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Let Your IT Department Choose Your Collaboration Solutions

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.

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Cisco Merges WebEx And Spark To Simplify Collaboration

Cisco Merges WebEx And Spark To Simplify Collaboration

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Making The Case For Video Walls

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.

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Weighing The Pros And Cons Of Video And Audio Conferencing

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.

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Take Customer Service To The Next Level With Huddle Room Solutions

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.
 
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Connect With Customers Using The Cloud

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.

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The Transformative Power Of The Huddle Room

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.

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Four Key Things To Consider When Planning Your Digital Signage

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.

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How Poor Meeting Management Impacts The Bottom Line

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.
 
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Plantronics Acquires Polycom In $2 Billion Deal

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.

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StarLeaf Builds A Bridge For Microsoft Users

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.”
 
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Adding Digital Signage With Design In Mind

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.

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Video Conferencing Is A Vital Educational Tool

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.

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Is It Time To Upgrade Your Conference Room?

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.

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Getting The Most Out Of Your Digital Signage

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.

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Lifesize Unveils New Cisco And Polycom Integrations

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.

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Doing Business And Driving Profit With Digital Signage

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.

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How To Impress Prospective Employers Via Video

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.

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How To Get Better At Video Conference Presentations

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.

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Crucial Communication Strategies For The Modern Office

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.

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The Future of Video Conferencing And Collaboration

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.

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Solutionz Lands Near The Top Of SCN’s Systems Integrators List

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!

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Three Key Features To Look For In A Video Conferencing Solution

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.

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Use Huddle Rooms To Strike A Balance Between Accessibility And Affordability

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.

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Demanding Attention With Digital Signage

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.

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Space Matters: Designing Work Environments That Work For People

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.

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Polycom VoxBox Delivers Exceptional Audio To Any Space

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.

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How To Improve The Sound In Your Meeting Rooms

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.

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Winning Over The Millennial Workforce With Video Solutions

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.

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Introducing Polycom Pano –A New Way To Share

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.

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Video conferencing solutions by industry

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.

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Why AV-Over-IP Solutions Make Sense

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.

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Trendwatch: The Cloud And Small Meeting Rooms Are In

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.

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Staying Ahead in the Digital World

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.

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Revolutionizing Collaboration With Cisco Spark

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.

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Escape Your Inbox With Video Conferencing

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.

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The Power Of Immersive Collaboration

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.

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Tips And Tricks For Keeping People Engaged in Meetings

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.

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Five Key Questions To Ask While Shopping For a Video Conferencing Solution

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.

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The StarLeaf Desktop Solution

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.

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Education Made Easy With Cisco Spark and Cisco Spark Board

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.

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Cloud Conferencing Is Taking Over–Here’s Why

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.

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Four Must-Avoid Videoconferencing Mistakes

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.

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Eliminating IT Stress With All-in-One Solutions

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.

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Video Calling Made Easy With Prime Call Cloud UC

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.

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Unified Communications In the Cloud?

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.

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Getting The Most Out Of Your Office Spaces

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.

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Fostering Trust and Intimacy With Video Conferencing

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.

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Debunking Common Video Conferencing Myths

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.

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The Meeting Room Stand-off…

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.

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SCN Top 50 Systems Integrators List

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.
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Manage Office Conflicts with Video Conferencing

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.
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3 tips: Choosing The Right Video Solution

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.
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All Together Now: Polycom RealConnect for Skype For Business

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.
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Cisco Spark Announces iOS 10 Integration: What Does It Mean For You?

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.

But let’s back up a minute. What is Cisco Spark? Well, what ISN’T Cisco Spark. It does pretty much everything. Cisco’s all-in-one collaboration platform bundles messaging, conferencing and voice calling tools in one easy-to-use package.

With 5GB of free content storage per user and the ability to create an unlimited number of rooms, Cisco Spark enables mobile users to juggle intimate 1:1 video and voice calls along with group messaging, content-sharing and video conferences with up to three participants. It’s an ideal collaboration and communication solution for on-the-go team members who excel at multitasking.

