Jane has just joined a multi-national company as a field sales representative. She is excited about taking the first step towards a new career; she has worked in sales before, but as a telemarketer in a large customer contact centre. In the centre she had the backup of a supervisor and was constantly monitored to make sure she was meeting her sales targets - and also to ensure she did not encounter any day to day problems with her work. It was a comfortable environment for Jane, but when the chance came to branch out, she grabbed the opportunity to apply for the field sales job. Now, after a successful round of interviews and analytical tests, Jane is delighted to be starting out as a home-based worker. In this role, however, Jane is very much in charge of her own work flow. She will contact a network of clients, decide on which ones require a person to person visit, and compile her own sales projections.

Every year in the UK, people just like Jane, opt for home-based employment. In fact, 60% of all new businesses are started from home and there are now over 2.1 million home-based businesses throughout the country with 1,400 starting up every week.

For Jane, one of the elements she was concerned about was keeping in touch with the team at head office. As meetings convert into new business, she needs a constant update of which products to promote, the latest sales literature to send out, etc. So, for Jane and most of other home-based workers, it's imperative that her sales director keeps in touch at a time that's convenient for all the sales team wherever they are based... cue Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 acts as an online meeting space that Jane's company subscribes to, or that an organisation can host internally. By using Office Live Meeting, Jane can meet with her colleagues online, which allows her to collaborate in real-time, even over long distances. And Jane can deliver a presentation, share ideas, edit files, work with colleagues on whiteboards, and negotiate deals from her personal computer at a fraction of the cost and without the hassle of travel.

A sales team briefing can be run on Office Live Meeting, for example, with the knowledge that everyone can get together whether it's 8am or 8pm. The presenter can then take the sales team through a live presentation with latest sales figures, achievements and success stories. This is usually followed with an informal online questions and answers session. And because there's normally quite a lot of new ground to cover during a sales meeting, the meeting can be recorded with a single mouse click.

Some of the other advantages of using Office Live Meeting include web client support for better remote attendee flexibility; interactive application/desktop sharing and whiteboard tools; active speaker video switching, multi-party video, and multi-party Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) audio; and a host of rich-media presentations, including native video conferencing, high-fidelity recording, and web-cam capabilities. Even training and event management is straightforward with tools to help with event and class registration and virtual breakout rooms.

When Jane receives an e-mail invitation to Microsoft Office Live Meeting, she can easily join the meeting by clicking the link in the invitation. The e-mail invitation usually contains information about installing the meeting client a computer. Jane can join a meeting directly from the e-mail invitation as the invitation contains a Join the Meeting link that automatically starts the Microsoft Office Live Meeting client and connects her to the meeting.

It's easy to check whether Microsoft Office Live Meeting client is installed on your computer by selecting Start, clicking All Programs, and checking the program list for Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007. If this program appears in the list, the meeting client is installed. If the program does not appear in the list, use the links listed in an e-mail invitation under First-Time Users to install the meeting client. Don't worry if you can't install the Microsoft Office Live Meeting client on your computer, you can still join the meeting if the Use Web Console link appears on the client installation page.

The Live Meeting Web-based client connects you to the meeting using your Web browser. You can still attend the meeting, but there are some limitations. The Use Web Console option is available only for meetings scheduled with the Microsoft Office Live Meeting service.

And the 2007 version of Office Live Meeting offers deeper connections across and between organisations with online meetings, events, and training. You can connect with customers, partners, and employees. Your company can use Office Live Meeting to train employees and to inform customers about new products, for example. You can also use Office Live Meeting to record webinars for those who were not able to attend.

If, like Jane's sales director, you are looking at alternative ways to keep your audience engaged with integrated audio, video, and media, then why not take a look at Office Live Meeting 2007? And remember, there are multiple communication options available with Office Live Meeting 2007, including live and recorded video, chat, slide and application sharing, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and public switched telephone network (PSTN) audio, and audience feedback tools.

Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 can help you stay connected with your colleagues and customers without leaving your desk - even if you are working remotely. As a collaboration tool for employees who may be out at sales meetings or working from home, Office Live Meeting helps you do more; it promotes shorter, more efficient and productive meetings; reduces project cycle time; and aids faster problem resolution.