Fuze Meeting Advances iPad as a Key Business Tool

You’re waiting to board your plane and have just enough time to conduct a quick remote meeting with your business colleagues — through your iPad. That vision of leading meetings anywhere with Apple’s hit tablet is behind the release Tuesday of Fuze Meeting, and it’s only the latest indication of the iPad’s progress in becoming a business tool.

The software is a web-conferencing tool designed specifically for the iPad. Unlike other such products for the iPad, Fuze Meeting allows a meeting to be initiated and run from the iPad rather than just attended. The San Francisco, Calif.-based Fuze is touting its new app for conducting sales presentations, demonstrating products, training, remote team management, and telecommuting from home.

No Video Chat, Workspace Yet

Fuze Meeting, which joins similar products from the same company for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms, and for desktops within a browser, includes access to Fuze Cloud for sharing, managing and presenting content.

In the app, a finger can become a virtual laser pointer, and there is voice communication through VoIP. However, video chat, live video presentations, and collaborative whiteboarding or workspaces are not yet available, although they are planned. Instant messaging can be conducted through AIM, Yahoo, Google, OCS and other clients.

Fuze Meeting is “yet another indication that the iPad is being used more and more as a mainstream business tool,” said Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Corp.

She noted that the iPad is already making inroads into companies beyond what Apple’s iPhone and Mac products have been able to do. A survey by her company indicated that “83 percent of the people who have iPads are using them for both business and consumer needs,” DiDio said.

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