How To See Your Virtual Assistant Over The Internet

As online conferencing solutions become more popular and widely accepted perhaps we should be feeling a little sorry for the major airlines, who previously relied so much on those “full fare paying” business-class travellers. It’s no longer considered as essential to journey across the country for important conferences and meetings if it is, after all, possible to do almost exactly the same thing virtually. In the world of small business we are now getting used to the concept of telecommuting, virtual assistance and outside contractors. We have any number of tools available to us in order to communicate. We’re able to share files, e-mail, instant message, Skype, and interact in so many different ways through the cloud, but occasionally we want to discuss serious matters face-to-face, if only to put “a face to the voice.”

Many small business owners are just starting to get used to working with one or more virtual assistants and finding that it’s a very productive relationship. The virtual assistant becomes more than just an outsourcer and more and more business owners are finding that they’re building a very important relationship with their VA, quite apart from the benefits associated with outsourcing in general.

If your virtual assistant has now become a very important part of the business make-up and a highly contributory member of the team, it’s nice to be able to meet them face-to-face, perhaps for a chat now and again or, perish the thought, to actually socialise for a few minutes. It’s easy to forget about the social element of interacting with another human being as we live so much in the virtual world today, but this element of interaction should never be underestimated.

At the very basic level of course we have webcams that are integrated within so many different instant messaging programmes these days. This, to all extents and purposes, is now “old technology,” but when it comes to productivity and the ability to chat with various people at the same time, should you need to, there are a number of great video conferencing solutions on the market today.

One of the more established is WebEx by Cisco. This has consistently been one of the best video collaboration services available online and is probably the most recognisable name in this industry. For very little monthly cost you can include up to eight attendees at your virtual meeting and each member of your team has the ability to hold the floor as their image is highlighted whenever they are speaking. It’s possible to access the meeting from any personal computer or even from an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. You can all share files, contribute to the whiteboard, share screens and remote control with very little drama. If somebody has missed the meeting, no problem; you can record what goes on for later playback and review.

In the online marketing world GoToMeeting by Citrix is perhaps better-known. It may be a little bit less robust than the more established offering however, but their video conferencing interface is also top class.

How important is it to you to  ”see” your online colleagues? …