On-line Matchmaking Services: Will Webex Online Meetings enter this market?

Webex Communications, Inc., offers Webex online meetings to global enterprises, mid-sized companies, and small businesses. These private, secure, interactive web conferences enable remote participants to make presentations, review contracts, and annotate and revise documents without leaving their desks. Although Webex online meetings are designed for and marketed to businesses, industry leaders predict that more web conferencing products will be designed specifically for consumer markets such as on-line matchmaking services. Will Webex Communications, Inc., enter this particular market?

Webex Communications, Inc., offers Webex online meetings. These meetings provide audio and video conferencing that allow groups of people to meet without gathering in a central location. Webex video conferencing is similar to traditional video conferencing; however, it does not require companies to purchase equipment such as a codec, camera, and compression software. Since it only requires a computer, web browser, and telephone, participants can join meetings from any place.

Webex online meetings include a number of features that help businesses improve communication among remote team members; complete projects more efficiently; strengthen communication with customers and clients; speed up decision making; and improve work flow and project procedures.  One of its most useful features is screen sharing - the ability for meeting participants to see exactly what is on the presenter's screen.  This makes it possible for participants to complete projects and accomplish goals without meeting face-to-face.  Webex video conferencing also allows meeting participants to make presentations, annotate documents, review contracts, revise documents, share up to four web cams, and record meetings.

In January 2004, PC Magazine (pcmag.com) tested four of the top web conferencing services - Genesys Meeting Center, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Raindance Web Conferencing Pro Seminar, and Webex Meeting Center (Webex online meetings). PC Magazine concluded that Webex Communications, Inc.'s online meeting service "stands above the pack."  It went on to say that: "Its videoconferencing and extensive array of tools for meeting management and collaboration sweeten the package."

Although Webex online meetings are designed for the business market, industry leaders predict that more web conferencing products will be designed specifically for consumer markets such as on-line matchmaking services. This would certainly be an exciting feature for those who are interested in and enjoy the on-line matching making experience.  In the past, the on-line dating scene consisted of posting a photo (that may or may not be a current or accurate image of the person) and profile (that probably contains only the most basic information), and then communicating with matches via e-mail (at least initially).  However, web conferencing technology can be used to connect people in real-time, while maintaining their personal safety. It is a compromise between communicating via e-mail, which is relatively impersonal, and meeting face-to-face before individuals are ready to do so.

Because web conferencing is easy to use, becoming less expensive, and only requires a desktop, web browser, and telephone, it will most certainly gain wider use in the on-line matchmaking industry. It remains to be seen if web conferencing providers - like Webex online meetings - will enter the on-line matchmaking market.

In the meantime, Webex online meetings continue to help businesses both large and small take their remote meetings and trainings to the next level while saving money and improving productivity - thus increasing profit margins.

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