Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Saving Money with Web Conferencing (Be green, less travel!)

Results of the ACTE 2009 Business Travel Spend survey show that 71 percent of respondents plan to spend less on travel in 2009, with 21 percent reporting they will spend the same, leaving only eight percent saying they will spend more.

That's a dramatic change from the similar September 2008 survey, which found 33 percent of travel managers planned to spend less on business travel in 2009, 31 percent expected to spend the same and 36 percent planning to spend more.

Results of the ACTE 2009 Business Travel Spend survey show that the hardest-hit area of business travel is internal meetings that can constitute up to 40 percent of overall travel budgets. As a fairly direct result, the survey showed that interest in electronic travel alternatives jumped from 32 percent in 2008 to 50 percent in 2009, making it the number one ranked priority for this year.

That should result in growth for Web conferencing services, collaboration tools and some incremental growth for place-based videoconferencing systems as well. High-end telepresence systems should also get more attention, though tight capital budgets will be a counter-balancing factor.

Time is an increasingly scarce asset. The economy and competitive nature of business have forced us to seek new ways to improve revenue and client satisfaction by expanding business, managing heavier work loads and providing current clients with more personal attention—all at a lower cost. This has resulted in intense pressure to make every hour count by streamlining current business processes that are tedious, repetitious, or inefficient, and by putting people and information closer together.

In a typical scenario, a professional needs to gather input from multiple colleagues, clients, or outside experts all over the country in order to arrive at a final legal document. Traditionally, the business professional would use a variety of communication methods, such as express mail, regular mail, fax, or e-mail to send copies of this sensitive document to these individuals.

The business professional must then idly await their comments and revisions. Within several days, the business professional receives back multiple copies of the contract with everyone’s comments and revisions in separate documents. Next is the arduous and time-consuming process of trying to merge the documents and choose between conflicting revisions and multiple drafts.

If you're a company with global connections (and who isn't these days?) you don't need a calculator to figure out that if you increase virtual conferencing, you'll really take the bite out of your annual travel budget.

Web Meetings, Presentations, and Collaboration offer us both time and money savings. Many of us spend a considerable amount of time traveling either across town or across the country. In some instances, face-to face meetings are the best—or only—way to handle certain types of meetings. But not every meeting requires in-person contact, and the increasing expense and inconvenience of travel is becoming harder to justify. And that does not include the demand from clients to reduce costs.

Web collaboration with VIA3 will drastically reduce travel budgets while simultaneously improving productivity and communications between stationary employees, roaming workers, customers, partners, and suppliers.

If you want to save money TODAY, download http://www.via3.com/ and start recognizing the benefits of web conferencing!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

“Travel by long distance and stay a while…”

Shermakaye Bass has some great insight into the benefits of web conferencing. That catchy slogan from a few decades ago touted the power of long-distance telephone calls to keep you and your close contacts closer. Now, with dozens of online-conference companies hitting the market, long-distance relations and communications have really arrived at the next frontier.

Call it web-conferencing, virtual meeting, webinar’ing or call it what you like, but chances are before long your company already is — or will soon be — conducting business meetings over long distances using online technology that links individuals from around the world, in a virtual conference room accessed in real-time from your desk.

It’s revolutionizing business travel, and trimming companies’ transportation and accommodation expenses. According to recent statistics from industry sources, many businesses are cutting their travel costs by one-third to 70 percent.

The byproduct of all this tele presence, as the techies call it, is that companies large and small also are reducing their carbon footprints. In fact, virtual meeting technology is at the juncture where technology and sustainability meet, creating not just immediate benefits in saved carbon emissions, but indicating a much larger trend in which a corporate “bottom line” dovetails with an environmental bottom line.

If you are interested in trying online conferencing, visit www.VIA3.com today to try it free!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Conference and Collaboration Technology Market Strong

Conferencing and collaboration solutions that reduce the need to travel and help businesses remain efficient are increasing in popularity today as businesses become more global.

Research firm Frost & Sullivan has released new analysis, “North American CSP (News - Alert)-based Videoconferencing Services Market,” that shows revenues of $265.4 million in 2008, an 11 percent growth over 2007’s earnings.

Through conferencing solutions, and particularly video conferencing, businesses can support a virtual workplace environment while also keeping costs in control.

