Web Conferencing: Finding a Service Provider that Meets Your Needs

With the vast amount of service providers that are available today, it's not always easy to find the one that best fills the bill for your particular web conferencing needs. Each one claims to be the biggest, best or least expensive, and all will try to convince you that their particular plan is the one that makes the most sense for your business. Sometimes you'll be the victim of a hard sell by those who are skilled in the art of diverting the attention away from your questions and, before you know it, the focus is on a set of features that you may have no use for at all.

In other cases, there are hidden fees that are peppered throughout the contract which you might not readily notice until you've fallen into the buy-in trap. How, then, are you supposed to find the best service provider to handle your web conferencing? Here are some handy tips that you should keep in mind when you go shopping for such services.

Multiple Location Participants ? If you have key people in distant lands that will need to come into the web conferencing loop, remember to keep this in mind when shopping for a web conferencing package. If a service provider attempts to impose strict limitations on this type of scenario, then this isn't the one for you.

Compare Prices ? Since most web conferencing providers utilize the same software or equipment from the same manufacturers, it stands to reason that the pricing structures should be similar. If one or more of them come in way above the mark, this should tell you something about the integrity of the company. In short, move on to another provider.

Review Pricing Plans ? Though many providers require to be paid on a rate-per-person schedule, there are those who will offer the same web conferencing services for a flat rate. This is ideal for companies with a number of participants. If you're given the option of paying a flat monthly fee for unlimited web conferences, so much the better.

Investigate the Features Being Offered ? Whether your needs include online presentations that don't need to be interactive, or interactive online meetings/webinars, the right service provider can meet those needs. Check to see what other features are offered, as well, before committing to making a decision.

Many companies, for instance, have the need for features such as multiple presenters, polling and surveys, desktop remote control, live video, online chat with questions and answers, documentation presentation, application sharing, record and playback features and browser sharing. Service providers who don't offer any of these commonly used features should be put aside in favor of those who are less technologically challenged.

The best approach to taken when shopping for a web conferencing service provider is to go armed with a list of relevant questions and a detailed description of which features are pertinent to your business. Keeping in mind that you may have to investigate a number of providers in order to find the one that best suits your needs, exercise patience and don't be too quick to jump on the web conferencing bandwagon by choosing one that's simply popular or has the catchiest advertisements. There are plenty of good providers out there ? it's just a matter of finding the one that has what you need, for the best possible price.

Copyright 2005 Octocat Ltd

Mike Spencer reviews various business services to help small and home office businesses get the best value for money in communicating with the outside world. Read more about Mikes reviews by his visiting his website here: http://www.web-conference-reviews.com

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