Online collaboration has begun to evolve from just being the Wow factor to something core that every business has to invest and have a plan for. Internet has changed the way we work and live, it has made virtual offices and work from homes possible. Web conferencing is one big tool that increases the productivity of the employees and the company as such. There are multiple products in this web collaboration segment out there from companies starting with Cisco, Microsoft to PresentPlus.com. These online conferencing products enable live meetings to happen in a virtual conference room. This is a Sci-Fi dream just a few decades ago, now it is a reality in high resolution video beamed across continents. The advent of high speed Internet and fantastic QoS (Quality of Service) implementations in the backbone networks has enabled these highly productive multimedia conferences. Typical conferences has always included a dull one way non-interactive lecture style over the phone meetings, remember Charlie’s Angels. Now it has evolved into something highly feature rich and highly productive.
Web conferences “NOW” enable online sharing of your presentation material and additional documentation that is needed for the meeting. Additionally it provides the collaboration aspects like shared white boards and live synchronized presentations. The other main core components are the audio, video and text collaboration. The traditional PBX audio has been replaced with the reach VOIP audio features and video has evolved from dull one ways to active speaker- grid solutions. Video has evolved so well that now you can have custom views for each person in the conference, each person can choose the endpoints or cameras they want to watch in addition to the capabilities like automatically getting the video from the active speaker in the conference. One of the much used features is the integrated text chats with emoticons. What a fantastic feature this is, along with the public chat modules the users get to have their own private chats. While you are in the online meeting you can chat with your co-worker on specific questions and get something cleared without interrupting the overall meeting. This is one thing that is uniquely possible in online conferences which is really an annoyance in real face to face meetings. How many times have you really wanted the mute button for the private conversation between 2 guys in a group meeting in parallel to the main speaker? This text capability has found really some interesting and useful twists like real time polling and online question submissions. Think about it, you can keep sending the questions you want to be answered in the final Q/A as and when it strikes you. These are typically added to a queue which can feed as the source for the Q/A session that typically follows the preso or meeting. This is very useful in lecture style meetings. Enough said about the features and let’s take a quick look at the business side of things.
Web conferencing products allow the businesses to setup virtual global office ready to meet with business prospects and clients at any time anywhere. When I say anywhere I mean contact any one through these online collaboration products having a rich experience like the face to face meeting without the costly Flight and Hotel expenses. These also present a great opportunity to telecommute without distancing yourself from your colleagues. More so often it happens that folks who telecommute are forgotten by most colleagues, these video and other real time capabilities gets these telecommuters closer to the rest of the team. One of the killer uses is webcasting which is organizing live events and broadcasting these events to employees and customers who are not able to attend the event. This is added with the capability to record these meetings with unlimited playbacks. Without much investment in terms of capital equipment you can get them as online services on a need basis from some of the good companies. One such company with many web conferencing offerings is presented to you below.