Monday, June 24, 2002

Webcasting can be a source of low-hanging fruit. The Gartner Group offers an interesting case-study of how it saved over $200,000 by converting one quarterly "all hands" meeting from a live satellite feed to a Webcast. It is a reminder of how, in these days of expense cutting and travel restrictions, companies need to make better use of Webcasting or Webconferencing. A variety of external service providers such as Centra, Genesys,, Placeware, Raindance, ViaVid, V-Span, and WebEx make it possible for you to do it with virtually no infrastructure investment, provided Internet connectivity of all participants is adequate.

Once again, the main objections are not technical, but cultural and traditional. Surely, there will always be situations where face-to-face meetings are essential. Nevertheless, there are many cases where Webcasting or Webconferencing can better serve the needs of the participants. For example, Gartner found an unexpected benefit to their first quarterly Webcast: a greater number of employees were posing questions. If you've ever participated in a Webcast software demonstration or Webcast presentation, you know that the format can make group participation less threatening than standing up in front of a large group of peers. So in that respect, the Webcast format is not a compromise but actually a better alternative. There isn't too much fruit hanging lower than that.

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