Qwaq Delivers Forums 2.0 for Application Collaboration

WASHINGTON — (BUSINESS WIRE) — April 19, 2009 Qwaq, Inc., a leading provider of application collaboration solutions, today released Qwaq Forums™ 2.0. The second-generation, secure virtual workspace platform delivers innovative new collaboration features such as Smart Rooms, which automatically collate reports from multiple applications, just in time for scheduled meetings. Forums 2.0 also provides Web browser access to workspace assets, as well as DVR functionality for recording and sharing virtual meetings. New Qwaq Forums customers include the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) and Chevron.

"In today’s economy, people are recognizing the need for innovative ways to stay connected even more with peers, partners, and customers, with even less travel costs," said Mark Levitt, program VP, Collaboration and Enterprise 2.0 Strategies at IDC. "Qwaq Forums 2.0 provides a rich 3D collaboration environment that makes virtual meetings, presentations, training sessions, and other interactions as real as possible without getting on a plane."

Qwaq Forums enables a rich environment for teams to share information, communicate, and execute real-time document editing and workflows. Qwaq vPresence™ technology securely combines multi-application sharing, presence, VoIP, text chat, and webcam video. Qwaq Enterprise Servers can be deployed behind the corporate firewall, or organizations can use the hosted SaaS version for rapid deployment and third-party collaboration. Qwaq supports a broad range of applications and document formats, and integrates closely with enterprise identity and security infrastructure.

Qwaq has now surpassed 100 enterprise customers, in sectors including energy, semiconductors, education, manufacturing, and healthcare, and in military and civilian government agencies. The U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center is using Qwaq Forums as part of its virtual Combat Systems experimentation to determine whether virtual spaces can be used to conduct Concept of Operations exercises and to remotely train sailors. Chevron has deployed Forums to support distributed teams and training.

“Enterprises are struggling to manage distributed teams and processes, and traditional web conferencing and conference calls are often ineffective,” said Greg Nuyens, CEO of Qwaq. “Qwaq delivers a compelling environment for getting real work done, especially when multiple people and multiple data sources are involved. With the new capabilities in Forums 2.0, customers are telling us that virtual meetings can now be more powerful than face-to-face meetings.”

Innovative Collaboration Features

The Forums 2.0 release delivers numerous features that align collaboration with existing business priorities and infrastructure:

Always Available

Forums 2.0 adds multiple access methods to bridge existing 2D and 3D workspaces, including:

  • Forums Lobby: “Always on” IM-style toolbar enables drag-and-drop document transfer, private chat to users in 3D forums, and live updating previews of workspaces. Teams can now track progress and presence across multiple workspaces from their desktop.
  • Forum Pages: Each Forum 2.0 workspace has its own Web page, secured by encryption, access controls and Forums Authentication, which can interface with Active Directory or LDAP authentication. The Web interface, which can also be accessed by smart phone browsers, provides real-time access to Forum workspaces for document uploading and downloading, RSS feeds for tracking document updates, and live previews. As a result, employees with no Qwaq software installed can use their standard Web browser to concurrently track results of teams working in multiple virtual spaces.

Enterprise Workflow Integration

  • Smart Rooms: These programmable Forums automatically collate reports from multiple applications, just in time for scheduled meetings. Data sources can include database application reports, documents, videos and process data. Each automated report goes to the appropriate display device and location in Forums, eliminating the time-consuming weekly collation and arrangement of business information.
  • DVR for Virtual Meetings: The Meeting DVR feature enables one-click recording of full virtual meetings, including voice, text chat, virtual laser pointers, presentations, and user/application interactions. Users can record meeting summaries for bosses and employee onboarding, train other users on workflows with multiple live applications, and generate an organizational record of key decision meetings. Viewers can fast-forward to relevant meeting sections, eliminating wasted time in status update meetings.
  • QRLs™: These Web links automatically launch the Forums client and navigate users directly to a particular room or object (e.g. document, application, virtual devices). QRLs allow integration of Qwaq virtual meetings and workspaces into existing tools such as calendars, emails, internal portals, and wikis.
  • Streaming Video: Forums 2.0 can stream high-quality MPEG4 video and AAC sound into workspaces, where multiple users can watch and discuss in real time. This capability is complementary to previously available webcam video features. By allowing organizations to leverage existing video assets such as coursework and executive presentations, Forums presents an ideal vehicle for a variety of training and communication workflows.

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