I’ve been following this company dimdim for sometime now and it is getting better and better. I wrote a post earlier where I was suggesting that they should position themselves as a Live eLearning Platform with the features that they have. They have gone a step further by providing integration with Moodle, an Open Source Learning Management System. Moodle and dimdim dancing together will be irresistable. The reviews that I read about dimdim’s integration with moodle are also excellent.

I also see a number of projects displayed in sites like rent-a-coder, getafreelancer etc. where the requirements are integration of Moodle and Dimdim, Moodle+Dimdim+Joomla etc. There definitely seems to be a active community that has been positioning Dimdim pretty well. I would love to hear and write about the initiatives that dimdim has been taking with respect to their positioning.

Essentially, at this rate dimdim would become a necessary backbone of any unified communication strategy of enterprises.

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This is  a post that I read in Webguild.  This is about a company called dimdim, which I have been following really closely for the last few months. It is very sad that we didn’t come across dimdim when we were evaluating a conferencing solution for our use. I also wrote an earlier post on “dimdim challenges webex”.

The more I look at them, they are just not going to challenge webex and they are going to challenge multiple players who have positioned themselves differently. Some of my thoughts on that are:

Dimdim can possibly be the poor man’s video conferencing solution with all the features that they offer, especially their ability to offer webcam videos, integrated audio, whiteboard and browser-client. You don’t really need expensive hardware and the associated costs involved in setting up a video conferencing room etc. I have earlier done  a post on collaborative solutions and how it would be ideal for offshoring companies to interact with their customers.

Additionally dimdim can position itself as a Live eLearning platform, the way elluminate and picturetalk does. They position themselves as Live eLearning Platform, Collaboration Platform and Cross-platform conferencing solutions. All of these are available with dimdim with the features that they bring to the table.

I am really glad that over 500K people from over 180 companies have started using this; and this is being used for education as well. I wish and believe that they would certainly not become an acquisition candidate at least for the next few years, and change this space.

These are a few things that I came across today morning.

1. IT hiring is shrinking and it is down by 40% already

2. Operations head of a very promising startup said that things have been really hectic and he is running against time towards hiring people.

3. Entrepreneurship is growing and transforming ideas into products is done at a hectic pace. 

How so contradictory the first two statements are and more so when you hear them within a period of 10 minutes. I can understand the situation and the way I understand is that the startup is looking for the right talent that can deliver what they want and the 40% reduction in hiring reflects the generic hiring which the IT Services guys do. This bring us to the fact that talent is still a problem; comes only at a premium; and puts forth the point that people necessarily have to be nurtured to deliver what the industry wants. This would be a challenge that every IT company has to face sooner than later and whoever figures out a way to nurture the talent (get me right, I am not saying hiring the talent!) will be successful.

Coming to the main portion of the post on growing entrepreneurism and transforming ideas into products.  Many an idea during the dotcom time that went bust were of the eyeball projections variety and never really added to the bottomline. Things have changed since then, and there are many budding entrepreneurs who have started floating their ventures.

There are quite a few ideas that come out of sheer necessity and some that are conceptualized based on a market gap. It becomes extremely imperative for the idea to be validated and confirmed that there exists a market before proceeding with them. This in no way reduces the risk but it increases the probability for your idea to become successful. I am closing watching two companies that belong to this category of an idea borne out of necessity and an idea trying to address a market gap. They are Synage and Dimdim and would be very keen to understand how things progress for them in the coming months. Both the companies belong to the SaaS category as well.

To start with, the name dimdim looks real cool. It emphasizes simplicity and ease of use. Dimdim is using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) service to operate its service and uses Adobe flash 9 plugin for all its multimedia apps.

Dimdim on top of it followed the user led product development strategy (Web 2.0!, I hope I am write in calling it Web 2.0). Some of the gaps that they identified by taking feedback from users of best-of-breed products.

  • Slow to respond
  • Needs software to be installed on the attendee side
  • Need for integrated audio

Dimdim has been successful in de-bottlenecking most of the above issues associated with other web conferencing solutions. Alfresco VP, Matt Assay has this to say about dimdim “Dimdim is to webex and web conferencing what sugarCRM is to salesforce.com and alfresco is to sharepoint and documentum: an open source value-rich competitor that should keep the proprietary competition up at night”.

Some of the straightforward advantages of dimdim are:

  1. It is presence aware, and will integrate all other messaging systems
  2. 100% transparency as a company, with 100% open source code, roadmap and technical documentation online.
  3. Ajax-based web meeting console. No client-side application necessary.
  4. They are SaaS and leverage on Amazon’s elastic compute cloud.
  5. Coolest name that one can think of for a web meeting software

Some of the brickbats that you hear about them are:

  1. Not a single working demo on anything but windows platform, and is a little strange for an open source offering.
  2. Scalability is still an issue with dimdim. Their claims of supporting 500 party conference hosted on a single server, is by far probably their biggest statement without really testing. Especially considering the fact that 500 users are on a audio-conference on one server.

I certainly believe that they will do a workaround on all of this and also take into account the compatibility issues related to working behind a firewall etc. sooner.

Based on what I see and hear, dimdim seems to be next thing in web conferencing and I also hope that they dont become an acquisition candidate for the Adobe’s, avaya’s and siemens, for it will strip them of the value that it can add as a start-up.