A key-finding of Frost & Sullivan’s 2016 web conferencing research is user preference for a single meeting, single license marketing approach. This confirms the intuition behind the design of products like R-HUB’s TurboMeeting (http://www.collaboration-technologies.co.uk/) that are able to offer a complete set of services that goes from HD Video conferencing to Audio conferencing under a single license.
In the past, the market of virtual conferencing was characterized by a big confusion in this respect, as the system of per user licenses that was usually adopted by the pioneering companies of this industry made scaling up expensive and difficult.
This is one of the reasons why the trend has been shifting towards more user-friendly license systems. Flat licenses, for example, allow users to add a virtually unlimited number of participants to a conference. R-HUB has adopted this model for its product lines, with the result that making a conference calls on R-HUB’s servers costs more or less the same independently from the number of participants, may they be 3 or 3000.
Other common license systems that we could consider user-friendly are single site licenses and per seat licenses. The first is now usual in web conferencing and allows clients to add a max number of users with unlimited conferencing; in the second, a fix fee is charged for each user independently from the minutes used.
The “single meeting, single license” system is anything else than a single site license that allows clients to utilize all forms of conferencing – audio, video and web. Its convenience for customers is connected to the fact that today’s conferences are much more complex and integrated than in the past, and it is important to have a tool that can work indifferently in several modalities and through several media.
In other words, we are moving from a concept of conferencing service where web/audio/video conferencing were three distinct services for users to a concept of online meeting where these three media are available at the same time, under the same license and in the same service, so that clients may shift to the medium they need that moment as they please. Will producers be able to take up the challenge and modify consequently their approach to licensing? We will see.