Web Conferencing: Xerox Makes Use Of Data

Among real-time collaboration tools, Web conferencing has emerged as the most popular and practical for businesses.
Among real-time collaboration tools, Web conferencing has emerged as the most popular and practical for businesses. Still, since Web conferencing often isn't networked with other IT systems, many companies aren't capitalizing on the rich assortment of data that gets produced during Web conferences.

Xerox Corp. has made a concerted effort to capitalize on such data, whether it pertains to customer meetings and online seminars or internal training sessions. Using collaboration-management software from ViewCentral Inc., the $15.8 billion-a-year maker of printers and copiers is able to manage its customer relationships more effectively and analyze employee progress in greater detail. The software also generates invitations to Web events and automates E-mail correspondence with attendees based on registration activity.

On the customer side, ViewCentral lets Xerox track which customers attend Web events such as product training sessions, which ones register but don't attend events, and which ones don't register at all. By integrating ViewCentral with its customer database, it's able to update customer profiles with that information and incorporate the content from questions and poll responses customers offer during events.

Having that information gives Xerox a basis for future interaction with customers and helps with finding audiences for future Web events, says Gary Foley, manager of global conferencing and media services. Tracking attendance for a Web conference related to a product can produce leads for salespeople. "If a person attends a Xerox event, it's presumed there's interest," Foley says. "Hopefully, it leads to potential revenue opportunities."

Internally, Xerox has linked ViewCentral to its learning-management system for job training, meaning that the scores employees post during E-learning tests automatically update their training histories, letting the company cater future E-learning offerings to their progress.

In the coming months, Xerox plans to integrate instant messaging and presence awareness into its Web conferences so presenters and attendees can detect one another and communicate in real time.

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