Kurt Dupont, based out of Belgium heads PresentationPoint, a company that creates several amazing PowerPoint add-ins. After his Computer Science studies, Kurt started with Andersen Consulting (Accenture nowadays) in Brussels. After 3 years he moved to the Brussels Airport Terminal Company that runs the Brussels airport – this last placement inspired the start-up of Take-off (now known as PresentationPoint) in 1998.
In this conversation, Kurt discusses NewsPoint, a tool that continuously monitors various data sources and saves the results to a database or on a hard disk. This saved data can then be integrated to show up on PowerPoint slides using other products from PresentationPoint.
Geetesh: Tell us about the use of PowerPoint slides as a medium to show content from RSS feeds. How can your NewsPoint product help in organizing the content to show on such slides?
Kurt: Typically our clients use our products and PowerPoint presentations to broadcast a message to their audience. Think about displaying ads in a shop and broadcasting targets in a factory. These presentations should be real eye-catchers so that message is obvious and direct. Some presentations tend to become a boring carrousel of images and slides.
By adding real-time information to the presentations like world news, stock quotes, weather information etc, you get living presentations that people like to watch continuously like your television at home.
Our new version of NewsPoint cannot only monitor RSS feeds. You can also monitor continuously stock quotes, weather information and Google calendars (e.g. for room scheduling in a building) and save this information to a Microsoft Access database or a Microsoft SQL Server.
Another often requested feature was to synchronize databases from A to B and replicate XML file data to a database. Furthermore NewsPoint can grab images of an internet page or take a picture on its own of an internet page. These duplicated images can then be used in a PowerPoint presentation to display e.g. hurricane warnings etc.
Geetesh: NewsPoint works very well with your other product, DataPoint – can you tell us more about this integration.
Kurt: True, NewsPoint works perfectly with our real-time information provider for PowerPoint. DataPoint links the content of your NewsPoint database to your text and table shapes on a slide. With that you can display live news of your favorite news channel next to the weather forecast.
With DataPoint you turn your static presentation into a living presentation without stopping the slideshow for content updates.
You can go further with the iPoint product where you can set up a playlist of images, movies and presentations, and then schedule this playlist at a given computer. iPoint will automatically distribute the playlist content to your iPoint players and start the playlists at the instructed times. Or use iPoint to play a CNN-like news ticker over your presentation.