The Future and Web Conferencing.

By: Thomas Hunter

The future looks bright for web conferencing; within a short period of time, its growth surpassed all expectations. It was a relatively underutilized technology in the not so distant 2001; due in part to the existing internet and computing technology at that time; and in part to the unfamiliarity of the general public with its use beyond anonymous flirtations and keeping in touch with friends and family. 2002 told a different tale; web conferencing became the rage among business individuals, small, medium and large companies; the industry earned $315 million, and was expected to grow by as much as 22% within the next 5 years. During 20003, the industry made more than twice the previous year; earnings estimates were pegged as high as $1.1 billion by the year 2007.

There are a number of reasons commonly used to explain the Cinderella-like flourishing of web conferencing; one is travel safety. Travelling became life threatening of cinematic proportions; from suicide plane bombers, plane hijackings, to kidnap for ransom syndicates. Another reason is the general decline of the global economy over the previous years; dot com companies were folding up; insurance companies and banks were filing for bankruptcy; consumer spending hit an all time low that retail and manufacturing companies found themselves engaged in bitter and dangerous price wars. Globalization made companies even more uptight as fierce competition became even fiercer; and markets, domestic and international, became even more diverse and unpredictable.

On the brighter side, web conferencing evolved the way it did because computing technology and the internet rose to the challenge of innovation and ingenuity. Processors, memory, storage devices and other hardware became faster and more powerful than ever; yet they were also cheaper than their predecessors considering their muscle value. The internet became so pervasive that the old adage “if it’s on television, it must be true” was modified to “if it’s from the internet, it must be true”. Small businesses and single proprietors found themselves on near equal footing with Herculean multinational companies; they had access to international and domestic markets; a hundred and one ways to advertise without spending too much; and virtually zero need to pay for commercial space if only to improve their market visibility.

Currently, web conferencing is used primarily for general business communications and education. General business communications include meetings, trainings, sales or marketing presentations, customer service, and technical support. The most heavily used feature of web conferencing in business is real time of sharing of information between the presenter and the participants; depending on the purpose of the conference, to demonstrate a new software or strengthen existing products, users place a premium on being able to tinker with the products or data as it is being presented by someone halfway across the globe without leaving their office, and to contribute substantial input. More and more universities and trade schools are integrating web conferencing in their curriculum; certain classes are being held in part online; while certain courses are being conducted wholly online. Professors and instructors broadcast their lectures from a remote location; it may be a live webcast or an archived broadcast which can be streamed through a multimedia player at any time.

Market trends reveal that in the very near future, the use for web conferencing will diversify further from its present common uses; as vendors strive to improve their services and features to better address the constantly changing needs of its customers. More and more companies are outsourcing and compartmentalizing their operations to cut costs; telecommuting is rising due to outsourcing and entrepreneurial opportunities created by the internet; certain educational institutions are evolving into employers; while certain businesses find their training and refresher programs evolving into full online courses that award certificates of accomplishment available to both their employees and the general public. Yet it can also be argued that these trends are made possible because of web conferencing; creating a chicken and egg situation. Regardless of which is the cause of the other, what remains clear is that business and web conferencing are invaluable to each other to the extent that their ability to survive difficulties and achieve greater growth and profits depend on their ability to be responsive to each other’s needs.

Wake Up Richer Every Morning... Instant Internet Business Makes Money Automatically... Thomas Hunter is an Internet marketer, author and publisher and has helped hundreds of people become successful Niche Marketers. Explore the highly profitable world of Niche Marketing at our popular website.
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