conferencing services: more complementary than mutually exclusive

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this article is about the positioning of the various types of conferencing services according to their functionality and target populations

I've already had the opportunity to touch on the important subject of the return on investment of Web conferencing in a previous post published in three separate instalments on this very blog. One of the questions that came to my mind following that post is related to the comparison between various conferencing modes. Telepresence may be on top of the media agenda at the moment, but I don't think that this will make the need for different types of conferencing modes any less important. On the contrary, the advent of telepresence is breathing life into this entire industry. This is a typical example of a competitive advantage applied to an industry as a whole, as Michael Porter would have it.

Having established this fact, what is the difference between the various conferencing modes and what makes them complementary rather than mutually exclusive? I have attempted to represent a number conferencing alternatives in the following slideshow in order to highlight how complimentary all these solutions could be.

I'm not certain that my "segmentuition" (or intuitive segmentation) is good. It can certainly be corrected and improved (comments welcome). I may be a bit restrictive on telepresence for instance but there is also a strong limitation which needs to be stressed. All these systems cannot be used at all times and in any place. Some can, some can't. And most of all telepresence requires a dedicated room (a minimum of two in fact) and a thorough online reservation system to be set up. A standard SharePoint space can do the trick actually. Microsoft SharePoint allows for workspaces to be created around a calendar, therefore allowing one to create a repository of documentations, manuals, guidelines and letting users book their rooms. The rapid deployment of telepresence at the moment, will not rule out Web conferencing and audio and even a combination of those.

However incomplete and partial my positioning slideshow may be, I think it can be helpful in getting one's brains around a differentiated and balanced conferencing strategy. This is certainly an important factor in achieving a satisfactory return on investment too.

Yann Gourvennec

I specialize in information systems, HighTech marketing and Web marketing. I am author and contributor to numerous books and the CEO of Visionary Marketing. As such, I contribute regularly on this blog for Orange Business Services account on cloud computing and cloud storage topics.