And as a bonus, Cisco Spark’s open APIs give developers the power to customize Spark and integrate it into their company’s day-to-day operations in ways that make sense for them.

After Apple unveiled iOS 10, Cisco announced that an updated version of Spark, to be released around the time iOS 10 is finally ready for its public launch, will be even more intuitive and easy to use on iPhones and iPads.

Basically what Spark users will be getting is a collaboration solution that is always just a swipe or click away. With the updated version of Spark, users will be able to make Spark calls in the same way they make plain old cell calls--with iOS contacts, recents and favorites. And users will also be able to receive a call with a swipe on the lock screen. Additionally, Spark calls will come with call waiting, so you can switch from Spark calls to regular cell calls with ease.

And finally, IT departments can set up your organization’s iPhones or iPads to automatically route any calls to people within your organization through Cisco Spark, so you can improve compliance while keeping calling costs down.

Again, there is no firm release date for this update to Spark, but when iOS 10 is unveiled, Spark will be there with it.

For now, feel free to read a bit more about Cisco Spark. And please contact us if you have any questions.

 

 

 

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Incoming Call: Intraoffice Video Conferencing

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.
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Polycom’s Solution For Video Conferencing In Prisons

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.
 
While the traditional contact visitations are an ideal way for prisoners to stay connected to their loved ones on the outside, there are many people who cannot afford to make regular visits to family members in jail. So while in-person visitations aren’t becoming a thing of the past, prisons that supplement their visitation procedures with a video conferencing option can strengthen connections between prisoners and the lives they have left behind.
 
A video conferencing solution designed for prisons calls for a sturdy and streamlined design and interface. This is not the immersive collaboration solution of the office environment, but a tool with a single purpose: to facilitate conversation. To that end, Polycom has created VideoProtect 500, a safe and secure prison conferencing solution powered by RealPresence Group 500.
 
VideoProtect 500 offers the crisp HD video and EagleEye audio of Polycom’s Group series, but the 22” 1080p LCD monitor has been tricked out for use in an institutional setting. Boasting 14 gauge steel housing, a high impact front panel, tamper-proof volume controls and a 36” armored cable, the VideoProtect 500 is built to last. It might not be the sleek array one finds in an office, but hey, this isn’t an office.
 
And such a product doesn’t just benefit prisoners. The aforementioned University of Vermont study found that video conferencing solutions can not only save money for corrections facilities, but also enhance public safety by limiting prisoner travel and free up law enforcement resources that would otherwise be spent on ensuring safe and efficient movement of prisoners.
 
Check out more information on Polycom’s video conferencing solutions.
 
 
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TOP Telepresence Solutions For Large Rooms

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.
 
In short: you want a show-stopper. If the bigwigs are heading into your boardroom for a conference or shareholder presentation or international coffee klatch, you might want to consider an immersive solution like Polycom’s OTX Telepresence, which can accomodate up to three 65” LCD displays, bringing your on-screen audience into the room in full size. You can’t get any closer to actually sharing a room with someone. And with separate content displays, StereoSurround audio and optional lighting add-ons, OTX Telepresence can transform your larger rooms into spaces that boast beauty and functionality in equal measure.
 
Cisco’s similarly impressive TelePresence TX9000 Series offers a three-screen, three-camera array ideal for groups of up to eighteen people--a perfect solution for executive meetings--but for a more streamlined immersive experience, there is Cisco’s TelePresence TX1310 65, which retains the three-camera cluster but pares down the display to a single 65” LCD screen.
 
If you’re into dreaming big, though, Cisco’s TelePresence IX5000 Series is the way to go. With Three 70” LCD screens, the IX5000 Series is the first triple-screen solution to offer support for H.265, and with theater-grade audio and 4K ultra-HD cameras, this supersized telepresence solution is not messing around.
 
