Saturday, July 7, 2012

Conferencing : Advantages and Disadvantages

By Kirk Basset

High tech Conference calls have become indispensable for all business operations, whether large or small scale. Conferencing is an effective solution for any business that needs meetings regularly with clients or business partners. Conference calls make meetings simple and convenient, and it's also one of the most cost-effective methods. Three major conferencing options used by companies are Audio or Tele, Web and Video conferencing. All three methods have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Audio or Tele Conferencing is the most common option for conference calls. The main advantage of using audio conferencing is its low cost. Essentially the only expense involved in audio conference is the cost of suitable equipments and the phone charges. Phones with built- in speakers will do the job. However, audio conferencing has its related disadvantages too. The main problem is that you can't see the person on the other side of the line, which affects personal relations. Since conference calls generally involve people from different parts of the world, it is hard to gauge whether a person is serious or humorous, and that can cause unnecessary interpersonal problems.

Web conferencing offers various aspects both on positive as well as negative side. Web conferencing can be virtually free. A company has to pay only for a high speed data connection. Web conferencing comes handy when a business meeting requires document sharing, review, analysis, group editing. Modern age web sharing technologies allows hassle free screen sharing, group document editing and sharing of files, etc.

Like any other method, web conferencing has a few disadvantages as well. Again, person's humor can be misunderstood. Simultaneous editing of a document sometime leads to confusion. Web conferencing without audio conference can lead to high level of confusions; hence, web conferencing is often combined with teleconferencing or audio over VoIP, etc.

Taking conferencing to the next level is video conferencing; people separated geographically can get connected through video cameras. It brings people together in a virtual room where they can interact looking at each other virtually.

Using the right combinations of the right equipments, best in class sharing tools, cameras, microphones and speakers, and high speed internet can make conferencing the best and most cost effective solution for your business. But choosing the correct conferencing methods for your needs is still a key part of the process. Poor quality equipments or choosing the wrong conferencing method for the purpose can seriously damage client relationships and can negatively impact your business. Nevertheless, employing the best available technology can take your business to new heights.

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