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Holding Meetings Online

Boot Camp feature for Friday, January 3, 2003

Holding meetings online. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Every company likes to save time and money... and that desire has helped a company called PlaceWare expand its business over the last year. It is a Web conferencing service provider. Don't confuse it, says CEO George Garrick with video conferencing solutions...

"That's a popular misconception. It's really not video conferencing at all. Video conferencing is almost non-existent within the context of a Web conference. The Web conference is primarily for the purpose of sharing data, information PowerPoints, Excel or Word files and on our top twenty list of most used and requested features, video is not even one of them."

PlaceWare typically hosts the online meetings... allowing companies to reach employees or clients around the country or around the world without the time and expense of travel. And Garrick says it isn't just for big corporations...

"Our average meeting size is really only five to ten people. And the clients range from small companies and individuals to large corporations. So it's also a misconception that Web conferencing is just for large managed events. We have literally thousands of companies who are using it for just small, everyday meetings involving only two, three or four people."

The technology was developed and spun off by Xerox Parc. There is plenty of competition. A company called RainDance for instance is working with Verizon to add graphics capabilities to voice conferencing services and a company called First Virtual Communications has a program it calls Click2Meet. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.