How can small businesses benefit from desktop sharing software?

Effec­tive 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.

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