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Electronic Meeting Systems

By Author: peter
Total Articles: 191

Why do people have to spend travel time and money to attend meetings away from their normal work locations? They don't have to if they use several types of electronic meeting systems (EMS), a growing method of electronic office telecommunications. Electronic meeting systems involve the use of video and audio communications to allow conferences and meetings to be held with participants who may be scattered across a room, a building, a country, or the globe. Reducing the need to travel to and from meetings should save employee time, increase productivity, and reduce travel expenses and energy Audemar Piguet Replica consumption. Electronic meeting systems are also being promoted as a form of group decision support systems (GDSS). Since EMS software can encourage, organize, and prioritize ideas from meeting participants, they promote more efficient and effective decision making by groups of people.

There are several variations of electronic meeting systems. In some versions, participants at remote sites key in their presentations and responses whenever convenient from their online terminals or workstations connected to a central conference computer. Since not all participants have to do this at the same time, this form of EMS is called computer conferencing and is like a form of interactive electronic mail. Group decision support systems for small groups may use a network of workstations and large-screen projection in a decision room. Both of these forms of electronic meeting systems provide computer and video facilities for their participants. Direct desktop video conferencing between the workstations of end users is another promising development. The convenience of desktop videoconferencing promises to significantly enhance collaboration among the members of workgroups.

Teleconferencing. Teleconferencing is an important form of EMS. Sessions are held in real-time, with major participants being televised while participants at remote sites usually take part with voice input of questions and responses. Teleconferencing can also consist of using closed circuit television to multiple small groups, instead of television broadcasting to reach large groups at multiple sites.

Several major communications carriers and hotel chains now offer teleconferencing services for such events as sales meetings, new product announcements, and employee education and training. However, organizations have found that teleconferencing and some forms of EMS are not as effective as face-to-face meetings, especially when important participants are not trained in how to communicate using these systems. Also, the cost of providing some electronic meeting services and facilities can be substantial and make EMS not as cost-effective as traditional meetings.

Telecommuting. Telecommuting is the use of telecommunications by workers to replace commuting to work from their homes. It is also used to describe the use of telecommunications to carry on work activities from temporary locations other than offices and homes. Some people refer to telecommuting as the creation of virtual offices. Workers use a computer terminal or microcomputer with telecommunications capability Cartier Replica to access their company's computer network and databases. Telecommuting workers and their colleagues also use electronic mail or voice mail to communicate with each other about job assignments.

Telecommuting is becoming a significant work alternative at major corporations and a common approach for many independent professionals. It seems to be most attractive to people whose jobs involve a lot of individual work, such as programmers, systems analysts, writers, consultants, and so on. It is especially helpful for handicapped persons and working parents of young children. Telecommuting is also being promoted as a way to conserve resources that would have been used to commute to work by cars and other means of transportation. However, studies have shown that telecommuting is not appropriate for many jobs and people. Productivity and job satisfaction seem to suffer unless workers spend several days each week at the office or other work sites with their colleagues. So telecommuting is considered only a temporary or partial work alternative for many knowledge workers.

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