Global communications giant Poly has issued a new report surveying the shape of the post-COVID workplace, which we can probably all agree won’t return to the “old normal.” And why should it? Although we are still grappling with instability and uncertainty, the recent lockdowns have proven that many organizations can run fairly smoothly with a remote workforce. And a healthy number of those recently relocated employees might not be too happy to return to a traditional office-based arrangement. When things return to "normal", the definition of "normal" will have undergone a transformation. Poly’s report suggests a full-scale transition into hybrid working, which upholds flexibility and choice as factors that determine how and when and where we work.
Long before COVID-19 changed the way we do pretty much everything, telemedicine was revolutionizing the healthcare industry. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, telemedicine visits increased at an average compound annual growth rate of 52% per year between 2005-2014. And the American Hospital Association reported that 76% of U.S. hospitals were connecting with patients and consulting practitioners using some form of telemedicine technology as of 2019.
So you’ve finally gotten the hang of this whole remote work thing. You’ve familiarized yourself with the features of your video conferencing and collaboration solution. You’ve settled into a work-from-home routine that works for you. Now it’s time to refine your skills. Effectively communicating with colleagues via video requires a host of techniques and considerations that aren’t exactly organic. So let’s take a look at a few things you can be doing to keep your work connections healthy and strong.
Video conferencing provider, Lifesize, has announced a native integration with Alexa for Business, which will allow Lifesize customers to access voice-activated controls on their meeting room systems. To inaugurate their new partnership, Lifesize and Amazon Web Services will be offering 90 days of complimentary service for joint customers to trial Lifesize with Alexa for Business.
It should go without saying that more people are using video collaboration and conferencing solutions in 2020 than in any year previous. Even before COVID-19 reconfigured pretty much everything, remote work was trending steadily upward. We would have seen growth regardless. But with lockdown restrictions in effect, video conferencing and collaboration solutions have become the bedrock of global commerce and communication. A new report issued by StarLeaf early this month reveals just how much the landscape of work has shifted.
Last year, when Poly introduced the Poly Studio series for smaller conference rooms and Poly G7500 for larger meeting rooms, we knew they would update their offerings with tweaks and improvements that made conferencing and collaboration even simpler and more intuitive. With the release of their latest software update, Poly Video OS 3.1, Poly has done just that, with refined and expanded features that make a good thing even better.
We’ve written before about the importance of digital signage in an increasingly dynamic marketplace. The foundation of any public display strategy should prioritize responsiveness and flexibility, and those are precisely the qualities that a digital signage solution will bring to your advertising and customer outreach.
In response to the sudden need for remote work options during the COVID-19 crisis, StarLeaf has announced an initiative to provide free conferencing and collaboration solutions to anyone who needs them, in addition to offering licensing flexibility to existing customers.
Now that many of us find ourselves working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we may realize keeping a work life balance is a little harder now that work is at home. We might notice we are working more than we should or that its harder and harder to get out of that work mind set. Here are a few tips to help keep things separated (source: Cisco).
Working from home #WFH can be a treat. You can wear whatever you want. You can take your lunch break early or not at all. You don’t have to brave traffic, weather and parking. The perks are many. However, remote work poses unique challenges you may not have considered. Here are a few tips for overcoming them.
If you’re hoping to maintain productivity while #WFH, you’ll need to beef up the technologies you’re using. For those not used to working from home, it might not be easy to know where to start. Here are five technologies remote workers should consider to stay on top of their work:
The remote workforce has added millions of people to its ranks in the last few weeks. There will certainly be a learning curve as employees adjust to the logistics of working from home. For those who will be meeting with their co-workers and bosses via video, there might be some additional trepidation around technology. Here are a few tips for video conferencing newcomers.
We want to do what we can to support our customers during COVID-19. While enabling a remote workforce to work effectively through cloud video is a top concern, organizations should also consider how to properly sanitize and maintain their collaboration spaces, so here are a few tips for sanitizing your Crestron touch screens.
According to a recent survey conducted by Poly and Future Workplace, 40% of workers in open plan offices say they are always or very often distracted at work, with one in three open plan office workers reporting a loss of at least one hour of productivity per day due to distractions.
Working from home #WFH doesn’t have to be hard work. Especially when you have the right tools. With many employees now faced with working from home, Poly products are set to play a bigger part in businesses than ever before.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of people working from home, there has been a significant increase in end user organizations ordering computer monitors as well as large format and interactive displays for their employees and teams to work remotely.
Providing your employees with innovative and easily accessible video collaboration and conferencing solutions is only the first step in a successful unified communications plan. It’s a huge first step, and gets you most of the way to where you need to be, but it’s vital that you monitor and manage your deployment in order to understand how your resources are being used and how they might be used more efficiently.
Digital Signage Expo (DSE) PRO AV COUNCIL asked their members: How do integrators pick the right vendors for DOOH networks? This is how Mike White, Solutionz Inc. Senior Solutions Specialist, answered.
At this year’s Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) trade show, held in Amsterdam in mid-February, cloud conferencing pioneer StarLeaf unveiled three new collaboration solutions designed to facilitate workflows and increase interoperability. Let’s take a quick look at what StarLeaf has in store for us.
StarLeaf, which was recognized as a "Visionary" in the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions, is an industry leader in cloud conferencing and collaboration services, but they are just as dedicated to innovating user-friendly hardware solutions for rooms of all sizes. The company's latest breakthrough, StarLeaf Huddle, aims to transform the huddle room into a collaboration hub.
As recommended by the CDC, organizations are strongly encouraged to have a continuity plan for COVID-19 outbreak and prevention. As a result, many organizations, including schools, hospitals, government entities and large organizations, have implemented a "Work From Home" policy/mandate without having the proper enterprise communication systems in place for their employees to do so.
We are experts in video conferencing and unified communications and have provided a few tips on how to help maintain business continuity while working from home.
In our recent roundup of collaboration trends that will define the future, we made a case for AI as one of the next frontiers in video conferencing. A recent RELX survey supports this. Their poll found that 88% of business leaders believe that machine learning or AI can help their companies be more competitive. However, the survey also found that only 56% of organizations are currently using these technologies. So we have the perfect combination for growth: belief in the technology's efficacy combined with plenty of room for new adoption.
Unified communications solutions have made it easier than ever for companies to provide their employees with comprehensive collaboration tool kits, but if recent studies are any indication, too few organizations are taking advantage of the many conferencing and collaboration resources available to them. A recent survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan found that 80% of employees use applications at work that aren’t approved by IT. This speaks to a general dissatisfaction with the official collaboration tools on offer.
Last year, Poly conducted a global survey of office employees to find out how open office plans were impacting their productivity. The results probably wouldn’t surprise anyone who has ever spent a good chunk of time trying to do business amidst the hustle and bustle of an open space. 99 percent of employees said they get distracted while working at their personal workspace, while more than half of respondents said that distractions make it hard to listen and/or be heard on calls.
SMiShing is a security attack in which the user is tricked into downloading a Trojan horse, virus or other malware onto his or her cellular phone or other mobile devices. SMiShing is short for "SMS phishing."
We don't need to tell you that video conferencing and collaboration solutions will play a role in business in 2020 and beyond. But what might those solutions look like in the coming year? And what should you be thinking about throughout the next twelve months, as new technology appears on the horizon and promises to shake things up? In some ways, 2020 will be more of the same, with UCaaS continuing to trend upward, but there are some new developments worth keeping a close eye on. Let's take a look.
The increasing feasibility and popularity of remote work was one of the defining features of the 2010's, and so it makes sense, here at the beginning of a fresh decade, to consider what might be in store for us in the next ten years. How will remote work evolve? What might it look like? Feel like? Here are a few roads we are likely to travel down on our way to 2030.
You've thought about implementing a digital signage solution, but something held you back. You thought it might cost too much. Or be too complicated. Or just wouldn't attract enough attention to justify all the trouble of installation and content creation. These are semi-reasonable objections, but they don't hold nearly as much water in 2020 as they might have five years ago. In reality, digital signage technology is a cost-effective and a fairly simple way to convey your company's message. Let's take a look at a few common points and see if we can't get digital signage onto your To Do List for 2020.
The bywords for video conferencing speak to a workplace of flux and change: flexibility, mobility, interoperability. The business world has pivoted toward cloud-based solutions that can be accessed anytime and anywhere. It’s a shift in thinking that mirrors personal computing trends. We want the world in our pockets, and we want that world to encompass work as well as play, meetings as well as meet-ups.
We are cruising to 2019’s finish line but before we settle our soft clothes and tend to hearth and home, let’s take a few minutes to consider a few ways to get next year off to a great start. If you’re looking to improve collaboration and unified communications practices in 2020, we’ve got a few hot tips to carry into January.
The thinking behind open office plans goes something like this: no longer confined to cubicles and tiny offices, employees will communicate more often and more effectively, while the entire workplace transforms into a realm of natural light, easy conversation, non-stop brainstorming and constant collaboration. But as numerous studies have shown, employees too often find themselves distracted by the co-workers with whom they were supposed to be attaining a whole new level of productivity.
Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic and is expected to jump to 82% by 2020. A hefty portion of that percentage is probably eaten up by video game streamers and Instagram influencers, but the stats are saying something that businesses should hear: live streaming is an ideal way to keep your employees and customers engaged and excited about your mission. Let’s take a closer look at how and why.
Earlier this year, Poly unveiled Poly Studio, a plug-and-play video bar that delivers conferencing and collaboration capabilities to any room with a monitor. Seemingly incapable of resting on its laurels, the global communications giant has just announced Studio X, a brand new iteration of Studio that offers a built-in Microsoft Teams experience.
Cloud-based conferencing and collaboration pioneer StarLeaf has just announced the opening of a brand new office in Jersey City, New Jersey. The new office will serve as a center of support for StarLeaf’s rapidly expanding enterprise customer base in the Northeast.
As remote work and cloud-based solutions continue to gain in popularity, more and more companies are shifting to a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model of communication and collaboration. Allowing your employees to use their own tablets and smartphones for mobile collaboration will ultimately result in productivity gains and financial savings, but you might find yourself contending with growing pains as you transition out of a more conventional on-premises strategy. Here are a few crucial tips for establishing a healthy and helpful BYOD culture.
Poly excels conferencing and collaboration technology, but they are especially forward-thinking when it comes to Unified Communication endpoints. Although they are rightly revered for their innovations in desktop phone solutions, they also understand that mobility defines modern communication. Enter the recently released Poly Elara 60 series, a mobile-first solution that can transform your smartphone into a desktop collaboration hub.
Over the last five years, the number of remote workers in the U.S. has grown 44%. The longer view reveals an even more pronounced upward trend, with 91% growth over the last ten years. Today, over 4.5 million people in the U.S. work remotely, and their ranks will undoubtedly grow in the years to come. A recent study found that 80% of U.S. workers say they would turn down a job that didn’t offer a flexible working arrangement, so if you don’t currently have a remote work plan in place, you’ll want to start working on one ASAP, because the top talent will surely gravitate toward companies with at least some remote work options. The rise of remote work makes sense on a gut level--of course flexibility is attractive to employees and employers --but what do the numbers say? Is it really good for business and the people who conduct it? The answer is a resounding yes.
In the grand scheme of things, the world of unified communications is still in its infancy. As such, every day seems to bring a new development, a fresh quirk that changes the shape of work. Relying on ever-changing technology on a daily basis can be disorienting, and sometimes we forget to press pause and take stock of where we are, how we got there and where we are going. We must see the present clearly in order to step into the future with confidence. So let’s try to wrap our heads around where we stand in relation to unified communications in the middle of 2019.
Poly has just unveiled a new addition to its versatile Trio series, and this time they are taking aim at huddle rooms with a smart audio conferencing solution designed for small groups. The Poly Trio 8300, which was preceded by the 8500 and 8800 models, comes loaded with the features that make Poly’s solutions for medium and large rooms so essential, but it has been scaled down for use in tighter spaces.
A recent report issued by Research and Markets estimated that a mere 2% of the 32.4 million huddle rooms around the world are currently video-enabled. The math is clear: many companies are aware of this collaboration trend, and have even put some effort into adopting a huddle room strategy, but something has kept them from fully committing.
No matter what business you happen to be in, confidentiality should be a top priority. You don’t have to be working in government secrets to be wary of data breaches and accidental leaks. With the rise of cloud-based computing, people are more concerned than ever about how information travels and where it ends up. With that in mind, we have a few security tips for keeping your video communications safe and secure.
Are you dissatisfied with your company’s open office? If so, you are not alone. In a 2017 study conducted by Gartner, 25% of employees assigned to open office work spaces reported being less than satisfied with their arrangement. Meanwhile, only 9% of employees with private offices said they weren’t satisfied with their work spaces.
Lifesize, which has been innovating video conferencing and collaboration solutions since 2003, recently released its 2019 Impact of Video Conferencing Report. If stats and figures aren’t your thing, here’s the short version of the report's findings: video conferencing continues to grow in popularity, with more and more companies turning to solutions that cut down on travel time, foster collaborative workplace cultures and appeal to a new generation of young workers.
With the rise of cloud-based conferencing and collaboration solutions like Prime Call Cloud UC, offering telecommuting options to your employees is easier than ever. With nothing more than a computer and a camera, your employees can connect to their colleagues and clients anytime, from anywhere. No longer constrained by the cost of hardware investments and IT maintenance, you really have nothing standing between you and an expanded remote workforce.
Huddle rooms represent an opportunity to respond to the needs of a more diffuse and mobile workforce. You might not want to bother with this buzzword, but your employees probably do. So let’s look at why and how you should get on board.
