Web Conferencing vs. Video Conferencing

January 8, 2014, by Danielle Downs in Collaboration

Video conferencing and web conferencing are two commonly confused technologies. Traditionally, these two applications were very different. At a very basic level, web conferencing focused on content sharing while video conferencing focused on providing face-to-face interaction.

Web conferencing is and was often used for lectures, presentations and webinars for larger groups of people. They were also designed for individuals to easily join from their desktop. Depending on the solution, web conferencing had either two-way audio capabilities or only one-way audio for the presenter.

On the other hand, video conferencing was most frequently used for meetings between two different locations. The video conference consisted of two-way video and audio transmission. Likewise, the equipment was designed for conference rooms and meant for groups at two locations as opposed to individual usage from their desktop.

However, lines are now blurring when deciphering the difference between these two conferencing tools. This is due to web conferencing applications adding two-way video capabilities and video conferencing solutions including the ability to share content and present. Furthering the confusion, both web and video capabilities are being built in to other collaboration software solutions. These changes and additions to the technologies have transformed two separate tools in to very similar offerings. One might say that it is now a matter of what features you need in your collaboration tool as opposed to the old question of “web conferencing or video conferencing?”

When trying to sort out what technology and tools makes the most sense for your organization, the best place to start is answering a few important questions;

  1. What types of meetings will be conducted?
  2. How many people/locations will be participating in these meetings?
  3. Will people be joining these meetings from a conference room, desktop, mobile, or all three?
  4.  Are people or content the focus of the meetings?
  5. What do you want your collaboration solution to accomplish? What are your end goals?

These are just a few of the important questions that must be answered when determining what collaboration technology makes the most sense for your organization. Once these are answered, it is important to put together a full collaboration plan in order to get the most from your technology deployment. This includes everything from technology selection to usage and adoption plans once the tools are implemented.

Still confused on what conferencing technology makes the most sense for your organization? Contact us for a consultation and let us help you in determining where your business needs lie and what technology fits those best.

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