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May 25, 2010

Keep Working Even When Flying

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


If you fly often enough you know all about airline disruption, disconnection and limited offline e-mail catch-up, don't you?

Sales Director Teresa Lockard claims that when she steps on a plane, her productivity barely misses a beat: "Teresa is one of the progressive information workers who takes advantage of airline Wi-Fi and Web Conferencing to deliver presentations and conduct sales meetings," according to VIA3 CEO Brian Hodges.

'My days are usually 100 MPH, and I don't have the luxury of down-time' said Lockard. 'With the amount we travel, you would be remiss to lose your travel time to disconnection from your customers, staff, and co-workers.'

Hodges's company, VIA3, sells Web conferencing and collaboration technology for rich, secure, video and audio meetings, as well as presentations, whiteboarding, voting and desktop sharing. The technology they offer can also enable collaboration with others on VIA3 document workspaces, and allow them to instant message co-workers using VIA3 secure corporate IM.

'The only disadvantage to collaborating a mile high is the background, which startles some people," Lockard says. "They suddenly realize they are seeing the roof of an airline cabin behind me, and it distracts them for a few minutes. Other than that, if you can do it around a physical conference room table, you can do it with VIA3.'

Moral of the story: If you're going to use this on planes, be careful who - or what - is sitting behind you.

Hodges addressed some of the issues surrounding mile-high Web conferencing, noting that one inherent danger to using most Web conferencing software with open airplane Wi-Fi is "the huge lack of security. For proprietary information, documentation, and discussions, fliers wanting to conference should use only VIA3, which is 128-bit AES level secure from the ground up.'

In addition to the improving technology mile-high conferencing is becoming much more affordable, as normal Wi-Fi prices on airlines is in the $10 per hour range, and the cost of mile-high VIA3 conferencing is under $30 a month for unlimited usage. So go ahead, join the club.


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Alice Straight




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