Web conferencing allows multiple meeting participants to communicate with each other live over the Internet. Participants meet in a dedicated online conference center where they are able to share audio, video and files in real time. With Web conferencing, you and your group can be located down the hall or around the world and still accomplish common goals without travel, expense, or technical hurdles.
Web Conferencing, you can:
.Eliminate the need for expensive and time-consuming business travel
.Invite participants simply by sending a link to the conference
.Identify participants as they join and leave meetings
.Show video, view presentations, share files, and run applications in real time
.Sync on-screen views so that all participants see the same thing
.Ask questions of your audience, tally responses and display the results
.Give control of an application to other meeting participants
.Allow participants to submit and respond to questions online
.Capture key participant information such as names and email addresses
.Chat with host, presenters, or other participants
.Integrate with email and calendars to schedule conferences (coming soon)
A webinar is a neologism to describe a specific type of web conference. It is typically one-way, from the speaker to the audience with limited audience interaction, such as in a webcast. A webinar can be collaborative and include polling and question & answer sessions to allow full participation between the audience and the presenter. In some cases, the presenter may speak over a standard telephone line, while pointing out information being presented onscreen, and the audience can respond over their own telephones, speaker phones allowing the greatest comfort and convenience. There are web conferencing technologies on the market that have incorporated the use of VoIP audio technology, to allow for a completely web-based communication. Depending upon the provider, webinars may provide hidden or anonymous participant functionality, making participants unaware of other participants in the same meeting.
For interactive online workshops web conferences are complemented by electronic meeting systems (EMS) which provide a range of online facilitation tools such as brainstorming and categorization, a range of voting methods or structured discussions, typically with optional anonymity. Typically, EMS do not provide core web conferencing functionality such as screen sharing or voice conferencing though some EMS can control web conferencing sessions.
In the early years of the Internet, the terms "web conferencing" was often used to describe a group/TEAM discussion in a message board and therefore not live. The term has evolved to refer specifically to live or "synchronous" meetings. Contents
Definitions of Web conferencing
•Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings, training, or presentations via the Internet. In a web conference, each participant sits at his or her own computer and is connected to other participants via the internet. ...
•A conference conducted via the World Wide Web between two or more participants in different locations. Text, audio or video may be used to communicate in "real time" or in an asynchronous environment.
Other typical features of a web conference
- Slide show presentations - where PowerPoint or Keynote slides are presented to the audience and markup tools and a remote mouse pointer are used to engage the audience while the presenter discusses slide content.
- Live or Streaming video - where full motion webcam, digital video camera or multi-media files are pushed to the audience.
- VoIP (Real time audio communication through the computer via use of headphones and speakers)
- Web tours - where URLs, data from forms, cookies, scripts and session data can be pushed to other participants enabling them to be pushed though web based logons, clicks, etc. This type of feature works well when demonstrating websites where users themselves can also participate.
- Meeting Recording - where presentation activity is recorded on the client side or server side for later viewing and/or distribution.
- Whiteboard with annotation (allowing the presenter and/or attendees to highlight or mark items on the slide presentation. Or, simply make notes on a blank whiteboard.)
- Text chat - For live question and answer sessions, limited to the people connected to the meeting. Text chat may be public (echo'ed to all participants) or private (between 2 participants).
- Polls and surveys (allows the presenter to conduct questions with multiple choice answers directed to the audience)
- Screen sharing/desktop sharing/application sharing (where participants can view anything the presenter currently has shown on their screen. Some screen sharing applications allow for remote desktop control, allowing participants to manipulate the presenters screen, although this is not widely used.)
Web conferencing is often sold as a service, hosted on a web server controlled by the vendor. Offerings vary per vendor but most hosted services provide a cost per user per minute model, a monthly flat fee model and a seat model. Some vendors also provide a server side solution which allows the customer to host their own web conferencing service on their own servers.
Web conferencing is available with three models: hosting service, software and appliance.
An appliance, unlike the online hosted solution, it is offered as hardware. It is also known as "in-house" or "on-premise" web conferencing. It is used to conduct live meetings, remote training, or presentations via the Internet.
