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Web Conferencing Keeps You Connected While Cutting Costs

March 7, 2011 - 0 Comments

Meetings become more productive when employees can participate anywhere, any time

It’s no secret that most people dislike meetings. Employees often equate meetings with sitting around stuffy conference rooms, wasting valuable time in unproductive ways, and even hustling through airports to catch a red-eye flight. It’s easy to forget that meetings are important for building consensus, making decisions, and getting your product or service to market. So what’s the best way to ensure meetings are productive and cost effective? Simply, web conferencing.

A web conferencing solution elevates meetings into streamlined, collaborative sessions. The technology requirements are minimal, especially if you choose a hosted or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, and most employees already have the necessary phone, computer, and Internet connection (a webcam is optional). This means that employees can easily meet with anyone from any location, share data quickly, and collaborate in real time. For many smaller businesses, eliminating the need to travel for meetings is the greatest cost- and time-saving benefits.

WebEx, Cisco’s SaaS web conferencing solution, has been leading the market for 15 years. That means there’s very little risk to a small business adopting this technology for the first time.

Meetings, evolved

Employees learn to love—or at least get more out of—meetings when they can attend them via web conferencing. They can join in from their home office, a client’s site, or, if the solution supports a mobile app, even from their car via a smartphone or tablet device. And if the employees use a webcam, they get a true face-to-face meeting experience.

Beyond convenience, a solid web conferencing offering gives users several tools to make them more productive during meetings, such as:

  • Browser-based desktop sharing integrated with voice and video
  • Document sharing of all types of files, including CAD drawings, blueprints, slideshows, and more
  • Web page co-browsing
  • Whiteboarding, note-taking, and annotation tools for marking up documents in real time
  • Cross-platform application sharing and immediate file transfers
  • Live, streaming video via webcams
  • Audio and video recording capabilities

Web conferencing makes meetings of all sizes more productive, from a conference call with just a few colleagues to a company-wide meeting. Forrester highlights three web meeting scenarios that are particularly well served by web conferencing: ad-hoc collaboration, partner collaboration, and team meetings.

Ad-hoc collaboration tools, such as document sharing and click-to-conference capabilities, let employees more easily work on teams from different locations. The same is also true for working with partners. According to Forrester, ad-hoc collaboration tools ”would accelerate project work and break down barriers to collaboration among team members from different firms.”

Forrester points out that web conferencing tools must allow users to securely invite partners to join a web conference, which is easier to do with a hosted, browser-based solution than with an in-house solution. Another benefit to a SaaS solution is that every participant can easily download the user interface and then access tools and documents in the cloud.

More than meetings

The most obvious use of web conferencing is for holding meetings because it makes it easy to gather together employees, clients, or partners regardless of location. But this technology is for more than meetings: You can use web conferencing for any kind of real-time collaboration or presentation.

With a web conferencing solution like WebEx, smaller companies can more easily achieve group gatherings. For instance, you can hold a training session via WebEx between a third-party trainer and your employees, regardless of whether they’re in a conference room at your business or logged on from their home offices.

Small businesses can also more cost effectively deliver sales presentations and host marketing events through a web conferencing solution. You could hold a press conference, demonstrate a product, even celebrate a big win for your company with all of your employees.

How has web conferencing improved your company’s ability to collaborate and stay connected? Tell us how!

“Watch 10 different users explain 10 different reasons why they use Web conferencing”.

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