Internet Service Providers–Speed of Light

BY CAROLINE MILLER

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” —a Western Union internal memo, circa 1876.

Sound vaguely familiar?

There are many in the graphic arts industry who have said the same thing about the promise of the Internet. But, in reality, the Internet is becoming intertwined in the commercial printing industry. One area that has seen the most change is the way printers communicate, not only with their customers, but with their employees. By integrating the Internet into their overall business strategies, printers will see a savings in time and money, as well as faster turnaround times and better customer service. This month, Printing Impressions takes a look at three Internet-based solutions that streamline communication.

GABNet.net
The Graphic Arts Broadcast Network (GABNet.net) offers users the ability to hold live or taped interactive Webcasts for events such as internal meetings, sales calls and educational seminars. GABNet is the first streaming multimedia communication Application Service Provider (ASP) for the graphic arts industry, explains David Hawkins, president of GABNet.net.

Printers can integrate GABNet into their overall Web strategy by offering their clients access to events such as live and recorded demonstrations, online customer meetings and customer educational events. Busy clients can log onto a printer’s Website at their leisure and access a printer’s seminar or product demonstration. GABNet also offers clients behind-the-scenes technical help, such as video encoding services, video transmission feeds, Website integration, video hosting and delivery, and videotaping and production services.

While GABNet can be a powerful customer service tool, it can also be used internally as a way to lower costs, says Hawkins. GABNet offers users the ability to host meetings over the Internet in real-time. Multiple participants can interact with each other from their workstations no matter where they are in the country. “One user told me that he saved between $12,000 and $15,000 in expenses by hosting his sales meeting on GabNet, Hawkins reveals.

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