For larger conference rooms that will be hosting brainstorming sessions and less formal meetings, a fully integrated collaboration solution like Polycom’s RealPresence Group 700 is worth a look. RealPresence Group 700 can accomodate multiple cameras, content sources and microphones, so everyone in the room can rest assured that their voice will be heard and their face seen.
 
Check out more information about audio visual integrated rooms or view Polycom’s range of solutions, to learn more.
 
 
 
 
 
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The Benefits Of Video Conferencing in correctional facilities

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.
 
Visitation
Introducing video conferencing visitations can lighten a prison’s budgetary burden, since a video conference doesn’t have to be so closely guarded, but access to video conferencing can also radically redefine the experience of confinement for prisoners and their families. One might argue that spending even one cent on making life easier for prisoners is more than they deserve, but a prisoner given regular contact with loved ones can make for a smoother adjustment to prison life, which in turn makes for a prison population that is easier for guards and administrators to manage.
 
Rehabilitation
A recent study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that approximately two-thirds of released prisoners are rearrested within three years of release. This requires a great deal of work on various levels--education, therapy and job training and video conferencing can help, by allowing prisoners to stay connected to family and foster a support system that will be waiting for them on the other side of the prison walls.
 
Health
Another recent Bureau of Justice Statistics study found that nearly half of all state and federal inmates reported a medical problem other than a cold or virus, while more than a third of state inmates and almost a quarter of federal inmates reported having an impairment. It is clear, then, that regular medical treatment is something to which prisons are (or should be) dedicating a good deal of time and money. Telemedicine can both increase prisoner access to doctors while making it more affordable for prisons to provide care.
 
Safety
Implementing a robust video conferencing plan is not only beneficial for the men and women in confinement. It can also make prison a safer place for people to work. Prisoners benefit greatly from in-person meetings, and every effort should be made to allow for more traditional visits, but in cases where prison staff suspects illicit exchanges occurring during visitations, a video conferencing intervention can keep contraband from passing between visitors and prisoners.
 
Explore our video solutions for government here.
 
 
 
 
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Beyond Business: Video Conferencing in the Government

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.
 
Citizen Outreach
At the local level especially, citizens should feel like their representatives in government are accessible and responsive. Elected officials and government employees should be able to offer their constituents something more than a form letter or terse email in response to questions and concerns. Now, of course it would be impossible to video conference with everyone who wants something from their city or county, but for citizens with especially dire or persistent issues, a brief video conference could do wonders. People want to be heard. Hear them. People want to feel seen. See them. Plus, offering video meetings to citizens means government agencies can save themselves the tension and escalation of an in-person meeting. Everyone wins.
 
Public Safety
Mobile video conferencing solutions, when placed in the hands of first responders and their superiors, can improve both the speed and quality of emergency services. In large scale crises, multiple agencies must work together seamlessly and quickly, and video can help everyone stay together in situations where every single second matters.
 
Reduce Travel Expenses
Federal agencies rack up approximately $15 billion in travel expenses annually. It should go without saying that a good chunk of that $15 billion is entirely justified. The U.S. is a world power, and government officials need to put their feet on the ground in the various nations in which we do business. But like their counterparts in the corporate world, federal agencies can and should be able to cut costs by implementing video conferencing solutions whenever a face-to-face meeting is not absolutely necessary.
 
Keeping Military Families Connected
While deployed overseas, military personnel go months without seeing their loved ones. Such separation can take its toll on service members and their family back home. Video conferencing gives soldiers and their families a chance to speak to each other face-to-face across otherwise insurmountable distances. While nothing will ever compare to being home with one’s children, the chance to connect via video on a semi-regular basis can keep that vital connection alive for people who have chosen to do a very difficult job in very dangerous places.
 
Cutting Courtroom Costs
As we discussed in a previous blog post, introducing video conferencing solutions into legal proceedings can reduce travel time for inmates facing trial while increasing access to experts and other witnesses who would otherwise have to travel great distances to testify in a hearing. Additionally, a courtroom equipped with video conferencing capabilities can simplify scheduling and, in cases of increased security risks, guarantee safety for all involved. All of this adds up to considerable savings for all agencies involved.
 
