August 2014 - Virtual vs. Physical

I feel like there is nothing that exists in the physical world that does not have a parallel in the virtual world. A virtual world, virtual tour, virtual store, newspaper, server, currency and even friends. Suddenly, it seems that all the virtual parallels are even more real in our world.
Yes, with some things, there is nothing like the “real thing,” taking a real tour, entering a real physical store and meeting a real friend, but for some of them, the virtual version has many advantages over the original, physical, version.
In the conferencing world in which we live, the virtual world is the whole point.  It all started over fifteen years ago when we started providing audio conferencing service. It started with virtual conference rooms that you can use to host a conference call, through dialing a phone number and passcode, with up to hundreds of participants.  It continues to our V-Connect service, a cloud-based video conferencing service that you can use to host video conferences in a virtual conference room, anywhere and from any device.
There is no need to go on, just click here and you will enter a virtual room. Just make sure that you act appropriately…
The same virtual conference room can replace or be used in addition to physical conference rooms that already exist in companies and offices. We can learn about the difference between the two from the following situation:
A project is going through a crisis point. As part of the project, which has been going on for two months already, you need to organize an urgent meeting of about 15 people, some from an external company as well as three participants from the overseas consulting office that was hired for the project.  The agenda and the presentation will be ready tomorrow morning and you have to do is get the participants to sit together and discuss how to move forward.
This is what it looks like in the physical world:
  • You set the date for the meeting in three days. People still have to get in from overseas.
  • The large conference room is already booked for the coming week or training, but you use your charm and all your powers of persuasion and manage to move the training to the cafeteria for that day.
  •  You send an Outlook invitation for the time and day of the meeting.  It turns out that one VP is on vacation and the project manager is leaving that night to do army reserve service. You have no choice, keep it going.
  • You check out the conference room and two of the chairs are broken, and the room needs a serious cleaning after two days of trainings. You call the maintenance department and they promise that by tomorrow it will be clean and they will get two more chairs (not matching of course).
  •  The meeting time approaches, you make sure that the taxi is waiting to get the consultants at the airport, and they come in time for the meeting.  They come in bleary eyed after a twelve hour flight and one layover.
  • Three participants who were not invited but insist that they have something to contribute, also come into the room. You quickly grab two chairs from the room next door, and the third one will have to stand.  There isn’t even room for a pin.
  • During the meeting, the light from the projector flickers, but still manages to project enough light.
  •  The agenda that that the meeting manager causes a lot of disagreement between the participants and the meeting manager can barely keep order.
  •  The meeting ends with the CEO asking, “Who will write up a summary of the meeting?” Silence…
And this is how it looks in a virtual meeting room:
  • You set a time for the meeting for tomorrow afternoon. The meeting is urgent and the for the consultants in Boston it will be 10:00 in the morning.
  • You reserve the small meeting room for the eight people within your company.
  • You send out an Outlook invitation with a link and passcode for the virtual meeting room for tomorrow. The VP on vacation and the project manager will join the meeting from their laptop and iPad, respectively.
  • You do a quick test of the virtual room, everything is ready.
  • As the meeting time approaches, the consultants from abroad enter the virtual conference room about ten minutes before the meeting starts.
  • Three participants who were not invited but insist they have something to contribute also enter the room. You send them to their own offices and give them the streaming link so they can see the live webcast of the meeting.
  • You click on the recording button in the virtual conference room and then share the presentation with all the participants.
  • The agenda presented by the meeting manager causes a lot of debate among the participants, so the manager mutes everyone else’s microphone and lets each participant speak one at a time.
  • The meeting ends and you let everyone know that the recording and summary will be e-mailed out tomorrow morning.
True, at the end of the day, physical conference rooms have been around forever and will still be around for a long time. Virtual conference rooms imitate the functionality in a regular conference room, but also add significant advantages that don’t exist in the real world.
Our virtual conference room is always available and ready to host you.
See you in the next post!