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What Is Web Conferencing?

The term “web conferencing” encompasses collaboration technologies that enable users to place calls via an application over the internet, through software downloaded locally to a computer or device, or in an on-premises environment.

Web conferencing encompasses popular real-time collaboration solutions like video conferencing, screen share, document sharing, and online meetings.

What do I need for web conferencing?

Creating strong business relationships requires close collaboration. And close collaboration starts with effective meetings that extend beyond a simple phone call. Sure, business still moves forward with the help of regular phone calls. But making your meetings virtual can dial those calls up a notch, pardon the pun.

How can you make that happen—how can you update your calls and meetings? With web conferencing technologies.

Users can hold a web conference via a desktop (think your laptop or a Voice over IP phone), mobile (your smartphone or tablet), or video device (video endpoint in a dedicated video conferencing environment like a conference room).

The first step of any web conference, regardless of device, is to install conferencing software. There are a number of web conferencing tools available, but those that rise to the top and make web conferencing a breeze should have the following features:

  • Ease-of-use:If the web conferencing software is hard to use – setting up meetings, signing into meetings, and holding the meetings themselves—you’re likely going to abandon it before you can reap the benefits. Look for a simple user experience from any device that doesn’t require plug-ins or downloads.
  • Full set of features: Can you screen share during a web conference? Video conference? Poll the audience? Whiteboard to brainstorm new ideas? Record the call? Being able to do more than hold just an audio call can elevate your meetings to true collaboration.
  • Security:It’s vital to protect your conversations from prying ears—and eyes. Be sure your web conferencing solution has built-in multi-layer security that doesn’t compromise user experience.
  • How does web conferencing work?

    After you select a solution that checks all of the right boxes for your company’s needs, be sure that you have the right foundation for the technology. Modern conferencing technologies require a robust, reliable, and highly secure unified communications infrastructure to power web conferencing solutions and services.

    Unified communications integrates call control and session management, web conferencing, gateways, and unified management to deliver increased productivity and controlled costs. With unified communications, users can also determine if their conferencing solutions—both web and video—are best deployed via the cloud, on premises, or in a hybrid configuration. Unified communications ensures that no matter where or how you place your web conference, you get the same experience each and every time.

    Web conferencing and the modern workplace

    Web conferencing tools are fast becoming an integral part of the modern workplace. Companies of all sizes across all industries are embracing more economical, more collaborative ways of working, and web conferencing software can be a critical means to help your organization increase productivity and boost innovation.

    Explore the benefits of web conferencing and collaboration tools.

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    Learn more about Cisco products and solutions related to web conferencing.