Online collaboration to drive efficiency

Technology remains one of the key enablers for businesses to improve efficiency and as the countdown clock for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup ticks organisations are increasingly looking for ways to simplify operations during this sporting spectacle. One example where technology can dramatically reduce travel time and costs for companies is the WebEx application introduced by Cisco.

With the launch of WebEx last year, Internet Solutions (IS) took online collaboration in South Africa to the next level. “With over 250,000 daily WebEx users globally and over 50 million individual users, WebEx is already the global standard in web conferencing, and it is now available to the South African market through Internet Solutions,” says Hayden Lamberti General Manager of Applications, Internet Solutions.

The WebEx application is a unified conferencing and content sharing collaboration tool that allows a single user to communicate with anyone who has an internet connection with participants able to utilise the service and connect to the host without the need for a license.

“WebEx provides an interactive communications platform that is transforming the way companies work. It allows business professionals to communicate more effectively and economically through interactive online real-time meetings,” he says.

“Businesses across the globe are using WebEx today to increase productivity, improve communications, reduce travel, training, support cost, shorten product development time and improve efficiency throughout their business,” Lamberti explains.

Over and above this, Lamberti says, the low cost of implementation and immediate business benefits can result in instant cost savings and significant return on investment, making it the standard for real-time business meetings on the web.

“Previously, collaboration has been something done manually within manager’s own function or across functions within the company. With the change in time, collaboration is becoming more important and a dynamic component of an organisation,” says Lamberti.

Though collaboration or communication across companies was done via e-mail or a telephone call, video calling and social networking has become a part of it in today’s business.

Lamberti says collaboration goes beyond technology, “It’s the adoption and use of technologies that make them valuable to people. If you don’t have a culture to drive what the people need to use these tools, you don’t get the adoption.”

To use WebEx, you need an internet connection and browser and it combines real-time desktop sharing with phone conferencing, allowing everyone to view the same content during the conference call. “This makes it far more productive than emailing files and then struggling to get everyone on the same page,” Lamberti explains. “Draft and original documents can also be shared, either to make changes on-the-go or accept receipt of and sign for original documents.”

Other than enabling online meetings, the application of this technology would extend into online education and training, professionals, as well as enabling call centres to deliver remote support.

WebEx is a global private network designed specifically to deliver collaborative applications with the best possible availability and quality of user experience.

“With all these functionalities, WebEx could be a key business tool for businesses today, as it not only enables them to conduct more productive and cost effective collaborative business online, but it also ensures they remain in control of how documentation and information is shared,” he concludes.

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Online collaboration to drive efficiency