There’s an App for That: Web Conferencing And Smart Devices

As workforces become more mobile and more global (nearly 90% of participants in a recent study by Nemertes Research claim they operate a “virtual” organization, and an additional 52% of participants said their companies have a global presence), companies are looking for easy-to-use, low cost solutions to connect and collaborate. As these solutions become commonplace, having a meeting no longer means that everybody gathers in the big room in the center of the office. These days, employees are just as apt to talk about web conferencing as they are the conference room. With the continued proliferation of smart devices and improvements to networks on the way, web conferencing, notes Melanie Turek, Industry Director, Frost and Sullivan, is “poised for significant growth.” Turek makes the comment in a recent blog post, “Key Trends in the Web Conferencing Market.”

Apps in the Conferencing Space

Several companies, including AT&T, have created apps to make it easier for remote workers to participate in web conferences. In 2010, AT&T introduced its Connect Mobile Conferencing app, currently available for download to the iPhone and BlackBerry smart devices. This enterprise app transforms voice and web conferencing from multiple point tools, into one, core conferencing and collaboration solution. To join a Mobile Connect app-enabled web conference, participants can click on an online calendar or email invitation, dial in, or choose to have the meeting “Call Me.” During the conference, speakers and listeners are identified and participants use emoticons to “raise their hand,” give feedback, or signal that they’ve stepped out. Depending on connectivity, the app provides other functionalities, including voting in polls and the exchange of notes—public or private—between participants. In addition to smart devices, workers can join the conference via their PCs or Macs.

Social and Video: The Next Big Trends

As the web conferencing space emerges, Turek and her Frost and Sullivan colleague Roopam Jain believe the next big trend will be the integration of enterprise software and social networks. Customers have also added videoconferencing to their web conferencing service checklist, so expect to see more of it—especially for applications like virtual classrooms, training and customer-facing events. “With the next generation of smart phones and impending arrival of 4G, video on mobile devices is fast becoming a reality, making that market the next hot thing for conferencing providers,” explains Turek.

For more information about AT&T’s mobile conferencing, click here:
Lisanne Powers Unified Communications Lead Marketing Communications Manager AT&T About Lisanne