Companies that fail to recruit and retain top talent are not long for this world. However, as time goes by and the landscape of the workplace changes, employees’ needs and desires shift. What might have compelled a new employee to sign a contract ten years ago might not cut it these days. The young people entering the workforce now, i.e. the future of your business and of the world in general, have different priorities than the generations preceding them. If you don’t take these priorities seriously and do everything you can to honor them, it won’t be long before your competitors pull ahead.
Last year, Cisco conducted a survey of over 1,000 “IT decision makers” from seven countries in order to assess interest in and plans for cloud UC strategies. The survey found that 74% of these decision makers planned to choose a cloud provider in the next 24 months. Clearly, cloud-based UC is the future of business communication. The only question is how to go about transforming your conferencing and collaboration environment without needlessly disrupting workflow. We have a few answers to that question.
It goes without saying that video conferencing is an important and ever more essential part of business communications. Video conferencing solutions are simpler and more accessible than ever, in quite a few ways, but there are also so many more options and add-ons. Here are a few key things to look for when you’re shopping for a video conferencing solution.
Here's the thing about video conferencing in 2019: everybody is already doing it all the time, and most people have been doing it for years. Consumer apps like FaceTime and Skype and WhatsApp (to name but a few) have turned our phones into video conference devices. With that familiarity comes certain expectations: that video conferencing should never be more than a single click away, and that any device will do when one needs to join a meeting.
Okay, that title is a wee bit misleading, because you don’t necessarily have to choose between huddle rooms and conference rooms. But you will have to make some decisions about what kinds of rooms (and, in turn, what kinds of video solutions) to prioritize. Here are some things to consider.
Cisco’s WebEx Teams collaboration platform, which was released last year after absorbing the much-loved Cisco Spark, is an all-in-one conferencing and collaboration solution that brings together messaging, video meetings, white boarding and audio conferencing in one easy-to-use package. Designed with flexibility and accessibility in mind, WebEx Teams keeps co-workers on the same page no matter where they are or what device they are using. With this commitment to seamless workflow in mind, Cisco recently added a number of useful features to an already dynamic collaboration solution. Let’s take a look at a few of the latest additions.
Manufacturers of video conferencing and collaboration solutions have lately been leaning into the world of cloud-based solutions with huddle rooms and remote workers in mind, but traditional conference rooms are not a thing of the past. They are coming along for our ride into the future, and Poly is making sure they are properly outfitted.
It’s a good time to be a huddle room. They make conferencing intimate and on track for small meetings and work groups. Using huddle rooms for conferencing makes a great secure environment to always have a space that is quiet with minimal distractions.
Digital signage is a highly effective communication tool that can help you tell your company’s story in dynamic and engaging ways. But it can easily backfire if you aren’t on the lookout for pitfalls. So let’s take a quick gander at a few of the most common digital signage mistakes and how you can avoid them.
It used to be that remote workers and distributed teams did not have access to compact and manageable collaboration solutions that matched the quality of on-site infrastructure. This is no longer the case. Remote employees now have access to a host of solutions that liberate business-grade technology from the confines of the office. Among the pioneers of such accessible and mobile solutions were Polycom and Plantronics, who merged last year and rebranded as Poly.
Mobile conferencing solutions like Prime Call Cloud UC and Cisco Spark make it easier than ever to join meetings from tablets and smartphones. Such convenience is great to all employees, whether they’re on the move or in the office. The former contingent, most often seen hustling to catch a flight, can quickly sign in to a video conference from whatever lobby or waiting area they happen to be working from, while the latter group can take advantage of BYOD flexibility and share content with a mere touch of their screen.
Video conferencing might make it easier for people to come together, but it doesn’t necessarily eliminate the small hassles and minor faux pas that can make meetings exceedingly difficult. With that in mind, here are four common meeting mistakes that you would do well to avoid, whether you are on a video conference call or leading an in-person meeting.
G Suite, Google’s cloud-based collaboration solution, added Google Voice to its array of features last year, and it didn’t take long for Poly (formerly known as Plantronics) to make sure its new VVX x50 series of desk phones were fully integrated with Google’s communication platform.
Remote workers tend to be self-starters who cherish independence, but that doesn’t mean they should be left entirely to their own devices. They need support. They need guidance. They need understanding. Here is how you can start giving your remote teams those things.
An open office is supposed to bring your employees together to form a buzzing little hive of activity and innovation. Tear down those walls! Let the ideas flow! It’s time for interdepartmental collaboration! Right? Sure. But it turns out that busy buzzing might be backfiring for some organizations.
The conference phone is the gold standard for communication technology. As unified communication solutions have advanced with video technology so have audio innovations that allow each conference phone to intelligently adapt to different room environments. This eliminates confusion and enhances productivity. Video conferencing is the future -- especially paired with the right audio solution.
As of 2019, the cloud computing market neared the $200 billion mark, jumping 21% from just a year before. The cloud is claiming more and more information technology services, and for good reason. With cloud-based services, companies big and small can forget storage, maintenance and IT support worries. And with various subscription options available from most cloud computing services, companies don’t have to fret about the future--with everything in the cloud, capacity can shrink and grow along with business.
It doesn’t matter how sophisticated your conferencing and collaboration solution is--if you haven’t figured out how to light your room for video, you will defeat the purpose of video conferencing all together. What good is a face-to-face video chat if your colleagues are getting a distorted version of you that distracts from the matter at hand? You don’t have to have a brilliant cinematographic eye to get your lights right. Just follow these rules and you’ll be fine.
Late last year, Lifesize became the first manufacturer to offer a true 4K video and content sharing video conferencing solution. With 20x zoom, dual display support, ultra-wideband Opus audio and rich camera optics, the Icon 700 leapt to the front of the video conferencing pack.
Mobile conferencing and collaboration solutions are essential tools for employees on the move, and companies intent on implementing a robust and flexible unified communication solution should make mobility a high priority. But even though smart phones and tablets give people the freedom to take their work anywhere they want, most employees will be spending most of their time working on laptops and PCs. And so regardless of where they are--at the office, at home, in a hotel room, plugged into coffee shop wi-fi, on an airplane--the odds are good they’ll need access to a reliable and feature-rich desktop solution.
When Plantronics announced it would be relaunching as Poly last month, the communications giant renewed its commitment to making today’s variegated collaboration methods mesh as seamlessly as possible.
StarLeaf, which powers Prime Call Cloud UC and provides meeting room solutions to organizations around the world, has announced the opening of new offices in Chicago and New York City. With the addition of these two U.S. locations, StarLeaf now has fifteen Points of Presence around the world. These localized data centers offer StarLeaf customers an unparalleled level of security and reliability.
Nearly a year to the day since announcing its acquisition of Polycom, Plantronics has unveiled its latest evolutionary leap. The company formerly known as Plantronics will become Poly, and with the new name comes a renewed commitment to collaboration solutions that bridge distances and eliminate distractions.
According to a report published by Frost & Sullivan in 2018, there are over 32 million huddle rooms in the world, but only 2 percent of those rooms are currently video-enabled. With more and more companies hiring remote employees and adopting informal collaboration models that rely on unified communications, it is only a matter of time before those millions of huddle rooms will need simple and seamless video collaboration solutions expressly designed for small spaces.
With the rise of the remote workforce, successful management of virtual teams has become a crucial skill. Managers who don’t understand how to motivate and oversee a group of distant employees won't be able to help those in the increasingly dispersed world of work. So let’s take a look at a few ways you can support and manage your virtual teams.
Cloud conferencing pioneer StarLeaf, which powers Prime Call Cloud UC and aims to make video collaboration accessible to everyone, has just announced the arrival of a brand new meeting room solution called StarLeaf Pronto. With nothing more than a simple USB connection, Pronto eliminates the clutter and confusion that plagues too many meeting rooms.
There is no such thing as a future-proof unified communications solution. Technology advances and mutates with mind-boggling rapidity, and not even the most forward-thinking IT department can make any airtight predictions about when and how video conferencing and collaboration tools will be different two or three years from now. To stay competitive, you must offer your employees (and clients) access to cutting edge communication solutions that respond to the shifting needs of a physically dispersed but increasingly interconnected world.
Last year, Lifesize introduced the compact and intuitive Lifesize Share, a wireless solution for presentations that made it virtually painless to get up in front of a group and share ideas via screens. It was a great start. But the modern meeting is, ideally, an omnidirectional exchange of information and images, and Lifesize is taking this into account with its new enhancements for Lifesize Share, which is poised to become the go-to solution for companies looking for a simple collaboration tool for smaller meeting rooms.
With video conferencing, content sharing and whiteboard capabilities, Cisco WebEx already seemingly did it all. But now, with the introduction of a digital signage feature, Cisco is taking their all-in-one communication solution to another level.
Plantronics, which acquired Polycom last year, has just announced its first foray into the huddle room market with Polycom Studio, a plug-and-play video bar that aims to deliver high quality video and audio to smaller meeting spaces.
The new year is a month old already, so you've probably just about gotten used to writing "2019" on your checks, but there's still plenty to figure out about the coming months. You might not have had "think about digital signage" on your list of New Year's resolutions, but that doesn't mean you should let yourself off the hook. We're here to help, though. So let's take a look at the ways you can revamp your digital signage over the next year.
We have written quite a bit about the ways companies can attract the cream of the millennial crop by providing employees with easy access to video conferencing and collaboration tools, but new arrivals to the workforce aren’t the only ones for whom video tools are an enticement. With more and more retirees reentering the workforce, companies would do well to think about the ways video conferencing and collaboration solutions can bring unretired employees into the fold.
This isn’t exactly breaking news, but the rapid rise of video conferencing solutions is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. A recent Polycom-sponsored survey of 159 IT professionals in the US, Germany and Australia offers us a detailed breakdown of just what this A/V boom looks like right now.
Soon after completing its acquisition of Polycom last July, Plantronics threw its weight behind Microsoft Teams, promising a range of solutions for the Office 365 communication platform and heir to the Skype for Business throne.
Cloud-based services are making it easier than ever for businesses large and small to get up and running with conferencing and collaboration solutions, and soon we will all be conducting our affairs in the cloud. For now, though, there are plenty of companies still weighing the pros and cons of a cloud-based conferencing solution. It is for those companies that we have compiled this cheat sheet of pressing concerns. When you are looking for a cloud-based solution, consider the following four things.
If you’ve strolled through a bright and blaring electronics store in the last couple years, you’ve surely noticed that 4K televisions are becoming the industry standard for home theaters. With a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels--that’s four times more pixels than your average HD set--4K televisions boast a level of picture detail and clarity that no other technology can match. While these displays are becoming increasingly common in the consumer electronics realm, the video conferencing world hasn’t quite kept pace with the 4K revolution.
You want your company to have industrious collaborators and innovative wiz kids, but to have a company like this you have to work for it. You have to create the conditions for such a culture to take root. Let’s look at the three most crucial ingredients for a company intent on improving collaboration and communication.
As 2018 winds down and we all shift into New Year’s resolution mode, it’s helpful to take stock of where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going. To that end, No Jitter recently surveyed 142 IT professionals to get an idea of how they are (or are not) implementing video conferencing and collaboration solutions and what the future might hold for their companies. Let’s take a look at the results and what they mean.
The holiday office party is a mixed bag for sure. Suddenly shifting gears into party mode with a bunch of people you work with can be difficult and awkward. For some, an office party feels more like work than actual work. It’s like getting to know a group of people you already know for the first time, and that’s a recipe for social anxiety. We aren’t here to tell you that office parties are always fun. But even the most reluctant reveler has to admit that getting to see different sides of co-workers can humanize the workplace in ways that can make the rest of the year just a little more fulfilling.
In August of this year, Polycom commissioned Forrester Consulting to poll companies of various sizes for a snapshot of the current state of video conferencing applications and endpoints. Polycom wanted to get a sense for how organizations are using video conferencing solutions and whether or not they are getting the most out of their video technology.
The jury’s still out on whether this is a good thing or not, but according to a recent study conducted by Upwork and Freelancers Union, freelancers will make up fifty percent of the U.S. workforce by 2027. Over thirty percent of the U.S. workforce is currently composed of freelancers, so this prediction doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. This isn’t to say the everyday contract employee is a thing of the past, but it is a sign that the workplace just isn’t what it used to be.
It doesn’t matter what you call them. Huddle rooms. Mini rooms. Closets. What matters is that you have them--those small spaces that can accommodate just a few people. These modest rooms often go overlooked and underused, but organizations that have harnessed the power of small teams know just how crucial these rooms can be. With the right video conferencing and collaboration solutions, these rooms can become more than just ersatz offices. They can be transformed into conference rooms uniquely suited to bridging the distance between small teams and distant colleagues.
We’ve written quite a bit about the transformative power of huddle rooms, but we haven’t spent nearly as much time talking about how the small teams using such rooms can be drivers of efficiency and productivity. The rise of the huddle room didn’t happen in a vacuum. The space of the workplace has been redefined because the nature of teamwork has changed. Small teams are the future. They are the now. Let’s look at why.
As troublesome as it might be for your company’s IT departments, your employees who use unauthorized messaging and conferencing apps to do business have very good reasons for doing so. So-called “shadow IT,” or technology that your company has not approved for communication purposes, is so appealing because it comprises tools that people are familiar and comfortable with, and for employees, it can often feel like the shortest distance between two points. But the convenience comes with a price: your IT department can’t manage these tools, nor can they ensure the security of the software. Employees using unauthorized apps can leave your company vulnerable to security breaches and frustrate IT attempts at solving problems. So let’s look at a few ways you can get your team on board with the conferencing and communication solutions you have implemented.
Cloud or on-premise? On-premise or cloud? This debate might seem played out at this point, but the choice between on-premise and cloud-based conferencing solutions is one that more and more companies are being forced to make. And although you might think you know exactly where you stand on this particular issue, it never hurts to take a fresh look at it.