Explore our video conferencing solutions for local, state and federal agencies.
 
 
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Bringing Home Offices Up To Speed

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.
 
Prime Call Cloud MeetMe 2.0
Your first priority should be providing a simple and intuitive way for your remote employees to connect and collaborate. Prime Call Cloud MeetMe 2.0 facilitates quick and easy connections for everyone in your organization, no matter where they are. As long as your remote employees have internet access and a camera, they can join a conference in the cloud. With one simple click on a URL link, participants can enter the virtual conference room and get down to business. And when your remote employees visit the office, they can bring their own device and connect in the ways that have become familiar and productive for them.
 
Cisco TelePresence EX90
Home office spaces will likely not require a giant screen. Odds are pretty good that your remote employees can (and should) have a standard desktop display. But it can (and should) be a display that facilitates video collaboration. Cisco’s TelePresence EX90 fits the bill. The EX90’s 24-inch HD display can be used as a PC monitor and a telepresence system, so remote employees can easily transition from individual work to video calls. And with one-touch sharing and a built-in document camera, the EX90 keeps collaboration flowing smoothly.
 
Polycom RealPresence Desktop
Home offices aren’t always the most quiet places. It’s one of the pitfalls of telecommuting: kids can get noisy; dogs act up; garbage trucks rumble by at inconvenient moments. Polycom RealPresence Desktop removes such annoying distractions with its Acoustic Fence technology, which listens for and then eliminates unwanted audio disruptions while you’re on a video call. It’s an ideal solution for remote workers who can’t always count on peace and quiet.
 
Desktop Audio
No matter how sophisticated your telepresence solution, there is still a time and a place for good old fashioned telephone calls. And your remote employees shouldn’t have to rely on their cell phones for business calls--audio quality just isn’t always up to snuff. Consider the audio conferencing solutions provided by Cisco and Polycom, which ensure peerless audio for calls that can’t risk being dropped.
 
Explore additional home office and desktop video solutions and learn more about Prime Call Cloud MeetMe
 
 
 
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Bring Everyone Together With Polycom RealConnect

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.
 
People want to feel comfortable. Video conferencing can be nerve wracking--because any kind of meeting can be nerve wracking--and there’s no reason to add unneeded stress to the perfectly normal anxiety people feel before any form of public speaking. You don’t make visitors to your office run an obstacle course, do you? As fun as that sounds, no, you don’t. That would be cruel and unusual punishment. So. Long story short: you want to make yourself available to everyone, and you don’t want to torture them before they get a chance to talk. And this is where Polycom RealConnect comes in.
 
Polycom RealConnect seamlessly integrates Skype for Business and existing video conferencing systems so that everyone can join a meeting without being forced through a process they might be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. No new software. No new plug-ins. Just a direct connection to you.
 
With One Touch Dialing and native Microsoft Outlook calendaring, Polycom RealConnect keeps your connections plugged into the workflows that work best for them. Because, again: video conferencing should make things easier, not more difficult. And once they’re in your meeting, Skype for Business users will see a familiar layout on their screen. This is not only a convenient solution, but an effective gesture: you are making things simple and pleasant for them. It’s little things like this that make doing business with you desirable.
 
Video conferencing is about more than seeing eye to eye, though. Video is a great collaboration tool, too, and so sharing content is a huge priority. With ContentConnect, Polycom RealConnect allows Skype for Business users to share content with users on more traditional video systems, and vice versa.
 
And RealConnect won’t only give you a leg up with potential clients. It will improve the internal dynamic of your organization as well. If you employ a large staff of remote workers, integration with Skype for Business makes it easier than ever to join home offices and headquarters in a happy union.
 
Find out more about Polycom RealConnect and feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.
 
 
 
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Video Conferencing and the Millennial Workforce

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.
 
