Neoteris Moves into New Territory Offering Meetings Online without Peer-To-Peer Fear

Jul 08, 2003

When the company adopted the name Neoteris, they believed the definition, new land, reflected their mission of "pioneering a new land in simple, secure remote access." But three years later, these self-styled frontiersmen have set their sites on taking over some turf from the Web-based conferencing and collaboration providers. Thus far, the three-year-old company has focused on providing an application security gateway base don their Instant Virtual Extranets platforms which, in essence, provide a secure, application-layer gateway intermediating all requests between the public Internet and internal corporate resources.

In those three years, Neoteris has racked up 350 enterprise clients including such prominent names as Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, and Borland Software Corporation. The key word in this success story? Security. The company has itself firmly entrenched in security-centric verticals like finance, government, and health care. And Neoteris is banking on leveraging these existing client relationships to make its foray into the virtual conferencing and online collaboration marketplace.

Jason Matlof, vice president of marketing and business development says that the company plans to "extend our architectural model to the user-to-user meeting market." This, he says, "is our evolution, phase two, announcing our second product family--The Meeting Series--where we leverage our underlying IVE platform to attend to customer needs in online meeting space."

Technical market manager Andrew Harding says the new product line came about directly in response to customer demand. "The key challenge is to maintain the high level of communication as you take online meetings to the whole enterprise," says Harding. "The ping pong of email doesn't let people interact effectively."

As Matlof says, "conferencing and collaboration represent a fairly immature industry." Neoteris, he believes, will help the industry come of age. And, as Harding points out, "as any technology becomes widely adopted in the enterprise, security has to be addressed."

The Meeting Series takes a new appliance-based approach to solve the problems commonly associated with real-time collaboration.  Traditional collaboration service providers expose data to a third party and expose the corporate network to breaches of the shared systems.  Neoteris believes that many companies would prefer to bring collaborative and conferencing activities behind the firewall in order to better monitor and control information and file sharing. Harding says, "You need SSL transport security, a platform for system security and network protection, management enforceable AAA policies, and detailed event-driven auditing and archiving." All of which, he says, The Meeting Series provides at significantly lower costs than deploying outsourced collaboration and conferencing services on an enterprise-wide scale.

While Harding says, "I think there's still a place for large event services done outside the organization, there are some things you don't want to outsource. If you want to have the same security and policies deployed to online meetings that you have to the other core tools people use in your organization, you'll want to bring it into the enterprise."

While the initial product will serve up to 250 simultaneous users in a meeting, Neoteris has found through market research that 80 percent of meetings have less than seven users and plan to tap this broad user base. Their market target includes engineers, technicians, and managers; product and sales teams; corporate teachers and trainers; technical support staff for troubleshooting remote desktops; and external partners contractors, and clients who might wish to review documents in real time.  

Harding estimates that some of Neoteris' clients pay tens of thousands of dollars a month on remote meetings and collaboration via outsourced solutions. With pricing starting at $2,995 for 10 users and no reoccurring costs, the company feels it can more than compete on this front.

"The broader collaboration space," says Harding, "is difficult to pin down; So many things fall under that. At the end of the day, what we're about and what collaboration should be about is enabling users to easily work with each other in a secure manner."