Approximately 4.3 million U.S. employees (or 3.2% of the workforce) work from home at least half the time. That’s a lot of people. But that 3.2% starts looking a little measly when you consider how much of the U.S. workforce is composed of jobs that are compatible with telecommuting. Just about 50% of employees in the U.S. do work that can be accomplished (at least in part) remotely. Of that 50%, about half actually does telecommute occasionally.
When you think about the process of digital transformation, your imagination probably skips ahead to an ideal future in which AV integration solutions and mobile conferencing technology combine to create a mega efficient workforce in both the virtual and physical realms. But undergoing such a sweeping transformation requires more than just plugging in new machines and watching them work their magic. It is a process that involves many moving parts. Which means things might get complicated. Let’s see how you can avoid some of the more common obstacles to successful digital transformation.
Cisco WebEx is a versatile, all-in-one conferencing and collaboration solution that is ideal for remote workers on mobile devices. It has always been an intuitive and user-friendly solution for meeting participants on the move, but with Cisco’s recent integration with Apple iOS, it’s even easier for WebEx users on iOS devices to connect with their colleagues. Let's dig in to these exciting new features.
Harvard Business Review recently polled 1,153 employees and found that 52% of respondents worked from a home office at least some of the time. This shouldn’t shock anyone who’s been paying even a little attention to the changing shape and culture of the modern workplace.
You might have heard about WebRTC. Or maybe this is your first encounter with the word. Either way, you might have some questions about this video technology that is changing the way people connect. Let’s take a closer look at some of these questions.
A lot has been written (by us and by others) about the transformative power of video conferencing solutions in the classroom environment. Much of this writing has been focused on students, and that’s probably a good thing--the impact of technology on learners should be the first thing we think about when we think about implementing new solutions in schools. If a conferencing and collaboration solution doesn’t help a child learn, what good is it?
You might think of video conference call recording as a bonus feature you’ll never use, but there are plenty of ways to employ this collaboration technology in your everyday practice. Recording a video conference requires no more work than clicking a single button, but the impact that single click could make should not be underestimated.
The phrase “digital transformation” is a buzzword we hear often, but without a carefully considered strategy informing your implementation of audio visual solutions, your “transformation” may not go as planned. So let’s look forward and think about how to transform your organization in lasting ways.
Mobile conferencing and collaboration solutions have radically changed the way we work. Untethered from the office and liberated from the desk, we now have a vast array of conferencing and collaboration tools at our fingertips at all times. Versatile models like Skype for Business allow anyone to join a meeting at any time, no matter where they are. This is most definitely a boon for businesses of all kinds, and for the mobile worker, the video capabilities of cell phones and tablets eliminate the anxiety of missing out on important happenings back at the office.
Video walls have long been a staple of public spaces like lobbies and malls, and they’ve always been effective vehicles for straightforward information and standard advertising. However, with the rise of touch screens and high definition images, the potential of the video wall is now virtually unbounded--such large displays can now become interactive experiences that enhance trainings, elevate meetings and engage customers. Let’s take a closer look at how interactive video walls can have an impact on business.
Mobile conferencing and collaboration solutions and their many bells and whistles might seem forbidding at first. But sorting through security specs and management details is a job for your IT experts. At their core, these solutions offer intuitive user experiences: anyone with a smart phone or tablet or laptop can quickly get the feel for a cloud conferencing solution like Prime Call Cloud UC.
When we talk about video conferencing and collaboration solutions, we tend to do so in a way that foregrounds established companies. You’ll notice our blog posts referring to ways in which collaboration and conferencing technology can improve business. Implicit in this language is an assumption that the business has been around long enough to need shaking up. Or we will write about how seasoned employees can be trained to use new technology. It’s not that established businesses have the most to gain from these solutions--it’s just that they might be more likely to have settled on a way of doing things that doesn’t jibe with the tech-assisted nature of business in the 21st century.
In March, we reported that communications titan Plantronics would be acquiring conferencing and collaboration company Polycom for $2 billion. The proposed deal made a great deal of sense to industry observers, as Polycom’s much-respected collaboration solutions dovetailed nicely with Plantronics’ various audio innovations.
In a recent survey conducted by Wainhouse Research, 94% of responding businesses reported that video conferencing solutions have increased their productivity. That statistic alone makes a compelling case for the necessity of video conferencing and collaboration solutions in the modern workplace, but it’s helpful to take a step back from numbers and examine the why and how.
When we talk about conferencing and collaboration solutions and other digital incursions into the workplace, we tend to focus on things like cost and productivity and security. But at the end of the day, what’s most important are the people who will end up sitting in front of those screens and using the technology. If the technology doesn’t work for them--if it doesn’t make the job easier or more fulfilling--it ultimately won’t work for your company. So how do employees feel about technological innovation in the workplace? A recent survey by Aruba has some answers.
Cisco Webex Meetings is a full content-sharing and video conferencing solution that allows users to initiate and join meetings from desktop computers, mobile devices, internet browsers and video devices. It’s a true all-in-one solution designed to maximize accessibility and flexibility but without skimping on the features that 21st century companies and workers need to excel. Let’s take a look at five key features that make Webex Meetings such a crucial tool.
In addition to their trailblazing work in the realm of video conferencing and collaboration, Polycom has long been a leader in the world of audio technology. From Microsoft phones to multimedia hubs, Polycom has audio solutions for spaces of all sizes and purposes.
The video capabilities of the Polycom Trio line of conference phones has already made it an industry favorite, but with Polycom’s recent announcement of additional video features, the Trio has become an even more powerful force in the realm of AV solutions.
That headline sounds a little menacing, but don’t worry. Meeting spaces aren’t becoming sentient forces and planning a Terminator-like takeover. Be that as it may, you’d be remiss not to pay attention to the ways meeting spaces are being reconfigured due to the disbursement of the workforce and the development of increasingly sophisticated mobile collaboration technology. In case you still need convincing, we’ve got some numbers to back it up.
Polycom has long been an industry leader in the conferencing market, and with recent innovations like the video-ready RealPresence Trio, the forward-thinking manufacturer has only further solidified its standing as a trailblazer in conferencing and collaboration technology.
It is hard to relinquish control, especially when you are on the verge of making a decision that will fundamentally alter the way your company does business, but when you are in the market for a video conferencing and collaboration solution, you might want to consider giving your IT department as much say as possible.
Cisco Merges WebEx And Spark To Simplify Collaboration
Until recently, Spark was Cisco’s go-to video conferencing and collaboration solution for modern teams seeking a fleet and flexible platform for messaging, content sharing and video calling. It was essentially an amped up version of Cisco’s popular WebEx collaboration solution. Now, in an attempt to streamline its collaboration offerings, Cisco will be merging Spark and WebEx so that all users can access the benefits of both platforms./p>
We tend to focus on digital solutions as a means of collaboration between co-workers, and while that aspect of A/V integration is absolutely crucial, screen technology is also an excellent way to deliver powerful messages to your clients and business partners. In such cases, we are thinking about screens as a uni-directional format, less of a conversation and more of an announcement: this is who we are. And there is no better way to show visitors who you are than with a well-designed and inviting lobby or atrium. But instead of the traditional, inoffensive art and decoration, businesses now have recourse to video walls that boast high-definition images and easy content control. Let's take a look at the advantages of such an addition.
When you think about how the majority of people communicate these days, what do you see? Text messages, right? Or some variation thereof: Slack messages, Facebook Messenger messages, Microsoft Teams chats. Text-based communication is understandably popular. For one thing, everyone already has the necessary infrastructure on their mobile devices. In addition, there is something so delightfully low-pressure about messaging--there’s no eye contact necessary, and you can compose your thoughts before sending them out into the world. Messaging is a true gift for anyone who struggles with shyness or social anxiety, but even the most socially adept among us revel in its ease.
The rise of video conferencing and collaboration solutions has been paralleled by a transformation of office spaces and meeting rooms. With more and more employees working from home or other remote sites, the need for large meeting rooms and individual offices and cubicles has declined. Many employees are part time residents of or occasional visitors to headquarters, and so huddle rooms, modest multi-purpose rooms that can be used on the fly, are becoming more prevalent. According to Wainhouse Research, there are approximately 50 million huddle rooms around the world. So huddle rooms aren’t only the future--they are also the now.
The central tenet of customer service is the same as it ever was: keep the customer happy! Which means: keep the customer coming back. ‘Tis the nature of business. But while the foundation of good customer service remains the same, the strategies and tactics you use to reach out to customers constantly shift and evolve. Staying engaged with and responsive to customers in 2018 requires a set of skills and technical interventions that would have been unimaginable thirty or twenty or even ten years ago.
What if we told you there was a very simple way to increase productivity, reduce your company’s real estate footprint, save money and keep your remote employees happy? Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not. You must simply embrace the beauty and power of the huddle room.
So, you're thinking about adding digital signage to your company's toolkit. Excellent! It's as easy as sticking a screen in your lobby and loading it up with some cool pictures, right? No, sorry. You'll have to ask yourself (and, hopefully, answer) a few crucial questions before committing to such a undertaking.
We all know how annoying and soul-crushing a poorly run meeting can be. Time slows to a crawl. The clock seems to tick backwards. Legs fall asleep. Coffee stops working. Yawns infect the room. Employees throw dagger eyes at the boss, their ire barely contained: why, their faces say, why oh why are we even here.
In a blockbuster deal announced on March 28, venerable communications giant Plantronics will acquire conferencing and collaboration luminary Polycom for $2 billion. The boards of both companies unanimously approved the deal, which will likely close in the third quarter of 2018, pending regulatory approval.
Late last year, Microsoft announced that it would be slowly phasing out Skype for Business in favor of Microsoft Teams, the tech giant’s all-in-one, cloud-based chat app. In a September press release, Microsoft Teams general manager Lori Wright wrote that “Teams will evolve as the primary client for intelligent communications in Office 365, replacing the current Skype for Business client over time.”
The benefits of video walls and digital signage are many. Such solutions allow companies to eliminate costs associated with printed matter (like posters, billboards and brochures) while increasing brand awareness in such a way that improves business--80% of brands that use digital signage experience a sales increase of 33%. And with digital signage, you can respond to the ever-shifting nature of the market by updating your displays with just a few clicks.
In recent years, we have seen a revolution in the workplace, as companies come around to realizing that the traditional idea of work--commute to office, work at office, leave office--is a largely outmoded notion that doesn’t jibe with the way we think about time and space in the 21st century. The world we live in now is defined by malleability and flux, as we can take work with us wherever we go and, in many cases, adjust work schedules to meet our needs.
Keeping up with tech developments can feel like an impossible task. It seems like some new innovation is unveiled every other day. It is tempting to throw up one’s hands and ditch the tech news cycle altogether, because the reward for keeping tabs on new developments is too often a feeling of futility and frustration. What’s the point of investing in new solutions if they are supplanted by brighter and bigger and better ones within months? One must strike a careful balance between the past and the future, between the technology that has been working for you and the newfangled solutions that will be necessary moving forward. Finding this balance can be tricky. So let’s take a look at a few of the more glaring signs that it is time for you to upgrade the gear in your conference room.
Anyone with a bullhorn and a bright sign can attract attention. And you could easily turn your digital signage strategy into the equivalent of just such a crass attention-grabbing maneuver. But we’ll assume you don’t want to have to scream to get people’s attention. How can you use your digital displays to attract attention in ways that actually make people want to pay attention? Let’s look at a few key considerations.
Lifesize used the occasion of February’s Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) trade show to announce a host of improvements and additions to Lifesize Cloud. The big attention-getter was Lifesize’s unveiling of new integration features for Cisco and Polycom video systems.
You might think of digital signage as an aesthetically pleasing addition to your design scheme, and you would not be wrong to think this. But digital display solutions are versatile tools that can deepen your relationship with clients while financially benefiting your company. Let’s look at a few ways digital signage can become a vital component of your organization.
With more and more companies realizing that recruitment via video conferencing allows them to save money while widening their employee search, job hunters would do well to modify work on their video interview strategies. The rules of the old-fashioned interview still apply--make eye contact, speak with confidence, express enthusiasm--but video adds a few new demands. Let’s take a look at what you can do to shine on a screen.
Public speaking is scary. When you add video conferencing to the mix, things can get even scarier. Not only do you have to talk to people--you also have to manage, at the very least, the issue of how to present yourself on camera. If you're intent on presenting something people will respond to, you'll also probably have visual supplements (charts, graphs, pictures) incorporated into the proceedings. This can feel overwhelming. But there are things you can do before and during your presentation to pull it off. Here are a few suggestions.
So, you’re finally on board with this whole digital revolution thing. You have decided your office might need a makeover to bring it into the 21st century. Excellent! Welcome! Let’s go over a few key communication solutions you probably won’t want to work without.
Technology changes so fast that making predictions about it can be a fool’s errand, but it’s important to think about where we are at and where we might be going. And in the world of video conferencing and collaboration solutions, one can see a few pretty clear paths into an otherwise uncertain future. If we were betting people, we would definitely put our money on the four following possibilities.
For the last decade or so, the fine folks at System Contractor News have closed out the calendar year with a comprehensive list of the top 50 systems integrators in the industry. Taken as a whole, the list offers a pretty accurate snapshot of the state of the audio-visual integration landscape, and we like to think of it as a picture of where we’ve all been and a sign of what might be to come. Last year, Solutionz landed the number nine spot on SCN’s list, and we are pleased to announce that we have moved up in the world: on the newly released 2017 rundown, Solutionz secured the number eight spot. Another top ten finish!
Choosing a video conferencing solution can be an overwhelming undertaking. That’s why we exist: to help you wade through the options and choose the one that’s best for your company. But whether we’re there by your side or not, there are a few features you should look for in whatever solution you end up choosing. Let’s take a look at them.
