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How to Choose the Right Web Conferencing Tools

 

Web conferencing services have many capabilities which can be invaluable to your company. They can facilitate the way you conduct business, promoting the bottom line along with better management, all which will contribute positively to  profits. But in order to maximize the benefits of web conferencing, one must choose the right product. Because various solutions have different strengths, you should keep a few things in mind before making your decision.

Web conferencing is one of the exciting innovations now being utilized and exploited in the field of business communications. Via the internet, computer users can hold live meetings and conferences with business partners or clients from distant locations as if they were sitting in the same room.

Apart from personally boarding a plane to travel across the globe to meet with someone or a group of people, there are 3 methods of conferencing currently available; audio, video and web conferencing. Only web conferencing makes it possible to leverage all of the available media through real-time, two way communications; real-time, one-way broadcasts plus non-real-time communication.

Web conferencing offers many advantages and is drawing more and more proponents and followers particularly in the business community. Due of its many benefits, it is quickly emerging as the favored means of communication for most companies.

Different web conferencing programs are designed to accomplish different goals. So knowing what your organization requires is the 1st. step to the selection process and an integral part in successfully integrating the software as part of your business.

Web conferencing products can be basically categorized into 4 main groups. First, there are those products that are used for General Business Communications. These products are all-inclusive meaning their capabilities are multi-faceted yet integrated. For example, they can host meetings, do broadcasts, hold training sessions and perform customer service and support tasks.

Another group of products can help you in designing Collaboration Strategies. These products are geared more towards meetings and work which requires a high level of collaboration between various teams. They focus more on the specific functions required by small to medium enterprises. Project Management Focus software meantime allows people to map out how one task leads to another and who is doing what on a particular project. This is ideal for projects that require the collaboration of different databases and run in different locations. Finally Training tools are interactive programs where web conferencing can be used as a training medium.

To start, it is important to determine exactly what it is you intend to achieve with a certain tool. You should know the end result that has to be accomplished. You should also ask yourself the sort of activities one intends to carry out to meet these goals. For example, will you require a brainstorming session or a presentation lecture? It is also important to know the number of people you will need to connect with. Will you be delivering your presentation to a small or large group of people? Once you have determined this, it will also be helpful to know what sort of computers the people you intend to conference with have. Having this information can help you decide if you will pursue software that can support different kinds of computers or operating systems. Similarly, knowing the speed of Internet connection the attendees of your conference have can help you eliminate some conferencing solutions. For example if many of your participants have dial-up connections, you might decide not to consider conferencing which will only work a with high-speed connection.

You will also need to decide if you want web conferencing that you can purchase and install on your computers or if you will opt to pay for the service each month. A service provider may be ideal as this can liberate you from the technical issues so you can concentrate on the tasks at hand.

Choosing the latter option however opens up a new set of questions to consider: choosing a web conferencing service. Here are a few helpful pointers to aid you in this phase of the selection decision. Providers offer services at price per minute formulas or flat rates. Most experts agree that a flat rate can offer the same level of functionality. Look for packages that let you schedule conferences as many times as you want without incurring extra charges. Select a provider that offers Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP allows long distance calls over the Internet, making your sessions more beneficial than if they are conducted only through text chat. Pick a provider which gives you easy access to customer service in case you run into tech problems. The degree of interaction your vendor or provider takes in setting you up and guiding you through your web conferencing journeys will keep you from getting lost in this rapidly evolving sector of the computer industry.

Whatever you decide, you should always make sure to try the technology before actually committing and purchasing it. A mere demo on how the technology works might not be sufficient to give you an idea of how well the tool works or more specifically how the tool will work for you. 

Going with a conferencing provider such as GoToMeeting, which offers a free trial period is a good way to be sure you choose the right option. A GoToMeeting Promo Code can be applied to extend the trial period & receive an additional discount.

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