Monthly Archives: August 2016

Desktop Sharing Wonder – A Web Conferencing Feature

According to a 2003 study by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 84 percent of American workers use computers at home.  More and more workers are also working at home or on the road.  In 2004, about 20.7 million Americans did some or all of their work at home.  Web conferencing enables work or professional collaboration among co-workers and clients even if they are geographically apart.
Web conferencing enables document, file, application and even desktop sharing.  Web conferencing can use a downloaded software or just access a URL and use a password or access code to join the group conducting the web-based conference.  Web conference lessens the company funds spent on travel and also the time and effort invested on travelling.
File sharing, conducting presentations, orientations, product roll-outs and consultation can be done – in real time – through the internet.  Desktop sharing is one of the most important feature/component included in web conferencing packages.  Desktop sharing enhances the ability to interact and communicate with colleagues despite of being away from each other.
With desktop sharing, workers can access their work computers from any device that has internet connection, including home computers and laptops.  Desktop sharing makes it easier and more engaging compared to teleconferences.  With desktop and application sharing (another feature of web conferencing), one can use the applications without buying, downloading or installing any software.
According to Dave Roos (author, How Desktop Sharing Works), desktop sharing   works by sending packets of information from a host computer to a remote computer.  Data travel through the internet.  Data maybe in JPEG and GIF format, while other data may arrive as individual pixels assigned to a particular X and Y coordinate.   Data is compressed before sending it out to minimize the bandwidth used in the transfer process.
With desktop sharing, remote login or control is possible.  With remote login or control, it is necessary to have a downloaded software for the sharing, internet connection and secure desktop sharing network.   To share a desktop, the host computer allows a remote user to view the contents of the host computer’s desktop.
The host computer can also hand over the control of the mouse and keyboard to the remote user.  Handing off the control will enable the remote user to manipulate the mouse and keyboard of the host computer.
Desktop sharing has been frequently used by technical support representatives to trouble shoot technical and software problems without physically visiting the clients.  Desktop sharing provides a better customer experience.  Complications brought about by providing too many instructions over the phone are lessened by remote login and access.
During a web conference, the host or presenter may allow other attendees to view his desktop to show the presentation or data that he’s encountering some problems.  Attendees, then, can have control over the host’s equipment and further explain the other steps the host can take.
Desktop sharing also enables workers to enhance their collaboration and cooperation towards productiveness.  If an employee is sent to a another location to conduct seminars or to do a very important presentation, this employee may contact his co-workers and ask for their opinion about his presentation.  Co-workers can access the employee’s computer and provide some input about the presentation without physically going and visiting the employee who is away.
Through desktop sharing and web conferencing, working and professional relationship are improved.  Conducive and productive working atmosphere is developed inside the workplace.

Choosing The Right Web Conferencing Package

The web conferencing technology is making business lives easier.  With web conferencing:  file sharing, document sharing, application sharing, instant messages, recording, VoIP, desktop sharing, etc.  are parts or features of the web conference system sold on the market.
Compared with the prices when web conferencing started, you can say that the price went down considerably.  Before, web conferencing is only available for big companies.  But right now, there are providers catering to small scale businesses or little people.
There are several options to get the web conferencing service.  Service providers have several options you can choose from.  Pay as you go is the most common set-up of web conferences.  It is commonly used by people who do not use web conferencing technology often.  Price ranges from $0.08 -$0.40 per minute per participant for the web portion.  Another $0.08-$0.25 per minute is being charged for the audio.
Another option for the web conference service is getting a plan where there is already a fixed number of seats that can be used for a certain amount of time.  This costs a monthly fee of around $50 -$200 per seat.  Taken into consideration about the prices would be the overage charges, additional seats and minutes.  There can also be an extra set-up charge which can be around $0-$100.
If web conferencing is always being done in the company, the best way is to get a package for unlimited web conferencing for the month.  Prices range from $150 per month and can reach until $3,000 per month.
There are companies that purchase licensed software that can hold their entire company and use it internally.  These companies would normally have in-house web conferences.  Purchasing the conferencing software, the price may be  at $5000 dollars or tens of thousands dollars.  This does not include the annual maintenance and other service fees.
To further contribute and enhance your web conferencing experience, there are add-ons or additional features that you can avail for extra price of course.  Web cameras are very important part of web conferencing.  A web camera normally costs at around $50 – $100.
Other features include confirming reservations, assisting with interactive features and speaking with the moderator through a private line.  An operator-assisted web conference costs $1000- $5000, depending on the participation of the operator in the project.
Recording and archiving- another great web conferencing feature- is also available for additional fees.  Recording and archiving is a great way of storing  documentation of the meeting for future reference.  This feature is available for $50 -$250 per meeting.
Aside from comparing prices, there are also several pointers to identify the best web conferencing program suitable for your needs. Reviewing the pricing plans is also an important factor, there are providers that required to be paid on a rate-per-person.  However, there are providers that gives an option of paying a flat rate monthly for unlimited web conference service.
Keep in mind the possible locations of people who are going to be included in the web conferencing group.  If the service provider limits or is unable to ensure that these locations will be tapped by web conferencing, then it is not for you.
To get the best service fit for your needs, make sure that you are armed with relevant and detailed questions about the service these providers are offering.  Don’t get overexcited and join a provider just because they are the most popular in the market.  There are many web conferencing service providers out there, all you need is patience to get what you need for a reasonable price.

