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3/27/2008
11:45 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Fuze Puts Unified Communications On Steroids

Fuze uses the power of the browser to push unified communications services to the desktop, laptop, and smartphone. That includes the ability to watch -- and participate in -- a live video conference on your smartphone. I had the opportunity to check this new service out, and I have to say, it's a step toward the future of unified communications.

Fuze uses the power of the browser to push unified communications services to the desktop, laptop, and smartphone. That includes the ability to watch -- and participate in -- a live video conference on your smartphone. I had the opportunity to check this new service out, and I have to say, it's a step toward the future of unified communications.Unified communications is just barely getting a foothold in the enterprise and the market is getting its first big jolt with the introduction of Fuze from CallWave. Fuze is a Web-based service that makes use of browsers to deliver all kinds of communications content. Fuze's platform can deliver HD video collaboration with HD audio conferencing, local and long distance Internet calling, speech-to-text transcription, Internet fax, visual voice mail, SMS, and instant messaging. Any one of these services by itself can be helpful, but to wrap them all together in a single package that's easy to use, well, that's what sets Fuze apart.

The demonstration I saw included streaming HD video over the Internet. I was using a 3G wireless modem and had no problems viewing the video, which had fewer hiccups than what you might experience with video streaming from sites such as YouTube. It wasn't perfect, but it was well above average in performance. The quality of the video was excellent. I did not have the opportunity to see the video streamed to a smartphone, but it doesn't take much to imagine how useful that could be. Rather than having to dial into a video conference with your laptop, using a smartphone instead offers far more flexibility for the participant.

Fuze's systems allow up to 1,000 people to join in, where they can see HD content or things such as PowerPoint presentations. All they need is an Internet connection. Fuze uses its own syncing technology so that all participants see the same thing at the same time. By using a browser, it negates the need to install any additional hardware or software to support it.

Fuze also bundles in a transcription service, which will provide users with text versions of voice mails and complete transcripts of conference calls. The transcripts can be a handy way to verify information that was shared during the call, and also negates the need (for the lazy) to take notes.

The HD video-sharing alone is a great aspect of Fuze, but when combined with all the rest, it shows us what unified communications is all about.

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