Posts in Category "Web Conferencing"

Adobe is leader in web conferencing

November has proven to be an important month for Adobe’s web conferencing solution Adobe Connect. Earlier this month we were very pleased to announce the availability of Adobe Connect 8 – incorporating improved usability, enhanced collaboration functionalities and a host of other benefits – and now we are delighted with the news that Adobe Connect has been recognised as a “leader” in a new Gartner report.

Gartner has positioned Adobe in the Leaders Quadrant of its 2010 research report “Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing”. Adobe was one of 15 vendors evaluated in the report.

In a statement accompanying the report Gartner said that the web conferencing market is set to grow 20% in 2011. Interestingly, the tough economic climate could actually drive adoption in web conferencing as organisations look for ways to drive down operating costs.

The cost saving benefits of web conferencing have been very publically touted by the IT industry and providers of web conferencing solutions for many years. But doubts about the technology have acted as a barrier for some individuals and organisations, preventing them from embracing the technology.

In Adobe Connect 8 we have a solution which is both technologically advanced and has usability at its core. It is certainly our hope that this, coupled with continuing validation from third parties such as Gartner will help increase the take-up of web conferencing in 2011.

Adobe Connect 8: The New Era of Web Conferencing

Monday saw the launch of Adobe Connect 8, the latest version of Adobe’s web conferencing solution. Based on Adobe Flash Player, Connect is a great multi-purpose web conferencing solution ideal for Web meetings, online training and webinars.

Cost saving and the need to drive efficiency is at the top of the agenda for everyone at the moment, whether it’s government, education or private sector organisations. web conferencing has long been seen as a cost effective and efficient way of sharing information, collaborating and virtually coming together – so now couldn’t be more appropriate time to launch the new version of Connect and help organisations to achieve the full benefits of web conferencing.

The new additions in Adobe Connect 8 mean that we now have a solution which is easier to use, enables better collaboration, provides richer audio and video experiences, offers improved access and has finally increased security and support. All in all we feel this goes a long way to making Connect the best enterprise web conferencing solution on the market today. For full details on what we’ve added to Connect visit the Connect pages on the Adobe website.

For more details on what’s new in Connect 8 check out the short video below:

Web conferencing and reducing public sector spending

On Wednesday I joined, as a panelist, a live debate on whether web and video conferencing could help the public sector save money.

Public sector cuts are, as we all know, high on the political agenda, and only last month the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, published online details of all his department’s spending over £500. Over £1.5m was spent on travel and hotel accommodation including £635,000 on taxis and cars. For me, web and video conferencing can make a real dent in these costs.

Appropriately, the debate was broadcast live on the web using Adobe Connect, Adobe’s web conferencing technology. We ran a number of live audience polls during the event which showed broad belief that web conferencing could help the public sector cut travel costs (92% said yes), training costs (100%) and carbon emissions (100%). Perhaps more tellingly, less than 10% cited cost as the main obstacle to wider adoption but 75% cited cultural issues.

Best practice advice from the panelists for obtaining end-user buy in for adopting web conferencing was as follows:

Joel Smith, Head of IS at The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), the key was making the adoption of video conferencing over the web an evolution not a revolution:

  • FERA started with an audio conference and presenter controlled slides
  • Then moved users on to an audio conference and shared workspace where they could work on the same document together
  • Before moving to full video conferencing

Andy Jones, Senior Learning Consultant at Thomson Reuters it has been a focus on ensuring a great first time experience of web and video conferencing for new users, whether it’s eLearning or a virtual team meeting, by:

  • Training presenters, team leaders and trainers on how best to use web / video conferencing
  • Keeping sessions short initially
  • Providing an interactive experience for learning that includes live questions and virtual break out rooms
  • Making sure whoever is leading a session takes time to plan it properly

From my perspective I’d add two further points:

  • The importance of finding an internal champion to evangelise and encourage use of web and video conferencing
  • The need to continually measure the benefits of web and video conferencing to the organisation. Highlighting the travel costs saved, the carbon emissions avoided and, most importantly, the levels of engagement and satisfaction among employees. There’s a great plug-in for Adobe Connect called Footprints that can help.

We covered a lot of really interesting areas during the debate, from costs and return on investment examples to deployment options, I’ll post more details in due course along with a link to replay of the debate, but in the meantime I’m interested to hear what you think.

Will Cawthorne, Connect Evangelist, Adobe UK