Frost & Sullivan’s (News - Alert) research uncovered that the current economic slump has put pressure on IT departments to seek technologies that help business cut costs and increase workplace efficiencies.According to Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Roopam Jain, now is the time to adopt large-scale videoconferencing technology. "Several market forces are merging to create a market that is ripe for change," Jain said.The research also uncovered that the videoconferencing CSP-based managed services market which was at $151.3 million in 2008, is expected to reach $375.5 million by 2014.The strongest push for conferencing technologies is that they offer cost savings and ROI and as businesses push through the economic slump, they will turn to the technology as a way to reduce costs as well as improve business performance.

In addition, a growing awareness for UC technologies and support for a dispersed workforce that includes increasingly mobile workers, has increased the market potential.
Eagle Teleconferencing provides conferencing solutions that help businesses to maximize their communications and save on costs. The company’s conference call solutions are especially useful in the current climate, as they can be set up last-minute and are available around-the-clock.


To get onto the Web Conferencing bandwagon, try the product that the Web Conferencing Council (http://www.webconferencingcouncil.com/) called the "Best of breed" for 2009. Free trial, no credit card required, no risk, at http://www.via3.com/.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Web Conferencing Comes to the 2009 US Senior Open Golf Tournament with Kris Baxter

Kris Baxter, one of the underdogs that experts predict could surprise the field at the US Senior Open, will be wearing VIA3 web conferencing logos on his hat and shirt. San Jose, CA July 16, 2009 — Kris Baxter, one of the underdogs that experts predict could surprise the field at the US Senior Open, will be wearing VIA3 web conferencing logos on his hat and shirt. Corporate sponsors like VIA3 are starting to take a heavy interest in backing the rising star due to his unique ability to hit the pressure shots on the biggest of fields.

In 2008, for example, Baxter opened the Christmas Tournament at Pacific Grove in 2008 by nailing a hole in one on his very first tee shot. Because of his solid play at all aspects of the game, many of his fellow players are going to be tracking his progress. As for the rest of the world, they will have to track him online and on television. VIA3 was hoping to have his golf bag set-up with a satellite card, a small laptop, and a webcam for global users to watch him up close and personal as he played. (This type of set-up is not allowed under current golf rules).

A native of Northern California and golfer from age 7, Baxter’s game developed organically and without much of the structure and regimen of today’s players. He received his undergraduate degree at Pacific in 1980 while playing varsity golf for 4 years under the watchful eye of Dr. Albaugh. Albaugh is a well known sports psychologist who councils dozens of professional golfers and many more amateurs. His book, “Winning the Battle Within,” deals with the mental aspects of golf. The book emphasizes staying in the present while playing and eliminating negative influences. It also deals with drills and specific pre-shot and post-shot routines. Its mantra is “the perfect swing is the one you can trust.”

“You want to have a tension-free, confident strike every time,” Baxter said. “I really practice this stuff. I work on positive self-talk.” Baxter found himself shooting golf rounds better than he did when he was much younger, which is why he decided to give the Champions Tour a shot. He tried qualifying two or three previous times and finally broke through with a fantastic qualifying game. “I’m going to follow John Daly’s Cinderella story,” said Baxter, referencing Daly’s surprise win at Crooked Stick for the 1991 PGA championship. Baxter is also a successful executive with Blagency, which is a full service logo merchandise and promotion agency specializing in applying tangible media for branding, tradeshow and incentive promotions. VIA3 is available for free trial at http://www.via3.com/.


Monday, July 13, 2009

VIA3 CEO Challenges Microsoft Live Meeting to Web Conferencing “Taste Test”

Google isn’t the only software company ready to take Microsoft products head on.

Buoyed by a July 9th usability lab test which showed VIA3 heavily favored over Microsoft Live Meeting 9 to 1, VIA3 CEO Brian Hodges has formally challenged Microsoft to a “Taste Test” between the two rival products. Similar to the famous “Pepsi Challenge” which pitted the lesser known soda against the powerful Coke brand, Hodges hopes to showcase his product’s industry leading features.

