Reducing the cost of business travel and making efforts to be environmentally conscious has moved Video Conferencing off the back burner and placed it front and center for many companies.  When it comes to acomplishing those two objectives, no other improvement can rival the impact of video conferencing.  At the same time, the benefit of improved employee productivity can substantially double the return on this investment.  

Once relegated to a tool for the national or international traveler, even local businesses have realized immediate benefits by spending less money on busines travel and turning time once spent in cars, trains, and planes into face time with business associates.  Video Conferencing first of all maintains the face-to-face comfort of meeting together, but it also introduces a whole new set of presentation possibilities - as you take clients through documents, spreadsheets, a guided tour of your website...and the like - during the visit. 

Teleconference - Web Conference - Video Conference - Telepresence

Conferencing takes on many forms.  There are audio or Teleconference meetings which can be initiated over the web or via most telephone systems.  In addition, services are available to tie in hundreds or thousands of listeners over a teleconferencing "bridge". 

A Web Conference usually has a Teleconferece element involved, but adds the ability to share your computer desktop, either in point-to-point or multi-point meetings.  With Web Conferencing, a limited amont of face-to-face may be introduced as well, depending on the specifice system.  With Web Conferencing, other appication specific tools can also be implemented, such as virtual classrooms, incorporating break-out sessions for students, testing and grading tools, even to the point of attaining competency certifications - all without the travel expense! 

Video Conferecing is more adept at displaying live pictures of meeting participants.  It also generally includes computer sharing and interaction, as well as additional video capabilities such as streaming video content or a Document Camera. 

The newest adaptation of Video Conferencing is called Telepresence.  Telepresence gives participants the impression of being, well, present!  It creates the feeling that everyone is sitting in the same room, no matter where they are in the world. 

Typically, a Telepresence system will include "your half" of a conference room table, with the far-end image containing "the other half" of the table.  As you look acroos the table, not only can you see a person's face, but you can litterally look into their eyes - like being at the same table.  In fact, systems are available to incorporate other unique tools, even to the point of sliding (electronic) documents back and forth across the table!

If you've been considering the time and cost savings of meeting through some form of remote conferencing, or just want to do your part to reduce carbon emmissions, City-Tel Communications can assist in designing a system that is right for you.
Copyright © 2009 City-Tel Communications, Inc.
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