StartMeeting Gears Up for Product, Channel Launch

StartMeeting is gearing up to launch its service and indirect sales channel at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 26-29, in Las Vegas.

The startup virtual meeting provider began beta testing its service at the end of January, with beta agents signing on Monday, said Greg Plum, StartMeeting’s vice president of channel development. Plum said agents can "kick the tires" internally and with their customers.

StartMeeting’s service has been in development for two years and integrates high-definition audio and Web conferencing. Plum said a primary selling point is the combination of an intuitive Web meeting service with high-quality audio, which aren’t often found together, forcing buyers to source from separate vendors.

Users also have management capabilities via a "meeting wall," where they can schedule meeting, send calendar invites, upload supporting documents and access recorded meetings. Subscribers also can post content to their Facebook page or group from the meeting wall. For meeting attendees, the wall also serves as a "lobby," providing information about the host, their photo and company logo.

StartMeeting includes reservationless audio conferences for up to 1,000 participants. Along with the unprecedented scale, StartMeeting will offer disruptive pricing: subscriptions range from $13 to $20 per month for 50 seats; audio is 2.9-3.9 cents per minute retail.

Agents will earn 25-35 percent commissions depending on the rates they choose to charge their customers. All provisioning is done online and commissions are tracked by codes assigned to individual agents for each of their retail rate models.

At the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, prospective agents will be offered a free demo account, including both toll audio conferencing and a 50-seat screen-sharing license. Plum said agents will have access to the commission and rate tables and can provision an account on the fly. He said there are 80 potential pricing combinations. (To get paid, of course, partners need to sign a partner agreement.)

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