Frequent Feedback and Instant Connection
For better or worse, instant feedback has become something akin to an addiction. The common core in email, social media and text messaging is rapid response. It’s not up to us to say whether this is good or bad. The fact is, for people who have grown up with communication defined by incredible speed, instantly accessible feedback is something they’ll expect from an employer. Using video conferencing for brief check-ins is an effective way to make young employees feel seen, valued and respected.
 
BYOD
The younger the employee, the more ingrained the notion that work and leisure exist on a continuum. Such is the nature of the personal device: it is an all-in-one machine that combines productivity tools and escapist pleasure. It can seem dangerous to invite distraction into the workplace, but by letting employees use their own mobile devices at work, you are not only demonstrating trust, but providing them with the tools they feel most comfortable using. And with a mobile video conferencing solution, your connection to your employees will actually only be strengthened.
 
Flexible Scheduling
We are living in the age of the remote worker, and millennials entering the workforce expect to be able to work from home, at least some of the time. Video conferencing solutions allow for some measure of flexibility in scheduling remote time and in-office time, which gives employees the opportunity to tailor schedules in ways that are most productive for them. Of course, it can’t be a free-for-all--there are still deadlines to meet, clients to greet--but giving young workers some wiggle room can go a long way toward making them happy and productive.
 
More Effective Training
A paper-based training packet will look like an ancient (and exceedingly dull) relic to young employees who are accustomed to acquiring information and skills via video. Look at YouTube. That’s where people learn how to do things now. Let’s face it: no one is ever going to love training in the workplace. But it must be done. Try to speak in a language that your employees will understand. For now, that language is video. So grab attention (and maybe even keep it for a little while) with training sessions that incorporate video elements.
 
Virtual Collaboration
An employer should work extra hard to foster a collaborative environment in the workplace. Great ideas tend to grow when more than one person is tending them. Office-based brainstorming sessions are great, but for a lot of people--especially younger people--virtual spaces are where they do their best thinking. So give your employees access to the modes of communication with which they feel most comfortable interacting with each other, because feelings of comfort and freedom provide a solid foundation for building new things.
 
Explore our range of mobile video conferencing solutions.
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Introducing Polycom RealPresence Medialign

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.
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Topics: Polycom RealPresence Medialign, polycom

Unpacking the Potential of Polycom RealPresence Trio

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.

Hear in High Def
Although it comes in a compact package, RealPresence Trio offers the crisp and clear sound that Polycom has pioneered with their immersive room solutions. With Polycom’s enhanced HD Voice technology, you can trust that every subtlety of inflection and nuance of presentation will be clearly conveyed to your audience.

Simplify Connections
With a 5-inch color touch screen and navigation that anyone familiar with a smartphone should be comfortable negotiating, RealPresence Trio keeps training to a minimum so that connection and collaboration can commence immediately. No one will miss a conference call when joining is as simple as a single touch.

Bring Your Own Device
Like Polycom’s RealPresence Group Series, RealPresence Group Series, RealPresence Trio makes it easy to connect your own device via wireless or wired pairing, so you can stick with the virtual environment that works for you while harnessing the power of Polycom’s HD Voice technology.

Eliminate Background Noise
Before any conference call, you should do everything you can to eliminate potential interruptions. Turn off that loud copy machine. Shut down that clanking air conditioning. But you can’t control everything. Maybe an ambulance will scream past the office window. Or a dreaded leaf blower might make its presence known with startling force. With Polycom’s NoiseBlock technology, you can rest assured that unforeseen audio interruptions won’t distract from the matter at hand. NoiseBlock automatically mutes RealPresence Trio when it detects background noise, so you won’t have to scramble to adjust the mics when something profoundly annoying happens on your end.   

Share Content and Be Seen
There are times when an audio connection might not be sufficient to make your point. No matter how clear your voice, sometimes you need the option of a face-to-face engagement or the opportunity to share visual content. With the addition of the RealPresence Trio Visual+ accessory, you can take your call to the next level. This optional device transforms RealPresence Trio into a multimedia collaboration hub: not only can you share content with remote participants, but with the addition of a USB camera, you can see (and be seen by) your audience.  

