Magazine article American Banker

Calif. Firm Offers New Twists on Conference Calls

Magazine article American Banker

Calif. Firm Offers New Twists on Conference Calls

Article excerpt

Cheetah Broadcasting, a division of Cheetah Systems Inc., aims to help banks improve on a run-of-the-mill conference call.

The Fremont, Calif.-based company offers cybercasting, the broadcasting of conferences and meetings over the Internet with a few high-tech twists. Graphics and written transcripts of meetings can accompany speakers' voices, and questions or comments from participants can be submitted via a World Wide Web page.

Bank headquarters could "communicate directly with their sales force or employees using the computer," said Steve Markey, marketing manager at Cheetah Broadcasting.

Industry experts said the company could face an uphill battle in finding a market at banks.

One stumbling block: "Not a lot of banks have implemented Internet access that is widely available," said Robert Landry, an analyst with the Tower Group in Newton, Mass.

In addition, Cheetah faces competition from computer-based training firms that offer similar technologies, Mr. Landry said.

However, as banks try to cut travel expenses, and with Internet availability of the rise, there is a growing market for the type of service offered by Cheetah.

Attending a cybercast requires a participant to call up a specially designed Web site. Once there, a screen divided into quadrants appears. Each quadrant is dedicated to a specific piece of text related to the meeting: the transcript, the most recent spok en text, graphics, and a form for questions and comments.

When words are spoken in a meeting, the audio is piped to other participants through their computers. …

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