For teachers, disseminating information to parents is a tricky matter. Sometimes, teachers have a video or a slide presentation that they want to distribute to every parent in a particular class. It’s not easy to e-mail large files to a large distribution list and, frankly, I don’t imagine most teachers want to have parents on social sites like Facebook (News - Alert) or even Twitter, as the mixing of business and pleasure can get a bit tricky. And the desire to make business-based social connections to enable the sharing of files and fostering of discussion is not limited to educators. Everyone from car mechanics to insurance adjusters to doctors could benefit from a business-based social network. Fortunately, IPcelerate (News - Alert) has created just that in the form of Streamz.
According to Kevin Brown, CEO of IPcelerate, Streamz provides an effective tool for companies to interact and collaborate socially beyond the employee base. It allows workers to reach beyond their organizations to communicate with employees, customers, partners and suppliers, helping build loyalty and increase interactions. Users can create and share important information – videos, documents, images, slide shows – with anyone relevant to a particular task. This might include teachers sharing with colleagues or parents of even doctors sharing patient progress with nurses or other healthcare professionals.
Take, for example, a Mercedes dealership. A driver brings his car into the dealership, and the technician takes a video of the car with his iPad. He can then set up a stream within Streamz and send that video to the customer. It posts immediately, alerting the customer by e-mail so he can click on a link and view the stream. The teacher could do something similar for “third period language arts parents” or the surgeon could do likewise for the nurses and residents scrubbing in on her upcoming surgery.
Streamz provides a higher level of security than a typical social networking site. A worker can give customers ids to log into the portal, allowing them to log in and look at streams immediately. Other uses of the technology would allow salespeople to shoot a video of a new product and send it to a stream, acting as an audiovisual version of a first sales call. Hospitals could send information to patients before they come in for a procedure, or give them discharge information after they are done. There is even a barcode reading function that can make it easy to enter patient information (and Streamz defaults to a “private” setting to help maintain security). In the teacher scenarios, parents can comment on the streams, asking questions to the teacher or sharing thoughts with each other.
Brown stated that Streamz is optimized to work on both iOS and Android (News - Alert) devices and can be accessed from a desktop interface as well. The company is working on tweaking the user interface for smaller form factors, and it should be available for smartphones before the end of 2012.
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