Businesses both large and small have found video Web conferences and Web seminars to be an economical way to conduct business meetings.
Web conferencing users find them helpful for employee training, marketing to potential customers along with general business discussions from the comfort of one's own office.
Avtex, Inc., a Minnesota-based company providing business process applications, expected to save $50,000 annually in travel costs alone by relying on Web conferencing through Microsoft's Office Live Meeting system. Avtex uses Web conferencing to provide support services with with its 650 customers worldwide and for team meetings and training sessions. Founded in 1971, the company started with 50 employees and now has 100 employees working in offices in four states [source: Microsoft].
Pharmacia, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies, has 60,000 employees in 60 countries. It depends on Web conferencing to stay connected [source: ITWorld]. When the company opened its new headquarters in Peapack, N.J., it was equipped with 56 conference rooms outfitted for video conferencing. In total, there are 300 company-wide, video-equipped meeting rooms.
With businesses having a more global face, video Web conferencing provides a way for colleagues to stay connected -- even while at different offices. What does the future hold for Web conferencing and Webinars? Experts predict current abilities are just the tip of the video event iceberg.
Technological advances, such as affordable, plug-and-play video conferencing units, have already allowed for easier wiring of personal computers for sight and sound.
On the horizon is video instant messaging, which has already been integrated into Microsoft's Windows XP operating systems. Instant messages with video screens that are activated any time the computer is turned on will replace today's pop-up windows with only text displayed [source: NetworkWorld].
Only time will tell what video conferencing will look like in the future.
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