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Choosing the Right Web Conferencing Provider

Because there are so many vendors, constant upgrades in technology, and persisting mergers and acquisitions, teleconferencing is a varied undertaking. Teleconferencing companies are merging in order to round out their products. This allows them to expand their client bases. With this continuing growth and change in the teleconferencing industry, it is hard to analyze all of the offerings and companies available. Several challenges must be met in order to select the right vendor or service for each objective.

When looking for a vendor or teleconferencing service that meets your needs, it is important to research a number of vendors. Consider the following issues: the projected number of participants. This will determine the type of technology that is needed for your events. What will be presented. Consider the types of materials to be presented and which services will be required, such as: slide presentation, streaming audio, document sharing, video, and polling. What bandwidth issues you or your participants might experience. If the content is a talking head format, then a simple DSL line may provide adequate bandwidth. However, if there is high-motion video, it may require T1 connectivity for a successful event. The connectivity of your audience may have to determine your content format. The degree of interactivity. Keep in mind the nature of the event and if a high degree of interactivity among participants is required. Some services are better geared for little to no interactivity, while others easily cater to highly interactive events. Special services. Evaluate if special services such as event or project management are required, and select a vendor based on your needs and what they can provide. Technical support. Some degree of technical support is needed for all conferencing solutions, find out what they offer. Purchasing options.

There are four basic ways teleconferencing is sold to clients,

through hosting (You can rent or license solutions that are hosted with the vendor),
through software (You can purchase the solution and host it yourself),
through reseller (You can purchase software from a vendor who is reselling the software/services of other vendors),
through full service (You can work with a full-service vendor who will supply the planning, marketing, and production of your event as well as the conferencing solution).

Each method has its pluses and minuses, be sure you understand each option and how it fits your objectives. Though many people are just discovering teleconferencing now, it is important to realize that it has been growing for several years.

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