Meeting Services, also known as Collaboration Tools, are the set of tools designed around virtual communication within and outside of an organization. Tools typically include services such as chat/instant messaging, video (with one-on-one or group video meetings), screen sharing, virtual whiteboarding, and audio conferencing. Additional services involve SMS / texting, special services for large group audiences (video broadcasting), and file sharing. These options often vary depending on the provider.
Let’s Unpack That
The following key terms help define Meeting Services by introducing the various tools available through its platform.
Audio Conferencing – Audio conferencing is where two or more people in different locations use technology like a conference bridge to hold an audio call. Audio conferencing is different from a traditional phone, in that all participants dial into a central system that connects them instead of directly calling each other.
Chat / Instant Messaging – This is a technology that allows real time text message transmission over the Internet.
File Sharing – File sharing is the practice of sharing or offering access to digital information or resources, including documents, multimedia (audio/video), graphics, computer programs, and images. File Sharing over a Meeting Services platform is the ability to instantly send a file to a remote audience and/or allow a file to be edited in real time by several users.
Meeting Services – This is the set of tools provided as a platform to hold virtual meetings and perform collaboration.
Screen Sharing – The ability to share presentations (such as Powerpoint) or applications remotely to an audience over a collaboration platform.
SMS / Texting – This technology allows real-time text message transmission over cellular networks.
Video Conferencing – Comprises the technologies for the reception and transmission of audio-video signals by users at different locations, for communication between people in real-time. A device with a camera is required, such as a videophone, a computer with a camera, a smartphone or tablet with a camera, etc, capable of simultaneous video and audio for communication between people in real time.
Video Broadcasting – Typically,video broadcasting is the ability to share a video with large audiences remotely. Applications may include training, quarterly stockholder meetings, internal company wide meetings, etc. Meetings are typically unidirectional, meaning the audience does not have the ability for interactive video but may use an alternative platform such as chat to direct feedback or questions back to the main speaker.
Virtual Whiteboarding – This is the ability to use drawing tools (may include templates, text labels, and other features) with a remote audience over a webinar or video platform, allowing you to collaborate on capturing information and drawing out solutions.
Why Choose Meeting Services?
- Provides a platform to hold remote audio, web, and video meetings
- Creates an opportunity to save on cost on travel and field meetings
- Allows for quick organization and facilitation of meetings, moving the project along at a faster pace overall
- Allows for recording and capturing meeting notes
- May be set up instantaneously to meet immediate needs
- Have almost no limit on remote audience size
Why Work With Us?
We represent several types of meeting platform options and can deliver multiple opportunities that directly meet your needs. Our team is committed to learning your business structure and goals. This will allow us to recommend solutions that tie into your existing IT infrastructure. We will also use our background and expansive knowledge to help optimize costs.
Is Meeting Services Right for My Organization?
For businesses of all sizes, the right combination of tools is able to alleviate employee workloads and improve efficiency across the board. This includes both internal and external communications, as with customers, vendors, and partners. However, the sheer number of toolsets available to choose from can be overwhelming. Before IT decision makers and CIOs rip and replace their existing suites of productivity tools, they first need to ask themselves three big questions:
- Can I find a partner that will work with me to identify tools that fit the specific business needs I have today?
- What features are important to my end users and what problems can we alleviate with new communications and collaboration tools?
- What is important for my business in the future? Can I avoid adding more tools and still satisfy those needs?
Finding the right collaboration tool for your organization takes time, but due diligence and a thorough understanding of current pain points can help businesses identify the right options to consider. And with the help of a true partner, companies can successfully identify collaboration tools to increase productivity and simplify the lives of their employees not just today, but for years to come.
Things to Consider
- What internal and external communication today can be streamlined and improved?
- What systems today are supporting Meeting Services that are disconnected from each other as well as costly?
- What type of cost, savings, or revenue improvement can be realized through a set of tools that would allow meetings and collaboration to happen faster and with remote audiences?
- Do meetings need to be recorded and how is that being done today?
- How will I integrate Meeting Services tools with my existing systems?
Frequently Asked Questions
Almost all collaboration toolset platforms are able to be implemented “over-the-top” of existing customer infrastructure and will work over existing Internet services. Almost all phone and video hardware is usually able to be re-used.
Several providers offer Meeting Services as a solution you can buy independently of any other solution. Some do require you to purchase other services and do not offer Meeting Services alone. We can assist you by recommending the appropriate providers for your business situation.
Yes! Please let us know the frequency of your large meetings (monthly, quarterly, etc) and the estimated number of participants, and we can recommend providers that offer audio and video solutions aimed at those applications.
Yes, often collaboration tools and customer service platforms or contact center platforms are purchased together, or later integrated. Please let us know your business situation and integrated solutions can be recommended for evaluation