The meeting rooms in which you host your organization-wide gatherings and formal video conferences have very specific tech requirements--you must offer employees and virtual visitors alike a fairly convincing simulation of a face-to-face interaction. Which means: large screens, powerful speakers, multiple microphones, interactive whiteboards, etc. You name it--it should be there. But you can lighten up a little bit with your huddle rooms. Don’t get the wrong idea--these aren’t crash pads. They are places of business. But they should be seen as opportunities to save a few dollars while giving your employees access to the same collaborative tools you use on a larger scale in your large rooms. So how, exactly, should you strike that balance between accessibility and affordability? Let us take a look at three key considerations.
We have a tendency to focus our attention on AV solutions that facilitate real time conversation and collaboration between people separated by distance: the boss and her remote employee; the scattered team members working from various coffee shops; the American salesperson and his Japanese clients. In such cases, we are thinking about screens (and speakers and microphones) as tools that can render a digitally mediated experience into something approaching the intimacy and clarity of a “real life” interaction. In these cases, HD displays act as windows onto a world that is still recognizably our own.
The proliferation of conferencing and collaboration technology has changed the way we think about space. With a video solution like Prime Call Cloud UC, anyone with a computer or mobile device can connect to anyone else with a computer or mobile device, no matter where they are. Physical space basically vanishes--you are in the virtual realm, where geography doesn’t matter.
With the rise of the huddle room and the increasing number of employees working remotely, there has been a growing need for compact solutions that won’t dominate a space or prove too cumbersome for travel. A cloud-based conferencing and collaboration solution does away with so much of the infrastructural heft that used to define video and audio communication technology, but you don’t necessarily want your employees relying on the built-in microphones and speakers on their devices. What’s the point of an exceptionally accessible teleconferencing solution if a laptop speaker makes a mess of sound? With this problem in mind, Polycom has unveiled the VoxBox, a low-distortion speaker system intended to supplement your video- and audio-enabled environments. Consider it a power boost for the wonderful system you already have.
We live in a world dominated by visual culture, so it makes sense that most conversations about video conferencing and collaboration solutions revolve around image quality. And while it is surely important to see your distant colleagues and clients in crisp high definition, such visual clarity is utterly useless if you can’t clearly hear what they are saying. This isn’t to say conferencing solutions don’t come packaged with great audio. They do. Audio problems often begin and end with the layout and design of the room you’re in. With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks for ensuring a top-notch audio experience.
As you’ve probably heard, Microsoft is positioning its newly minted Teams collaboration platform as an eventual replacement for Skype For Business. According to Microsoft, it is “now aiming to bring the capabilities of Skype for Business in the cloud into Microsoft Teams to deliver a single hub for teamwork, with built-in, fully integrated voice and video.” Combining chat, voice, video and content-sharing capabilities, Teams aims to bring co-workers together in a cloud-based workspace that can be modified and personalized for every team’s needs.
Polycom has a long and fruitful history of cooperation with Microsoft’s collaboration innovations, integrating the best of what Microsoft has to offer into its audio and video conferencing systems. Whether it’s Office 365 or Skype for Business, Polycom has been there for the last fifteen years, providing customers with an ideal gateway into the world of Microsoft communications technology.
Millennials are often dismissed as a layabout generation allergic to work and responsibility, but this is just a bogus myth perpetrated by folks who simply haven’t bothered to notice that it is the nature of work itself that has changed. Young people are still working--they’re just working in different ways. And if you want to attract and retain the young talent that will keep your company vibrant and forward-thinking, it is absolutely essential that you provide said talent with the tools they prefer. And what do they prefer? The thing they grew up with: digital technology that engenders mobility, flexibility and freedom.
Skype For Business is one of the more common video conferencing tools, as it is already familiar to so many people. But just because it is intuitive and simple doesn’t mean it isn’t sometimes tricky to manage. StarLeaf, which specializes in innovative Skype For Business solutions, has found a way to help IT departments manage its army of endpoints with StarLeaf Maestro.
The average consumer has grown accustomed to the idea of an all-in-one device with which they manage all communication, but a recent survey of IT professionals conducted by Spiceworks found that this assumption about connectivity does not hold sway in the world of business. According to Spicework’s survey results, 77% of North American IT professionals are using multiple providers to meet their conferencing and collaboration needs.
Video conferencing has become the communication and collaboration method of choice for organizations intent on keeping remote employees and distant customers connected to home base, and Polycom has been at the leading edge of the video revolution for some time now. Polycom’s RealPresence desktop and web solutions make video-based collaboration possible anywhere at any time.
Back in June, when Cisco announced that Spark, its all-in-one collaboration solution, would be fully integrated into devices running iOS 10, Windows users might have felt a little bit left out. But fear not, Windows fans! It turns out Cisco had something special in store for you. And now, the Windows-friendly bonus has been revealed.
According to a recent study published by Global Workplace Analytics, 3.7 million U.S. employees currently work from home at least half of the time. That’s a mere fraction of the total work force, but we’re still talking about millions of people here. In a recent Gallup survey of 15,000 adults, 43 percent of Americans reported spending at least some time working remotely. And there is still room for that number to grow, as 56% of workers in the U.S. have jobs that are compatible with telecommuting. That number is up from 50% in 2014. So what we are seeing here is a kind of feedback loop: as telecommuting becomes more common, the nature of work becomes more amenable to telecommuting.
We’ve written at length about the myriad wonders of Cisco Spark, an all-in-one messaging app, conferencing solution and phone system that delivers powerful cloud-based collaboration tools to everyone in an organization, no matter where they happen to be.
We spend a lot of time thinking and talking about how to make collaboration and video conferencing solutions more intuitive and accessible for the everyday user. There isn’t a boss out there who doesn’t want their employees to quickly adopt and adapt to new technologies that make for more efficient and productive workplaces. But user engagement isn’t the beginning and end of the story. You also want your IT department to be happy. And how do you keep an IT department happy? By giving it power and control.
Back in March, we partnered with StarLeaf to launch Prime Call Cloud UC, a cloud-based conferencing and collaboration service that allows users to link up with ANYONE on ANY video system. With Prime Call Cloud UC, powered by StarLeaf, you can video conference with clients and co-workers on Skype for Business, Polycom, Lifesize, Cisco, Avaya et al. to achieve universal connectivity.
Back in June, Polycom introduced the world to Pano, a collaboration solution that, in the words of Polycom CEO Mary McDowell, “makes content sharing easy and fits into any ecosystem or environment.” Wainhouse Research recently took Polycom Pano out for a spin to test the company’s claims. It should come as no surprise, given Polycom’s reputation, that Pano passed with flying colors. But let’s take a closer look at the results.
You might think remote workers are just happy they get to work from home, but the convenience of having a home office isn’t quite enough to keep employees satisfied at work. Even the most shy and self-sufficient among us like to feel connected to the world at large, and that connection can fray all too easily if an employee works remotely the majority of the time. An effective manager should be aware of this risk and work to remedy it. Here are a few ways you can keep your remote employees engaged and happy.
As anyone who’s ever bought a new TV knows, it’s not enough to get the best and biggest technology. You also have to figure out how a piece of equipment will work in an actual room. Where will the screen look best? How will your fancy new gear work with the furniture you already have? How will you keep the cables and cords out of view? The same concerns can and should occur to companies undertaking A/V integration projects. Here are four such design and installation matters that should be on your mind while you undergo your A/V transformation.
Video conferencing and collaboration solutions make it easier for your employees to connect and work together no matter where they are. But the power of video extends beyond the day-to-day routines of the people on your payroll. To fully exploit the potential of video conferencing and collaboration technology, you should be thinking about how to use video to reach beyond your organization.
Polycom has long excelled at innovating versatile and intuitive video conferencing and telepresence solutions that facilitate easy connection and fruitful collaboration. Polycom Desktop Solutions give on-site and remote workers alike a clear path toward productivity through conferencing, collaboration and content sharing.
It’s pretty difficult to think of an industry that can’t be radically transformed by video conferencing and telepresence solutions. Think of a company or organization and we can tell you how it would become more efficient and profitable with video technology. Daycare? How about a video feed for parents at work. Construction? Workers on-site can stream vital visuals to the higher-ups at the office. Fast food? Employees can be trained via video. We could go on and on. But for now, let’s take a look at four businesses and how they use video/collaboration solutions.
When all is said and done--when you’ve sorted through the seemingly infinite array of fancy features offered by the myriad video conferencing and collaboration solutions out there--what you want and need will boil down to something very simple: you will want a video conferencing and collaboration solution that offers flexibility and affordability without skimping on quality. And at this point, what that means is that you will want to consider an AV-over-IP solution. So let’s take a quick look at why this is the way to go in 2017.
Keeping tabs on tech trends can feel like trudging through shifting sand: with every step you take, the landscape seems to transform completely, radically altering your perceptions of the world on a seemingly second-by-second basis. It’s helpful, then, to have an aerial view of the terrain. A recent survey conducted by Nemertes Research offers just such a snapshot of the state of the video conferencing world in 2017.
We have not and will stop banging the drum for digital transformation. The irreversible business revolution spurned by digital innovation is an undeniable fact. A recent survey conducted by Gartner found that 50% of CEOs expect their industries to be substantially or even unrecognizably transformed by digital technology. The people in charge see the writing on the wall. We have reached a tipping point.
Plenty of solutions hold out the promise of an all-in-one conferencing and collaboration experience, but there is perhaps nothing on the market quite as intuitive and streamlined as the recently unveiled Cisco Spark Board, a touch-based collaboration solution that combines all of the tools you need in one sleek device.
The modern workplace would be unimaginable without email. It’s a convenient and simple way to communicate basic information to co-workers, employees and customers, but there are limits to email’s effectiveness. Have you ever tried to conduct a brainstorming session via email? Or taken action items into the realm of text-based communication? Such conversations become a morass of competing voices, and as a result, meaning is lost in a volley of words.
When you think about “immersive solutions,” you probably imagine a huge multi-screen array that combines high def video and surround sound audio to produce a convincing facsmile of a “real life” meeting. Such immersive telepresence solutions are crucial for conferences and meetings attended by top-level execs and board members--it’s the video equivalent of that well-appointed upper floor office where big decisions are made and blockbuster deals are brokered.
Company-wide meetings are among the most challenging gatherings to wrangle. Unlike smaller conferences and meetings, a town hall-style meeting--wherein the name of the game is speechifying instead of conversing--is shot through with pitfalls for organizers and speakers. It is just exceedingly difficult to hold the attention of a large group of people whose main role is listening. But there are a few things you can do to ensure such occasions don't leave people feeling tired and bored and unappreciated.
It can be overwhelming to even begin to think about purchasing a video conferencing and collaboration solution. No matter how up-to-speed your IT department and generous your budget, you will find yourself lost and flailing in a tornado of jargon and sales pitches if you don't know which questions to ask of both yourself and the person intent on selling you a video conferencing solution. Use the following five questions to light your way through the process.
In a recent survey of 132 organizations, Nemertes Research found that a healthy 65% of companies have introduced desktop video conferencing solutions into the workplace. However, only 5% of the organizations surveyed currently offer desktop video to more than half of their employees. Perhaps the prevalence of mobile solutions is to blame for the somewhat sluggish adoption of desktop solutions. Why invest in desktop technology that is easily accessible on a phone or tablet? This reasoning makes intuitive sense, but it’s flawed. According to Nemertes, the organizations that offered desktop video to more than half of their employees reported higher success rates. So we’d be remiss to ignore the power of a quality desktop video conferencing and collaboration solution.
Okay, first things first: that headline is a little white lie. Education is never easy. It never was and it never will be. It doesn’t matter what level of schooling we’re talking about. From kindergarten on up through college, the quest to acquire knowledge is one fraught with pitfalls and setbacks and sometimes insurmountable challenges. That’s just the nature of learning and of teaching. The difficulty is itself a part of learning, right? If we all stopped learning when things got hard, well, we’d all be crawling around dad’s ankles still.
Everything’s in the cloud now, right? You take a picture and how do you back it up? In the cloud. You buy an album on iTunes and how does your phone store it? In the cloud. You write a novel on Google Docs and where does your masterpiece live? In the cloud. In short, you’re in the cloud whether you know it or not. So don’t be afraid of it. In fact, embrace it. Because the cloud is making video conferencing easier and more powerful than ever. How? We thought you’d never ask.
It doesn’t matter how comfortable you think you are in a public speaking role. You might be the most charming and disarming networker of all time. That is great. But it does not mean you can waltz your way into a video conference without first considering the unique challenges posed by video conferencing solutions. They are not difficult to avoid if you know they are there. So keep an eye on these four potential pitfalls.
Nothing stops a video conference dead in its tracks like a failed presentation. You can prepare all you want--memorize the material, practice your speech, get your documents in order--but once the content sharing portion of the meeting goes haywire, recovery is exceedingly difficult. As you wrestle with a tangle of wires or a failed connection or a faulty dongle, your colleagues drift from the matter at hand, their minds turning to lunch or the weekend or, worse, your trusted co-workers start to wonder about just how qualified you are. This is bad news.
A recent survey spearheaded by Spiceworks found that the vast majority of companies (92% of them, in fact) have deployed or are considering deploying multiple collaboration solutions. This makes sense. Employees should have various communication and collaboration options at their disposal. Sometimes a quick chat message will be sufficient, while at other times a phone call is the only thing that will work. You want your employees to have access to any and all means of communication as often as possible. But juggling multiple solutions with divergent infrastructures and separate subscription plans can get confusing and expensive.
According to a recent study conducted by the International Data Corporation, the U.S. mobile workforce will grow from 96.2 million to 105.4 million workers in the next five years. Which means nearly three quarters of the U.S. workforce will be mobile by 2020. “Mobile” is a flexible term here--it includes delivery drivers, construction workers, law enforcement, and basically anyone who doesn’t sit at a desk in an office all day--but these figures highlight the fact that the American workforce is moving further and further away from the traditional office space. Even if your job involves looking at a screen all day, odds are pretty good you’ll be looking at that screen in various spaces throughout the week. So what should happen to the office when there are fewer and fewer people in it? Here are some ideas.
