Videoconferencing is a great way to communicate, but has always been limited
to parties with videoconferencing equipment. That’s not true anymore. This month,
MCI WorldCom Conferencing launches Conference Webcast, new streaming technology
that enables professionals to broadcast videoconferences over the Internet…and
that want to extend the reach of their meetings over the Internet now have Conference
Webcast, a new service that combines live and replay video streaming with multimedia
content and interactive capabilities. Based on a history of proven technology
and unparalleled technical support, Conference Webcast is the next step in the
company’s efforts to provide businesses with a complete Cyber Meeting Place
– a one-stop shop for busy professionals to conduct Web-based seminars, meetings
and employee training.
Conference Webcast provides a one-to-many communications vehicle by broadcasting
video content to a large, geographically dispersed audience over the Internet.
Audience members do not need videoconferencing equipment to participate. Anyone
with an Internet-connected computer and a properly configured Web browser can
view a Conference Webcast.
"Businesses need technology that works for them and actually makes a difference,"
said Phillip D. Knell, president and general manager, MCI WorldCom Conferencing.
"Conference Webcast is a cost-effective way for businesses to extend the
reach of their meetings over the Internet by streaming their messages to hundreds
The Benifits of Video Streaming
By limiting the amount of bandwidth required, streaming media allows professionals
to view video on the Web without having to wait for it to download completely
onto a computer. In addition to delivering live and replay video streaming,
Conference Webcast enables businesses to view presentation slides and conduct
Web tours. Interactive capabilities, such as question-and-answer sessions and
audience polling, create a rich and engaging experience for participants.
Because not all events are alike, professionals can choose between three levels
of service for their Conference Webcast, each with a replay component:
||Video streaming only
||Basic service – video streaming plus presentation
||Full Feature – the Basic offering plus the ability to conduct
Web tours, interactive question-and-answer sessions and polling.
MCI WorldCom Conferencing also provides value-added event management. A trained
meeting specialist can help hosts to plan, execute and evaluate their Conference
Webcasts. Hosts also receive consultation about capacity and bandwidth, and
online presentation tips. For added comfort, hosts can choose between two levels
of security: Basic security provides participants with a general username and
password, and Individual Authentication provides each participant with an individual
username and password combination.
A Tool for All Your Business Applications
Conference Webcast enables businesses to improve internal and external corporate
communications. For example, it can be used for marketing purposes, such as
CyberSeminars, focus groups and market research; employee training and education;
public relations and investor relations, including virtual press conferences,
town hall meetings and earnings reports; and E-commerce applications and Web
"Marketing executives can launch new Web functionality and gain feedback
from hundreds of their top external customers by hosting a live Conference Webcast
that includes a Web tour and polling," said Knell. "In addition, a
replay of the Webcast and tour can be posted on the customer’s Web site – exposing
the message to thousands of people after the fact."
No additional encoding or decoding equipment or software is required to
attend a Conference Webcast. Participants only need a computer, a standard Web
browser and a LAN or dial-up Internet connection. They also need a streaming
media player, such as Windows Media Play 6.4 or Real Player 6.1 and above. Conference
Webcast uses Internet conference casting technologies from Akamai Technologies,
Inc., a provider of global, high-performance services for the delivery of Internet
content and streaming media.