HearMe (which VoIPplanet.com reviewed in February of this year) is an affordable desktop audio/video conferencing and collaboration application aimed at small and medium-size businesses, distance educators, and mobile workforces.
Yesterday, HearMe, the company, announced the release of version 3.1 of HearMe, the service.
At the top of the enhancements list is support for the sharing of Web documents and streaming videos. This is a much-needed expansion of HearMe’s document-sharing capabilities, which was previously limited to Microsoft Office documents.
Another welcome development is an optional desktop application that lets users launch HearMe meetings directly from their desktops. (In our testing, VoIPplanet.com, experienced some confusion around the log-in process.)
Other improvements include better support for Windows Vista and beefed up security for login and online payment.
But far and away the most far-reaching enhancement, from our viewpoint, is integration with the widely used, open-source CRM (customer relationship management) application SugarCRM.
HearMe users who also use SugarCRM will be able to launch meetings directly from the SugarCRM interface. In other words, the video-conferencing/collaboration functionality has essentially been embedded in the CRM application, fusing the two into a single tool—very Web 2.0.
“SugarCRM is a powerful platform for effectively building and maintaining relationships with customers,” said Paul Oh, SugarCRM’s vice president of technology alliances. “HearMe’s audio and video conferencing features offer a natural way to extend those relationships by connecting customers in a face-to-face manner.”
“By integrating with the tools businesses use daily, such as SugarCRM, we’re able to drive HearMe into the DNA of our customers’ work cultures,” said Matt Gore, vice president of marketing for HearMe. “Integrations such as this one illustrate a larger trend in the marketplace—the blending of CRM and collaboration applications into a unified solution to increase productivity,” he said.