With mounting cost of communication, business houses scattered across geographies are looking for cost-effective technologies to enable real-time collaboration with their interspersed groups. Sounds simple Well, with web meeting application, it is.It has been proven that online meetings are both productive and cost-effective. Any collaborative activity such as delivering presentations, sharing applications, meeting with customers or demonstrating software can be done as competitively on the web as it is done one-on-one. More importantly, web meetings save the cost and time of travel while increasing the speed of business. They can show demonstrable results in every department from sales to IT to human resources and everywhere in between
Web Meetings: Re-engineering business processes
Companies have been using web meetings for years. Coming into existence in late 1990s, the technology bridged the communication gap between people while ensuring the one-on-one effect. To initiate a web meeting, two or more users set up meetings from their computers and instantly exchange information and files, demonstrate applications, or remotely control other desktops.
Undoubtedly, telephone and e-mail are effective communication tools, but web meetings offer an even more provocative value proposition. They reduce a company's non-productive expenses, accelerate work cycles, and help get maximum value from the investments made on workers. They are also transforming the way businesses operate by enhancing revenue growth and dramatically reducing operational costs.
For example, Canon remotely connects its dealers to Canons lab computers for interactive software and hardware training. Web conferencing enables Canon field experts to conduct virtual demonstrations to provide dealers with sales assistance and answer customer questions in real-time. Through web conferencing they have managed to bridge distances and geographies, and boost productivity. Canon uses online meetings to communicate with, train and support internal and external customers globally. The use of web conferencing has significantly reduced operating costs, increased productivity, and opened new business opportunities, says Kiran Datar, Managing Director of Cisco WebEx.
Productivity enhancing features
Going by its popularity, companies have adopted web meeting application in selling, training and marketing with varying degrees of success. To address the growing needs of enterprises, technology has been evolved to extend web meeting capabilities beyond a one-size-fits-all solution. The applications serve specific needs of every operational area. They now deliver a new level of productivity-enhancing features that help companies streamline communications and add significant value in sales, marketing, R&D and human resources.
By delivering features such as common user management and common interfaces for reduced learning curves, these new applications are fitting seamlessly into an organization's existing workflow and operational procedures, and are integrating easily with the existing enterprise applications such as CRM, ERP, SFA, LMS, and communication portals.
Improving Business Processes
To help companies gain competitive advantage, the web meeting applications are influencing nearly every internal business function as well as marketing, sales, support, partner and investor communications.
A strong sales force is the backbone of any successful company. However, effective sales organizations that leverage on web applications for their essential functional areas are finding that they can significantly improve operational efficiencies at a much lower cost of sales. A sales organization, for example, uses Meeting Center or Sales Center applications to make sales presentations and demonstrate products across the globe.
It is believed that the marketing department creates a face for the company and product or services uphold the image. Invariably, marketing is one of the most communication-intensive areas of a company. Be it outbound lead generation activities, inbound sales training or product launches, communication is critical. Real-time collaboration solutions offer marketing teams an effective way to improve quality and quantity of their outbound messages without increasing costs.
Customer Service and Support
It is challenging for companies competing in the global economy to meet requirements of their customers, partners and vendors, and deliver high-quality, time-critical customer service and support. To achieve world-class customer service operations, businesses are considering remote support applications which enable technical support to easily access, troubleshoot, and resolve issues.
Perhaps no other department in a company has the influencing effect on employees as human resources. Today, trainers have been leveraging on web applications to provide unified training from one location to groups in multiple cities, and minimize travel complications and expenses in the process.
R&D and Manufacturing
Research, Development, Design, and Manufacturing operations are the foundation of many global organizations. Each of these groups has been cashing in on the benefits of frequent on-demand web meetings to create operational efficiencies and cost-reductions.
When a corporation communicates effectively with its workforce and external audiences, it creates a coherent messaging posture that ensures all employees are on the same page, and presents a cohesive strategy and direction to the outside world. For example, a corporate communication team will be able to deliver dynamic training to employees, customers, and partners anywhere in the world.
Under pressure to deliver information and technology better, faster and cheaper, an IT organization has numerous opportunities to increase efficiencies with the web meeting technology. Firstly, it enables effective communication with partners, outsourcers, internal teams and constituents across the globe. Secondly, it allows IT to deliver powerful tools to help design, install, administer and train employees on the systems that the corporation relies on.
Uniting people towards a common goal
Collaboration is not just some over-hyped buzzword, but has become an essential part of business life. Many collaboration tools offer the ability to get started immediately, with no training, no set-up costs, and very low ongoing overheads.
Nearly every organization is looking for innovative business tools that can help them collaborate with employees and customers in real-time while increasing revenues and decreasing expenses. Now, more than ever, companies are integrating web meeting applications into key areas such as sales, marketing, and customers.
With highly effective communication and interaction, it is easy for businesses to get started and even easier to scale throughout their various operations, with minimal impact on IT or internal operations. The web meeting helps businesses keep global workers connected and moving forward towards common goals. It helps companies make more money by spending less. Now thats the dawning of a new business era all by itself.