Business Benefits of Web Conferencing

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In today’s changing global economy, more and more companies operate geographically dispersed offices, and deploy mobile workers in unprecedented numbers. According to market research firm IDC, the global mobile worker population is set to increase from 919.4 million in 2008 to more than 1.19 billion in 2013, representing nearly 35% of the worldwide workforce. As a result of the increasingly distributed and global workplace, there is a growing demand for real-time communication and collaboration.

There are three types of solutions used for web meetings in Singapore, with each variant fulfilling specific needs of large, medium and growing firms as well as individual users. Large firms rely on corporate-level remote desktop sharing solutions that offer unparalleled functionality. These solutions are bought once, but fulfil the audio conferencing requirements of large commercial establishments for years via regular software upgrades. Medium sized firms that are growing exponentially rely on communication suites deployed by vendors of globally-used solutions, such as WebEx. Both these solutions run over IP or ISDN connections and deliver excellent features that effectively streamline voice communication.

On the other hand, small businesses and individual corporate professionals depend on the functionality of desktop solutions. Such web meeting solutions are cost effective, laden with features that can optimise communication for individual users and professionals of small establishments. These voice conferencing solutions further lower the requisite costs by using the bandwidth of the Internet connection used in the organisation.

Web meetings bridge the gap between companies and provide them with an affordable effective tool for liaising with associates. Such events are held using specialised software or solutions that are equipped with cameras and microphones, which can successfully record voice and video. Companies can benefit from these online meeting solutions, as these enable remotely located professionals to work together over a virtual platform. Therefore, firms can reduce employee travel time and increase business productivity by deploying online conferencing solutions in their offices.

Quality of video is essential for all companies and the bandwidth required for ensuring clear videos varies from 300K to 400K bit/sec. It can be acquired from public telephony networks, Internet and a private IP network. Optimum quality can be maintained in multipoint conferencing through seamless transmission of voice and video as well as regulation of signals.

In web meetings, coder-decoder (codecs) are used to compress the size of the video so as to make the online meeting feasible. Coding the video is carried out at 100K bit/sec, while decoding is done at 300K bit/sec. This noticeable difference is because of the reduced stress that decoding puts on the processor, thus allowing clear and crisp videos.

Likewise, companies need a streamlined avenue for sending and receiving data to other members of the conference. In LAN, the H.323 protocol, which does not need end-points to send and receive the same amount of data, is used. However, online meeting service is provided such that equal data can be relayed to and from all points. ISDN, ATM, Ethernet, time division multiplexed network and other such full-duplex networks denote the bandwidth of only one side, despite the same bandwidth being available at the other end. An indefinite number of web meetings can be carried out simultaneously depending on the available bandwidth.

Quality of Service (QoS) is essential for maintaining the overall security of the communication and remote desktop sharing solution. Usually, vendors based in Singapore support common QoS protocols, like RSVP, for network security, so that the video, audio and data packets are not lost. It is important that the network is tuned optimally by dividing the bandwidth on different switches and routers after requisite QoS standards are deployed for prioritised video traffic.

Lee Mark is an experienced writer having more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on various topics such as Web Meetings, WebEx and Online Meeting etc.

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