Small Businesses Can Act Like Big Businesses with Web Conferencing

We’re all too familiar with the good ‘ole conference call.   “Hi, who’s on the call?”  “Who’s that speaking please?” “Did everyone get the document, and could you please open it up?”  Everyone tries to find the document, follow along, and not miss what’s being discussed.   The final output is emailed to the team, and then the next team reviews what the previous team developed.  Several cycles of reviews occur, over a period of time, before the final project is completed.

Integrated conferencing solutions offer the opportunity to improve productivity by bringing cross functional teams together to collaborate more easily and frequently without incurring additional travel. Different functional groups can work together, offering input in the early stages of a design, thereby reducing development cycles and costs.  Teams can shape a plan early on, with the needs of the various teams being addressed, moving a project quickly towards completion.  Internal and external teams can work together, seamlessly, from almost anywhere in the world, at almost anytime.

Innovative IP solutions, accessible from a desktop, laptop, or smartphone, can help you improve productivity, accelerate decision making, and ultimately help your bottom line. With the ability to work remotely and flexibly, you can reduce travel while also helping increase employee satisfaction.   One converged IP solution can offer audio, web, video conferencing, and integrate with core business applications.  Using their meeting calendars, employees can schedule a conference as easily as sending an email.   Meetings can be scheduled on the fly, or in advance.  A single pane window hosts a range of conferencing functionalities that can scale and be used simultaneously, from audio to web to video.

Real-time collaboration means accelerated productivity. A rich array of conferencing tools allow participants to hear each other, see who’s speaking, even see each other via webcam if desired, building relationships while facilitating teamwork.  Participants can review a document, present an application, or draw an idea on the whiteboard.  Teams can be brought together, quickly, regularly, and seamlessly.   Collaborative features, such as having participant names listed in a side pane in the conference window, promote a smoother flow of discussion.  Joined by audio, and with the project document before the team in a whiteboard area, participants can provide comments, propose changes, and move more effectively towards project completion.  Some of the features that facilitate this real-time collaboration include:

  • A whiteboard area for viewing documents, sharing applications
  • Annotation tools for writing, drawing on the whiteboard
  • Listing of participant names
  • Ability to save whiteboard contents
  • An Active Talker Indicator
  • Emoticons to signal an opinion
  • Ability to send a public or private note and save it

Here’s an example of the transformative and cost saving power of a conferencing solution:  A new product is being announced and training for the new product needs to be conducted for internal teams as well as for external partners who sell the product. Rather than travel to conduct in-person training’s in various cities, perhaps around the world, web conferences can be scheduled for different groups, at regular intervals within a limited time-frame.  The training calendar can be shortened when large groups do not need to travel to distant locations.

Take a look at this hilarious video that will help you discover how the power of collaboration can improve productivity and transform the way you do business…

By utilizing a collaboration solution, teams can work together remotely, yet fully with the rich array of communication tools that are available.  Organizations can help reduce costs, such as the costs for the conference site, hotel rooms, meals, and travel.  With workers increasingly more mobile, productivity is increased and greater participation is likely when team members can join from on the go, across a broad selection of communication devices.

Increasingly, businesses of all sizes are realizing the benefits of enabling IP conferencing technology to transform the way you conduct business every day.

How are you using real-time, collaborative conferencing to get work done?  What have been the benefits to you?  Your comments below will help others.
Lisanne Powers Unified Communications Lead Marketing Communications Manager AT&T About Lisanne