DimDim…will it do to Webex what Hotmail did to Prodigy?

by Amit Ranjan on September 15, 2006

dd2.jpgIt may sound anachronous today, but not too long ago, you had to pay money to use email. The default email company (circa 1995-96) was Prodigy, till Hotmail came along and changed the rules of the game. Something similar happened with Skype, which has all but sounded the death knell for conventional international telephony. And now, a ‘made-in-India’ product is attempting to do to web conferencing companies (WebEx/GoToMeeting), what Hotmail & Skype did to their respective competitors.

DimDim is an ISV that has created an open source web conferencing solution. It has been founded by a bunch of Indian software professionals who worked previously at CA. The company is US based, but a major part of the product has been built by their engineering team in Hyderabad. I was given a private demo from Boston by DimDim’s founder DD Ganguly (seen here in the screenshot), sometime last month and I must say, I was really impressed with what they have built.

DDG describes DimDim as not just a web conferencing software but a rich media real time collaboration platform. Built completely on open source technologies, it does everything that Webex or GoToMeeting can and much more. I will take the liberty of decribing myself as a fairly advanced user of web conferencing softwares, for we (at Uzanto) use GTM everyday. What I found most stunning about DimDim is that, it is browser based and requires no installations for conference attendees. Many a times, we need to make presentations to clients who are sitting inside their corporate firewalls; coaxing them to install a software on their computers is a procedural nightmare. With DimDim, all that pain is gone.

dd1.jpg

DimDim’s capabilities are built around the concept of microflows, which are small bits & pieces of interactions (in different media formats) between participants in a collaborative online meeting. Thus it allows you to show presentations, applications & desktops to anybody over the internet. You can chat and share live videos using your webcam (currently one way, but soon to be both ways) and talk with others in the meeting. Other features include whiteboards and something called a question manager, which seems to be some kind of a moderated interviewing mechanism (I didn’t witness this). The demo I saw worked very well and as I mentioned earlier, I was simply overwhelmed by the fact, that this product is entirely browser based.

DimDim is currently in alpha and users can download its source code and install it on their servers for free. Presently only IE is supported for presenters while attendees can be on IE, FireFox or a Mac. Going forward, the company plans to have two ways of generating revenues- a reasonably priced hosted solution & a paid, enterprise level full feature solution.

The online collaboration space is hot property these days, with the advent of collaborative work requirements across multilocational teams. DimDim appears to have created a very powerful proposition at a very opportune time. Their commercial success will depend largely on how smartly they are able to market their product. Given the professional background of its founders, that should well be within their reach. Watch out for this product in future!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Startups.in/India September 16, 2006 at 3:27 am

The amazing part is they could have it all up in just 3 months.
Also, have an interview with its founder at
Dimdim – Startup with a bright future

DD Ganguly September 16, 2006 at 7:09 am

Hi Amit,

Thanks for the kind words.

Regards,
dd ganguly
Co-founder & CEO, dimdim.com

amit September 17, 2006 at 5:07 pm

DDG,

Something I wanted to ask you during the demo itself but it slipped my mind. How does DimDim compare performance wise vis-a-vis WebEx & GTM. In terms of reliability (system not crashing), in terms of latencies of load up, animations etc. GTM, of which I have experience is excellent from the standpoint of reliability. We have used it for over two years, while its slow to load up, it NEVER crashes.

amit

Guido May 30, 2007 at 9:54 pm

New version 1.6.1 improve the presenters navigation to firefox and the general manage, but it stills lack of two modules: recording the meeting and a shared board, how meny time til it?

Swaminathan October 4, 2007 at 4:37 pm

I am currently using WebEx for my company…. Can you give the white paper or comparison study…. Would like to evaluate and present the same to my management

Aliasgar Babat September 1, 2014 at 5:41 am

We use RHUB web conferencing servers for all our online meeting needs. It is easy to use.

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