In Or Out: Web Conferencing Is Available Hosted Or In-house - InformationWeek
Software // Enterprise Applications
02:07 PM
Tony Kontzer
Tony Kontzer
Data Tells: Dissecting Every Day Data
May 31, 2017
Join us as the author of the book "Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Con ...Read More>>

In Or Out: Web Conferencing Is Available Hosted Or In-house

The first important decision a company must make regarding Web conferencing is whether to go with a service provider or deploy software and servers on-site. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Consider two examples:

  • For the law firm of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP, the decision was relatively simple. The firm used to depend on Microsoft's NetMeeting, the one-to-one conferencing application that ships with Microsoft XP. It wasn't long before the firm needed a more robust system. NetMeeting is managed from the desktop--when two people want to have a NetMeeting, they simply arrange it between themselves. On the other hand, a conferencing server that can accommodate multiple participants requires maintenance and administration, putting an added burden on the IT department. With a subscription service, control is in the hands of the users.
  • "We already have lots of applications to manage," says Patricia Gardner, practice support manager in the firm's Silicon Valley office. "Our network is a pretty complex creature. The less we have to add and complicate matters, the better."

    The firm signed up for WebEx Communications Inc.'s subscription service, and it has no intention of looking elsewhere. "If it's not broke, don't fix it," Gardner says.

  • On the other hand, Doug Kandel, VP of IT for Datatec Systems Inc., a provider of technology deployment services, knew that implementing an on-site Web-conferencing system was a matter of simple arithmetic. The company bought a complete 24-port Web-conferencing device from Sonexis Inc. for $16,000, mounted it on a server rack, and had a live conferencing deployment in about an hour. The financial payoff was evident so quickly, and employee adoption came so fast, that the company soon purchased another 24-port device, doubling its investment to $32,000. A 3-cents-per-minute toll-free dial-in number that's routed through the Sonexis server provides voice conferencing to augment the device.
  • Compare that to the $3,000 a month the company had been paying for WebEx's service, plus $8,000 a month or more in teleconferencing charges, and Datatec earned a return on its Sonexis investment in just two months.

    Best of all, Kandel says, "it's brought a new sense of unity to the company." Having the system in-house lets people conference at will, without considering whether they need budget approval or have reached their department's conferencing allowance. Taking those concerns away practically makes collaboration a sure thing.

    Return to: Web Conferencing Embraced

    Illustration by Rich Lillash

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
    How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
    To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
    Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
    White Papers
    Current Issue
    2017 State of Data and Analytics
    Today's companies are differentiating themselves using data analytics, but the journey requires adjustments to people, processes, technology, and culture. 
    Twitter Feed
    InformationWeek Radio
    Archived InformationWeek Radio
    Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
    Sponsored Live Streaming Video
    Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
    Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
    Flash Poll