Joe Gustafson, CEO of Brainshark, Inc., founded the company in 1999 to help knowledge experts accelerate the flow of information to their audiences in a highly effective format. Under Joe’s leadership, Brainshark has become a leader in on-demand business communications and a successful Software-as-a-Service company. Joe has been instrumental in the development of Brainshark Mobile, which Brainshark is launching today.
In this conversation, Joe discusses Brainshark Mobile.
Geetesh: What is Brainshark Mobile, and how does it make viewing and delivering presentations easier for smartphone users?
Joe: We’re excited to be launching Brainshark Mobile today – which enables Brainshark-delivered communications to be viewed on mobile devices and platforms, including the BlackBerry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Palm Pre and Android. Now, with Brainshark presentations automatically mobile-enabled, it’s easy for our users to create content that can be viewed anywhere, anytime and on just about any device.
With video and other rich media playing an increasingly important role in business communications – and with business becoming ever-more mobile and geographically dispersed – being able to provide ubiquitous availability of Brainshark multimedia content is an important capability for our users. They can reach their on-the-go audience instantly, and let that audience choose the most convenient and productive way to experience their content.
This means salespeople can view a Brainshark presentation while walking into a big meeting, and employees can view training materials and other content while killing time at the airport. Companies can also take advantage of Brainshark Mobile to improve mobile marketing, as well as HR, corporate and in-the-field communications. Plus, with Brainshark’s analytics, they can see who viewed their content and when, as well as what type of mobile device was used.
For Brainshark’s customers, Brainshark Mobile is included at no extra cost as part of our core platform. The new mobile capabilities are also available to users of myBrainshark.com, our site where you can create, narrate, share and track multimedia presentations for free. Users can share a link to a Brainshark presentation via e-mail, text message, mobile IM, etc., for viewing on the mobile Web. And, with one Brainshark presentation already viewed every 3.5 seconds in locations all over the world, this is exciting news for our company as well.
Geetesh: Apple products like the iPhone and iPad don’t support Adobe Flash – so how does Brainshark Mobile get over that limitation?
Joe: Good question. As you know, when people upload PowerPoint slides and other content to Brainshark to create multimedia presentations, we do convert the file to Flash for playback on PCs. The final product – which is shared as a link – can include voice narration and/or other audio, slides, video and more.
However, when viewed on a mobile device, Brainshark presentations appear as streamed video files, and it’s not necessary that the mobile device support Flash. When you access a Brainshark presentation, Brainshark detects the type of device being used and serves up a compatible format. So for Apple products including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Brainshark delivers an MP4 file.
As I mentioned, the platforms and devices supported by Brainshark Mobile currently include the Blackberry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Palm Pre and Android, and all must support streaming video.