Jumat, 06 September 2013

Casting a web for business travellers

Web conferencing (webcon) emerging as a strong substitute for business travel. Many company executives now prefer to do a webcon instead of catching plane and undertaking a strenuous travel schedule. The medium is also being encouraged by managements seeking to control costs.
Cyber Bazaar, a Bangalore-based provider of conferencing services, says the adoption rate for Web conferencing, the cheapest mode of conferencing (cheaper than an audio or video conference), growing at a rapid pace in India with several Indian organisations such as Infosys, flex, Polaris, MindTree and Johnson Johnson Medical increasingly using it for pre-sales and sales, training and support functions.
Says Rajeev Purnaiya, MD of Cyber- Bazaar: "Where travel managers might have sent ten people to a meeting they now send three and conference with the other seven.''
Travel agencies acknowledge the impact of conferencing.
On condition of anonymity, a top executive of a travel consortium said, "Web conferencing definitely impacts our business with organisations cutting down on travel expenses.
Conferencing facility is what they have taken recourse to in order to avoid travel and hotel accommodation expenses involved in business travel.'' "Web conferencing is helping companies to expand their market, accelerate sales and reduce travel costs and production time by holding interactive meetings through the Web,'' Purnaiya added. He, however, says conferencing will complement face-to-face interaction, but can't replace it completely.
Web conferencing is seen to help techies collaborate remotely on executing computer
projects. A simple problem which used to take a long time earlier to solve can now
be addressed immediately through the Web.
For conducting a Web conference, one needs is a phone, a web camera and any browser with a Net connection. Says Srikanth Soundararajan, senior manager (Process Automation), MindTree Consulting: "We primarily looked at Web Conferencing for cost-effectively conducting our training programmes involving employees across various locations on the globe.
The reasons were to save cost, time travel and manage the calendars of various people involved. Web conferencing has enabled us to train people, without jeopardising their regular work functions.'' Johnson & Johnson Medical, India, has embraced Web conferencing for conducting real-time collaborative research with its counterparts in Australia, US and other countries. Says M.S. Prabhakar, regional R&D manager, J&J Medical: "It helps us offering real-time interactivity with other teams. During meetings, we share and discuss ideas, concepts and problems with real-time samples and situations.''

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