Web meetings are quickly replacing face-to-face meetings in the business world. Before you purchase web meeting software, compare different software options.
We live in a world where much of our personal and professional interaction takes place online. Business meetings are no different, with many companies having already replaced costly face-to-face meetings with web meetings. Web meetings typically cost less than the transportation costs related to ensuring that everyone who needs to attend a physical meeting can do so. The majority of web meetings require specialized software or a web meeting service to enact the meetings. Before you commit to a service provider, check out your options online.
What Capabilities do you have?
The first thing you want to determine when considering meeting via internet is the technological capabilities or your company and the meeting participants. No programs will be effective if none of the participants have what they need to access it. Many users have different electronic devices that run on various operating platforms. Everyone must have the tools used for web conferencing in order to use the software you select. Some questions to consider:
- How much space does the software require? If your company has to upgrade every computer to accommodate the space requirements of a particular program, that software may not be cost effective for your business.
- What platforms is the software compatible with? This will probably be a considerable concern if you have quite a few offsite employees who will have to dial into the web meetings. Contract and freelance workers often use various devices, such as mobile tablets, laptops, and personal computers that are not regulated the same way as in an office setting. The channel you choose should accommodate all the operating systems the users may have on their devices.
- Will any of the users have to purchase additional hardware/software to use the software? If large purchases of additional equipment will have to be made in order to use the web meeting software, your company may not want to make this expenditure unless it was one already accounted for or anticipated.
Understanding the current technological capabilities of the web meeting users beforehand will prevent your spending time considering this form of arrangement that will require too many changes or additional purchases. Your search is narrowed down to only those software offerings that can work within your current capacity.
You could opt to make the purchase, however, it may be easier to work with what is currently in place, to avoid big learning curves for new web meeting software and other new equipment at the same time.
What features do you need?
The next thing to consider is the features the web conferencing software offers. Some software offers features which you may or may not need. If you must be able to share what is on your computer screen during a web meeting, you will want to select a program that allows you to do this. Other software or web meeting services allow authorized participants to playback the meeting if they were unable to attend in person. Do you have global participants who might need to use the playback feature? Will you require translation services to allow access for participants who speak other languages?
Some web meeting software also comes with easily accessible customer service departments, which may come in handy if web conferencing is completely new to your company. This would prevent setbacks during meetings, especially if they’re held outside the regular business hours of other customer service departments.
What is your budget?
The next thing you’ll want to do is determine your budget for purchasing web meeting software. This software comes at various costs, and you will want to make sure the one with the features you need and which utilizes the capabilities you have is within your budget. Some simple high quality web meeting software, like Uberconference, offers free features such as unlimited free conference calls, which might make the software more cost effective than others.
Once you’ve done the preliminary work of determining your capabilities, figuring out what features you will need, and creating a budget, purchasing web conferencing software will be easier because you’ll know what you need and how much you can spend. Most of this information is available online, so your task is made even less daunting through online research.