Published: October 1st, 2008

TurboMeeting by California-based RHUB Communications is trying to gain a foothold in the Canadian market by attracting companies wishing to gain complete control over its Web conferencing tools and avoid monthly user fees.

RHUB is positioning TurboMeeting as an alternative to software-as-a-service (SaaS) conference programs, Cisco‘s (Nasdaq: CSCO) WebEx, Citrix (Nasdaq: CTXS)’ GoToMeeting, or eBoulevard, because it does not require users to download any software to enter a meeting, the company said.

TurboMeeting allows users to install the appliance to their network for unlimited Web conferences. Users enter a meeting through typing URL into a Web browser, allowing all to be present without technical difficulty.

Three months ago, Monsoon Networks became Canada’s official distribution partner, teaming up with resellers, value-added resellers and system integrators to maximize market penetration.

Monsoon Networks also set up a white label for Internet Service Providers to purchase, allowing customers to buy meetings on an ad hoc basis through them.

Carlyle D’Souza, general manager of Monsoon Networks, said TurboMeeting is optimal for channel partners because it is easy to use and easy to install.

It also comes with a “vendor managed” label, meaning the appliance is updated automatically, as long as it is connected to the Internet.

The biggest demand is from software companies who are transitioning from WebEx to reduce costs.

The Web conferencing tool, nicknamed “WebEx in a box,” is a four-in-one tool, bundling four applications: Web conferencing, remote support, remote access to My Computer, and Web seminars. This means users can purchase one program rather than subscribe to competitor’s services independently.

“Our typical client is a software house, for example Sage, who sell software both direct and through the channel,” D’Souza said. “They use the appliance for customer support and sales representatives use webinars to do demos. It becomes very useful, almost like a Swiss Army knife.”

Profit margins for the product are unlimited, he said, with the company aiming to attract previous users of WebEx as well as smaller companies who find TurboMeeting more affordable.

“Especially in the last year, with the cost of travel so high, people prefer it because it is much cheaper than travelling to meet face-to-face.”

The main advantage for Canadian enterprises is that the program escapes the boundaries of the United States Patriot Act.

All of the major Web conferencing hosts have their offices in the United States and are subject to the Patriot Act, meaning the government has access to information on the server and any information shared over the network, D’Souza said.

“Large companies are coming to us to seek privacy,” he said.

Other features include enhanced meeting security through each company’s firewall, LAN speed, faster for moving images and each box can be branded with individual company logos.

The program starts at $995 and goes up to $30,000 depending on size of program and number of meeting rooms needed.