Management Information Systems
This paper will focus on the presentation of the advantages of a web conferencing tool such as Microsoft Office Communicator 2007. Major problems that come from the way meetings are being held up to now will be addressed; furthermore, the solution and implementation strategies will be named in order to eliminate these problems and the competitive advantages of the new technology will be presented. 2 Current situation 2. 1 Important disadvantages For most people, our daily working time is constantly interrupted by meetings and meetings about other meetings.
Many have the feeling that all these meetings are futile; that although we take a lot of time to travel (whether it’s just in the next building or the next continent) many times these meetings have no purpose at all. Furthermore, some meetings cannot even take place either due to schedule conflicts or because the required participants are too far away. We spend too much time in meetings and conferences, we cannot but think of how all this time spent in travelling and waiting in traffic jams or at airports affects the effectiveness of our work in a negative way and our travel expenses are increasing more rapidly than our profits.
Therefore, maybe it is time to do something about it. Imagine how much more effectively we could use our productivity and creativity, if we could save all these “lost” hours and resources from travelling. 2. 2 Targeted results The goal is to be precise on targeted goals, by which we can find solutions and face our problems. We would save time by reducing travel time, thanks to the capability to hold remote meetings at any time, right on time as if a conference room was in our office, in our computer screen.
We would improve the co-operation between our colleagues, their participation in meetings, the sharing of files and documents, the communications efficiency by concentrating their attention on the screen and not a wall or just one person. We would reduce telecommunication expenses by minimizing the use of land and cellular network lines for teleconferencing.
Finally, travel expenses, which are very high as we shall see (gas, parking, train/plane tickets, hotel rooms, taxis, etc.), would be cut down substantially together with the administration costs such as expense reports, checking and paying. 2. 3 The solution The successful solution is the integration of a web conferencing tool in the meetings of our organization. An innovative technology such as web conferencing has become a very useful tool, which is growing with constant use due to the benefits it provides. It is relatively simple to use, requires only a short self-training and among other things it integrates communication together with other usual applications such as Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.
Furthermore, it is usually charged per minute and per participant. Thanks to the competition’s “pressure”, the pricing policies are being changed to a fixed subscription, which is monthly, quarterly or yearly according to the organization’s needs. Currently, web conferencing has become affordable at prices lower than 50 Euros per month for an unlimited number of meetings and with a maximum of 25-30 participants, hence, conferencing costs differ not much from simple cellular phone costs.