WebTrain Communications was a privately held Canadian company established in 1999 that provided web conferencing services for educational training, business meetings, presentation webinars and live auctions.
The WebTrain concept was developed in 1998 for the purpose of reducing training costs for off-site business clients. The idea was expanded to include additional communication services. Six different communication products were released after two years of initial development. Each of the software products provided a specific set of features related to its intended market. There was a call alert monitor, a free PC-PC telephone application, a virtual business meetings application, a webinar presentation application, a virtual conference center application, and a web based virtual classroom application. All products were VoIP based.
After releasing the different products in 2001, it was found that clients wanted a single product that provided all of the features offered by each of the separate applications and services. In 2003, WebTrain released version 1 of their Communicator product, merging the feature sets of the separate applications into a single hosted application. Version 2 was released Feb 11, 2003. Version 3 of the Communicator was released August 6, 2006. The v3 French and English version release was a complete rewrite of the existing product, utilizing .NET for the back end meeting services. Web service APIs for back end integration and OEM white labeling were also provided in the v3 release. Version 4 was released on October 12, 2008.
The chairman of the company was Dr. Doug Hallett, an environmental scientist who received a medal from the United Nations relating to his research and discovery of dioxins in the Great Lakes. He was senior scientific advisor to Environment Canada Ontario region, holds numerous patents of his inventions (PCB destructor, UV Water Disinfector ) and took ELI Eco Logic public as CEO. The president was Kelvin Campbell. The company was a finalist for the 2006 Start-Up award in the British Columbia Technology Impact Awards. At that time it was unique in offering multilingual streaming (up to four languages).
Business models
WebTrain provided paid services under various pricing models with a free 30-day trial on the 25-seat plan. It was branded as BlueTrain and offered two service levels, BlueTrain Express and BlueTrain. BlueTrain Express contained all the basic features whilst BlueTrain was full-featured including the syndicated marketing, full PayPal integration and enrolment management and White Labeling features. 5, 25, 100, 500, and 1000 monthly seat plans were available at both service levels, as well as a 100-seat day plan and custom meeting size options for over 1000 seats.
WebTrain was a single conferencing product operated under the BlueTrain brand (the same product was used by meeting hosts, presenters and participants) for varying uses (meetings, training, education, webinars, etc.) It was developed for Windows, and embedded in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape 8 or Opera. Because their Voice-over-IP was low-bandwidth (6300bit/s), a high-bandwidth connection was not required; the minimum was a 56-Kbps connection.
* Health Canada used WebTrain for internal meetings and various health issues such as best practice health workshops.
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