Online conferencing is a crowded space. With folks like Cisco and Citrix on the premium end and products like Skype and Google Hangouts on the free end, do we need another player? Hrishikesh Kulkarni a former telecom technology professional who has built 1Click, a video conferencing solution, is betting that we do.
1Click is a video conferencing solution which doesn’t ask you to install software on your computer or login to an account to start a conference.
In a market like India, this could work very well. Say for instance, you want to video conference with a candidate you are interviewing for a job. With 1Click, all you need to do is send them an invite on e-mail. By clicking on the mail, the candidate is placed directly into the conference within the browser.
Hrishikesh tells me that his team spent nearly 7-8 months to build a solution which is optimized for the bandwidth in India. With video conferencing, especially when it is has more than 2 participants, bandwidth becomes critical.
1Click has built a video bridge which sits on the cloud and optimizes the incoming and outgoing videos for the bandwidth that is available. “With video conferencing, latency is the biggest problem I’ve seen. We’ve managed to solve that to an extent,” says Hrishikesh.
While free services like Skype and Google Hangouts are mostly built with peer to peer communication in mind, 1Click goes the extra mile to make sure that its many to many conferences work well on lower bandwidths.
The services is now being used by a few customers including recruiters and a realty company.
The company is being incubated at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and has raised seed funding from Blume Ventures & a couple of angel investors last year. Hrishikesh has been in the telecom industry for the last 16 years. His last job was at LifeSize, the video & audio telecom company which was acquired by Logitech in 2009.
We tried the service and found it useful for quick online conferences. We experienced some lags, but overall, it was a decent experience. Hrishikesh says that they are building vertical specific solutions that can fit right into the normal workflow of a person.
When testing the camera and mic, we’d like to see a visual indicator which shows how good the volume is. It helps assess the sound quality better. Some new features are also on the way, says Hrishikesh.
If the idea is to be a complete SaaS player, we’d love to see some transparent pricing. It’s a bit of a turn off when you have to write to the company to find out how much the service is going to cost you. However, if the idea is to offer tailored video conferencing solution for different verticals, it is fair to deal with pricing on a case to case basis.
Bandwidth is indeed a big challenge for markets like India. A conferencing solution to the bandwidth problem holds much promise.