Web conferencing solutions are applications of Web conferencing technology for business communication purposes and have an important role to play in an increasingly global economy. Companies are increasingly embracing Web conferencing solutions not only to cut down the travel expenses but also to speed up decision-making processes by allowing key people to collaborate instantly, no matter where they may happen to be physically located.
Web conferencing solutions allow participants to share information in the form of files, applications or PowerPoint presentations – they can even poll. The participants usually sit at their desks and share information either through an interactive whiteboard or through text messaging. They can also speak to each other using a normal phone or a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone and even share videos via Web cams.
Some of the most popular Web conferencing solutions are Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Genesys Meeting Center, Raindance Web Conferencing Pro Seminar, and WebEx Meeting Center. All of them offer tools considered as standard. These include Web-based PowerPoint presentations, chat, document sharing and annotation, whiteboarding and application sharing. However, they differ in terms of their multimedia features, meeting management tools, and integration with telephone conferencing.
Genesys and WebEx have the capabilities to show slide transitions, play the audio and video integrated with presentation, and allow live videoconferencing. These solutions also allow the connection of the name of the conference participants with the telephone numbers they used to dial in so that presenters can easily mute, un-mute and dismiss callers through a Web based console.
Eventually, Web conferencing solutions might become just another feature within other productivity applications. The recent acquisition of Placeware by Microsoft and the addition of the term ‘Office’ to the name of its Live Meeting service is a signal that the company may bundle Web conferencing solution with its popular Microsoft Office suite.
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