You want the best and brightest people working for you. You want the dedicated innovators and the deep thinkers. A simple text-based job listing will certainly be enough to attract interest, but supplementing your listings with inventive and informative videos will help attract the kind of top talent that keeps companies exciting and thriving. Here are a few tips for using video to recruit the people you want and need.
Capture Your Company Culture
You could write a labored essay trying to describe what makes your company special, but it is much easier--not to mention more effective--to take your candidates on a virtual tour of your enterprise. Show them where they’ll be working! Take them behind the scenes with footage of a staff meeting! Let them see the break room and the water cooler and the janitor’s closet! Okay, maybe they don’t have to see the janitor’s closet. Some things should never be seen. But you get where we’re going--put together an enticing video portrait of the faces and spaces that make your company what it is.
Give Your Employees A Voice
Who better to give a prospective candidate the inside scoop than people who already work for your company? You might think you know everything about your company, but let’s face it--you probably don’t know as much as the people who work for you. That’s why you hired them! To know stuff! Video testimonials by current employees can be an attention-grabbing way to let candidates know what their day-to-day will look like. Let your employees talk! Especially the happy ones! Keep those grumps out of it.
Stand Out At Job Fairs
Job fair attendees have heard every version of every recruitment spiel. They don’t need (or want) to hear it all again. Use the videos mentioned above to attract eyeballs to your little corner of the packed floor. Candidates will appreciate the opportunity to take a break from shaking hands and listening to speeches. It’s simple: people like looking at screens! Having dispensed with the laborious introductions, you can focus on making real connections with the people visiting your booth.
Expand Your Reach, Amplify Your Message
Videos can be a great way to get your message beyond the borders of career websites. A clever and well-produced video posted on Facebook or Twitter will find people that otherwise might not have seen your listing. Of course, the world of social media is busy and loud, so your video will really have to stand out. Get people sharing your video, though, and you’re golden.
Now that you’ve sorted through the ocean of candidates and distilled it down to a pool of contenders, you can continue using video in the hiring process. Conducting your first round of interviews via video is a simple and time-saving way to get to know your top candidates and narrow the field even more. Yes, it was an ocean and now it’s a field. You get the idea. A video interview is usually enough to know whether you want to let someone through to the next round of interviews. And then you can meet them in person. Finally!
When you see the words “video conference,” you probably think of a virtual meeting that shares a certain formality with its in-person counterpart. A meeting is scheduled. The meeting’s date and time are entered into a calendar. At the designated date and time, you click on a link and enter the virtual room for the scheduled conference. In short, the video conferencing protocol pretty much matches the rigmarole we are all familiar with from the days of meeting in actual rooms.
In an effort to size up the state of Unified Communications in the business world, analyst firm IHS Markit recently conducted a survey of 207 medium and large U.S. organizations about their UC strategies. It should come as no surprise to you that video conferencing currently plays a huge role in how business handle UC. A whopping 86% of surveyed businesses reported that video conferencing will be part of their Unified Communications plan by February 2018.
Companies are experiencing an epidemic of wasted space. According to research conducted by Herman Miller, only 3 or 4 out of 12 conference room chairs are occupied at a given time. And it’s not only larger conference rooms that have become ghost towns. With more and more people seeking alternative working arrangements, traditional work spaces are dormant far too often. 77% of the time, private offices are unoccupied, while work stations are unoccupied 66% of the time.
No matter how immersive your video conferencing solution, there will always be a little something missing from a meeting mediated by screens and speakers. You can’t smell your colleagues through a speaker, for instance. And you might not pick up on your interlocutor’s fidgety left foot, a sure sign of nerves or over-caffeination. You might not see that your boss missed a bottom button while getting dressed. These are tiny things, seemingly inconsequential, but they all add up to create a vulnerable vibe that in turn engenders an intimacy that is crucial for building empathy and trust. Meeting face to face simply has a humanizing effect on all involved.
It’s totally fine if you don’t feel ready to leap into the world of video conferencing! Maybe you’re about to move into a new building and would rather get settled before investing in new technology. Maybe you would prefer to conduct all of your business with carrier pigeon. That’s fine! But please make sure you’re not basing your decision on myths that just aren’t true. Consider the following misconceptions about conferencing and check them against your own concerns. You might find you’ve got video conferencing all wrong.
You are a modern day worker who enjoys being mobile so you can work from different locations and believe in flexible working as it allows you to be productive. Yet every time you manage to secure yourself a meeting room often it feels like you have walked into a blank space which can definitely do better with a little more hint of technology.
For just over ten years now,
Systems Contractor News has compiled a year-end list of the country’s top fifty systems integrators. The annual survey gives readers the opportunity to zoom out and observe the landscape of the audiovisual industry, with the top half of the list generally consisting of familiar names and the bottom half of the list featuring a who’s-who of newer arrivals. Taken as a whole, SCN’s rundown gives us a glimpse at the evolution of the industry until now and how it might develop in the year to come.
Although remote workers mostly avoid the day-to-day friction that inevitably arises in an office environment, we need only look at the heated exchanges on social media sites for proof that the virtual realm can be just as fraught with conflict and tension. Remote workers might not be having arguments about who forgot to clean the coffee machine in the office lounge, but disagreements are bound to arise when people work for the same organization, no matter where they happen to have their desk. In fact, work relationships mediated by screens are especially delicate and vulnerable: when you don’t have to see someone every day, you might be more likely to ignore a problem or grow more frustrated as time passes.
It used to be so simple: video conferencing systems were isolated tools, separate from telephones and messaging and other UC solutions. That’s just not the case anymore. Today, video conferencing is just one cog in a vast and interconnected system of communication and collaboration methods, and access to video now resides in every tablet, every phone, every desktop screen.
Last November, when Lync morphed into the robust conferencing and collaboration solution
Skype for Business, we wrote
a brief introduction to S4B and offered up a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of the all-in-one virtual meeting space. But we neglected to mention something incredibly important. Because, well, it didn’t exist yet. But it does now: with
Polycom RealConnect for Skype for Business, your existing video environments can be seamlessly integrated with Skype for Business to create a video solution accessible to everyone.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) wrapped up this earlier this month, and while most people were justifiably fixated on the nifty bells and whistles Apple will be introducing with iOS 10, what caught our attention was a more under-the-radar revelation: with the rollout of iOS 10 this fall, Cisco Spark’s mobile app will be leveraging iOS 10 to deliver seamless voice and video calling.
When we talk about video conferencing, we tend to build on the assumption that people only use video conferencing to communicate and collaborate with colleagues in other locations. That is the most salient feature of a video conferencing solution, after all: the obliteration of distance, the freedom to roam while staying connected to anyone and everyone. And the remote workforce is only expanding, so video conferencing’s primary function as a bridge between far-flung work spaces is not likely to change.
Video conferencing systems are a viable means of replacing or supplementing traditional visitation in jails and prisons. Video conferencing solutions can also expedite such routine legal matters as arraignments and parole hearings by eliminating the logistics involved in transporting prisoners.
Larger conference rooms and boardrooms present unique telepresence challenges. You can get by with a screen or two and a couple microphones in a huddle room or smaller conference space. But a bigger room offers an opportunity to bring telepresence and video conferencing to the next level, and as these rooms are often the places where you’ll be showing off the best possible version of your organization, you’ll probably want a video conferencing set-up that matches your ambition and vision.
We recently wrote about the many
benefits video conferencing can bring to various government agencies, and we touched on the ways video solutions might
improve the justice system. Which is why we wanted to zoom in on that particular realm and explore the ways video conferencing can be integrated in prisons to improve the lives of people on the inside (both prisoners and employees) as well as the society beyond the prison gates. The issues confronted by incarcerated people and the system that handles their rehabilitation demand a war fought on many fronts, and video can only be just one small piece of a larger puzzle, but there are many ways in which video conferencing solutions can be implemented to assist with different kinds of reforms.
We talk a lot about the innumerable benefits reaped by businesses that implement video conferencing solutions, but the work done by local, state and federal agencies can also be improved and enriched by video conferencing. There is perhaps no field more reliant on dependable connections and effective collaboration than public service. Because we’re not just talking about commerce here--we are dealing with public safety, national security and immense federal budgets, among other things. So here are a few ways government agencies can do better work for the people they serve with the help of video.
Telecommuters make up nearly three percent of the U.S. workforce. That might not sound like a lot, but that’s over three million people we’re talking about. Technology makes it not only easy for employees to work from home, but desirable for employers to let their staff work from home, at least some of the time. People who work from home tend to be more productive and enjoy more job satisfaction. It’s a win-win situation. But you have to ensure some consistency across remote and on-site work spaces and methods. Your company might be scattered, but the work should be the same no matter where your employees are. Consider the following solutions for keeping remote employees up to speed.
When preparing for a video conference, no one wants to waste precious time figuring out how to get participants with different conferencing technology on the same call. It’s not only a logistical headache, but a possible barrier to doing business. If your door isn’t open for everybody, well, some folks aren’t going to want to bother knocking. Scheduling and joining video conferences should be simple for all involved.
Millennials now compose the largest share of the American workforce. Within five years, they will make up 50% of the American workforce. By 2030--which isn’t as far away as you’d like to think--they will make up 75% of the global workforce. To recruit and retain the best and brightest among this new generation, it is imperative that companies adopt tech solutions that jibe with millennial needs and expectations. What works for them will work for you. A mobile video conferencing solution is a great way to start. Here’s why.
We’re not gonna lie: searching for the right video conferencing solution can be a pretty intimidating process. Even seasoned IT vets do some hand-wringing when it comes time to implement a comprehensive room solution. Of course,
we’re always here to help you find just the right custom fit for your organization, but
Polycom has recently introduced a new all-in-one video conferencing and collaboration solution that simplifies the purchasing and implementation process without sacrificing the innovation and quality we’ve come to expect from Polycom products.
This latest offering from Polycom, which the company unveiled on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, is called RealPresence Medialign, and it is essentially a “greatest hits” package that bundles the best of what Polycom has to offer in one easy-to-use, single solution.
You probably think the audio conference call is old hat. Multi-party phone calls have been around for decades, so you’re forgiven for thinking you’ve seen--or, in this case, heard--it all. But with Polycom’s RealPresence Trio, audio conferencing has been upgraded to deliver an experience suitable for the smartphone age. RealPresence Trio offers the same crisp and clear audio that Polycom users have come to expect, but there’s more to it than that. With enhanced sharing capabilities and expanded video options, Polycom RealPresence Trio turns a phone call into a heightened realm of collaboration. Here’s what you need to know.
Since its unveiling in 2011, Polycom’s RealPresence Platform has been at the leading edge of universal video collaboration, and now, with the introduction of RealPresence Clariti, Polycom is once again revolutionizing the way organizations connect in the virtual realm. Clariti carries over the easy-to-use collaboration solutions customers have come to love in RealPresence, but with flexible pricing structures and increased cloud coverage, not to mention developer tools and streamlined administration tools, Clariti takes Polycom’s video conferencing technology to another level. Here are few exciting features of Polycom’s latest breakthrough.
Odds are fairly good that your organization employs various rooms for different kinds of meetings. There aren’t any hard and fast rules dictating which meetings happen where--sometimes it might just come down to a matter of availability--but if you have ample space, it’s a good idea to establish different spaces conducive to different kinds of collaboration and connection. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to figure out how to incorporate video and audio solutions suitable for these specific spaces and the ways ideas circulate in them. Below are some suggestions for getting the most out of huddle rooms, meeting rooms and boardrooms.
You’ll always need a conference room for larger meetings and more formal gatherings, but the huddle room is on the rise in the business world. A small space intended for intimate and informal collaboration sessions and meetings, the huddle room is the ideal place to bring a brainstorming session to the next level or to find some peace and quiet for some heavy problem-solving. Here are six great reasons to consider adding one of these versatile, streamlined spaces to your floorplan.
The call center is too often the place where commerce collapses into a mess of frustration, miscommunication and outright hostility. We’ve all been there--most of us at the consumer end. You know the drill: an interminable wait, during which you are subjected to tinny music you’d pay NOT to hear; a torturous conversation with a representative who doesn’t seem all that invested in helping you or even all that knowledgeable about the company he or she works for; a transfer to someone who might know more than the aforementioned representative; yet another interminable wait accompanied by still more atrocious music; and then another long exchange that might, if you are lucky, finally end with your questions answered.
More and more companies are turning to such web collaboration solutions as Prime Call Cloud MeetMe, which puts anyone with a mobile device just a click away from the sort of top notch video collaboration that used to exist only in the conference room. To take full advantage of this new flexibility and mobility, however, it is imperative that employees have access to mobile technology with which they are familiar and comfortable. Of course, you could provide tablets and phones to your employees, but why bother? The vast majority of people already own such devices. They know how to use them. They want to use them. And a service like Prime Call Cloud MeetMe is compatible with pretty much any mobile device. So institute a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy and enjoy the following benefits.
Audio conferencing might seem way more simple and straightforward than video conferencing, but there are still quite a few potential pitfalls hiding in the all-audio realm. In fact, there are ways in which an audio conference can be an even more delicate situation than a video meet-up. So how about a little refresher course in audio etiquette?
While there are certainly advantages to keeping video conferencing infrastructure on-premise, more and more organizations are opting for cloud-based solutions. Organizations dealing with highly sensitive material--medical and government institutions, for example--might want to stick with an on-premise solution to guarantee the security of their information, but for many companies, videoconferencing in the cloud can increase flexibility and simplify connectivity without sacrificing the perks of an on-premise array.
