small business desktop sharingEffective communication is the key to successful business. Although face-to-face communication can appear fast and straightforward, in many cases, it is simply impossible due to distance. Thus, people travel for their business meetings. According to the statistics published by the UK Department for Transport, commuting and business trips constitute 19% of all trips made in 2008; and of all miles driven by car, almost 40% were composed of commuter and business travel. While business travel facilitates communication, it carries with it the substantial expense of both time and money.

Luckily, advances in technology have brought new possibilities. And desktop sharing software is one of these. Desktop sharing software is an application through which one can share computer screen content live over the Web with others. It might sound trivial, yet it is a powerful tool, applicable in various business occasions such as online meetings, web conferencing, web presentations, online training and remote support.

1. Online Meetings:

Desktop sharing allows for real time cross-office collaboration among many colleagues. By sharing the same screen content, such as an image, a graph, or a chart, meeting participants can see exactly what others are referring to very quickly. Session time is shortened because the desktop sharing app saves you the time that you would have spent describing what you see to meeting participants. Moreover, the “switch presenter” function of the desktop sharing tool allows an appointed participant to share his/her screen. This transforms a one-way communication into an interactive one and thus makes the meeting more productive.

2. Web Conferencing:

Desktop sharing tools are frequently used to conduct web conferences as well. The presenter can use the desktop sharing tool to send out an invitation and inform attendees of the necessary info to join the web conference. There is no need to distribute files in advance because participants can view any files shown on the presenter’s screen in real-time or ask the presenter to transfer the files via the desktop sharing application’s file transfer feature.

3. Web Presentation:

Web presentations enabled via desktop sharing are a perfect way for companies to interact with customers and clients. With desktop sharing tools, not only can salespeople demonstrate their products but they can also invite customers to experience the product, such as software programs, by handing over remote control of the computer’s mouse/keyboard.

4. Online Training:

By using desktop sharing tools in employee training, companies can save considerable money because they no longer need to set up projector equipment or pay for the travelling cost of external lecturers. Instead, a lecturer’s teaching material can easily be shared from their computer screens via a desktop sharing app for all their participants to view. Lecturers can also utilize such desktop sharing features as “participant pointer” or “whiteboard” to engage trainees and thus create an interactive learning environment.

5. Remote Support:

Some desktop sharing tools include remote keyboard/mouse control function, which is particularly popular among IT companies. Now, with just a few mouse clicks to start the desktop sharing app, support personnel can request to view a clients’ computer screen as well as control the client’s keyboard and mouse and therefore offer timely technical support. One can also record the whole technical support session for documentation and any future cases.

Understanding the advantages of desktop sharing applications is one thing; finding the most suitable one to achieve the greatest effect may be another, especially when there are several desktop sharing tools on offer and each has its own features. Here are a few things to consider:

Functions

When choosing desktop sharing tools, start from scratch and list the functions that you truly need. For example, if remote support is part of your services, then you should exclude those without remote keyboard/mouse control.

Computer Knowledge

The point of using a desktop sharing app is to facilitate communication. High level technology only works when users know how to make it work. Thus, choose a tool that is accessible and easy for users, including the average computer novice.

Security

In the business world, the confidentiality of business information is of great importance. Choose a desktop sharing tool that conveys your information in a secure way. 256-Bit AES encryption is widely recognized as a secure form of communication architecture.

Reliability

It is crucial that the desktop sharing solution is reliable. If it freezes during your session, this would disrupt the flow of communication; even worse, you would leave your customers/clients with an unprofessional impression.

Budget

A desktop sharing solution is not an exclusive privilege to big companies with huge budgets. Small businesses with small budgets can also enjoy the convenience brought forth by small business software including desktop sharing tools. Freeware is actually a good starting point as it does not incur any costs and usually includes the core functions you would need in online communication.

In a time of globalization, businesses and services take place anytime and anywhere. Desktop sharing solutions improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cross-office collaboration, online product demonstrations, employee trainings and customer services at little or no cost. With it, small businesses can save a substantial amount of time and money and achieve greater success.