The Roots of The Current Online Meeting Industry

Invented by Bell Labs in 1956, audio conferencing was first
introduced to the public in 1964 by ATT at the New York
World’s Fair setting the industry standard for phone-quality
conferencing. Audio conferencing soon emerged as an
alternative way to include remote workers in meetings.
As audio conferencing began to make businesses more
productive, businesses took notice. Audio conferencing in
conjunction with email allowed workers to be more
productive both in and out of the office.
These second generation leaders then included basic web
meeting services as an upgrade to audio conferencing.
With the emergence of chat and instant messaging,
second generation leaders such as GoToMeeting and
WebEx, began cloud-based meeting services without
voice, as they lacked the audio conferencing technology.
These third gens bypassed high quality phone-audio to
offer basic desktop audio. This made audio cheaper and
more accessible, but anyone who’s been in one of these
meetings knows desktop audio significantly lacks the
sound quality and reliability of phone-quality voice.
Microsoft Lync’s meeting service is an example of a
next generation leader, yet its enterprise platform is
costly and complex to setup. It’s not only expensive to
purchase and use, it also takes months to complete the
complex implementation it requires. Apart from
purchasing the cumbersome platform itself, it’s still an
additional 15¢ per minute for toll-free quality audio.
You cannot have a successful meeting and experience the
full benefit of online collaboration tools without toll-free
phone-quality audio.

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