Taking a Look at What WebEx Offers - dummies

Taking a Look at What WebEx Offers

By Nancy Stevenson

We’ve come a long way from the first meeting, which probably occurred when a few cavemen sat around a fire discussing the pros and cons of hunting saber-toothed tigers. We’ve replaced their grunts with sophisticated language (sometimes several languages in a single meeting). We’ve found ways to visualize our ideas with whiteboards and bullet point presentations. Companies have utilized all sorts of technologies, from conference phones to video conferencing, in search of the perfect meeting.

Yet for most of us, there are still a few obstacles to effective meetings. Organizing a meeting can be a nightmare in itself, with a wide variety of schedules and locations to accommodate. The cost of getting to and from a meeting, both in terms of time and travel expenses, can be prohibitive. If a meeting is held on the phone or even online, concerns about security and reliability (“Hey, Johnson just got disconnected . . . again!”) abound.

Enter WebEx. WebEx offers a comprehensive suite of Web meeting applications designed to improve collaboration and increase your productivity. Simply put, WebEx has found solutions to many of the problems you face in setting up and hosting meetings. The solutions work for any meeting, from a handful of people holding a spontaneous problem-solving conference across the corporate campus, to a CEO delivering a report on corporate profits to 3,000 employees located around the world.

Using WebEx, you can expand the reach of everybody in your company, from Jack the CEO to Jill the sales manager, to tap the potential of real-time collaboration.

WebEx currently offers the following Web meeting applications (what you have available depends on what your company buys):

  • WebEx Meeting Center: This is for those garden-variety meetings that make up so much of our work days. From project or team meetings to impromptu brainstorming or troubleshooting meetings, this is where you’ll conduct your business on a day-to-day basis.
  • WebEx Event Center: This is specifically designed for larger scale events, which can easily involve thousands of people in diverse locations. New product introductions, strategic business announcements — anything that requires that you really make a splash — work great in Event Center.
  • WebEx Training Center: Do you want to supercharge your training programs with an online component? Does your training require you to set up hands-on computer labs, register students for a training session, hold interactive discussions, or demonstrate how a software product works? If so, you need Training Center.
  • WebEx Sales Center: Looking to get an edge over the competition? Using Sales Center, salespeople can improve their win rates by holding sales calls online. Here you can demonstrate applications, share presentations, bring in experts on the fly, and discreetly view the whole meeting from your sales prospect’s point of view.
  • WebEx Support Center: With desktop control, remotely resolving technical problems is a snap. Hold one-on-one meetings (or one-on-one plus experts you call in to help out) with customers or employees to troubleshoot problems and provide personalized assistance.

One thing you’ll get used to as you get familiar with the service is that WebEx calls different meetings different things. You hold meetings in Meeting Center and Sales Center, run events in Event Center, and hold sessions in Training Center and Support Center.

Do you have to buy a bunch of services to simply meet online? No. You can get your feet wet with the WebEx Pay-Per-Use service, which allows you to hold meetings as you need to and be charged one at a time.