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CMIT Solutions on Tuesday, June 09, 2009

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Online conferencing allows people to meet, collaborate, and exchange ideas without having to be in the same place – which comes in handy when corporate travel budgets take a hit.

Combine reduced travel allowances with many smaller businesses’ decision to downsize or even eliminate their physical offices to save on rental costs, and you can see why online conferencing is getting popular again. Not only does it allow for realtime collaboration, it can also allow you to record and replay meetings and presentations for people who couldn’t make it to the original event. You may not have all your employees in the same place at the same time anymore, but you can make it easier for them to communicate like they are.
So how do you evaluate a Web conferencing service? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Determine your needs and priorities. Do you need a bare-bones service that offers basic desktop sharing, or do you need something more elaborate, with bells and whistles like polling, streaming audio, and document sharing?
2. Determine what platforms it needs to run on: Windows, Mac, Linux, or all of the above.
3. Watch providers’ online demos. You can read all the white papers and datasheets you want, but you won’t know what a product really feels like until you see it in action.
4. Pay attention to customer service. If they don’t respond quickly to your concerns as a potential customer, they might not respond any faster once you’ve signed up.
5. Compare pricing. Most services charge by the month and offer a discounted annual plan.

If you’ve got questions about how to set up a remote office, call us at (800) 399-CMIT. We can help with virtual private networks, remote access, security, and more.

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