Dim Dim: Web conferencing turns open source
D D Ganguly, Prakash Khot, Saurav Mohapatra, Sundar Subramanian and Rohit Shankar, who were employees of Computer Associates (CA), were scouting for ideas to kickstart a company. Their zeal, to be entrepreneurs, was derived from their earlier venture Advanced Internet Management (AIM). In 2007, AIM was sold to Computer Associates (CA), upon which the founders joined the latter. They had the advantage of founding a company before. The team, scattered across the world, in U.S., Canada and India, used to keep in touch by using a variety of communication tools that were both expensive and unreliable. They realized that their frustrations with these communication tools, including web meeting software presented them with the perfect market opportunity. If web conferencing tools become lousy, factors like proper accessibility and easy usage get hindered. The increased adoption of conferencing solutions by small and medium businesses has pushed the need for cheaper and easy to use web conferencing services. Custom configured, firewall-friendly and no requirement for plug-ins are just a few of the demands that customers make when using these services. What people desire is a software that does not even require downloading. The five CA employees left their jobs to create an integrated, easy to use and free web meeting service, which would help people, who were geographically dispersed, to communicate with ease. Thus Dim Dim was found. A browser based web conferencing service based in Boston and Hyderabad; Dim Dim set out to achieve the aim of making the world a smaller place, when it was started in February 2006. Today Dim Dim enables people around the world to share presentations, videos and communicate without having to download a browser, install a software or pay up for the service. All one has to do is to sign up and start using the service. It is as easy as checking your email. Their prior experience in establishing a firm, helped them the founders to get the right focus, and also helped to approach the business with market tactics and gradually drive the company to growth. For upto 20 users the service is free and for a larger group there is a yearly subscription charge. The company also offers a private label version for unlimited users where pricing is implementation specific. As the CEO of Dim Dim, D D Ganguly puts it, "Dim Dim is like a second child. The previous experience did help as we knew what exactly to expect when we found this company." Additionally the core team has had the advantage of having good experience in the domain of technology as well as in management responsibility. Available as an open source software, Dim Dim is flexible. It can be extended and improved freely. Users can change the logo or the user interface if they wish to. Although there are a lot of players in this space, very few provide free and easy to use web conferencing services. Initially the company was called Communiva. The journey from Communiva to Dim Dim was a fraction of a day. Since Communiva was not such an easy to recall name, the founders chose 18,000 domain names and promised themselves that they would not leave the meeting without finalizing on one. To make the task easier, they set five rules, which were: the dotcom domain name must be available, it should be an easy to remember and an international name and the sound and spelling of the name must translate without ambiguity to its spelling and pronunciation, respectively. Dim Dim was the only name that met these rules.