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 I have had several teleconferencing experiences these past weeks. Once you get used to it and have facilities, it is a great way to have a meeting across the globe. The time difference is always an issue and some people end up having the conference either early in the morning or late at night, if we try to cover the globe. But it definitely beats long hours on the plane! (I love flying, but I do NOT live in the airplane nor want to, as some people do these days.)  

  What I found interesting was the use of webcam. I was involved with teleconferencing with webcam in early September when I happened to be in Palo Alto, California, for the first time. I had no idea what webcam was. (I still did not about a week ago and asked our IT people how I can get one!) 

  The first experience with teleconferencing with website and webcam in early September was quite fascinating to me. There were six or so of us trying to decide how we design the brainstorming session.  As we were confused with the time difference between Switzerland and U.S. west coast, I had to start one hour earlier than I had originally thought. (It was a rush!) 

   It was good as we were able to see the faces of other participants, to chat AND also show some data on the screen to share. I thought the sharing of charts and data as we talk was very helpful.I remember, though, that I got nervous as I was able to see others, assuming that they were able to see me as well. (The fact is that I did NOT have webcam, thus they could not see me.) I was nervous as I was not properly dressed, as we were mixed up with time and I had to rush.) 

  Now that I have several experiences of teleconferencing with webcam, I know they cannot see me without webcam on my side. (The one we did the other day showed the still photo of those who did not have webcam then. It was helpful to see others’ faces as some of us had never met in person before.) 

  It appears (probably some people already know) that some Do’s and Don’ts for teleconferencing and virtual meetings would emerge as we have more experiences. I would be interested to see more creative uses. 

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    • Sachin Deodhar
    • December 3rd, 2008

    Dear Sensei,

    Just to add, Video Conferencing is becoming the more popular these days over webcams due to better voice / picture quality and reliability.

    In my company, we used to spend lot on telephone calls till early this year in frequent calls between Tokyo and India. However installation of video conferencing device, has improved communication between our teams at different locations. Since it’s very much cost effective, people do not hesitate to call as many times as they want.

    Another major advantage I thought was improved committement of participants in these calls, since it actually gives you a feel that you all are sitting in the same physical conf. room. It actually gives you ‘ba’ !

    Going forward, we are even thinking to use this facility to train our team members at different geographical locations.

    Regards,
    Sachin

    • yishikura
    • December 4th, 2008

    Dear Sachin, thanks for your comment. Technology is just incredible. I have seen the video conferencing that seems so real (in the sense that you feel they are in the same room, as you say.)

    I think these technologies enable us to do so many things in a totally different way from before. (I am actually very interested in open forum like BA for problem solving, so far I tried some, but have not come up with the successful formula yet.) Will keep trying.

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