In a letter addressed to Steve Ballmer at 1 Microsoft Way, Hodges asked for a product face off at a mutually agreed upon independent usability lab complete with full media and public access. “We are looking forward to going head-to-head with Microsoft Live Meeting on a national stage. We are extremely confident that VIA3’s rich web conferencing features will continue to be preferred over Microsoft Live Meeting by independent users who try them both side by side as a standalone product. The richer, deeper set of features inside of VIA3 will quickly be evident, considering that Microsoft Live Meeting requires at least two other products be added on to match our included features.”

An industry analyst present at the usability lab predicted that Microsoft would realize quickly that this is a contest they should avoid. Microsoft Live Meeting has the same problem that WebEx and GoToMeeting have; they cannot match VIA3’s depth of features. WebEx has already turned down a contest with VIA3, issued to them on June 10th of this year.

The July 9th usability lab test focused on a blend of 20 “Business Decision Makers”, “Productivity Application Power Users”, and “Productivity Application Novices”. The subjects were asked to weigh a number of factors, including Audio and Video quality, Presentation and Sharing Mode(s), Ease of Use, General Features, and more. 18 of the 20 subjects (90%) “preferred” or “strongly preferred” VIA3 over Microsoft LiveMeeting. 2 of the 20 subjects (10%) preferred or strongly preferred Microsoft Live Meeting over VIA3. None of the subjects (0%) was undecided.

One usability lab participant described using Microsoft Live Meeting as “suffocating when compared to VIA3” due to the difference of features that VIA3 offers as compared to Live Meeting. Hodges later likened that comment to Plato’s philosophical ‘Allegory of the Cave’. “Users accustomed to web conferencing only being a temporary online presentation are quickly realizing how much more they can accomplish with VIA3’s additional communication and collaboration tools. Once you upgrade to VIA3 from the limited solutions like Live Meeting, WebEx, or GoToMeeting, you don’t look back.”

As of time of printing, Microsoft has not accepted, nor commented on the VIA3 challenge.

Want to decide for yourself in advance of the “taste test”? VIA3 from VIACK can be downloaded free for 30 days from http://www.via3.com/. Live Meeting can be downloaded for from http://www.microsoft.com/.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

VIA3 Releases Intelligent Recording (IntelliRecord) Feature for VIA3 Web Conferencing

VIA3 announced the immediate availability of their new industry leading intelligent recording (IntelliRecord) feature for VIA3 web conferencing. This feature allows users to record individual training sessions, webinars, meetings, demonstrations, presentations, desktop sharing, and more. During the recording, VIA3 intelligently “switches” between the most relevant and recent displays, such as presentations, desktop live views, and presenter video(s). This IntelliRecord feature uses a unique next-generation intuitive algorithm for relevant predictive media selection, and gives all subsequent reviewers the most accurate view possible of the crucial conference components. VIA3 IntelliRecord is enacted by simply clicking the “Start Recording” button inside of VIA3. After this feature has been started, all of the intelligent recording is handled automatically, with absolutely no manual switching required. Users are also able to choose an audio only version of the recording, for added flexibility.

In addition to general training, sales, product demos, webinars, meetings, and desktop sharing, IntelliRecord will be greatly appreciated by our customers in the legal field, financial services, business services, and physician services. An indispensable tool for their trade, VIA3 continues to allow all the same great Presentation, Meeting and Collaboration features, with the added ability to record their meetings for documented playback. VIACK continues to see increasing opportunities to unseat existing WebEx, GoToMeeting, and LiveMeeting customers with VIA3’s superior recording capabilities, affordability, and general depth of features. For example, with VIA3 you do not need a custom player installed on your machine as WebEx does. Instead, users simply download the file to share with as many people as desired. The IntelliRecord Workspace storage option allows customers to make their videos private to only a select few or public to the world where a link can be shared with anyone.

VIA3 is available for free for one month from http://www.via3.com/. The free trial version does not require a credit card, and includes ALL features of the full VIA3 product, including the newly released “IntelliRecord”.

VIA3 was awarded the “2009 Best of Class” award for Web Conferencing solutions from the Web Conferencing Council, and with the addition of more and more features, appears to be a strong candidate to repeat next year as well. One of the leading attributes that helped VIA3 win the top award was its affordability, security, and depth of features. VIA3 offers more product features for less money over rivals such as WebEx and GoToMeeting.