Web Conferencing Uses
Web Conferencing | Combined Audio and Desktop Sharing
Companies use Web Conferencing in combination with an audio teleconference as the basis for highly interactive applications.
Some of those uses are:
- Customer service
- Business development
In fact, all types of companies are realizing the benefits of Web Conferencing to expand their communications capabilities and effectiveness. * Use web conferencing for Sales Presentations and Meetings.
- Simultaneously reach key decision-makers to pitch your products and services and close more sales.
- Communicate more frequently with your most important customers and partners, regardless of their geographic location.
- Share any application to demonstrate your software.
Advantages of Web Conferencing
1 ,Enhances participation opportunities at work Through the help of web conferencing, it’s possible to work from home and continue to have more of an active purpose in the workplace. Instead of just emailing people or calling folks, it is easy to attend and participate in meetings. You can even present PowerPoints and other documents in the meeting. You’ll be able to collaborate on assignments with people at the office.
2 ,Save time and money Telecommuting can save you time and expense by not having to sit in traffic. You are not out the time and you aren’t aggravated from dealing with traffic. You’re also not out gas plus the expense of wear and tear to your car. But even with telecommuting, there will be occasions when your presence is expected in the office. However with web conferencing, you may still telecommute. It can save you the time and money of driving to the workplace to participate in the meeting or training. The fact is, some industry experts estimate that people can save nearly 1000 dollars annually by telecommuting.
You’ll also save money on clothes for work. If you are working at your home, you don’t have to dress to impress anyone. You are able to wear comfortable clothing; you can even work in your pajamas if you prefer. You can buy even fewer professional ensembles because you can continue telecommuting to even more events.
3 ,Maternity leaves can end soonerTaking time off to recuperate from delivering a child and bond with your infant is advisable. However, often women are psychologically prepared to go back to work before they’re physically ready. In addition, it can be very difficult for new mothers to leave their newborns all day with a stranger in an effort to come back to their job. Web conferencing allows you to return to work while still giving yourself the time to recover fully from the delivery. Women can utilize a sitter in their home and telecommute where they’re now able to supervise what’s happening. They’ll feel more secure and confident about the safety and wellness of their newborn. Web conferencing makes it possible to still attend group meetings and training without leaving the comfort of their homes.
Web conferencing lets the telecommuter to become a more fully integrated member of the team. It is possible to work from home, yet continue to feel linked with the office and other employees. You will be a (blank) (blank) involved member of the team.
Telecommuting is gaining in popularity attributable to the advantages of removing the daily commute from your routine. Most people find (blank) their work/life sense of balance is drastically increased from telecommuting. Businesses benefit from the productivity of the employees, who are more productive since they are so much happier working at home. Web conferencing can really help make telecommuting work. Web conferencing
can make a company reduce its costs and therefore increase its profits. Travel expenses and time savings are two areas where costs can be greatly decreased.
4 ,Corporate travel expenses With a web conferencing software installed in a company, the need for traveling is almost nonexistent. Meetings can take place from each of the attendee's computer without the need to travel. Expenses like plane tickets, car rentals, taxi service or accommodation expenses are no longer needed. Also companies that use corporate travel planning services will not need them anymore reducing more travel related expenses.
5 , Increase business sales Some businesses depend on a meeting to approve the project and close the deal. Distance and lack of time are the main reasons to postpone a meeting, meaning that closing a deal can take much more time than advised, not to mention the possibility of losing the deal to another company.
