Five Questions With: Caity Serra

Rhode Island-based easymeeting representative talks about the Skype alternative. More

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telecommunications

Five Questions With: Caity Serra

COURTESY EASYMEETING
"EVEN IN the world´s largest video-conferencing market there is currently only about 5 percent saturation in the market," said Caity Serra, easyexpert at easymeeting.
Posted 11/30/11

Easymeeting is a cloud-based videoconferencing company headquartered in Scandinavia which services the likes of Doctors Without Borders and the Norwegian government.

It recently launched its U.S. presence with headquarters in Connecticut, and a sales and demo office in Hopkinton, where three of its 52-staff worldwide are located.

Caity Serra, whose job title is “easyExpert,” spoke to PBN about the present and future of videoconferencing.

PBN: What does easymeeting do that we can’t do – for free – on Skype?

SERRA: It is much different than Skype. With easymeeting you are able to have a video call with up to 28 participants, using several different user endpoints such as a conference room set up, a desktop unit, a PC/Mac, iPhone or iPad – and very soon [Android operating systems] as well. You may also share presentations seamlessly while still viewing the video participants. In addition, the call quality of easymeeting is much more reliable and stable because you will not be sharing the network bandwidth with several other people like you generally do with Skype.

Skype is ideal for calling your grandkids but does not offer business-class services, especially when you look at its shear lack of security features (see their end-user license agreement), quality and reliability. As I mentioned, easymeeting operates with all types of business class and mobile video-conferencing systems, and Skype, well... works with Skype.

You get what you pay for. ... Skype is a great product but is better suited to be used socially than in a professional manner.

PBN: How does easymeeting work to say, set up a conference call between four people in four different states? Do you pay every time or is it permanent service?

SERRA: The pricing model is simple ... one fixed monthly rate for unlimited video calls – 24 / 7. Charging per minute, hour, etc., are ancient telecommunications models, so we don’t do it that way. Starting at about around $140 a month, one can “dial” in with their iPad, iPhone, PC and or traditional video-conferencing system.

The rates are based on the amount of video participants you want to allow on your calls – which you select in the beginning, so there are no surprises on a bill. You can connect with someone in a different city, state, or country – unlimited – all for the same monthly fee.

PBN: How do you see – or would like to see – easymeeting developing over the next five years?

SERRA: As we continue to offer video conferencing as a service (VCaaS), we strive to deliver seamless, easy videoconferencing and become “the” dialtone in the videoconferencing industry.

In year five, we hope that every video system out there will have an easy Number, and the way of dialing IP addresses will be ancient. Easymeeting will be the “hub” of where a company can get their equipment, their services, their numbers, their customer support, and access the numbers in our directory of every business partner, colleague and customer with a video system – everything, right at their fingertips.

PBN: Is there enough a market in the U.S. for you guys to compete? It seems like there are already a lot of videoconferencing programs out there.

SERRA: Yes. … Even in the world´s largest video-conferencing market there is currently only about 5 percent saturation in the market. If you add b2c (business-to-consumer) services such as Skype used by businesses, one can say 9 percent.

There is a lot of market out there that has not experienced real video conferencing. Our VCaaS platform has no “complete” competition in the market. We focus on a blue ocean strategy which opens up a market using alternative channels to market. The traditional video conferencing sales houses, and their go to market are based on finding traditional [tech] focused partners who purchase and manage their own equipment, with a very large price tag.

We do it quite differently. … We, like Apple, try to make things easier for our users. We are able to deliver an easy, affordable service that allows our customers to communicate via video with their business counterparts in all parts of the world. We look at most of our “competition” as partners, because they are not selling a service like we are, they are selling the hardware that our services can work with.

PBN: Who’s using your service?

SERRA:

  • Ayanda – global leader in production of Omega-3.

  • Pitney Bowes – global leader in postage machines and business services.

  • Assa Abloy – leader in steel and metal product fabrication.

  • North Energy – global oil and gas corporation.

  • RikswaterStadt – Department of Transportation for The Netherlands.

  • BEUC – consumer protection agency for the European Union.

  • HTP (High Tech Profiles) – medical products manufacturing.

  • Dixons – leader in sales of consumer electronics.

  • Norwegian government’s educational – distance-learning segment.

  • Bouvet – global advertising agency.

  • Technor – oil & engineering services.

  • Doctors Without Borders – medical services.

  • Canon Business Centers – business-to-business services.

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