Friday, August 01, 2008

Ending the Relationship

There is a great quote by Thaksin Shinawatra, past Prime Minister of Thailand. Referring to the finance companies that collapsed in 1997 after devaluation of the Thai Baht, he said: "Sometimes the dog gets too mangy and you just have to shoot it".

In that vein, I am no longer reselling Echo360 products. My company Iterate Ptd Ltd has resigned as an Anystream reseller effective 31 July 2008. There are better solutions available for presentation recording, especially Panopto.

The company Panopto is a recent spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University. Their solution is built on a distributed multi-stream architecture, and is priced competitively for large and small installations. In fact, the pricing for corporate customers is less than 50% of what Echo360 charges, and qualifying academic customers need only pay for support services. This is in line with my prediction that capture of display graphics will be commoditised, and the value-add will increasingly be on the server side.

Panopto today supports editing, something that Echo360 has promised for more than a year. You can tell the difference between Panopto and Echo360 - one logo is pointing forward and the other is pointing backwards.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bill
I was surprised to see you had stopped selling Echo360? What bothers me about Panopto is that you can *only* deliver powerpoints. Nearly all presentations we deliver show more than PowerPoints. The other thing that stopped me investigating further was that they only support Windows Media/Silverlight with no plans for Flash support in the future. I just played an Echo360 presentation on a machine running Suse 10 with no problem. With most other systems I have to download players because I choose to use linux and often this is a real pain. The only drawback of Echo360 in my view is it's inability to deliver live.

Bill Claxton said...

@anon - No it's really not correct to say that Panopto can *only* deliver Powerpoints. Panopto handles screen recordings as well or better than any other product, and none of my current Panopto customers are using the PPT features. In fact, you can do screen recordings from a remote machine (eg- the presenter's laptop) without having to monitor full screen on the capture station. Panopto supports drivers from 3rd parties like Epiphan, which Anystream can't or won't do.

Other issues are that Anystream does not support Vista, live transmission, editing of recorded presentations or CD/DVD distribution. Panopto does all this and much more.

Bill Claxton said...

One more thing, over the two years of my reseller relationship with them, Anystream had become increasingly closed and proprietary in their outlook. This is reflected in their current push to sell 'boxes' (hardware capture stations) rather than support third party drivers. Resellers know that information about Anystream's product roadmap had been difficult to obtain.

And to top it all, they actually asked me to stop blogging about their company!