Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Quick Guide to Web Conferencing Services

Web conferencing services really support e-learning, training, and marketing purposes including training sessions, online events, and live lectures. In this post, we will go through a quick guide to web conferencing.
Vendors: WebTrain, Genesys, GoToMeeting, Nefsis, Infinite, Polycom, IBM Lotus, Saba, Dimdim, WebEX (Amazing Cisco-supported), and Microsoft Live Meeting are all samples of well-known web conferencing software and services providers with their own segmentation.

Evaluation: In order to evaluate web conferencing service for a business entity or learning institution, decision makers have to consider four factors:
A. Game Players: The term "host" is the widely used term by vendors to describe or refer to the event organizer. The organizer "the host" sets the meeting schedule and description, sends invitations, give talk permissions, and even block visitors. On the other side, the term "user" describes the actual attendees to the web conference. Of course, the host can give the user(s) some of the host privileges during the live session.

GoToMeeting Invitation Sample

B. Participants' IT Capabilities: Please consider the host IT capabilities and the users as well. Having audience who can't easily use web browsers or conference features (i.e. raise hand “electronically” to ask a question) will lower the event outcome. Think seriously about orientation session earlier before session start time.
If possible, have IT support presence during the lecture to ensure smooth activities and internet configuration. Vendors like Saba and WebTrain check readiness of PC operating system (i.e. microphone status) before logging to the web conference.
In the Middle East, we believe that of main obstacles for web conferencing adoption is the lack of both English fluency and IT literacy.
C. Non-English Text Support: Many companies outsource IT projects now to Egyptian companies due to growing infrastructure and human capabilities supported by ITIDA. If your client is a Chinese or Saudi school, then users (i.e. students) should be able to write Chinese or Arabic (i.e. ask questions). You have always to check this point before selecting your vendor.
D. Actual Needs: Web conferencing services are varying depending on your needs. Some vendors allow audio recording of the entire session. However, some allow file saving while others charge for on-demand access after session end. Some vendors allow video sharing for all participants while others allow video sharing of only the host. Fortunately, almost all vendors allow the host to share the desktop (i.e. for software training), send a file, or present PowerPoint slides.
Of course, hosting one or two webinars annually would be different from weekly webinars in terms of pricing, post-event management, the tool branding, and required reliability.

Web Conferencing Features

Email Management in WebTrain

Post Event Follow-up: Many web conferencing services providers give great management stuff to event organizers, so they can easily list attendees for post-event follow-up by the sales department. For example, GoToMeeting allows companies to analyze meeting patterns and even integrate attendee information with existing corporate CRM.

Pricing: The good news for marketing managers and decision makers is that most vendors provide free or trial plans plus paid services that allow larger attendees and dedicated servers for better audio/video quality.

Web Conferencing Vendors Comparison

Feel free to download our PDF profile from below link, or to email us your inquiries directly:
PDF profile: http://bit.ly/2lO7sNS
Email: info@newegyptconsulting.com
Website: http://www.newegyptconsulting.com/2011/05/home.html

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