Audio Conferencing is a good option when visual interaction is not necessary. A large number of software online and most phones and service providers offer this service. It can be called a more user friendly technology. When the head of the international business wants to make an important announcement to all the employees from across the globe, they can have an audio conference, where all the teams gather at a common place, and hear the announcement at the same time. It is useful when you do not have to make any presentation, and when the discussion is a little informal. They usually have audio conference with colleagues to discuss new briefs and device global strategies. It is of utility worth people you already know well and helps get work done a lot faster.
Having an audio conference can help keep multiple individuals in the know-how thus saving time and energy and is cost effective as well. It is also advantageous when the opposite party does not have access to a webcam, or the video conferencing device or is in a remote location. However, overlapping of conversation, or reduced clarity due to noise in the background can be its drawbacks, as compared to a video conference. Here the conference is always in control. No visibility of key elements like body language and non-verbal gestures adds to this list.
Chat Conferencing is the most commonly used communication tool with instant messenger like MSN, Yahoo, and Gtalk to name a few. However, within an organization communication for official work via these may be either restricted, due to security reasons or can be distracting since an individual usually has friends and family on the same list, who may keep pinging them to droop in a line Thus, most organizations today have installed their own chat messengers where connectivity is provided to employees of that organization only.
IBM Lotus Same time connects an individual in the company, to his colleague in any part of the world. Apart from instant chat it also provides a forum for discussions, allows you to share key documents and your screen if you want someone to see how you are doing a particular thing and for that matter share a presentation making sure you are on the same page as the other individual. Chat is quite integral part of an employee’s work as they can use it even to talk to people sitting right next to them. If there is a frequent need to collect information from different applications and send it over to other people chat enables one to do it quite efficiently.
It is a great way to ask or answer that quick question rater than dialing in a number.
At Oracle, they use Oracle Web conferencing which provide online conference. Apart from sharing documents and chatting you can co-browse the internet/intranet and write on a white board as well. It reduces the back-and-forth of mails. Such software can prove to be valuable for one’s client as well. For many clients from Japan and China are not well versed with English they can access their desktops by their approval and sort the problem out instantly. Exploring its advantages over audio or video conferencing you can also do other things while you are chatting and don’t have to be dedicated to the ongoing conversation. Chatting with multiple people from different teams/projects at the same time is quite manageable while it is impossible with audio or video conferencing.
Though some may feel this technology can get the better of you since you would always be hounded with beeps of mails or messages from work. NT from, a leading multinational software company feels otherwise. His phones provide him with all the required information when he is out on a holiday or with family. It gives NT immense satisfaction that with the help of his phone he is in the loop of what his team is doing back in office and at the right and required time. He switches off to draw the line between professional and personal life. It is good for a person who can do this successfully.
Thus with advanced technology work in an organization has become a lot easier, faster and profitable and if experts are to be believed this technical era is here to stay and will only get bigger and better.