Five More Questions You Should Ask When Moving from Audio to Web Conferencing

Submitted by: Andrea Duke

As companies continue to adopt more online collaboration tools, it’s imperative that the decision makers select the most effective and reliable software available. An ideal web conferencing solution should be easy to use and have numerous features that improve the online collaboration experience.

In a previous post, we discussed various features that are must-haves for web conferencing software. In addition to those features, you also want to make sure that your colleagues and clients can use it, without spending too much time learning how. According to Wainhouse Research over 50 percent of meetings start late because of technical problems, extensive software downloads and other difficulties. A delayed meeting can be embarrassing, a waste of time and a waste of money.

Before selecting a web conferencing program, make sure you ask yourself the following five questions:

1. Will this product be easy to use?
Unlike audio conferencing, web conferencing may be a bit more complicated. More than likely, your team will be made up of individuals with different levels of experience when it comes to Internet applications. You don’t want some members of your team spending hours trying to learn a new online meeting tool, leaving them uncomfortable and unable to fully participate in meetings.

A tool that provides access through any mobile device, has a simple interface and automatically calls global participants will instantly help increase your chance of having more effective meetings that start on time.

2. Are downloads required?
Some products not only require you to download software before joining a meeting, but sometimes you are forced to constantly download updates each time you want access or join from a different device. Depending on how lengthy the download is, this can waste a lot of time and may make people late to your meetings on a consistent basis.

The download process can potentially be even slower for people in other countries and those accessing via mobile devices. You don’t want to start off a meeting with a frustrated prospective client. None of PGi products require downloads—saving a lot of time.

3. Can I have multiple uses for the software?
Online meeting tools like iMeet and GlobalMeet can be used for various purposes. If you need to have a quick impromptu brainstorming session or would like to interview a candidate who is hundreds of miles away, you can jump in your iMeet room. Or you can use GlobalMeet to discuss topics with a larger group of people.

4. What is the video quality?
One of the great advantages of web conferencing software is that you can connect with individuals typically unavailable due to geographic limitations. PGi products provide crystal clear HD video without demanding large bandwidth from your network. This is especially ideal for people who may have slower Internet connections.

5. How reliable is customer support?
Some companies provide support 24/7/365 while others only have limited hours. Be sure that before making your final selection, you and your team will have access to customer support during times that are convenient for you. The hours and various communication channels should be available for both participants and hosts.

For additional information and suggestions on what to look for when searching for web conferencing software, be sure to check out A Buyer’s Guide to Web Conferencing.