Unified Communications Featured Article

Biba Adds Business Video Calling Which Expands Its UC Offerings

March 17, 2014

About nine months ago I wrote about a company that found a creative way to end the various hassles associated with conference calls. In the past, it was slightly easier to set up conference calls, but that was only because everyone was in the office and it was just a matter of gathering everyone in the conference room with a speaker phone sitting in the middle of the room.

In today’s fast paced, everyone needs to be somewhere else business world, the above scenario is practically non-existent. The proliferation of BYOD has made it easy to conduct business from just about anywhere. However, there still exists the need to collaborate and therefore, conduct those conference calls.

The company I wrote about last year is called Biba Systems. The company and software by the same name officially launched on June 25, 2013. At that time, Biba was a free, user-friendly and very flexible tool. It is designed to deliver conference calls and messaging across company boundaries and is able to accomplish this on multiple devices.

Since unified communications (UC) is defined as the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging, presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing, call control and speech recognition, you can see how Biba uniquely falls into this category.

This morning, Biba announced that it is expanding its mobile first, cloud UC software. It is introducing open-PIN audio conferencing, group chat and enhanced online meetings with remote control and multi-party video conferencing.

Biba feels that business interactions at every level should happen face-to-face and that means enterprise grade, business video calling for every employee at an affordable price. With so many people working from home, or on the road, there is very little face-to-face these days, however, Biba’s one click video calling gives everyone the ability for face-to-face communication with all of their business contacts with the same ease as IM or calls.

The newest product is called Biba Plus. This includes business video calling for $1 per user, per month. Some of the enhancements that can be found in the new release include:

  • Audio Conferencing - Open PIN option has been added to complement existing phone dial in feature for meeting participants who are not yet on the Biba app
  • Online Meetings - Window Sharing and Desktop Remote Control are now options in existing Screen Sharing functionality
  • Video Conferencing - Now available for online meetings with up to 50 participants and 8 active streams at a time
  • Business Messaging - Group Chat is a new addition to the free Biba Basic Business IM and Persistent Chat Rooms offering

David Mario Smith, who is the research director and lead analyst for Aragon Research, had the following comments, "While traditional online meeting vendors have focused on enabling multi-party video conferencing, we usually see virtual meetings happening in a 1:1 environment. Since the complexity and high cost of conferencing has been prohibitive for many enterprises, there is room for a low cost video calling solution that would be a no brainer for mass corporate adoption."

It is hard to define what the traditional office is these days. There will always be a headquarters, but with so much of the workforce located elsewhere, technology is working hard to keep everyone connected. Gone are the days of having a PBX system to manage your phones. Today, IP telephony enhances conferencing.

As much as Voice over IP (VoIP) has enhanced conferencing, whether it’s audio or video, it is products like Biba that simplify it. The software can check the calendars of all the company participants and schedule a time that is suitable for everyone. At the allotted time, it will call everyone to initiate the conference call.

Biba is also announcing today that Brad Kingsbury, former senior vice president of engineering at Symantec, has joined Biba with the title of vice president of engineering. His background in cloud security and scaling infrastructure should be very helpful as the company prepares for future growth.

Kingsbury said, “I am astounded by the pace at which the Biba team has been able to build and delight customers with product enhancements. The native cloud approach Biba has taken to UC allows us to release monthly, instead of once every three years as seen with products like Microsoft Lync. I am thrilled to join Biba and contribute to the growth of the company.” 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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