Providing The Voice In Web Conferencing

Web conferencing is making big waves in the last few years.  Through web conferencing meetings, consultations, collaborations, presentations, orientations and other business matters can now be done even if the participants are geographically dispersed.
Web conferencing offers different features that enable all of these possible.  File, document, application, even desktop sharing are available.  Instant messaging, polling, surveying, recording, and playback of meetings is also readily available.  VoIP is also another feature almost present in all of web conference programs.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.  This is the method of transmitting analog audio signals through the internet.  Analog signals are converted in digital data so it can be transmitted through internet connection.  VoIP can turn a standard internet connection into a way to place free phone calls.
VoIP enables the user to make phone calls from anywhere with broadband connectivity.  There are also VoIP soft phone providers.  A soft phone is client software that loads VoIP service onto the desktop or laptop.  It would display an interface on the screen that looks like a traditional telephone.  Microphone or headset is a requirement to place phone calls on the soft phone.
Adding VoIP into web conferencing is like merging data and audio in a more convenient system.  But there are some doubters on the affectivity of VoIP in web conferencing.
There are advantages and disadvantages for using VoIP.  VoIP dramatically cuts the costs allotted for voice minute charges.  Adding audio and voice in web conferences enhances the effectiveness of the meetings.  Requirements for VoIP set-up is also minimal, like personal computer, broadband connection and a communications headset or other audio input device.
Before VoIP web conferencing, companies and businesses pays a lot of money for international calls using landline connections.  But with VoIP, companies can save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.  By using a phone adaptor (ATA), the VoIP technology can travel anywhere.  The user just have to connect their phone adaptor to a broadband connection to use it.
Two persons are not the only people that can speak on the phone line.  With VoIP, setting up a conference for the whole teams in real time is possible.  More calls can be handled on one access line.  VoIP also has several features like Caller ID, Contact Lists, Voicemail, etc.
Meanwhile there are people who cast doubts over the VoIP use in web conferences.  The voice quality is one of the biggest question over the use of VoIP.  The biggest issue is echo, especially if the participants are using speakers and microphone instead of headsets.
Another consideration is that VoIP is dependent on electricity or wall power.  For normal telephones, if power goes down, the phone is still working.  With VoIP, no power means no phone.  Since VoIP also uses computer and internet, it is susceptible to worms, viruses and even hacking.  To resolve this issue, VoIP developers and providers are already working on VoIP encryption.
For worst case scenarios, a computer crashing in the middle of the call will also mean no phone.  VoIP phone system is entirely dependent on personal computers and the broadband connection.
VoIP and web conferencing are still very young and developing technology.  There are sill room for improvement to further improve the efficiency of VoIP.  Similar to other emerging technology, the start is always the jittery part.  VoIP service providers are still facing a lot of challenges to better improve the services they are offering.