Accessing quality healthcare can be a nightmarish ordeal of bureaucratic wrangling, long distance drives, interminable delays, packed waiting rooms, rushed care and outrageous bills. But things don’t have to be that way. There is no one-size-fits-all cure for this incredibly complex problem, but with the help of video conferencing solutions, healthcare providers are finding new ways to provide reliable and timely care to the people who need it.
Implementing a comprehensive video conferencing solution is probably the most important thing a company can do to foster connection and flexibility in a workplace increasingly defined by distance and mobility, but there are times when a video link just isn’t enough. The ability to capture, record and edit video can extend your reach to employees and potential clients alike, by making vital content available to the people who need it, whenever they want it. With innovative recording solutions like Lifesize Cloud Amplify, Cisco Telepresence Recording Server and the Polycom RealPresence Media Suite, you’re just a few clicks away from producing videos that can be viewed on demand. What follows are just a few of the advantages you’ll enjoy once you start archiving recorded content.
Job satisfaction has never been a simple matter of receiving fair remuneration for services rendered. A paycheck is the prime objective, sure, but people have always wanted more than that from work: a feeling of community, a sense of accomplishment, the satisfaction of a job well done, etc. You get the idea. This will always be the case, but the passage of time has changed the way companies meet these needs. Casual Fridays and vacation time might once have been sufficient to motivate employees and let them know they were appreciated, but expectations have changed, especially among younger people entering the workforce.
You’ve prepared a seamless multimedia presentation for Monday’s meeting, and it’s going to knock everyone’s socks off. No one is leaving that meeting with socks on. Heck, they’ll probably lose their shoes, too. You have a perfect plan: first the PowerPoint bit; then a short and informative film highlighting the salient features of your airtight argument; after which you’ll offer a brief yet thorough demonstration of your great idea using a new company laptop; and hey, let’s get Bob in here via Lync, he called in sick today but he should really be here for this.
Although Microsoft Lync recently merged with Skype to become Skype For Business, the messaging client has not strayed from its essential purpose: integrating Office programs with, voice and video chat features in order to facilitate collaboration and communication in the workplace. In short, Lync (or S4B) is similar to the chat technology you use on a daily basis, but since it has access to your Outlook calendar and Office documents, it functions as a sort of all-in-one virtual workspace. The newly released Skype For Business version of Lync has added a few nifty features (like slightly tweaked text formatting – can you say more emojis!?!, integration of Skype contacts, and file transfer preview), but the user experience remains mostly unchanged. And while Lync is a remarkable boon for any organization looking to address workflow challenges, the multitude of options available to users can lead to complications and possible communication mishaps. Here, then, are a few tips and tricks for avoiding any unseemly clumsiness while using Microsoft Lync.
Think back to the first time you spoke to someone via video. It was weird, right? Making eye contact, that most natural and essential aspect of interpersonal communication, seemed nearly impossible given the camera’s placement. Delays and glitches made even a best friend or family member seem like a stilted stranger broadcasting from a faraway planet. It was fun, sure, but it didn’t exactly make chatting easy and seamless. Aside from reasonable worries about tech logistics--What if I push the wrong button? Did I just mute myself? Can anyone hear me?--there is the timeless fretting that accompanies any interaction with fellow humans. In other words: you are afraid of looking silly and clueless. Being comfortable with the ins and outs of your conferencing hardware and software is essential, but there are a few basic matters of self-presentation that are just as vital as any tutorial offered by IT. In our next installment, we’ll run through some strategies for negotiating the sometimes tricky nature of video-assisted conversation, but first, let’s make sure you’re ready to look your best.
Video conferencing gives innovative companies a competitive advantage while making great things possible. Large progressive companies are investing in services that provide high quality video collaboration into their everyday business operations to enhance efficiency, support business progression and reduce costs. But what about the little guys or larger companies with a tight budget? Today every organization needs collaboration and communication services that can easily support the way their teams work.
As little kids we all spent hours playing hide and seek. Nothing quite matched the excitement of gleefully calling out one of our little playmates as we spied them crouching under the stairs or pressed behind a tree.
When it comes to video conferencing even firefighters have come to appreciate all that it has to offer. One of the biggest challenges firefighters face is the ability to train others without taking them away from their own station. If firefighters have to go to the main training center to learn new skills then they lose the ability to respond to emergencies without delay. With the ability to train firefighters in their own station this problem completely goes away. This is only one way that Polycom videoconferencing products are being utilized by local firefighters in the Lake Travis area. Along with the ability to respond to emergencies immediately in the middle of a training session, video conferencing allows firefighters to train five to six companies at once. Instead of a trainer teaching the same information multiple times a day to multiple different stations, he/she only has to teach it once. Polycom videoconferencing products also allows for the training sessions to be archived which gives firefighters the unique ability to refresh their skills at anytime. Seeing the firefighter’s facial expressions during a training session is “icing on the cake”. It seems like the benefits of videoconferencing are endless for these firefighters, click here to learn more.
Collaboration and teamwork are essential in bringing people, processes, and products together, especially when it comes to manufacturing and innovation. For the proposal of a new product it is crucial that demands, advice and ideas from all portions of the Research and Development (R&D) value chain are considered for product development and success during the product lifecycle.
We all know that there are several benefits when it comes to video conferencing. Saving on travel costs and time, offering flexibility for employees and being able to connect form anywhere, just to name a few. However, taking a closer look in to other values associated with video conferencing allows you to see how your company can benefit in ways you may not have thought of.
We all know that Collaboration promotes business. Employees are more engaged with access to the resources and information they need, and with an engaged workforce comes more loyalty, productivity and satisfaction. To achieve these business results collaboration has to be simple, whether it’s between teams, individuals, customers, or partners.
How do you choose the right phone for your conferencing desires? With so many options available, it can be hard to decide which one is the right product for your company. Polycom offers a variety of audio conferencing options that are sure to fit your needs.
Did you know, the U.S. federal government offers billions of dollars in grant funding to government agencies, schools, healthcare organizations, and several public entities to improve procedures and delivery of services to our communities? Countless funding sources are devoted to outreach and services that request distance learning and telemedicine technologies. Solutionz Grant Program Services experts are dedicated to helping you discover those funding programs best suited for your video conferencing needs.
Even with all the obvious benefits of video conferencing, many companies are still hesitant to support it as a reasonable replacement for traveling and in-person meetings. If anything has hurt adoption of video conferencing solutions in small and medium businesses over the years, it’s the misconceptions about the possible options. Whether they are uncertain the savings will ever compensate the initial investment, they are scared of technology, or unsure which system is compatible with their partner’s.
A Law firm’s success depends on personal relationships, both with clients and within the business. But in today’s world, the legal domain is becoming more worldwide and meeting in person isn’t always an option. The great thing is, that the cloud is enabling a new generation of easy to use video conferencing and collaboration technology that provides face-to-face video consultations.
The success of financial institutes today depends on whether they can obtain and serve their clients more successfully than their competitors. Finding and keeping these customers depends profoundly upon customer relationship management. To achieve this, financial institutes are refining profitability and strengthening customer relationships by installing new visual collaboration strategies.
In the manufacturing business, time is money. That’s why manufacturing teams are turning to video conferencing. It has allowed manufacturing firms to reduce production time, ultimately leading to decreasing the amount of time it takes for a product to get into the hands of the consumer.
Law enforcement and emergency services crews have substantial synchronization, field communication and training requirements. Those needs require flawless communication and sharing of detailed information, such as charts, maps, building diagrams, satellite images, surveillance camera footage, recordings and event forensic evidence.
Sometimes the language used in the video conferencing can be confusing. What’s the difference between video conferencing and telepresence? What is meant by immersive technologies? Technology is constantly changing, so basically, there is not one right answer. Marketing materials may use one term or the other, and there might not even be a settlement between different vendors as to the meaning of these terms.
For many of us working from home is the new norm. It is the next big thing and what many employees look for when searching the job market. Video conferencing helps offer employees working remotely more flexibility, fewer distractions and cuts on time and costs.
Mobile devices have already taken over ownership of PC’s, and that means the requirement to integrate video conferencing into these devices is critical. The demand for a mobile video conferencing solution is almost mandatory and one that provides compatibility with desktop and room systems is essential.
The oil and gas industry continues to face new challenges and risks. These issues can cause lower productivity, unnecessary expenses and even physical harm. Video conferencing can be a critical resolution to some of the major problems within the oil and gas industry.
Pexip announces its integration with Microsoft Lync with traditional video conferencing systems. The Pexip Infinity version 4 will simply link everyone together and transcode through this scalable virtualized multipoint conferencing platform. It will provide native interoperability with Microsoft Lync 2010, 2013 and Lync Online/Office 365. It allows organizations to collaborate and share data and presentations between virtually any enterprise video endpoint and any Lync client.
When the majority of your team happens to be in different geographical locations collaboration can be a challenge. Travelling to locations is often not possible and can be cost and time consuming. This is now a common phenomenon for both large and small organizations, and remote operations are quickly becoming the standard in our connected modern world of technology.
With cost cutting and shrinking budgets in school districts across the country, some might wonder if the days of the school field trips are fading. The idea of bus trips to an off campus location are becoming a thing of the past.
Polycom RealPresence Mobile Software is a software solution that is free to download and brings enterprise-grade video to tablets and smartphones. Use your smartphone or tablet to collaborate and connect over video face-to-face with colleagues, customers, partners, patients and students - no matter where they are located or where you are located.
It can be hard for older patients to get to all the appointments they have. A visit to the doctor can be a hassle and stressful for seniors. They have to keep track of several appointment dates and times, change their daily routine to create time for the appointment, and sometimes make accommodations for transportation assistance.
Polycom has launched its CX8000 room system for Microsoft Lync, a video conferencing system that provides the power of Microsoft Lync to the conference room with HD video, simple room controls and an optional, center-of-table experience. Companies around the world have come to depend on the reliable combination of Polycom and Microsoft Lync solutions for a unified collaboration and communications room system for managers, employees and customers/clients of geographically dispersed organizations.
I recently had to help my Dad set up a video conference call for work. It’s easy to forget that this can be a difficult process for someone who is not very tech savvy. His nerves were high and he wanted to make sure to be overly prepared. His concern for being equipped made me realize, that sometimes I don’t take the proper steps I use to, when preparing for a video conference call.
Last week I discussed how video conferencing is providing more convenient and safer interactions for inmates. Today I am taking a closer look at some of the benefits for video conferencing inside courtrooms.
The days of physically visiting inmates has come to an end for many correctional facilities. Video conferencing systems are being installed inside jails to provide more convenient and safe interactions.
With the traditional face-to-face visitation, inmates were transferred from their housing area to the visitation area, while visitors often had to come through the security facility. Video conferencing solutions allow family members and friends to communicate via video conferencing equipment from the comfort and convenience of their own homes.
Video Conferencing is making its way in to schools not only with distance learning, but also with the use of telehealth solutions. Each year, the U.S. federal government awards billions of dollars in grant funding to schools, government agencies, healthcare organizations, and other public entities to improve operations and delivery of services to our communities.
2014 is upon us and so is new technology. Video conferencing technology is embracing this social and global world. Mobility is no longer a trend, but a business reality. Video Conferencing not only increases productivity, but saves time and money. Companies that are getting ahead are building a unified communications and collaboration strategy that includes video.
Polycom innovation has changed the way the world works, whether it’s helping people save lives, learn, or create, they are pushing human collaboration forward. See how video conferencing can help make your business succeed in the New Year!
mHealth stands for the provision of health-related services using mobile communication technology. As 2014 shifts into the mainstream of mobile video conferencing , healthcare providers will need to recognize and accept patient-provided data in a large-scale way.
Video conferencing isn’t just something we do for fun anymore, it is becoming a major component in business as well. Many employers believe this can be intimidating and seem too tech savvy for them. To help, here are some key terms to get more acquired with, before taking the plunge into the video conferencing world.
Video conferencing is becoming an effective tool in the classroom. Being prepared to instruct virtual learning can be crucial. Making sure you have anunderstanding of its benefits, restrictions, and how to utilize it, can help make your teaching experience easier.
As video conferencing access increases to virtually every employee with a laptop or mobile device, users in various business roles within organizations use video to defy distance in slightly differing ways. Polycom broke down some of the major positions and found several reasons why there is such a huge demand for video conferencing within the work place.
The popularity of standard video capabilities on tablets, mobile devices, and notebooks paired with a new wave of affordable, enterprise-quality products and Prime Call Cloud services means that many of us will increasingly need to be "on camera" for one business reason or another.
There are several factors that can make the initial start-up cost for Telehealth seem daunting. However, new solutions are being conducted to help healthcare organizations find assistance. Your organization can provide added services to your community if your organization could implement a Telehealth program.
The Department of Veterans Affairs recently showcased their new telehealth system, a service which will allow thousands of veterans to consult with doctors and specialists regardless of location. About 80,000 vets took part in over 200,000 telehealth conferences with therapists and doctors last year. These appointments featured veterans receiving counseling and care for chronic conditions as well as mental health therapy.
The Department of Veterans Affairs recently showcased their new telehealth system, a service which will allow thousands of veterans to consult with doctors and specialists regardless of location. About 80,000 vets took part in over 200,000 telehealth conferences with therapists and doctors last year. These appointments featured veterans receiving counseling and care for chronic conditions as well as mental health therapy.
Do you remember how meetings used to be? When you would book travel, download material onto a laptop or USB drive, deal with the airport and flying, transportation, attend the meeting, take notes, fly home, download to your colleagues, and so on? How time consuming!
Five different libraries around Vermont recently were brought together for a news conferencing via video conferencing. Fourteen libraries have installed new video conferencing to allow their patrons to connect to whomever they need to without paying for an at-home solution.
