Gaboogie, the Conference that Calls You

18 Comments

While they can’t eliminate the actual conference calls themselves, the founders of a new service called Gaboogie want to help reduce the administrative headaches of setting up and conducting conference calls, starting with a feature that calls the participants directly.

If Gaboogie’s web-based setup delivers as promised and eliminates the need for lengthy passwords, pin numbers and other prompts, they might just succeed in getting people to actually participate in conference calls, instead of cursing and dialing and redialing, trying to connect. What more, they promise cooperation with your Google calendar as well.

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The brainchild of VoIP veteran Erik Lagerway (founder of SIP softphone concern XTen, now known as CounterPath) and Daniel Gibbons, Gaboogie also offers the ability to record and syndicate calls via RSS, just in case someone wasn’t able to participate on time — imagine that! Pricing is sold through bundles of Gaboogie minutes, starting at $30 for 250 minutes (and a maximum 150 participants), up to $500 for 10,000 minutes. Gaboogie is live Monday, at Gaboogie.com.

18 Comments

Erik

Hmmm, about the only thing I see that Gaboogie has in common with Foonz is that they both use telephony.

Daniel Gibbons

Voible seems like a great app, although I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. My hope is that these tools will help raise awareness that there are better alternatives to traditional conference calling.

Daniel Gibbons

Aswath: great feedback. I’ve sent you an email since my response to your points is a bit too lengthy to attempt in these comments…

Aswath

Some thoughts based on just reviewing the material and not trying the service out:
1. Inbound calls are “cheaper” on the organizer and the bridge provider can do “arbitrage”; outbound calls have a problem of locating the current phone number. Dan indicates that they will be providing a way to simplify that. Probably the organizer can use the dashboard to enter the current number of a “wayward” participant.
2. Even though login via OpenID didn’t work for me, it looks like they have designed for it. It is a simple extension for them to add OpenID support for participants as well. Then they can derive the current phone number from OpenID profile.
3. It is not clear whether they can handle extensions or are they restricting to only DIDs. They do not talk about it.
4. They say that the system will dial out if a participant gets disconnected. How will they know whether the participant has abandoned the call or got disconnected? Wouldn’t it be simpler for the organizer to instruct the system to reconnect?
5. Probably they should provide dashboard for the participants as well and allow them to control the call to a limited extent and then they can introduce texting capability as well.
Soon they can approach many of the functionalities available with Webex.

brad dupee

this is, in essence, a nice feature that many, many conferencing platforms have today in a simpler form. (dial-out)

bulk calling and or finding a person based on their multiple contact #’s is cool…but
my outstanding knee-jerk question: what % of the conferencing market is made up of standing conferencing calls where this might have value, with the exact same participants each time? I reckon it is a relative minority chunk. Guys?

mikec

Follow up on Sateesh’ comment, it would be nice to see it integrate with web conferencing systems, from basic ones like MeetMeNow or pay per use offerings to full blown services. Integration with presence systems would be good to, as a way to determine the best number.

Daniel Gibbons

Jim: You’re right in that business users are used to the dial-in paradigm, but we’re confident a good number of them will welcome an alternative. Thanks for the feedback.

Daniel Gibbons

Sateesh: Good points and thanks for the input. Totally agree that GCal is a niche audience, and the world lives on Outlook. We’ll have solutions for this shortly. Also, Gaboogie can call multiple numbers for each participant, but we will be pushing out some features to make it easier for the attendees to update the numbers that call them.

Duane Storey

Why is over 95% of the conferences today “inbound bridge calls”? Because that what people want.

Or maybe because that’s all they have access to?

Jim Whiteley

Just one question. Why is over 95% of the conferences today “inbound bridge calls”? Because that what people want.

Sateesh

Just couple of issues:

  1. Often people don’t know where they are going to take conference calls from – its some times from home, sometimes from desk phone, some times from cell phone.
  2. While integration with google calendar is cool, its just that – cool…not many corporations use google calendaring.

This service needs tweaking before it can take off.

Stanley Wong

Wow! Pretty cool service. I like how it automates something that is very tedious task. Add integration with things like Google Calendar and it’ll be perfect!

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