If you are thinking about getting into web and video conferencing, then it is important to know what is required to operate any proposed conferencing system. Some systems run on proprietary software and need special equipment, while browser based systems usually do not require the installation of special software or equipment. Many organizations and individuals will find browser based solutions easier to use. Here are a few reasons why this is so:
1. They work on all operating systems. Do you have some users on Mac and some on PCs? Do you have some users who have Linux? If you want to connect all of these people together in one conference it may be impossible if you have to install special software to run your conference. In this case a browser based system that can run on all operating systems and all browsers allows you to connect with all of your staff or clientele without any worries about what kind of computer they are operating.
2. You don’t have to download and install software. Sure, people are becoming more computer-literate as time goes on, but downloading and installing software and getting the software to run properly can be an obstacle to some people. The good news is that with many browser based systems there is no software to download, because the installation is done on the technology provider’s host computer. Participating in a conference is as easy as going on line to view a website.
3. People anywhere in the world can go online and join the conference. With no equipment installation and no software installation to take care of, the door is open to widespread participation in your conferences. The only thing that you have to do is to notify your people and provide them with a url and a password and they can join in.
4. There is no problem with firewalls. Most offices and many individuals protect their computers and networks from hackers by using a firewall. This is good for security but can become a problem if you are trying to join people together in a conference. Many web and browser based systems are not affected by firewalls and no special instructions have to be given to conference participants whose computers may be protected by firewalls.
All of these factors add up to one very strong advantage of using browser based conferencing systems: they allow you to get maximum participation in your online events. With little or no technical obstacles, such systems make it easy for large numbers of people, using diverse equipment and with varying degrees of computer skills, to take part in online meetings. So, take a look at the various conferencing packages on the market at the present time and pick out one that is both easy to use and powerful enough to meet your communications needs.