Federal budget cuts in travel have given the video conferencing industry an uptick in federal sales. Providers are looking forward to this trend continuing due to tightening budgets as well as initiatives like the “Cut the Waste, Stay in Place” Act of 2013 which is looking to cut agency travel expenses by 50% by 2017. The across-the-board federal spending cuts have caused agencies to substitute in-person meetings for virtual ones.
Those who work from home often preach the great benefits of telecommuting – better work-life balance, increased productivity, they’re saving their company money, etc. But some individuals and companies alike feel the negatives of working from home outweigh the positives.
Solutionz offers so many options for video conferencing, we thought we'd make a cheat-sheet with three of our most popular options including the new Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS, BlueJeans, and the PrimeCall Suite.
Penn State York has recently developed a teleeducation program for their students who have limited time to attend classes due to other commitments and responsibilities. This program is deisgned to deliver credentials to their adult learners. These new real-time and interactive classrooms will allow students working toward a degree or certification to take courses through video conferencing.
Businesses and government agencies alike have the same priorities: to lower costs and increase productivity. Mobile Work Exchange has recently done a study to show that video conferencing had potential to deliver results for both. According to this study, if only half of government workers used video conferencing they would see an increase of 3.5 hours of work each week and almost $5 billion annual savings in travel expenses alone. As a result of these findings one congressman is promoting a new bill called “Stay In Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013”. This bill highlights video conferencing services as a way to cut Federal Government travel expenses in half. Even with all of the obvious benefits, some are still hesitant to support video conferencing as a reasonable replacement for traveling and in-person meetings. Whether they are unsure the savings will ever outweigh the initial investment, they are technology phobic, or not knowing which system will work with their partner’s system.
Over the past decade laptop use has tripled, video collaboration as grown from 26%-42%, and email, phone and IM have become the main form of communication taking the place of physical meetings as the primary form of communication. Companies are looking for an opportunity to collaborate and work productively through a flexible work schedule.
While many companies use conference calls to engage multiple parties at once, this can lead to enablement of multi-tasking, late arrivals, and easy distractions. Thankfully, video conferencing combats these effects by simulating an in-person meeting through virtual face-to-face interaction. Many of these systems are costly, and despite available grants and funding some organizations simply cannot afford an enterprise-grade system. This is where Blue Jeans comes in.
The University of Texas Arlington recently initiated a program for distance education with The University of Texas San Antonio offering Japanese and Portuguese language programs through video conferencing.
Polycom has recently released the new CX Series, a desktop video conferencing unit that allows 360-degree views for seamless communication. The CX Series comes fully compatible with Microsoft Lync via USB connection. This is the latest development in the strong partnership between Polycom and Microsoft, both working toward the goal of seamless and effortless communication.
For some students, being able to travel and visit other countries for fun or study is impossible either because of finances, schedules, or prior commitments. Not all students are afforded the luxury of studying abroad either because of monetary reasons or time commitments. Many majors don’t have a program with courses available at other schools even within the United States, much less in another country. Luckily video conferencing is changing how students are able to learn and experience other cultures.
Polycom has recently had some big wins in the telemedicine field in China – dominating the competition by claiming over 51% of the video conferencing market, saving lives with video conferencing, seen a 20% increase in the market over since 2008, and are hoping to see more growth in the next 5-years.
The national physician shortage is keeping healthcare professionals on edge – it has been predicted that by 2025 the US will be 52,000 physicians short of what we need. With the new Affordable Care Act and Patient Protection, this will give 30 million people their first chance to have health insurance – thus increasing the need for more doctors.
Telemedicine has recently been used as a resource of the military in a variety of different departments including education, training, and specialist referrals. Telemedicine has recently become even more important for intuitions like the military because the doctors and healthcare professionals are spread so thinly around the globe. With budget cuts the option to hire more military doctors and personnel is simply not an option.
Video conferencing is now available to almost anyone due to the capabilities of smartphones and computers. This technology, including FaceTime, Skype and GoogleTalk, has led to a rise in telecommuting allowing employees like account managers or sales to work from home. With all these people working out of their home-office, it begs the question of how does “business attire” or “business casual” translate appropriately to “home-office” attire?
Ownership of mobile devices is quickly overtaking PC’s, and with that comes the need to integrate video conferencing into these devices. The demand for a mobile video conferencing solution is at the highest ever, and one that allows compatibility with desktop and room systems is essential.
The VUC Storstom education provider in Denmark has recently been recognized for their distance education initiatives and partnership with Polycom. Storstom was recognized by the International Distance Learning Awards for their project that is providing distance education to 5,000 adult students. This “Global Classroom” allows adults who did not finish school to attend virtual courses, making themselves a more valuable employee and more employable.
Manchester City’s Soccer Stadium will soon be the Premier League’s most fan-friendly and technologically advanced stadium with the help of Cisco and an in-depth unified communication system. The stadium, which has a 47,000 seating capacity and has been applauded for it’s cutting edge facilities, will install Cisco’s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solution. This will deliver high speed internet access in the stadium and round it for thousands of mobile devices including phones and tablets.
Soldiers in Afghanistan face difficult emotional situations on a daily basis with nowhere to turn except inwards. Social workers and psychologists are looking to turn these hardships into an opportunity to extend a helping hand through the marriage of video conferencing and therapy – teletherapy.
Hershey Chocolatiers have had a strong relationship with the people of Hershey, Pennsylvania for many years, but also have a relationship with Ghana, where their coco plants grow. To create a link between these two populations, they decided to use video conferencing in two elementary schools.
What exactly IS unified communication? More than a buzzword in the technology world, unified communication is not something that can be easily summed up. Unified communications is, as the name suggests, many things working as one.
A new study from the University of Miami reports successful use of telepresence in trauma settings by aiding with staff shortages in disaster scenarios. The use of a remote telepresence surgeon for trauma situations proves to be helpful by having extra professional opinions and diagnosis.
The endless debate over whether or not to offer your employees the option of telecommuting remains. While all parties agree that telecommuting is able to offer an improved work/life balance, many aren’t sure this is the right solution for their company. Due to the lack of investment in tools or training for these technologies, it makes sense that adoption and effective collaboration aren’t happening. Having the right tools in your hands make all the difference.
While many believe that video conferencing is the perfect technology- saving money, saving time, and decreasing energy costs, but many companies are still hesitating on adopting a unified communication strategy. Below are 5 hesitations companies have about integrating video conferencing into their workflow.
For graduate students, the culmination of years of research and hard work result in their dissertation, an incredibly stressful and emotional event in itself, but the added stress of scheduling faculty to attend can make this time unbearable. Up until recently scheduling a dissertation defense has been difficult for students, but now with video conferencing, diverse schedules are able to easily align to make this easier for everyone.
New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce recently introduced the idea of a telecommuting Congress where lawmakers would be in a “virtual Congress”. This would give Congress the ability to video conference, vote on legislation, and debate from their own districts.
Enterprises around the world are getting serious about integrating video conferencing as an everyday communication tool. Technology improvements along with high speed IP networks are reducing travel, improving communications at the office, and allowing employees to telecommute all through video conferencing. However, for some, these video conferencing solutions still seem too costly and confusing to set up, operate, and manage. Here are some guidelines for implementing a unified communication strategy at your business.
When looking to adopt a telehealth program for a hospital or clinic, there are many choices in each of the necessary components: equipment, service, and technology. What options each organization chooses should be based off of their needs and their existing and future role. The best way to do this is with a “telehealth needs assessment” which will take into consideration the organizations ability to meet changing demographics.
Many businesses are adopting a Unified Communication strategy to increase communication, but what other areas can we use this to our advantage? Recent school safety initiatives have been a huge priority for many states and school districts, but Unified Communication (UC) is an unexpected solution that is only recently being looked into.
There are several conclusions that employers, employees, and fellow co-workers immediately draw regarding teleworking, and mobile video conferencing. Many of these are false and have led to a fear or aversion to integrating this lifestyle and work change.
The University of Hong Kong recently implemented several video conferencing solutions within their law school. These solutions, the Polycom HDX 8000, EagleEye cameras, and RealPresence platform, make learning a more interactive experience for their students on campus and off. These video conferencing technologies enable the law students to engage not only with each other and professors, but with students overseas.
The Secretary of the State, Hillary Clinton, recently conducted her last “Global Town Hall” meeting through video conferencing. This meeting enabled students around the world to not only view, but participate in this meeting. This participation was made possible by using video conferencing solutions, such as internet phone technology (like IP Video Conferencing), Skype, Twitter, and Facebook. Through these connections, Clinton was able to field questions and answer them in real-time.
Jeb Bush and the National School Choice Week wrote an editorial for CNN highlighting the benefits of video conferencing in our education system. In this article, Mr. Bush explains why nontraditional classrooms using video conferencing is beneficial to everyone involved.
The more connected employees feel, the simpler it is to embrace their employer and organization’s objectives. Keeping employees engaged and connected can be a challenge for employers, but this is essential logistically and also socially.
Leading organizations are seeing that communication and success are symbiotic, and adopting a unified communication strategy can improve their business. Unified communications are shown to improve not only internal collaboration, but communication with customers and clients. By utilizing a unified communication strategy one is able to combine tasks and integrate different technologies making collaboration and communication easy and straightforward.
Smiths Group, a technology company, recently implemented Polycom RealPresence video solutions to increase communication and expedite decision making. The Smiths Group currently operates from over 50 countries and employs over 23,000 people in a variety of industries. For them, the biggest reason for implementing the Polycom video system was to increase communication, expedite decision making, and cut traveling considerably.
Many elder care facilities are looking to telehealth to assist in areas where they are coming up short or could use more help. Typically, the need for telehealth stems from remote living conditions (35% of elder care populations are in isolated counties), physician shortages, underserved communities, and wanting to facilitate healthcare without third party payers. However, the main goal of implementing telehealth solutions is to provide the best experience and community for residents.
Cisco, the world leader in networking, recently showed off their ideas for a new TV system at the International CES. Named “Videoscape Unity” this combines on-demand, DVR, web, broadcast television, and social media. This is all supposed to be on a wall system larger than several current TV screens combined.
Yale, Cornell, and Columbia Universities have all banded together launching a program to hold language classes via video conferencing. The courses are focused on uncommonly taught languages to revive some of those that are slowing fading away. This video conferencing approach came to fruition after budget cuts in 2011. These cuts gutted language programs around the US by taking 47% of the National Resource Centers’ cultural study and foreign language budget.
South Goa, a district in India, has recently undertaken video conferencing as a solution to handling complaints and grievances. The collector, ND Agrawal started this video conferencing and telepresence program and has made it accessible to anyone interesting in participating very Friday.
Colorado’s largest school district uses Polycom technology in their Schools allowing the district to stretch resources across Jefferson County. As schools across the country struggle with budgets, video conferencing becomes an ever-more strategic solution to spread expertise across geographies and schools.
The game has changed for telepresence. It wasn’t long ago when we were awestruck at the ability of telepresence to manipulate time and space - putting people across the world from each other in “one room” instantly and virtually. Now we expect even more.
Many large enterprises struggle to fully engage a unified communication platform due to the undertaking of moving from test phase into production. This transition is a huge challenge. For many of these large companies, the answer is using a hybrid approach for unified communication. This blends together traditional office options like Microsoft Lync along with cloud-based options supported though the Cloud. This allows core applications and infrastructure to remain under control of management and IT staff while having media hosted though the cloud.
Polycom, the leader in open standards-based unified communication, has taken their video conferencing technology all the way to the South Pole. There are around 1,400 scientists, staff, and researchers stationed at the South Pole spending winter months (July-September) in total isolation and darkness. Aircrafts are unable to reach the continent during this time leaving them to wait out sickness while neurologists, cardiologists, and specialists are unable to reach them.
Video conferencing, using real-time video and audio to see and hear other people allows real-time face-to-face communication, helping so many ways. Video Conferencing allows companies and individuals alike to save time, money, and resources.
The two-fold increase in video conferencing adoption in the past decade is changing office worker’s perspectives on work/life balance. Over the past ten years, the number of employees working from home has increased from 21% - 40%. Aside from this statistic, a survey conducted by Redshift Research shows that both employers and employees’ views are shifting due to the increase in video conferencing technology.
When you hear “holographic technology”, perhaps your first thought is a scene out of Star Wars, and not distance education. However, advancements in technology have enabled teachers and students to stray away from traditional chalkboards and opt for interactive white boards or SMART Boards. Already, video technology is fairly common in bringing students together from different areas around the world, guest speakers, and outside instructors. Distance education is bringing everyone closer- next on the horizon is bringing in these parties though holographic technology for an even more lifelike experience.
Many organizations are adopting a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program to cut costs, commuting time, and help create a flexible work environment. Globally, 25% of organizations have already adopted the BYOD and mobile workforce movement, with a projection that by 2014 83% of organization will adopt this method.
Polycom, the global leader in unified communications, provided their own Polycom RealPresence to the 2012 Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials. Polycom features legendary quality video conferencing services (known for their Polycom HDX system) helped the Tech Awards bring together past winners, current nominees in five categories, and one individual winner- all entrepreneurs who use technology to better humanity.
Unified communications, the integration of multiple real-time communication technologies that cooperate, are changing how many companies operate. Unified communications involves IP telephony, instant messaging, video conferencing, presence information, call control, data sharing, and more. Together, these offer a level of compatibility not available from traditional communication systems with the added bonus of a lower cost.
Cisco, the leader in networking that helps people connect and communicate, and the University of Waterloo elected a Cisco Research Chair in Smart Grid. This chair will lead research, promote and support innovation and developing solutions for smart power grids.
Cisco, leader in video conferencing and networking, recently released WebEx Social for Higher Education for increased productivity and communication. This technology fuses WebEx Social, WebEx Messenger, and WebExMeetings to create an elevated communication platform for college students allowing them to easily access relevant communities, mentors, class syllabus, links to videos, and reading lists.
