Audio, Web and Video Conferencing
The increasing popularity of the virtual office, telecommuting and remote computing frequently makes it necessary for employees, partners, and customers to hold multi-party meetings
leveraging various Conferencing solutions. Of course, having all parties fly off to meet in Cabo
for a week and talk business over margaritas would be great fun, but
today, economics demand that most meetings take place virtually. The
most common way to achieve these is through conference calls and to do
this, a conference call provider is required.
Business VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has made Conferencing easier than it has ever been. This is because Business VoIP works the same way as your Data network. Packets are sent over the Internet and it does not matter if these packets are
Audio, Video or Web Data, it is all converged to just digital data. It is for this reason that many collaborative services have emerged on top of Business VoIP solutions. You still get your regular phone service and abundant VoIP features thrown in
but in addition you can schedule webinars to train or be taught remotely and share virtual white boards and presentations, hold video conferencing calls with customers on the other side of the planet and save on air fares and the dreaded jet lag, and much more.
Selecting a Conferencing Solution
When considering a conferencing solution, there are five key criteria that should to be addressed. While there are other things to consider, these five criteria are the basic considerations that must be determined before selection. The five criteria are goal, effectiveness, technology, location, and cost:
- First, consider the goal of the conference. If the goal of the conference is simply to disseminate information, or to hear someone give a presentation, a webcast might be the best conferencing solution. If the goal is to have a discussion, then a conference call or online conference is a better solution. If the conference goal is to have everyone work on a document, and talk about the changes they want to make, and work on those changes together, then an online conference solution that includes the ability to manipulate documents is the best solution. The goal of the conference can determine which of the options will work best for your conference.
- Second, consider the effectiveness of each solution. If time is not a concern, perhaps an audio conference will work for editing documents. One person can be placed in charge of editing. That person will make notes based on the discussion, then edit the document, then send the document out to people. However, if face-to-face interaction is needed in order to have an effective conference, then an online conference solution will work best. Making sure the conference solution is effective will make sure the goal of the conference can be reached.
- Third, look at the technology available and the technological know-how of the participants. If having an online conference would mean purchasing new equipment, like webcams and microphones, perhaps an audio conference solution is better. If the participants in the conference are uncomfortable with technology, like document sharing and editing, then perhaps you do not need an online conference. The participants in the conference need to be comfortable with using the technology so the conference can be effective, and reach its goal.
- Fourth, examine the location of the participants. If everyone is within an easy drive of each other, or a walk, perhaps a traditional conference will work. If everyone is in different locations around the world, then an online conference solution would work better. If the participants are spread out across the same time zone, but not within easy travel distance, perhaps an audio conference (like a conference call) will work. The location of the participants can determine what type of conference solution is needed.
- Lastly, study the cost of the conference. The cost should include everything about the conference: technology, purchasing the use of an online platform, the time of the participants, travel and shipping costs (if any), and any other associated costs. Physical conferences, where people are in the same room, are often very costly. However, online conferences tend to be cheaper because they use currently available technology without having anyone travel. The conference solution can change based upon the budget.
Free Price Quotes from Providers
At WhichVoIP.com our goal is to help provide education and options about services now available to small businesses that only a few years ago were only affordable to large enterprises. Let us take some of the hard work away from you. We have relationships with most of the major providers in the industry and can help you obtain competitive quotes for all of your audio, video and web conferencing
solutions using the simple form below.
Below you will find links to some articles for further erading about Conferencing that may be of interest.