Do’s And Don’ts In A Web Conference

Web conferencing is very advantageous. But beware, just like attending meetings and presentations in a round table or in a conference room, there are certain things you need to do, particular etiquettes you need to practice and habits you have to avoid.
Plan Ahead
Prepare you presentation beforehand. Send the necessary materials through email or put them live online so that the attendees will be able to read them before the scheduled meeting and presentation.
Be Punctual
In normal meetings being on time is very important. Web conference is no different. Common sense will tell you that since you don’t have to travel to go to the location of the meeting, there is no excuse for being late. It is also impolite to let others wait especially if you are the one who will give the presentation. Besides, all you have to do is to find an available internet connection to be at the meeting.
Find a Good Location
Normal meetings are held on places where there is privacy and little or no destructions. This should also be the case for attendees of a web conference; more so if it is video and audio conference. Go to an office or a room where there are no movements (for video conference) and no noise (for audio conference) on the background. Movements and noise are very destructive; avoid them all the time.
Be respectful
The manner of speaking and gestures are always subject for interpretation in any meeting. In a web conference where you are not actually inside on room, speaking and gestures may be subjected to misinterpretations; so be careful. Take note: a web conference is just regular meeting held online. All rules and etiquettes of ordinary meetings still apply.
Avoid too much movement   You are on TV (sort of) and too much movement is very distracting for others. Moreover, other attendees might be using a low bandwidth connection so try to hold still.
Avoid doing other things whenever you are in a web conference like eating, drinking and using your cellphone. Avoid typing, scanning papers, looking for things inside the drawer and talking to other people. Again, all rules and etiquettes of ordinary meetings still apply in a web conference.
If you are transmitting good audio, background noise can be heard on other lines.
Avoid using wifi signal Wifi is good if you are out and you need emergency internet signal. But during a web conference meeting, try to steer away from it. Wifi can be very unstable that can disrupt the meeting. Avoid wifi signals at the airport, restaurant, park and even in coffee shops.
Avoid putting attendees on hold If you are in a meeting, make sure that your attention is completely there. Putting attendees on hold is rude. It interrupts the flow of the meeting and wastes the time of the participants. If in case you need to do something extremely important, excuse yourself instead of putting them on hold. Go back or reschedule the meeting if you are ready.
Keep in mind that there are other matters that are best discussed in person. If time and economics permit, try to hold meetings in person but if not, web conferencing is a great tool and the best tool to get your message across.

Behind The Scenes How Web Conferencing Works

Web conferencing programs are readily available in the market nowadays. Web conferencing offers instant messaging and hosting of group discussions. It is a great way for conducting meetings, seminars, even presentations or product roll-outs.
Conferencing technology has already achieved immense improvement. Teleconferencing is a product of the conferencing technology. With teleconferencing, it is mainly about conference calls where small to very large groups of people can participate to or listen to the phone conversation. With video conferencing, the presenter can appear on the screens of all the attendees or for small groups, all the attendees can appear on the screen in separate webcam windows.
Web conferencing is often confused with web seminars. There is just a thin line separating or differentiating each other, it is mainly about the number of the attendees or participants and the amount of interactivity in the meeting or presentation.
Web seminars are usually more than ten people and only the organizer and a small number of panellists would have the control over the discussion. With web conferencing, it is normally limited to ten people, where the attendees or participants would have the opportunity to present and take control of the flow of the discussion.
Web conferencing programs use internet communication to transfer and share files and applications. These programs combine HTML, Java scripts, flash animation, instant messaging and even audio and video streaming.
Through the combination of these, web conferencing can offer several features. These features are application and file sharing, desktop sharing, co-browsing the internet, white boards, polling/surveying, text messaging, PowerPoint presentations and even private meeting rooms.
There are two options to choose from if a company or any institution is interested in using web conferencing. There are conferencing software that can be installed in computers and host the meeting themselves. Another way is by using a hosting service that provides the software and server space to conduct the web-based meetings.
How web conferences run depend on the software, hosting and how the moderator or organizer runs the meeting. Prior to the meeting the moderator or organizer often compiles the documents and files for the meeting and have them distributed. The organizer then sends out e-mails or text messages inviting the guests and participants citing the certain day and time the web conference will start.
Attendees may accept or reject the invitation and their calendar program will add the meeting to their schedule. The invitation sent out includes a link to the conference and a password or access code to join the conference. The attendee just have to click the URL and enter the password or access code.
Once the attendees have already logged on to the conference, the organizer or presenter controls the meeting. The presenter has the ability to share the desktop and other documents and applications. Control of the flow of the discussion can be handed over to other attendees letting them to present. Participants can communicate to each other by audio or video, voice chat, instant messaging or desktop sharing.
Images from the presenter’s computer are constantly being uploaded to the server and sent to attendees, it is much like video streaming. Participants can share documents and applications because the files are temporarily available on the server where anyone with the right link and password can access. To end the conference or to log out of the meeting, participants just simply close their conferencing programs.
Web conferences are easy to set up and can forge strong working relationships among employees. Collaborations and cooperation made through web conferencing can play a very important role in improving the business and the operations of certain institutions.

