Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself, Elluminate, and vRoom.
Rajeev: As the VP of Marketing and Strategy for Elluminate, I’m responsible for building relationships with our partners and finding new ways for Elluminate’s products to break into new and different markets. Personally, I’ve worked in sales, marketing and product development for the software industry for more than 12 years.
Elluminate is an e-learning and web collaboration company that has a very strong presence in K-12 schools and higher education institutions, as well as corporations throughout the world. Our ultimate goal is rather ambitious. We want to use our enabling technology to transform teaching and learning, providing online access for everyone, especially those who would normally would be deprived, and facilitating communication, collaboration, and education on a global level.
Our flagship product Elluminate Live! is a web conferencing application used primarily to foster collaborative online learning in real time — whether it’s through online classes or corporate training. Elluminate Live! incorporates voice over the Internet with video, application and file sharing, file transfer, and more. What really makes the environment stand out from the crowd is its collaborative features like breakout rooms for small groups, interactive polling, social networking features and our ESP (Elluminate Sensory Perception) functionality for moderators. ESP allows a session leader to see when others may be lagging behind, and automatically adjusts the timing of the audio and visuals to allow them to catch up. Users love that our software can be used on any platform, including Linux, Mac, Windows, and Solaris, and that it works on really low bandwidths. For example, one of our users logged on to Elluminate Live! during a cycling trip, using his laptop and a low-bandwidth cell phone Internet card.
Elluminate created vRoom as a free, three-seat version of Elluminate Live! with all the same capabilities as the original software, except for the ability to record sessions. We have such faith that once Elluminate products are integrated into schools and companies, people will find that the possibilities are almost endless. I like to say that we are only limited by our imagination!
Geetesh: Tell us about typical and non-conventional usage scenarios for vRoom.
Rajeev: Many new customers have already shared how they’re using their vRooms, including for virtual office hours, one-on-one tutoring, mentoring, and small group work. It’s really easy to add vRoom to your email signature and hold impromptu online meetings at any time — with students, teachers, customers, co-workers, and partners. You name it. IT folks use the application and desktop sharing to train co-workers on troubleshooting tech problems on their computers. They can even take remote control of a co-worker’s desktop, and solve the problems themselves.
Some non-conventional uses have also surfaced since we’ve launched vRoom. A professional artist uses vRoom to host open-studio hours to demonstrate her digital portraiture painting. A teacher used vRoom to enable his high school students to view a live surgery and ask the surgeon questions, sort of a virtual field trip. Other innovative uses of vRoom include holding theater auditions, adding a remote participant to a conference panel, assessing reading and writing skills for K-12 students, reviewing course content in preparation for testing, and setting up a teaching cooperative for home-schooling moms.