With the numerous breakthroughs registered in the field of IT over the last decade, web conferencing has greatly expanded the prospects for long distance intercommunication, and has proven to be an important link between online businesses of all shapes and sizes. Nowadays it is possible to establish and maintain permanent connections with other individuals, groups or companies using advanced services like online streaming media, whiteboard, and text chat, irrespective of distance and geographical position. |
To make sure you end up with a convenient and viable web conferencing solution, it is strongly recommendable that you stick with solid, credible providers with a history in the business. Finding companies that match this profile isn’t difficult, as there are numerous resources you can turn to for relevant information, from specialty forums to blogs and dedicated directories.
Apart from researching for a high-caliber provider, you should also take the time to look for a web conferencing software package that best fits the profile of your business. When shopping for an appropriate solution, carefully weigh the features and strong points of each offer against the communication needs of your company, and select accordingly.
Here are the three main steps you should address when going through the process of selection:
1. Define and list up the main purposes identified for your web conferencing solution:
You should begin by deciding exactly how you will be using your software package. The following is a list with common areas of application:
- Standard video camera-supported online meetings (with or without VoIP integration) - Online training sessions - Remote customer support and IT service delivery via encrypted desktop sharing and control applications - Inter-organizational collaborations - Webinars
2. Pinpoint the features that are indispensable for your business:
After selecting your main area/ areas of usage, it becomes much easier to determine which features are crucial in your particular field of activity. While at this step, find the answer to the following questions:
- Do your communicational needs depend on advanced, high-response media streaming capabilities? - Do you consider necessary to host the web conferencing system locally, using your own array of servers? - Do you absolutely need uninterrupted, real-time communication capabilities for your business? - To what extent you think you will be using feedback features like polling or voting?
3. Decide how much time, effort and money you can afford to invest into system maintenance:
You should account for the added costs of managing your web conferencing system over the long term as well. Solutions that allow detailed administration of user access, data authentication and other similar settings are generally more expensive, since most of them also come with local hosting possibilities. However, if you believe you won’t need the latter feature and want to bring down the overall costs for your solution, you should probably opt for a compact web application-based system. Especially if you are running a small-sized business, you should do just fine with the absolute essentials.
For more resources about web conferencing or about web conferencing software or even about online training, please review these links.
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