19 Tips for Effective Online Conferences

web coference

I was recently asked about my recommendations for conducting effective online conferences (virtual conferences). They had attended the conference Learn Trends online for free. This conference has been run for a few years and is tentatively scheduled for November 15 to 17 this year.

This is my attempt to collect some of what we have learned in recent years that make these conferences. There is some good information back online lectures and conferences in person, be an insanely great professional Conference attendees Conference online formats, and preparation of the Conference.

Assigning people to roles. For us we have someone who is a global producer (there are actually three of us, but well separated), moderator of the session, recording engineer, speaker preparation person.
Technical issues. Prepare to technical issues and deciding what to do about it. We’ve used Illuminate as our webinar system. Having problems with firewalls. So we ask everyone to try until they find a place where they can connect. This means that some people need to attend from home.
Communicate all the details with great detail. No matter how much you feel his obvious what to do, there will be confusion. This is especially true with information such as software testing virtual meeting, join the sessions, protocols during the session, time zones, etc.
Closely related to the above, make sure you have a way / place well known to post your questions and some assigned to answer these.
Make it obvious where to access resources from the speakers. For us, we create an issue associated with the session contents and attachments or that.
Calendar of sessions and design online is difficult. Most presenters are not used to design online, so it’s important to help them plan their sessions to be effective. It is essential to have interaction and time of Q & A. Some of the best sessions are very effective means of capturing the wisdom of the attendees. Even the duration of the meetings is a challenge. Long sessions can try to get too much content and often lose strength before short Q & A sessions often means really shallow. This is where a person well prepared with a good moderator can really help.
Open discussions have worked, but they are risky. I often find that meander too much. Of course, in general, I’m more comfortable with targeted learning objectives. By the way, if you’re going to try moderator has a great and interesting audience.
Engaging outside the sessions is a challenge. People do not read things, or engage in discussions face sessions. No matter how hard we tried, it is very difficult to get an audience to do something ahead of when the sessions start. It is even difficult to get involved through discussion forums outside the sessions. It is best to design things in the discussion forums are an added advantage and have some questions set to spark debate. But do not count on great participation.
Be sure to have breaks between session’s blocks. The conference staff needs it, but so do the audience, even if you think you will pick and choose the sessions.
For us, the definition of time for meetings is difficult. There is no way to choose the time intervals in which there is an ungodly hour somewhere in the world. I’m not sure we’ve ever noticed a response.
Text chat works very well during the sessions as a Channel Back. Promote and ensure the moderator and / or presenter woven into the session – View Backchannel multitasking. Also, make sure that the presenter is not distracted by the chat. I always encourage the speakers to ignore it and go (as moderator) to let you know when there’s something I’d like to discuss. And I’m not a big fan of using multiple tools back channel that effectively divides the discussion. Just keep in the webinar tool.
Inject fun into the event. Nancy White jumped to lead a round of Peach Kucha using slides that had never seen before. Spontaneity and fun spirit lifted energy levels. Need fun stuff splatter everywhere? Moderators can help this greatly.
The speakers on a common topic should get to know each other and exchange ideas on their approach before the session.
Photos of speakers make it real case. They have photos and descriptions of the sessions on the first slide of each speaker.
Thanks to Scott Ski bell, recorded sessions directly from the web, that is, out of Illuminate and produced great recordings. This helps a lot.
We tried a couple of different icebreaker. Interaction webinar to learn the tool is always a good idea. Sometimes a kind of introduction to break the ice with audio can be good. Especially if you want audio input. Many free text chat, but they do not like to talk online.
Be careful with screen sharing and video. They require a lot of bandwidth that often make the presentation does not work for a lot of attendees. Much better to use screenshots.
Some people take light line commitments. Several presenters never appeared. Some volunteer moderators disappeared when we try to define time for them to cover.
Online conferences have the advantage of being able to have really introductory and advanced topics that will appeal to a narrower audience.

