The dawn of the Information Age has changed life quickly and dramatically. With the click of a mouse, an e-mail is zapped to almost any corner of the globe. Mobile phones can receive a veritable encyclopedia of information, from sports scores, movie reviews, and reminders from our wives to pay off the bills. Technology has made even more astounding strides in the field of business. Computers are everywhere, from the largest corporations to the smallest shops. Tools such as web and audio conferencing has not only made next-door neighbors of North America and Asia, for example, it can bring these two continents face-to-face, through a tiny monitor.

Audio Conferencing

Audio conference allows three or more people from different geographic locations to communicate through sound. There are three ways to conference this way: through phone companies, by telephones with multiple lines, or through a private branch exchange, otherwise known as a PBX. A PBX is a method of communicating by telephone, using a switchboard.

Web Conferencing

Web conferencing, on the other hand, is a way to have live presentations or group conferences on the World Wide Web. This mode of communication often includes communication by voices and text chat. Regardless of the size of the group conferencing, there is always one key feature: everyone participates in the web conferencing can see anything on the screen of the person talking. They can see each other as well. How is this possible? Well, each person at the conference is seated before a computer. The Internet relays their images across continents. This is not the only thing web conferencing can accomplish, however. Web conferencing also hooks you up with features, such as sharing of files and co-web-browsing.

Getting Started

You cannot do web and audio conferencing without the right equipment. For web conferencing, you have to get the basic hardware and software. The good news is that top-of-the-line conferencing software can run on any operating system, including Windows, Linux, and Mac. Another good news is that the hardware requirements for web and audio conferencing is easy to comply with. For example, if you want to use WebEx web conferencing software, all you need is at least a 4000 megahertz CPU and 128 megabytes of Random Access Memory, or RAM. You may even use a 56K modem, although a broadband connection is advisable for videos.

If you are thinking of getting a webcam for web and audio conferencing, do not forget to consider a few factors:

1. Some people are camera-shy.

2. Some office lighting is not ideal for video.

3. Some people could focus on the presenters rather than the presentation.


The next step is to select a web and audio conferencing service. If you have an automated web and audio conferencing service, you can pick a private 1-800 number that requires no scheduling and can be used at any time of the day. However, your business might need to schedule callers for a specific time. Should this be the case, businesses can use another service. You can give callers a pin to access your line. When the conference is finished, the call is automatically ended. Keep in mind that when you have many callers in many places, the 1-800 number is your best bet.

Operators and Your Operation

In other business scenarios, you will need to guide your callers more. The answer is a web and audio conferencing service that includes an operator. The operator can help the caller, from the call start to finish. Operators are very useful because they can provide assistance with sub-conferencing demands, for example, or polling, and Q and As.

Communication will always remain at the forefront of business. Through communication, providers and users can exchange not only business but ideas as well. Web and audio conferencing is one of the most effective modern tools for business promotion. Not only does it give clients easy access to your doorstep, it gives your company a voice and a face.