Essential Tools for Better Virtual Meetings
By: Anna Garcia
Communications today has certainly been revolutionised by the internet. From social media to video conferencing, the said technology has made advances in communications seem limitless. As a matter of fact, because of the internet, it is now absolutely possible to set up and manage a business without needing a physical address. Indeed, it is so convenient that, according to official data, the e-Commerce society in the Philippines has grown substantially over the years. Due to this, law makers in 2000 passed the Electronic Commerce Act (to acknowledge and manage Filipino trade and commerce on the world wide web.
Now, the number of Filipino businesses on the internet has continued to increase over the years. However, despite all the technology that is available today, the internet is still not as perfect as you might think. Take virtual meetings, for instance. Even though the Philippines is not exactly that behind with regards to computer technology; problems with audio or video conference calls via instant messengers are still quite common. This is especially true for individuals who do business from their homes and not in well-equipped business lounges or meeting facilities such as those offered by Regus Philippines.
However, like most technological dilemmas today, problems encountered in virtual meetings can certainly be minimised, if not totally eliminated. Yes, you can do this by utilising the right equipment and software available in stores today. Curious? Here are some of them that might help you get the job done.
According to Webopedia, hardware refers to parts or devices connected to a computer such as keyboards, mice, disks, monitors and CPUs.
Computer – one of the basic equipment for home-based business people or freelancers, you should make sure that its specifications are enough for your needs. For instance, make sure that it has enough RAM to run all the software you might use for your business. Most instant messaging software take up an average of more than 100mbps in memory. For conference calls, especially with video, it could go up to over 200mbps. And if you factor in your desktop interface and open internet browsers, you would need at least 1GB+ of RAM. To be safe, your computer should have at least 2GB of RAM.
Web Camera – a must if you want to be able to video chat with other people on the net. In the professional world, clients and workers are able to put more trust in people they can see. This is why video chatting is considered a very big breakthrough in the world of telecommunications. Now, most laptops already have built-in cameras. But just in case it gets broken, buy an external camera device that you can just connect through a USB cable.
Microphone – quite essential when making internet calls. Much like the web cam, most laptops have built-in microphones. Sometimes, however, they suddenly stop working. If this happens, you can try restarting the software you’re using or the computer itself. If that doesn’t work, you should have a spare external mic so you don’t miss any important calls, whether it’s from a team mate or a client.
Software refers to programs or data that are electronically stored in storage devices such as hard drives or disks. Basically, they are instructions that causes the computer to execute or perform certain activities.
Messenger – just as its name suggests, this software program enables a computer to connect to and communicate with one or several computers at the same time through the internet. This software is used mainly for communications and can be text only or with audio and video, which depends on the available hardware connected to the computer. This is the main software utilised in most virtual meetings.
Drivers – are programs that manage or control specific devices in a computer. Devices such as a web cam, a mouse, a keyboard, and a microphone have their own specific drivers. Usually, drivers for built-in devices come with your computer’s operating system. However, if you buy new ones or external types, you have to install their accompanying drivers before you can use the device.
Cloud Storage – a semi-public or public space online where you can put electronic data and access it from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a computer and internet connection. Popular examples of this are Dropbox and SkyDrive.
Aside from the things mentioned above, finding a clean, noise-free, and private place would also contribute to the productivity of your virtual meetings. So if you think you might not be able to secure all of these things for your coming virtual conferences, you might be better off renting a well-equipped temporary meeting facility or conference room than just settling for your home office.
This article was written by Anna Garcia who writes for Regus, an international provider of business solutions such as bespoke serviced offices, business lounges, meeting facilities and video communications services to businesses of any size and shape.