How Web Conferencing Helps Educate Students and Employees

With the use of new online education programs, the use of web conferencing in the education field has been growing. Teachers are able to reach out to students through this type of virtual classroom. However, there are also other uses for web conferencing from an educational standpoint. Businesses can use this form of communication for training and certification of employees.
Online schools use web conferencing to allow teachers and students to connect online in a more personal manner. Whether a student needs some one-on-one help or the teacher wants to address the class at once, creating a web conference allows the teacher and student to interact with each other in a similar manner to being in the classroom. Using web conferencing as a classroom allows teachers to share applications and slides with the class.
Businesses can also use web conferencing as an educational tool. If employees require training on a new program or some other aspect of the business, a web conference will allow administrators to teach all of the employees at once. Employees don’t have to leave their desks to attend a meeting as a group and will be able to learn new applications at their own computer. If a company has remote employees, this method works well so that all employees can attend the training session at the same time without anyone having to travel.
Some types of employment require specific certifications for all or just some employees. If employees require special training for this certification, it can often be done through web conferencing. At the end of the training session, the web conference can be set up to test the attendees for their knowledge of the material covered in the session. If a company uses a web conference to complete the certification training of employees, using a company that gives attendees the opportunity to print up a certificate of completion at the end of the training serves as an all-purpose conferencing experience.
Whether you are a teacher for an online school or a business that needs to reach out to employees for training and certification, web conferencing can provide you with all of the solutions you need. Teachers can connect with students and share applications with students to help them understand the materials. For businesses, you will be able to train larger groups of employees, even those who are working in remote locations, so they can learn to use new applications or become certified to do their jobs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Conference Calling

As businesses evaluate the type of conference calling that is right for them they will need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. In this article we will evaluate and compare the three major types of conference calls including audio, web, and video conferencing.
The biggest advantage, for many companies, in choosing audio or web conferencing over video conferencing is the cost. Audio conferencing tends to be the cheapest. Virtually the only costs involved when choosing audio conferencing is the cost of a telephone and then the charge of a long distance call. Many companies already have phones with a built-in speakerphone and if not they can be purchased for as little as $100.
However there are disadvantages in choosing audio conferencing as well. The first distinct disadvantage is that businesses lose personal relations when all they hear is a colleague’s voice. Jokes and remarks can be taken the wrong way or be offending when those involved can not see a caller’s smile of facial expression. Another disadvantage to audio conferencing is that the quality of the call declines as additional locations are added. When several parties are involved the chance of two of them talking at the same time are great and neither of them will have their thoughts heard.
Web conferencing offers its rewards and shortcomings as well. While web conferencing can be free, it is usually in the companies best interest to choose to pay a little more to avoid annoying ads and pop ups. Web conferencing is especially useful for business calls that involve viewing digital files because these files can be sent in an instant via email to all parties involved. Documents can be viewed, analyzed and returned so they can be discussed all at once rather than waiting and communicating through mail or several phone calls. Web conferencing also allows more than one person to talk or type at once without going unheard.
Like any type of conference calling though, web conferencing also has its disadvantages. One of these down sides is that, again, it is difficult to gauge a person’s seriousness or humor in a comment. There is no personality in a typed sentence. It is also difficult for those who are uncomfortable with technology to use web conferencing efficiently.
Finally the biggest advantage to video conferencing is that it offers a visual connection with the other attendees. When using video conferencing callers are able to view each other on a TV screen and hear each other through the speaker system. Associates are able to hear each other’s voices, put a voice to a face, and understand each other’s joke and comments. Financially, the cost of video conferencing is quite a bit higher due to the equipment that is involved. If equipment is not high quality it can also be limiting because the video feed can be jerky or delayed. Whatever type a business chooses, every type of conference call has it ups and downs.

Web conference: New technology; limitless possibilities

The concept Web conference New technology

Web conferencing is the next level of oral peer-to-peer communication. Those participating in web conference can actually interact visually and verbally with each other. The audio-visual interaction finds wide application in an array of applications like academic learning, security and surveillance, emergency response mechanism etc. The feed is transferred over the internet and the quality of conferencing is contingent on the available bandwidth.

