The New Software Kid On the Block—WebCaster: Enabling Presentations From Anywhere to Anyone

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Built to serve the needs of demanding webcast production professionals as well as non-technical users, WebCaster is the new kid on the block when it comes to webcasting software.

Unveiled at Streaming Media East in New York by MediaPlatform, Inc., WebCaster is, according to the company’s CEO, a “fusion of performance and usability”.

Formerly called IVT, the company announced that it adopted a new name, MediaPlatform, Inc., in recognition of the way its industry-leading webcasting and media management solutions are being used in the marketplace. Though IVT is best known for webcasting software, in the last two years the company has transformed itself into a provider of a cloud-based platform for media solutions. The platform is in use with clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to digital media producers.

“Our clients require far more than just a webcasting solution,” said Jim McGovern, chief executive officer of MediaPlatform. “Their businesses demand that they be dynamic in their use of rich media and be able to integrate media production and archiving systems into any number of related solutions. Our offerings have evolved to satisfy these needs.”

McGovern said WebCaster packs leading edge event management, event customization and production capabilities into a simple user experience.

WebCaster offers a unique mix of best-in-class features, ranging from an intuitive, browser-based user interface and sophisticated reporting to multiple remote presenters and flexible producing teams. In addition, the software offers rich templates with options to customize, total operating system and browser independence, telephony to Flash Audio input, and iPhone support.

“WebCaster is a heavyweight performer with a flyweight price and impact on corporate IT,” McGovern said. “Our team has worked hard for over a year to exceed client expectations in virtually every aspect of the web casting experience.”

According to Steven Vonder Haar, research director at Interactive Media Strategies, MediaPlatform is among the group of companies that pioneered the development of platforms that elegantly integrate audio, video, PowerPoint slides and a range of other communications applications into a single interface.

“The move to a Web services model reflects the continued evolution of this market to make these capabilities available – and viable – for a broader set of corporate customers than ever before,” Vonder Haar said.

WebCaster enables you to produce, manage, distribute and monitor live and on- demand webcasts for simple, professional quality production with powerful distribution of webcasts featuring streaming video, PowerPoint slides, Flash animation, audio, surveys, polls and screen demos.

WebCaster shines when it comes to multiple remote presenters and advanced technical architecture for enterprise integration.

Flash-based webcasting of live video or audio streams, live screen demo-ing from remote sources, and pre-recorded video or audio are all part of WebCaster’s package. Simply, this allows a live webcast originating in New York to include presenters from all over the world. The director can switch seamlessly between presenters or play a pre-recorded video from their custom library; the remote presenters screen indicates whether they are in broadcast or standby mode – when in broadcast mode, they simply look at the screen and start speaking into the microphone.

Presenters can broadcast themselves with video and/or audio or easily show their computer screen to the audience, and have the ability to chat directly with the director via text-based messaging anytime during the event.

WebCaster has been designed for simple integration with other applications using Web services and the principle of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) which facilitates the development, expansion and interoperability of webcasting in your enterprise.

WebCaster’s Operating System independence allows hosting on whatever OS your IT department prefers. The centrally-managed architecture enables you to monitor, protect and maintain critical control of the network and related resources, such as enterprise CDNs, web servers and streaming servers.

Further, WebCaster is suited for stand-alone and large-scale webcasting supporting multiple simultaneous live webcasts. Multiple administrators can operate simultaneously one or more webcasts. Authors can access the system from anywhere. MediaPlatform architecture provides uninterrupted and reliable service with 100% redundancy. All files added can automatically be analyzed for metadata to enhance their searchability and usability.

According to Greg Pulier, founder and CTO of MediaPlatform, and head of WebCaster’s development, the team’s goal going in sounded simple, but took a lot of hard work to pull off.

“We went into the development process with a goal of enabling presentations from ‘anywhere to anyone’,” Pulier said. “For every feature we considered, our constant question was ‘Will this provide the best possible experience for users at every step of the web casting process? I am very proud of the work everyone has contributed to this outstanding offering.”

Pulier and MediaPlatform seem to have achieved their goal because WebCaster has further established the company as one of the preferred providers for digital media producers and MediaPlatform continues to serve a growing number of top-tier digital media production firms.

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