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The Benefits of Online Meetings

Article by

Mark Vandorone

The significant increase in fuel prices is driving business
to search for cheaper alternatives to executive travel.

One way is by conducting more meetings online. Technology
experts estimate that online meetings using multimedia
web-conferencing hardware and software can save more
than  $2,000 per executive per annum.

Web conferencing has been taken to a new level by the
introduction of high-speed, multi-megabyte broadband
connections. A combination of real-time video, audio,
instant messaging and application sharing can enable
colleagues to see and hear each other while working
simultaneously on the same documents anywhere in the
world. All that is required is a headset and microphone
plus optional webcam.

There are more sophisticated services available that allow
participants to online meetings using laptops and 3G phones.

The quality experienced of both audio and video was
notoriously poor due to slow internet connections. There
were also severe restrictions on numbers attending online
meetings due to strains on the limited bandwidth available.

Security concerns were another disincentive to conducting
online conferences. Potential threats to confidentiality
existed when private meetings were held over an open
network. On top of this encryption also consumed more
bandwidth and slowed down the process even more.

Many of these issues have now been dealt with, and the
excellent news for business is that there is fierce
competition in this rapidly growing market. Consequently
prices are being reduced and fully managed web conferencing
facilities are coming within the reach of small business.

However, tread carefully before you start booking that
first online conference. Establish which elements of these
services will really improve the efficiency of your
operation.

Services such as live video conferencing are simply not
required by most businesses. Many organizations will get
most benefit from using a service such as VoIP ("voice over
internet protocol") or an instant messaging facility.
Either could easily be combined with application sharing to
enhance the benefits.

Another trap to be avoided if you will be including third
parties in your web meetings - do not use a service
provider who requires all participants to be using their own
proprietary software.

A final word, ensure that all media being used in the
conference are encompassed by any encryption facilities
that are being used.


About the Author:

Mark Vandorone offers specialized online advertising
campaigns at <a href="http://www.fivemarketing.com">
Five Marketing </a>. Not happy with your results from the
Pay-Per-Click search engines? Pay Mark a visit at
http://www.fivemarketing.com or contact him by e-mail at
support@fivemarketing.com