platform is a complete Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering; no deployment resources are required. Because ON24 webcasting and virtual environment services reside in the cloud, customers can build their solutions quickly and efficiently, without the need for IT intervention and support.
About ON24, Inc.
The recognized global virtual events market share leader , ON24 is the world’s leading provider of webcasting and virtual environments for corporate communications and demand generation. ON24 offers fully integrated, enterprise-wide solutions for a wide range of applications, including training, conferences, company meetings, partner expos and virtual trade shows. More than 750 organizations in publishing, technology, life sciences, government and financial services, including IBM, Cisco, United Business Media, Credit Suisse, GE Healthcare, Oracle and the National Science Foundation, rely on ON24. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, London and Singapore. For more information, visit http://www.ON24.com.