Edward S. Chatlos
Co-Founder and CEO, PeerPort, LLC
Ed is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of PeerPort. PeerPort’s leading service, PeerPort.us, is an online community and collaboration service designed to serve the growing needs of small, medium and enterprise size businesses and educational institutions, to harness collaboration and community tools to gain a competitive advantage.
Prior to PeerPort, Ed was President and General Partner of Group Intelligence Inc. GI focused on building social networking/Web 2.0 communities for technology companies. GI’s customer base includes a number of Fortune 100 companies including IBM, Microsoft, BT and SAP.
Before GI, Ed was Vice President and General Manager of AT&T's WorldNet Service. During his tenure Ed led the team to more than double its subscriber base to the 4th largest ISP in the US and drove AT&T WorldNet to become one of the first profitable ISPs in early 2002. In addition, AT&T WorldNet won more industry awards than any other ISP in the US, including the J D Power award for overall customer satisfaction, 2 years in a row.
His background includes senior leadership positions in operations, business development, strategic planning, sales and marketing, M&A, and business planning for AT&T, Novell and Unix Systems Laboratories (USL).
Ed received a Bachelors of Science degree in Electronic Engineering Technology and has a Masters of Science degree in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.
RxEconsult: What is Peerport
Edward: PeerPort was created to address the growing need of Businesses and Educational Institutions to harness collaboration and community tools to gain competitive advantage. PeerPort.us is a cloud-based collaboration and communications platform that enables virtual teams to work together more effectively using online communities. PeerPort’s integrated suite of services includes unlimited audio, video and web conferencing, text chatting, messaging, calendaring, action item tracking and document sharing. PeerPort's suite of services is delivered within secure private online communities, insuring that community information is available only to designated members.
PeerPort enables one to:
RxEconsult: Why did you develop Peerport and how did you arrive at this idea
Edward: Prior to starting PeerPort, I was President of Group Intelligence, which provides managed community services for global technology ecosystems of customers and business partners of major vendors such as IBM and Microsoft. I realized that communities of tens of thousands of members was valuable, but didn’t provide the intimacy required by smaller teams. PeerPort focuses on teams of tens to hundreds of members, providing the necessary tools for these teams to work together more effectively.
RxEconsult: How does Peerport improve business communication and contribute to the bottom line
Edward: PeerPort provides the services needed to collaborate/communicate among community members. This means members don’t have to travel across the country or the world to work with other team members. They can start a video call with other members as easily as if they are down the hall from them.
RxEconsult: How are your current clients using Peerport and what are they saying
Edward: PeerPort has a diverse set of customers using PeerPort in a number of different ways. A large telecommunications equipment provider is using Peer Port to provide a way in which their business partners can collaborate with each other to better provide solutions to their customersA Charter school system in Philadelphia is using PeerPort to teach students Chinese. The students are located in Philadelphia and the teacher is located in China. Tariq Evans of the Harambee Charter School says, "This not only increases the student dialog, but broadens the peer based interactions and learning among students on 8th grade subjects. PeerPort allows us to bring into the education process, a Facebook like platform including services which are relevant to an educational environment".
RxEconsult: What are some potential applications of the Peerport platform in the healthcare industry
Edward: One of the biggest challenges today is to reduce the overall healthcare costs for patients and increase its effectiveness. Creating a community of patients who have a similar illness (i.e.; Diabetes) allows the patients to learn from other patients on the best way to live with this disease. It also allows for the healthcare provider to better understand the patients’ usage of the medication.
RxEconsult: What are the major advancements and trends in video collaboration
Edward: One of the major advancements in Video conferencing recently has been the ability for participants to use video conferencing without any special hardware or software and still experience high definition quality video. Certainly one needs a webcam to broadcast their video, but most laptops today come with an integrated camera.
RxEconsult: How does Peerport compare to other video collaboration platforms
Edward: PeerPort offers HD video conferencing services, and goes beyond traditional video conferencing services which others offer. PeerPort’s view is that the collaboration between team members should continue beyond the actual meeting. As such we provide a host of services which allows community participants to collaborate after the video/audio/web meeting is over. Whereas traditional video conferencing service providers limit their service to just the meeting and do not provide services (messaging, document library, team calendar, action item tracking, etc.) which can be used after the video session is over.
RxEconsult: What is the cost of a Peerport subscription
Edward: PeerPort has 2 basic pricing plans, 1) for a community with up to 10 members is $99.00 per months and 2) for up to 50 members is $375.00 per month. We also provide pricing plans for Communities which need more members. These prices include unlimited use of all the services within the community.
RxEconsult: What are some of the challenges in growing your user base and how are you addressing them
Edward: There are several major challenges of growing the PeerPort user base. The most important is getting customers used to using PeerPort and, for that matter, similar cloud based services, providing a different paradigm in working with others. Audio, Web and video conferencing services supplement (and sometimes replace) in-person meetings. While this is highly efficient and provides for a reduction in overall costs, participants need to get used to video and web conferencing or meetings and interacting via the web with their team before, after and between meetings.
RxEconsult: What are the most important steps to becoming a successful entrepreneur
Edward:Focus, focus, and focus. It is very easy to become distracted with ancillary implementations or markets. The key to success is to focus on several initial markets, meet customer needs in these markets and replicate this success in similar markets. Once this success can be repeated, it is time to extend this success to other related markets.
RxEconsult: Thank you very much for discussing your company. Your platform has many applications and I like how easy it is to use and navigate. I think it is useful for many businesses that travel to visit customers. They can cut down on travel cost by using your platform. I wish you much success.