Strategic advantage of web conference

Seamless and instant communication and collaboration are pivotal for efficient functioning at the personal and professional levels.

Swift decision making is facilitated for managers through fast real time collection and dissection of data from any location across the globe.
Outcome of virtual collaboration and information shared can be recorded to be tracked and re-used at a later date.
Productivity can be taken to the next level through faster collaboration brought about by plug and play instantaneous audio visual interaction. Easy and swift ideation and brainstorming are facilitated through viewing of the common information cumulatively.
Incidental costs associated with long distance travels for personalized interactions and other setups can be curbed decisively.
With web conferencing facility on, one can invite participation from expert knowledge panel and specialists. This holds true for participants who are situated in offshore destinations or are widely separated geographically. This helps in incorporating the valuable contributions of experts and thus widening the perspective of the conference.
Your organization can retain its competitive edge by calling meetings immediately, The fast response time is critical especially at times when a financial distress is afflicting the organizations and managers from distant locations need to keep in touch constantly.
The reach of the meeting can be extended at will as new participants can be seamlessly added to the meeting from any location without having to worry about messy appliances.

Web conferencing enhances the adaptability, responsiveness and technical utilization of assets. Organizations which have to set aside a major chunk of their budget for frequent international visits of managers can heave a sigh of relief with this innovative cost cutting initiative. Bridging locations separated by geographical barriers is a breeze. Information transfer and decision making can take place at blistering pace with this new age communication tool.

Modes of web conferencing

Web conferencing is not reserved exclusively for larger organizations where extensive equipment is in use. Even individuals can avail the facility of web conferencing. Elision MassMeet is a web conferencing service that offers varied modes of web conferencing for optimum convenience. These include individualized option (one to one conferencing), one to many, group, and multipoint.

Features at a glance

Varied cloud based deployment modes
Option for multi parties to connect to an ongoing meeting
Desktop can be shared
High definition sharing of information
No compromise on the quality of transmitted data
Virtual sharing of multiple information modes i.e. videos, documents, presentations etc.
Ability to record and playback the proceedings of the meetings
Top notch security and encryption features
Elision web conferencing is a new age technology that has limitless possibilities.

Video Conferencing Vs Web Conferencing Services for your Business

There has been a bit of confusion associated with the terms video conferencing and web conferencing. Although they are often used interchangeably, the fact of the matter is that video and web conferencing share more differences than they do similarities.
video-conferencing-vs-web-conferencing.jVideo conferencing involves a set of interactive telecommunication technologies that allow two or more locations to interact via simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions. Video conferencing, requires an audio connection – either standard telephone lines or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – the use of a webcam or additional video equipment, and a large amount of bandwidth to support the connection. In addition, most video conferences require the use of a designated conference room that holds the specialized video conferencing equipment as well as a screen on which one or more participants can view the conference.
Web conferencing, on the other hand, is used to conduct live meetings, presentations, training, etc. via the Internet. Most modern web conferencing solutions are available on virtually any device and require only a web browser and an Internet connection. One of the biggest differences between video conferencing services and web conferencing services is that web conferencing services provide a comprehensive set of features that aid in increasing participant engagement, including:

Q and A sessions
File transferring
White boarding
Remote control
Desktop sharing
In-conference chat (both private and public)
Record and store
Outlook integration

One often overlooked fact, however, is that many of today’s top web conferencing services (such as PGi’s iMeet solution and Cisco WebEx) offer real-time video capabilities with the use of a webcam – something that is already installed on most computers, tablets and smartphones. Moreover, because web conferencing is available on multiple devices, participants can either host or join a meeting from anywhere, anytime, and are not limited to a designated conference room.
Want to know more about conferencing solutions from today’s leading audio, video and web conferencing providers? Give one of our professional account managers a call today or sign up now for conferencing services and we will help you find the ideal conferencing solution for your business!

Additional Information
According to a recent study conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles, more than 50% percent of what an audience learns comes directly from the visual messages seen during a presentation, compared to less than 40% from audio messages. By combining audio and visual presentations, presenters can ensure their objectives are met.