Published:  12:16 PM, 08 January 2021 Last Update: 12:17 PM, 08 January 2021

Virtual platforms getting more popular during COVID-19 time

Virtual platforms getting more popular during COVID-19 time
In the last couple of years, the popularity of virtual platforms have hit new records in response to calls to reduce air travel, save valuable time and utilize climate-friendly conference environment. This platform allows individuals to attend events in case they are prevented from attending in person due to visa issues, travel costs, instant ailment or other reasons. The recent corona virus (COVID-19) outbreak has also shed light on alternative digital options, as opposed to 'business as usual' conference set-ups and many other purposes in home and abroad.

Social distancing is not a medicine at all but it is a good way to control COVID-19 until pushing vaccine of its remedial. Considering its importance, many countries around the globe are now experiencing different measures in an attempt to enforce social distancing to slow down the spread of COVID-19. They range from ending mass gatherings, closing public spaces like leisure centers, pubs and clubs to closing schools and in some places a total lockdown with people forced to stay indoors. As such, the social distancing paves the ways for virtual platform in different activities such meeting, conference, seminar, workshop, online services, online class, telemedicine etc.

A Virtual Platform (VP) is a software based system that can fully mirror the functionality of a target System-on-Chip or board. A VP provides full visibility at any time, a user can get information regarding any part of the system i.e., processor core, buses, peripherals, or environment models. A VP makes it possible to count and profile events that are impossible to get access to on physical hardware, or in the case where hardware only provides a very approximate view of the situation via performance counters.

Zoom is one of the most popular way of virtual platform in the pandemic time. Since its launch in 2013, Zoom has grown into one of the most popular video event platforms around the globe. Just as capable of handling business conferences as casual gatherings between friends, Zoom has widespread appeal. 'Google Meet' is another platform of Google's answer to video conferencing and it is packed with features that match or even exceed those of its rivals. Unlike Google Meet, '' has gone the other way, and it is now compulsory to pay to use it. What make 'Whereby' stand out are its features and this well-designed virtual meeting platform combines quirky with clever, providing a unique service that stands out visually and technically. Formerly Skype for Business Online, 'Microsoft Teams' is another well-established virtual meeting platform that is benefited from a recent rebrand. Such many other VPs are available in the market on public demand.

A virtual meeting is being held when people around the world, regardless of their location, use video, audio, and text to link up online. Virtual meetings allow people to share information and data in real-time without being physically located together. Virtual meetings use video-teleconference (VTC) software, such as Microsoft's Skype, Adobe's Connect, Zoom and Google's Hangouts, to name a few. It covers how VTCs are utilized and what capabilities they bring to people and organizations who wish to use them.

Finding a suitable date, venue, and location is crucial in event organizing. One may be concerned about whether the location is convenient and accessible for this target audience, whether it is disable-friendly, if it can fit the number of attendees needed, and what the dropout rate might be like due to traffic or unforeseen situations.

Running a virtual event immediately reduces these concerns by more than half. Participants can attend from the comfort of their homes or anywhere in the world on the go, as long as they have a computer or mobile device and Internet connectivity. Because virtual events are so easy to attend, the attendance rate can go up to over ten times higher than a physical event ever could.

The effects of COVID-19 have called for businesses in the events industry to find opportunities to thrive in thus new ways. Technology plays a significant role here and many companies are now considering the idea of hosting virtual events online as an alternative. The good news is, virtual events have incredible potential for growth in audience engagement and sales when it is used as a strategic platform for a company's brand and business. Staying innovative for the customers and clients is very important for any profit or nonprofit business. Switching to a VP versus on-premise has many extra benefits that are appealing to businesses of all sizes.

The VP is remarkably cheaper to use a virtualization platform. Virtualization doesn't require actual physical hardware. One can save money on installation fees, cooling costs, his energy bill and IT maintenance costs. Since there are no physical monitors that need to be tended to, the company also saves money on IT staff.

Virtualization is a more energy-efficient system. There is no hardware constantly running. Energy consumption is lower, manufacturing materials are nonexistent and, ultimately, going virtual will decrease the size of the company's energy footprint.

Again, no physical servers means no risk of losing them due to a natural disaster. If there were a system failure, VPs have a faster recovery time than older server infrastructures. Companies will increase their return on investment (ROI) by ensuring business productivity time does not go down, resulting in minimal revenue loss. It also will ease our mind to know the backup version will not also be destroyed.

It grows with the company and the innovative opportunities are endless. Companies no longer have to purchase additional materials or new applications when advanced versions are released. They can easily upgrade their systems from their computer and will continue to stay up to date for their customers.

Virtual meeting or conference can be arranged upto 800 participants where speakers are selected by moderator in real time. Number of speakers varies from 1 to 36 depending of the conference size. All conference participants can see and hear the speakers. Other conference participants are not visible to anyone, but any user can rise a hand to become a speaker or be invited to the podium by moderator. Conference participants may use audio replies and group chat or take polls in address book to provide their feedback at any time.

Telehealth or Telemedicine is the VP of medical treatment and it is the distribution of health-related virtual services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies. It allows long-distance patient and clinician contact, care, advice, reminders, education, intervention, monitoring, and remote admissions. It is sometimes used as a synonym, or is used in a more limited sense to describe remote clinical services, such as diagnosis and monitoring. When rural settings, lack of transport, a lack of mobility, decreased funding, or a lack of staff restrict access to care, telehealth may bridge the gap as well as provider distance-learning; meetings, supervision, and presentations between practitioners; online information and health data management and healthcare system integration.

COVID-19 outbreak has already proven to be many of the organization to arrange such VPs in a cost effective way.

Md. Zillur Rahaman is a banker and freelance contributor .

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