A Meeting of Web Minds

By Robert Moskowitz

PlaceWare Inc. has long been in the forefront of Web conferencing software providers. It recently took another step forward by forging an alliance with 3M that will make its Internet-based business communications services available to the more than 35,000 visitors each month who pass through 3M’s “Meeting Network” Website.

Under the agreement, 3M Meeting Network will begin to sell PlaceWare’s online meeting services which allow users anywhere in the world to conduct real-time meetings via the Web with only a browser and a telephone.

James Hogan, vice president of business development at PlaceWare, cites the new relationship as a strong signal of PlaceWare’s continuing commitment to provide a broad range of effective online business communications for geographically dispersed teams that need to work together in real-time. “PlaceWare and 3M are an ideal team,” Hogan enthused, “because we have the same philosophy of…help[ing] them increase the productivity and effectiveness of their meetings.”

The new relationship greatly benefits 3M, which has built its brand largely on face-to-face meeting tools, such as overhead and multimedia projectors, transparencies, framing products and other nondigital tools. Faced with the threat of becoming outmoded, the company launched a major brand-expanding effort called the 3M Meeting Network which is aimed at business professionals interested in working remotely with colleagues, clients and customers. But the lack of online meeting support services was a glaring omission from the Website.

According to Michael Begeman, meeting network manager at 3M, the company selected PlaceWare “because we found PlaceWare’s Web-conferencing services to be an easy to use and reliable service…”

PlaceWare’s newly added capabilities instantly make the 3M Meeting Network a useful destination for establishing online meetings of all types, including staff meetings, vendor/supplier negotiations, partner discussions, sales demonstrations and press briefings. The online meetings can contain such diverse elements as real-time PowerPoint presentations, live application demonstrations, document creation, participant polling and even tours of demonstration Websites.

As few as five and as many as 50 participants can be accommodated in a single meeting. Placeware’s online meeting services are available at http://www.3m.com/meetingnetwork/products/iweb_conferencing.html. Those interested can sign up for a 30 day free trial at http://www8.placeware.com/join/meetingnetwork.