SmartBiz

HearMe Offers Small Biz Web Conferencing Like the Big Guys

November 28, 2007
By Jennifer Bosavage

The life of a small business executive is jam-packed with meetings, many of the face-to-face variety, which enable the entrepreneur to make valuable connections with clients and vendors. Such meetings eat up time and money, precious resources to any company diligently watching the bottom line. Today, though there is an alternative to wasting valuable time traveling and to leaving behind a carbon footprint as large as Sasquatch's: Web conferencing meeting services, which especially include value-oriented providers such as HearMe (www.hearme.com).

With today's new online Web conferencing offerings for small business, business meetings with clients and contacts can be conducted affordably, on the spot. In addition, educators can use services such as HearMe to teach students, while human resources departments can use Web conferencing to streamline employee training. And they can do it without spending a fortune or sacrificing quality.

One clear benefit to Web conferencing is improved productivity; all the downtime associated with traveling to meetings melts away. That's particularly important to small businesses, as often one person wears many hats. Time away from the office is money lost not only because of the costs associated with traveling, but also because it takes employees away from servicing existing clients and finding new ones.

HearMe offers a free, 14-day trial to business people interested in testing out the advantages of Web conferencing. This on-demand tool is browser based, and, unlike competitors, includes audio and video conferencing in its flat-fee. HearMe also offers application/desktop sharing, file transfer, moderator functions, and online chat (both individual and group). Those in a HearMe-hosted meeting can view other room participants using webcams, as well as share documents and desktop applications with an unlimited number of participants. HearMe eliminates the necessity for a conference phone bridge line, because it offers built-in VoIP capabilities and full duplex audio, decreasing costs for businesses of any size.

Supported platforms:
256MB of RAM and any processor that supports the SSE2 instruction set. These include Intel Pentium 4 and later processors, and with AMD Athlon 64 and Opteron and later processors. Browser must support ActiveX controls.

Fees:
Monthly: $29, unlimited meetings for up to 5 attendees; $49, includes unlimited meetings for 10 attendees; charges grow incrementally to $449/month for 150 attendees. Ask for details about larger rooms and custom solutions. Annual plan savings of 20 percent are available.

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