Web conferencing newcomer Yuuguu has added Skype integration to a roster of features that already lists instant messaging (IM) integration and screen sharing.
According to the UK-based company, Yuuguu is now the best way to use multiple instant messaging services - it supports Google Talk, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo and AIM - while also running Skype.
The core of the program, however, is its collaboration engine, which sets out to take on dedicated conferencing services such as WebEX and GoToMeeting with added messaging integration and a heavily discounted monthly price point. Given the popularity of Skype among business users, its inclusion in the all-in-one interface is an important development, according to co-founder and Yuuguu CEO, Anish Kapoor.
"It's about aggregating some of the presence of messaging," says Kapoor, referring to the ability of Skype and IM systems to manage users in real-time.
The software can set up screen sharing between participants, even if Yuuguu is only present on the host PC.
Yuuguu's prize could turn out to be an even bigger one - security. Yuuguu is currently working on a corporate version of the software that would allow it to store IM and possibly conferencing sessions on a server for compliance purposes. Instant messaging's blind spot is that there is no inexpensive way to create an audit trail, leading to IM uptake being poor in some organisations.
"One of the reasons IM is frowned on is that messaging disappears into the ether and then it is gone," said Kapoor, without being drawn on timescales.
Yuuguu is free to use in its 5-participant, 100 minutes per month version, or $15 (£10) per month for unlimited screen sharing and up to 30 participants per session.
The Yuuguu software with Skype integration for PC or Mac can be downloaded from the company's website, from this week.