The Travis County jail system will be the first in Texas to allow video conferencing between inmates and their lawyers, and friends. These video conferencing services will operate with the same restrictions as traditional jail visits. All video conferencing calls to friends or family will be monitored by a corrections officer and will come with a fee, while calls to an inmate’s lawyer will be confidential and free of charge. Travis County is looking at charging the inmates $20 for a 20-mintue call.
The University of Queensland received nearly $1 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council to study telemedicine in geriatrics. The study will be conducted over the course of four years and includes a web-based support system, high-end video conference technology, and will be targeted at residential aged care facilities. Implementing telemedicine, video conferencing and information technologies to provide healthcare, has been something fairly common, but what sets this study apart is the clinical-grade technology and that the technology will be at the resident’s bedside while being operated by a doctor from a remote office.
Polycom, the leader in unified communications, announced that the law firm Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is using Polycom solutions in their 5 offices. These solutions enable Morris Polich & Purdy (MPP) to engage with their clients and contacts in a mock face-to-face environment worldwide.
Companies are evolving the way their employees work, interact, communicate, and conduct business through cloud and video collaboration. They need the ability and tools for reliable on-the-go collaboration quickly and easily.
Distance and online education together with video conferencing are changing the college experience as we know it. Eric Rabkin, a professor at the University of Michigan for forty-two years, recently undertook the personal challenge of simultaneously teaching 39,000 students over six continents in a science fiction course. This is about twice as many students has he has taught on-campus in those forty-two years combined.
Video Conferencing is being adopted globally as a solution to travel and could save the US billions annually if used by half of federal employees.. Video Conferencing allows companies to cut costs on travel, improve morale, and boost productivity.
Video conferencing, streaming video and audio in lieu of face-to-face interaction, has become a popular alternative to traditional therapy sessions.. Whether using video conferencing for therapy is because of location, comfort level, mobility, or monetary reasons, it is making therapy a practical option for many.
Telemedicine, the use of video conferencing in healthcare, is breaking new ground in the field of mental health. Physicians and specialists can now communicate easily over long distances with their patients face-to-face. Since 2008 departments such as diabetes, neurology, infectious disease, pulmonology, bariatrics, and prosthetics have been utilizing video conferencing and telemedicine. Psychiatry has been the latest to see the benefits of telemedicine.
Video Conferencing, real-time video and audio streaming allowing people to see and hear each other, is increasingly important for all companies.. With globalization reaching into every industry, most employees are unable to accommodate face-to-face meetings. In order to accommodate this, companies must create relationships and encourage more effective communications and sense of connectedness.
Telemedicine, the use of video conferencing in healthcare, allows better care for those located in remote locations or have mobility issues. Specialist monitoring their patients from a remote hospital saves time, money and resources, and most of all is convenient.
Due to the growing number of armed forces personnel, video conferencing is becoming an indispensible tool for the Defense Department. Many of these individuals have suffered brain trauma or psychological damage and are located on a military base, at a clinic, or at their homes and are unable to be reached by their doctor or a specialist. Finding a video conferencing solution falls to the National Center for Teleheath and Technology (T2).
Telejustice, the use of video conferencing to conduct judicial proceedings, is becoming progressively more popular in US cities for select hearings. Telejustice brings many benefits to the judicial system, primarily cost reduction and speeding up the judicial process as a whole with the accused present in court via video conference. Many individuals, including the Pennsylvania First Judicial District’s director of courtroom proceedings, Michael Spaziano, think that all guilty pleas should be conducted via video.
Video conferencing is becoming necessary for everyone from telemedicine patients in remote locations, to school children in low-enrollment classes. Video conferencing can seem daunting for many people forthose who have never been on a video chat, it can seem scary, confusing and even more of a hassle than traveling to a face-to-face meeting. For those who seldom attend video conferences, it can be just as confusing (“I swear this worked last time!”). For someone hosting a video conference, those feelings can be even more extreme. But not to fear, here are a few tips to help you feel confident while hosting your own video conference.
Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking, and Purple, a polling organization, surveyed US voters, finding 80% of people value video conferencing. Of those, 89% personally value the ability to connect two different manufacturer video devices and have them work cooperatively. The use of video conferencing has skyrocketed within the government, education and healthcare fields, and with consumers. The Cisco Visual Networking Index claims that in three years one-million minutes of video will cross the internet per-second.
Polycom, the leader in unified communications, along with Right To Play are bringing children together with Olympians through video collaboration. Right To Play is an international charity that believes in the transformative power that play can give to children. They used face-to-face video collaboration from Polycom as a gateway between Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors, such as Canadian cyclist Clara Hughs, and disadvantaged children in Rwanda, allowing them to share their passion and dedication about overcoming challenges and obstacles.
Polycom, the worldwide leader in unified communications, announced four of their customers received 2012 FGDLA awards. These were awarded to The National Park Service (NPS), the Defense Acquisition (DAU), the World Bank and Army National Guard (ARNG) as acknowledgement for their exceptional efforts to broaden learning in the federal sector. These organizations use the unifying hub of Polycom® RealPresence® video technology to bring the effective face-to-face video conferencing and learning from military service personnel to school children. The Federal Government Distance Learning Association (FGDLA) also awarded select leaders from Polycom, DAU and NPS for accomplishments in distance learning.
SMBs are in perfect position to gain the greatest benefits that business grade, high definition video conferencing solutions have to offer. Yet, somehow telepresence and high-definition video conferencing has gotten the reputation that it is a solution exclusively for large enterprises, while smaller or mid-sized organizations (SMBs) are left behind to make do with e-mail, voice, or web-based video created for consumer applications. Medium to small businesses seek to manage a workforce that is geographically dispersed, travel more, and fight to keep a competitive edge amongst their larger competitors all with less resources.
Severstal, a leading steel company in today’s industry is utilizing Polycom video collaboration technology for its enormous workforce reaching 84,000. Although this workforce is dispersed across ten different countries the ability to collaborate face-to-face, anytime, anywhere has been made easy through the use of the Polycom RealPresence Platform.
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Maximizing productivity while reducing costs is just the beginning of what video conferencing solutions deliver to the healthcare industry. Health care environments thrive when real-time interactive communication is improved which also elevates the quality of healthcare.
The possibilities of video conferencing are endless for higher education. As part of our mission to change the way people communicate, Solutionz offers higher educational institutions a number of resources designed specifically to give your institution an enrollment and educational competitive advantage. Our visual communications products are the best available, but technology alone does not create the only competitive advantage - it’s how professors and educational institutions use it and incorporate it that makes the difference.
Lyon County School District deploys a video conferencing solution to promote and lay the groundwork for future remote education opportunities. Situated near the southwest corner of Nevada, Lyon County is home to one of the state’s most rural and remote school districts.
The Polycom Accelerate Promotion Program offers some of the best ways to “accelerate” both usage and adoption of some of Polycom’s leading video collaboration solutions. Take advantage of benefits including process improvements, productivity, and ROI in key areas:
Solutionz is excited to offer the newly approved Polycom HDX Remote Control app available in Apple’s App Store. Now instead of using the standard HDX remote control, iPhone/iPod/iPad users can use their personal devices to take control of Polycom’s HDX video conferencing systems. The app gives users the ability to control a far end system’s camera and their own system. Unlike the current HDX remote that is offered in the App store this app is upgraded with additional abilities like pairing with multiple HDX systems and the ability to ask for service help by just clicking a button.
Telepresence and Unified Communications are being used in correctional facilities, courtrooms, and police stations around the world. The benefits of Telepresence and UC in the Human Justice processes are just beginning to be realized. From an expert in a busy forensics lab to a suspect behind bars Telepresence takes them where they need to be, the minute they need to be there, and without the need to travel.
Guess who is video conferencing? The Aquarium of the Pacific! There are many reasons why this is so cool. To name a couple; it is the fourth largest aquarium in the nation, and the biggest in Southern California. Which means with the capabilities of video conferencing, students from around the world can experience the beauty it has to offer from the comfort of their own classrooms. Three words that can change a student’s day-to-day learning experience, video field trips. The opportunities that video field trips offer are astounding to those who are new the world of video. The Aquarium of the Pacific will now be offering its classes virtually taking its animal collection instantly to students in any classroom. Imagine students connecting with scientists as far away as Antarctica to experience a live feeding. Learning has never been more fun for the student and more effective for the teacher.
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Leaders in global health were surveyed to determine key players in heath sector innovation. It is no surprise that information-sharing and collaboration showed the greatest potential for achieving immense innovation for the health sector. Telepresence and HD video conferencing often are the best and only tools to facilitate life-like collaboration and real-time information sharing.
When it comes to all stars productions like ‘Fringe’ and ‘The Good Wife’ to ‘Dr. Phil’ and ‘Ask Oprah All Stars’ they all have one thing in common…High Definition Polycom telepresence systems. Why have they all chosen telepresence solutions as a way to make TV better? Two words, “location liberation!" With both the Polycom UC Intelligent Core and Polycom telepresence not only can Producers enable their east coast production teams to collaborate “in-person” with the west coast but also daytime television shows can now communicate remotely with guests in real-time.
April 25, 2011 is the RUS Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant deadline. As this deadline quickly approaches, Solutionz grant program team wants to help by giving you all the information you need to apply and win.
Cisco unleashed a host of new options to make video throughout enterprises easier to consume and create. Let Solutionz help you improve communication and business collaboration with one of Cisco’s Telepresence Solutions.
Solutionz is excited to tell you more about what Polycom solutions can offer you now that they have joined forces with Microsoft. As a team, Microsoft and Polycom execute a complete, end-to-end, standards-based unified communication solution optimized for the Microsoft UC platform. With so many enhanced products customers can expect better business productivity at lower costs.
Solutionz offers video conferencing and telepresence solutions to help your company achieve its fullest potential in today’s economy. Regardless of which industry you are in there is a video solution right for you—Read how some of the following industries are already achieving new heights by incorporating video into their daily operations.
Cisco makes history with its telepresence technology; partnering with CNN is a wise choice indeed. CNN has chosen this partnership to accomplish live two-way communication, through custom built Cisco Telepresence sets during news broadcasting. This is definitely a step up from their customary one-way feeds. CNN displays the Cisco Telepresence logo at the beginning and end of the each telepresence interview. Never before has CNN given an advertiser the opportunity to brand its technology during live news coverage.
If you have not already, let Solutionz help you decide what Video Conferencing and Telepresence solution is right for you or your company! Once you have, below are a few helpful tips to make the most out of your video meetings.
Now is the time to upgrade to a new Polycom HDX with Polycom's new Video Trade-In Program. For a limited time you can trade in existing Polycom or competitive video conferencing equipment and receive a rebate up to $2,475 when you purchase a new qualifying Polycom HDX system.
When you join Polycom and Microsoft together you are joining the global front-runner in video, voice, and telepresence solutions with the global front-runner in software solutions. This means that organizations will be able to utilize video conferencing in ways they never have before.
When it comes to video conferencing even firefighters have come to appreciate all that it has to offer. One of the biggest challenges firefighters face is the ability to train others without taking them away from their own station. If firefighters have to go to the main training center to learn new skills then they lose the ability to respond to emergencies without delay. With the ability to train firefighters in their own station this problem completely goes away. This is only one way that Polycom video conferencing products are being utilized by local firefighters in the Lake Travis area. Along with the ability to respond to emergencies immediately in the middle of a training session, video conferencing allows firefighters to train five to six stations at once. Instead of a trainer teaching the same information multiple times a day to multiple different stations, he/she only has to teach it once. Polycom video conferencing products also allows for the training sessions to be archived which gives firefighters the unique ability to refresh their skills at anytime. Seeing the firefighter’s facial expressions during a training session is “icing on the cake”. It seems like the benefits of video conferencing are endless for these firefighters, click here to learn more. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abpC3q_d_60&feature=related
The Walt Disney Studios is the foundation on which Disney was built, and at its heart are world-renowned animation features and live-action motion pictures. So you can only imagine our excitement when Walt Disney came to us with the need for video conferencing!
There is a video conferencing solution for every type of communication and meeting scenario. But how do you choose the video conferencing equipment that is right for you?
You could call a video conferencing solution provider, such as Solutionz, and speak with a rep who will walk you through all the options available and help you determine the equipment that is best for your needs. Or you could use TANDBERG's new video conferencing profile widget "Solution Finder: What is Your Video Profile" and click to answer a few questions. Once you complete the brief series of questions, the TANDBERG Solution Finder will calculate your responses and suggest a TANDBERG video conferencing equipment solution.
ESPN recently announced that they will use Cisco TelePresence for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to deliver live and recorded soccer games, as well as connecting soccer fans with players, teams, and coaches. Cisco TelePresence uses high-definition audio and visual for a life-like virtual experience. By utilizing TelePresence, ESPN will economically and effectively enhance the viewers' soccer experience.
Video conferencing has changed the ways of traditional education. The popularity of 21st century schools continues to rise, despite budget cuts and less educational funding. Video conferencing allows students to take virtual field trips, collaborate with students in different locations, and increases learning opportunities without restrictions of time, money and transportation. By utilizing video conferencingschools are expanding the depths of education. With video conferencing, students are capable of:
An unprecedented fashion designer like Tommy Hilfiger not only makes sure that his fashion designs are cutting edge, but also his technology. Video conferencing and telepresence are the new waves of communication, and many industries are using it as another creative outlet -in this case a "virtual runway." Fashion designers like Tommy Hilfiger are using these "virtual runways" to improve cohesive creative concepts, but also minimizing travel time and costs. The TANDBERG T3 Custom Edition provides the catwalk experience in any office, at any time. Integrative telepresence allows face-to-face interaction from patterns to production without ever leaving the office. The TANDBERG T3 Custom Edition makes immersive telepresence tailored-fit to any industry.