Web conferencing blues

Organizations are making increasing use of Web conferencing services to reduce travel time, travel costs, and make the best use of both customers' and presenters' time. While they make it possible to speak directly with a single or many customers without requiring time in airports, they have serious issues.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

In any given week, I'm asked to take part in many Web conferences, Webinars and private meetings with suppliers. Attending these conferences can be a frustrating experience and many of the suppliers of these services, including Cisco, Cisco and Microsoft, have significant issues.

Here are some of my pet peeves.

  • These suppliers install software on an attendees system without warning and, often, without offering a way to remove it once the call is complete. It is not at all clear what this software does when a conference is not underway. This, of course, makes it appear that they're really placing Malware on their clients' customers' systems.
  • Several suppliers leave little advertisements on a person's desktop. This might be a reasonable business decision on their part, but it irritates me that they feel they have the right to do such things on customers of their customers systems without warning or without permission. It gives me a bad impression of both the company that engaged their services and them.
  • Performance, even on a broadband network, can be unacceptable. The screen does not update rapidly enough for attendees to keep up with conferences, Webinars or private sessions.
  • Voice over IP offered by several suppliers works poorly causing presenters to sound distorted or be impossible to understand.

Since organizations are making increasing use of these services to reduce travel time, travel costs, and make the best use of both customers' and presenters' time.  In previous lives, I've used these services as a way to have a direct contact with clients all over the United States, Europe and Asia without leaving my office.

What experiences, good or bad, have you had with these services?

Editorial standards