ProtoSphere 2.0 released

Press Release: ProtonMedia Introduces ProtoSphere 2.0: the Immersive, Social, Learning & Collaboration Software for the Enterprise
Market-leading collaboration environment for the cloud deeply integrates with Microsoft technologies

LANSDALE, Pa.—ProtonMedia has introduced ProtoSphere 2.0, the company’s immersive business collaboration environment for the enterprise. ProtoSphere 2.0 is an innovative approach in immersive, social, learning and collaboration for global, multi-national enterprise organizations in life sciences, health care, insurance, consumer products, high-tech, energy/manufacturing, and other vertical markets. Organizations can now create an always-on virtual workspace where, at any moment, they can bring together the right people from around the globe and their content to increase the speed and effectiveness of knowledge transfer, learning, and social engagement and provide context to business-critical information.

(Image courtesy ProtonMedia.)

ProtoSphere 2.0 includes major new features, including:

  • Deeper integration with Microsoft Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) offerings – Lync Server 2010 and SharePoint 2010. ProtoSphere 2.0 features Lync presence extending throughout the virtual immersive environment. This includes contact cards, voice conferencing, text messaging, enterprise-wide IM integration, application sharing, and the ability to invite individuals to join you directly in ProtoSphere with just a single click. ProtoSphere 2.0 also has compatibility with Microsoft Office Communicator.
  • Enhanced integration with Microsoft SharePoint 2010. ProtoSphere 2.0 includes integration with enterprise SharePoint 2010 deployments for native content storage and full read/write access to document libraries. SharePoint enterprise social networking via MySite profiles can be tied to each collaborator’s avatar in a ProtoSphere immersive engagement.
  • Enhanced Media Boards. New multi-content media boards within the immersive environment encourage dynamic presentations of live and stored content from multiple-sources, simultaneously, each with its own information format. All media boards can be co-viewed and discussed interactively by collaborators in a virtual social engagement. Media boards can be used to post and update content for brainstorming, forecasting, onboarding, business strategy, product development, and focus-group collaborations. Supported formats include popular Microsoft Office file-types used by PowerPoint, Word and Excel, text and image content, broadcast or stored video feeds, Adobe .pdf and Adobe Flash interactive, and any application that can run on the desktop.
  • Build Your Own World. Administrators and virtual session organizers can now choose their own immersive rooms and spaces and monitor permission and access to meet their specific needs on demand. This provides the ability to select from a wide range of virtual room sizes, layouts, styles, and the number and arrangement of media boards, note boards, and SharePoint boards.
  • Greater Moderator Controls. Moderators now have the ability to lock rooms, restricting access when meetings are in progress, and lock content within a location. Moderators can also proactively send individuals to specific locations enabling breakout meetings for corporate learning/training sessions.
  • An Updated UI. ProtoSphere’s new application interface focuses on the end user, removing any unnecessary clutter and providing the most immersive experience possible. A new action bar provides contextual navigation elements when needed without taking up valuable real-estate on the interface. And existing Microsoft Lync users will find familiar interface elements of that platform.
  • Usage Reporting and Monitoring. ProtoSphere administrators are provided the ability to run usage reports anytime they require from a simple-to-use web interface. This enables them to track the amount of time spent in different locations and overall product usage.
  • Secure Authentication with Federated Services. All authentication in ProtoSphere is now accomplished via a federated relationship with a trusted identity provider. This allows users access into ProtoSphere without the need to create additional accounts, and frees IT and network administrators from the burden of managing a separate user store.

“ProtoSphere 2.0 has been a significant undertaking for ProtonMedia, and I could not be prouder of what our team has accomplished with this release,” says Ron Burns, CEO of ProtonMedia. “We have believed for some time that meetings alone are not real collaboration. ProtoSphere 2.0 is an extraordinary combination of a 3D immersive environment, a deep unified communications platform, the power of social networking, and the functionality of a next generation e-learning platform, all delivered in a cost-effective cloud offering. This holistic blend of content with context will bring new levels of efficiency and creativity to knowledge-focused industries.”

ProtoSphere 2.0 is available via ProtonMedia direct sales and select systems integrator partners and can easily be deployed within any organization through either a cloud-based SaaS offering or a traditional on-premise installation. Call 215-631-1401 for sales information. For more information on ProtoSphere, please visit ProtonMedia’s website or blog. To download a free demo of ProtoSphere, please visit ProtonMedia’s website.

About ProtonMedia

ProtonMedia is the developer of ProtoSphere, the market-leading immersive, social, learning & collaboration enterprise environment available in the SaaS cloud. ProtoSphere’s immersive environment provides an arsenal of business-focused collaboration and communication tools that help companies accelerate decision-making and raise productivity, improving workplace performance overall. The company is a Gartner “Cool Vendor in the High-Performance Workplace” and a two-time winner of the Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award. Its customers include some of the world’s most respected brands, including PPD, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Inc., BP, Chevron, Duke University, Deloitte, TIAA-CREF, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing.

A trial version of ProtoSphere can be downloaded here.

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  • I have downloaded and explored the ProtoSphere product.  ProtoSphere 2.0 is not available for trial just yet, so the demo is the 1.5 version.

    I especially liked:
    1. The natural avatar movements.
    2. The clean, clear interface.
    3. The integration of media elements, whiteboards and pointers.
    4. The apparent stability – no glitches or artifacts.

    ProtoSphere has the polish of a commercial application and is clearly designed to give the visitor clear access to essential controls.  I had modified my avatar and mastered the basic controls within minutes.

    In my discussion with Ron Brown, inside sales at Proton Media, he indicated that the client can develop custom environments, and I’m looking forward to learning more about that process and potential.

    In comparison to OpenSim I would say that ProtoSphere is business and education oriented with a streamlined interface to minimize complications.  The avatar can walk, run and jump, but not fly.  There is no building, nor peeking at the underlying scripts.  The ambient illumination is consistent and the avatar is simply moved forward to stand up after sitting (there is no “Stand” button).  There are no user-created shops with clothes and hair.  This is not a resident created world space, but rather a highly developed and expectedly reliable social/business/education interaction environment.

    It is particularly interesting that in one kind of location (Mass Presentation Zone), for very large presentations of several hundred attendees, the avatar sees the presentation stage and presenters, but not the surrounding avatars.  This clearly minimizes the overhead that often produces debilitating lag in OpenSim environments.

    There is also a feature whereby a circle surrounds a zone and inside the circle VoIP is private.

    I’ve seen some amazingly creative environments in OpenSim and Second Life and doubt if they can be realized in ProtoSphere.  However, for straight-ahead business and education, this product has a very efficient and gratifying functionality.  

    I tested it on Windows, but it is designed to run on Windows or Mac.