By taking advantage of the web conferencing meeting software and its features, a meeting is just a click away. Related CoverageInteractive Web Conferencing If you are looking for interactive web conferencing, you have a lot of choices to choose from! The more money you are willing to pay, the more features you are going to get. For example, you can have a web conference with up to 5 people on the free Skype. The Benefits Of Web Conferencing Services Web conferencing services enable you to carry out meetings and webinars (web based seminars) over the web. Video conferencing or web meeting are useful ways to carry out live meetings, trainings, or presentations by means of the Internet.In a web conference, every participant sits at his or her own computer and is linked to other participants via the internet. Advantages of Web Based Conferencing Probably the best advantage of web based conferencing is that it can cut your telephone costs drastically. All you require to set up this communication channel is a computer and with reasonably good speed internet connection. You can use all the audio visual aids that are available on computer like PowerPoint presentation, movie clips and audio files. You can even transfer any important files and documents electronically through this channel. In certain if required you can even grant access to a computer and the participants and connect to a single and all play with it while discussing. This can be ideal in many circumstances when a group meeting is required to finalize a design. Conferencing - Conferencing Solutions For Businesses Are you utilizing the benefits of conferencing solutions for your company? If you have not done so, you might want to read this article. Today, large and small corporations leverage on conferencing solutions to do business. Basically, there are three types of conferencing solutions: video conferencing, audio conferencing and web conferencing.A face-to-face online meeting can take place at any time and scheduling can be made according to client's location. Losing a deal is no longer a possibility if it depends on availability.
6 , Increase business exposure Using the web conferencing service, an unlimited number of online presentations can take place on a daily basis increasing the exposure of the product a company is trying to sell. As this method can be used worldwide, the product information can reach more countries and therefore more clients. More exposure means an increased possibility of selling the product and therefore of increasing the profits.
7 , Save money with no traveling staff Staff members that usually make product presentations no longer need to travel if they use a web conferencing software. Those long hours and days spent traveling to visit clients will be used in the company, accomplishing other necessary tasks like keeping several online presentations a day and working together with other staff members to improve selling techniques and product presentation. Not only the company saves money in travel expenses but it can also have its employees 100% in the company, investing their whole time in the company's work double profits here.
8 , Happy clients Being in close and permanent contact with clients and possible future clients no matter the geographic location, improves business and personal relationships. Being available at any time to attend online meetings without having to wait for a flight reservation will build trust relationships with clients. Clients become aware of how well they are treated and become more interested in doing business. A happy client also means more business and therefore the chance to have more
Disadvantages of Web Conferencing
Just as there are two sides to every coin, web conferencing also has its advantages and disadvantages. For all its many perceived advantages from being cost-effective to efficient in delivery of collaborative measures, web conferencing also has its own set of disadvantages. And since most articles found on the web are touting the many advantages of web conferencing, in this article, we will focus more on the disadvantages or the cons to web conferencing.
Disadvantage 1: The Risk FactorThis is no doubt one of the pervading problems or disadvantages that are currently besetting web conferencing. Everyone who knows his software technology is aware that for every new development that comes our way, the potential for security risks are also made manifest. Web conferencing service poses a potential security risk in that the same aspect that makes this tool amazing also makes it vulnerable to hacker attacks. This is because web conferencing bypasses the normal security policies that a company’s IT personnel establish. And because of this, the risk of revealing a gap in a company’s finely tuned security system becomes greater.
Disadvantage 2: Application Sharing Increases RiskWeb conferencing services bypass policies through its main feature, which is application sharing. This “sharing” between participants actually enables the system to access from the outside where risk factors are abound. Also, a conferencing system bug can create security vulnerabilities which add to the overall disadvantage of using web conferencing.
Disadvantage 3: Hackers It is a sad fact but hackers these days are increasingly becoming more sophisticated with their use of less than savory skills. Their job is to exploit the problems found in corporate IT systems in order to infect it with malicious software, intercept documents and other files passed during sessions. During web conferencing, it is unavoidable that sensitive information is disclosed and therein lies the disadvantage of such a system. Hackers may also exploit the web conferencing system in order to gain entry to conference participant’s systems and files.
Disadvantage 4: Conferencing ServersIn an effort to combat security breaches due to external hosting of web conferencing servers, companies are beginning to set up their own server. In this way, they have better control of the conferencing environment and reduce the risk to security. However, one disadvantage of such a practice is that companies that run their own web conferencing servers must use their own bandwidth for group meetings. This can be a problem for small businesses since bandwidth can be expensive and just defeats the whole purpose of using web conferencing as a cost-effective alternative to face-to-face meetings