As a small to medium business, in particular, keeping costs down is a constant exercise. Communications costs and travel costs no doubt feature for any business wanting to reduce their costs.
Web conferencing, particularly via the cloud, does not have the communications overhead using traditional PSTN lines. Reduces the need to travel for meetings, doing product demonstrations or training sessions. The reduced travel also reduces the carbon footprint of the company, a bonus for an environmentally aware business.
The other bonus with web conferencing is location is irrelevant. Participants can be anywhere in the world, just consider the various time zones, so no one person is trying to focus at 2:00am!
If a key member of the team is out of the office and required for an urgent meeting, it is possible to set up a meeting at a moment’s notice, even with a portable device. Much better than just a voice at the other end of the phone and it is possible to share screens and documents.
Web conferencing doesn’t require any user to download and install software, making it a much quicker exercise than before. Just access the web site and away you go, without time wasted.
Security is an issue, you say, choose your hosting provider properly and the security issues are taken care of with multiple layers of physical security, round-the-clock monitoring, automated backups and switch-over facility in case of power loss. That is in addition to the software utilised such as firewalls and other security software. Data should also be encrypted while stored on a provider’s servers and while in transit SSL/HTTPS network encryption should be used.
Additional security is inherent in the web conferencing application and includes the ability to have—
- Login and authentication procedures and unique access codes
- Different levels of access depending on the user’s role and the meeting convenor’s preferences
- A convenor reassign and revoke privileges as required
- The ability to disconnect users, lock a conference session and control the audio settings for individuals, handy when sensitive discussions take place.
An efficient web conferencing tool can also be managed without constant IT support, which is important for a small business which may not have an IT team to support business activities. When IT support is required, the administration tools should allow for quick and easy management.
If you thought this type of functionality was not possible for a SMB, switching to VoIP and hosting can bring it within your scope and provide added efficiencies and productivity.
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