Don’t Cancel the Conference – Web Conference

We’ve all dialed into audio conferencing bridges. We know the drill – asking who’s on the call, having to recognize voices, figure out who’s talking when, and — if a presentation or document is involved, the need to send it or access it before the conference call. And forget video conferencing unless your company can spring for video telephones.

The Next Level in Conferencing

Fortunately, there’s an alternative. Web Conferencing takes audio conferencing to the next level. Its features and capabilities make up for most of what audio-only conferencing lacks. Web Conferencing adds an interface, typically accessed via the Internet, and usually provider-hosted or cloud-based. This “as a service” model is gaining in popularity due in large part to the fact that all you need is a computer, telephone and an internet connection (i.e. no need for costly video telephones). Preferred providers are capable of delivering an integrated or converged offer – audio, web, and desktop video accessible from a single interface.

Bringing All Your Technology Together

With an Internet connection and a PC, you get full convergence of these technologies and are able to greatly enhance the audio-only conferencing experience. The web interface not only contains the participants’ list, but convergence allows for the “linking” of the computer to the audio.  Instead of guessing who’s talking, an indicator flashes next to the name of the person who’s talking. You can also “lock” the door to the call once the proper participants are in the meeting, thereby securing the conference.  And because the web interface has the ability to “load” a presentation and share a desktop, there is complete collaboration. Finally, desktop video capability means you not only know who is talking, you can see him or her as well.

You can also take the meeting on the road. Most providers have created smartphone applications that allow for access to much if not at all these features of web interface.  So there’s no need to cancel the conference if a participant’s work schedule takes them out of the office.

There is some bad news though: web conferencing will raise your expectations about conference calls and make traditional conference calls even more frustrating than before.

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Have you experienced web conferencing?
What features would you like to see added?
Jim Saum Lead Product Marketing Manager AT&T About Jim