IDG’s Network World Launches ‘Virtual’ Seminars

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – November 24, 1998 – Network World, the nation’s leading newsweekly for enterprise network computing, announced today an innovative new way to hold high tech seminars, integrating tightly the simplicity of the World Wide Web and the telephone.

Network World, which has been providing high tech seminar services for leading networking vendors for more than seven years, is now offering virtual seminars to its already comprehensive integrated marketing services. The virtual seminars provide networking vendors a fast method to reach new markets with a live, interactive, multimedia, multi-presenter virtual environment delivered right to the desktop.

"This new virtual seminar platform fills an important gap between standard online marketing and face-to-face meetings and seminars," says Bill Reinstein, senior vice president of business development at Network World. "Certainly, nothing will ever replace face-to-face seminars, but in today’s hectic world not everyone can take the time to travel to a seminar. The economies of scale here are great because you can have a hundred people in a hundred different locations all participating in the same virtual seminar. Networking vendors can now reach new and distributed markets quickly and cost effectively."

The virtual seminar works simply but involves the latest in voice and data technology. For the voice portion of the seminar, attendees dial a toll free number and are placed in a virtual waiting room for a few minutes before the program begins. For the data portion of the seminar, attendees log on to a special Web site with any standard Web browser. As attendees listen to instructions or introductory music, a server downloads a Java applet to the client computer to facilitate the real time delivery of the seminar slides.

"The key here is that our system is interactive with both voice and data," says Reinstein. "Networking vendors and seminar attendees can more fully collaborate online in real time, unlike some other virtual, Web-based seminars or standard conference calls."

As the presenter begins the seminar, data in the form of slides or hand-drawn notes, images or schematics, are downloaded to the client computer in the background. When it’s time to move to the next slide, the browser is automatically refreshed immediately with no user input. The presenter and moderator have complete control of the voice and data streams at all times. At any time questions can be taken through the moderator, and the presentation can be customized in real time.

"But the real value-added benefit for networking vendors," says Reinstein, "is Network World’s complete, turn-key offering. It’s not only our leading-edge technology, but more importantly, our demonstrated ability to integrate technology, content, marketing, production and logistics. This is true integrated marketing, and this is what we do here at Network World. We integrate our award-winning print publication with our registered, BPA-audited Web site with our several hundred face-to-face seminars nationwide. And now we are adding our new virtual seminars. That’s a powerful mix for a networking vendor looking to attract new business in new markets."

The next virtual seminar is scheduled to take place December 1 and 3 with Sterling Software’s Network Management Division in Reston, Virginia. For information, see http://www.nwfusion.com/sterling/

"We went to Network World because of the company’s credibility in this area," says Lynn Harrington, manager of Internet marketing programs at Sterling Software’s Network Management Division. "The co-branding between our two firms also lends tremendous credibility to the event."

The seminar, titled, "Integrating Host Services into the Corporate Enterprise: Achieving Business-Centric Computing," will help attendees to evaluate and manage their firm’s integration of the World Wide Web into their business strategies. Theo Forbath, senior consultant at Northeast Consulting Resources, will give the keynote presentation, emphasizing the shift in information technology operation from one focused on discreet technologies to one focused on managing business-critical services to customers.

"This virtual seminar will deliver an interactive, multimedia presentation directly to the desktop, which for us is great because our business is global," said Harrington. "This is an innovative, inexpensive and fast method to reach new prospects and deliver our message internationally."

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About Network World

Network World (http://www.nwfusion.com), is the nation’s only newsweekly shaping the future of network computing in the enterprise. Through its publishing, education, software and online products and services, Network World empowers Network IS professionals with the knowledge to deliver the open applications and infrastructure required to meet their evolving business needs.

About International Data Group

Network World, Inc., is a division of IDG, the world’s leading IT media, research and exposition company. IDG publishes more than 290 computer magazines and newspapers and 700 book titles and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through IDG.net (http://www.idg.net), which comprises more than 225 targeted Web sites in 55 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions worldwide, and provides IT market analysis through 49 offices in 42 countries worldwide. Company information is available at http://www.idg.com.

Network World and Network World Fusion are trademarks of IDG.

About Sterling Software

Sterling Software [NYSE: SSW] is a leading provider of software and services for the application development, information management, systems management and federal systems markets. The company is ranked among Business Week’s 1998 "Info Tech 100" as one of the world’s best performing information technology companies. Headquartered in Dallas, Sterling Software has a worldwide installed base of more than 20,000 customer sites and 3,600 employees in 90 offices worldwide. For more information on Sterling Software, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.sterling.com

Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Sterling Software’s Network Management Division provides software for managing networked enterprise systems under the SOLVE family of products. For more information, visit the division’s Web site at http://www.solve.sterling.com