Find out more about RealPresence Trio here.

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Collaborating With Polycom RealPresence Clariti

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.

Scalable Pricing
With RealPresence Clariti, Polycom lets you decide what you need and when you need it. You can choose the number of people or rooms you want to enable, with the ability to add more licenses whenever the need arises. And with a number of implementation options, you need only purchase what the demands of your organization call for. So whether you’re a small upstart or a massive company, Clariti can fit you like a glove.

Cloud Capability
With RealPresence Clariti, intermittent increases in demand will not overburden an infrastructure ill-suited to peak utilization. Now, with Clariti’s “hybrid cloud bursting,” users are transitioned into Polycom’s cloud resources, bolstering insufficient network resources and ensuring smooth and seamless operations. So now organizations won’t have to worry about predicting future demand or risk investing in a solution that won’t be robust enough in a year--as you grow, the cloud will accommodate your expansion.

Expanded Reach
There is almost no one you can’t reach out to with Clariti. With support for up to 75,000 simultaneous devices, everyone in your organization can be plugged in and ready to collaborate, no matter where they are or what device they’re using. But such accessibility isn’t limited to your people. Clariti also makes it easy to connect with customers, vendors and partners around the world. With just one click, anyone you want to bring into the fold can be there in no time.  Administration Made Easy Keeping an eye on network operations is easier than ever with Clariti, which boasts a single application for monitoring and managing all endpoints, as well as providing real time views of your network’s health and status.  Developer Support Along with Clariti, Polycom is introducing its new Polycom Sandbox feature, which offers access to Polycom’s APIs and SDKs for developers who want to build applications. With support tools designed to facilitate information exchange, Polycom Sandbox is giving its customers the ability to integrate visual collaboration into their workflows in ways that accommodate an organization’s unique needs. 

Learn more about Polycom video conferencing solutions here.

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Topics: Polycom RealPresence, Polycom RealPresence Platform, Polycom RealPresence Clariti, Polycom Video Conferencing

Finding The Right Solutions for Your Room

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.

The Huddle Room
Huddle rooms provide an intimate and less formal setting for small groups (we’re talking five or six people, tops) to get together for brainstorming sessions and impromptu meetings. Huddle rooms are small, so a fairly unobtrusive multi-function device is the way to go here. Something like Polycom Group Convene, which works together with the RealPresence Group Series, is a great solution for a smaller room that you’ll want to keep streamlined and clutter-free, but without sacrificing video and content-sharing capabilities. Don’t break the bank adding bells and whistles to a huddle room--this is the kind of space where ideas should run no risk of being overpowered by technology.

The Meeting Room
This is where the majority of your everday videoconferencing business will be conducted, and since you’re likely to pack the room with people on a regular basis, you’ll want a versatile array of audio and video solutions suitable for any kind of call or collaboration session. This means at least one high-quality camera with pan, tilt and zoom functions; multiple microphones; at least two HD video displays; and support for wireless presentation and content-sharing. Avaya’s Scopia XT Telepresence Platform is a great place to start for video-based communication and collaboration. With two simultaneous video channels, H.239 data collaboration, a digital microphone with CD-quality audio, and multi-touch control, this solution provides a solid foundation for A/V-assisted collaboration.

The Boardroom
The boardroom should be treated like a theater or auditorium. This is the place for high level conferences, important presentations and recorded announcements. A little razzle dazzle is called for. Consider Cisco's TelePresence TX9000 Series, which boasts three 65-inch screens and a three-camera set-up that will give your viewers a great view of the entire room. Your needs don’t end with top notch technology, though. Unlike huddle rooms and meeting rooms, which don’t require much in the way of furnishings, the boardroom should be carefully designed to convey the personality of your company. Consider furnishings and artwork that project a sense of order, authority and warmth. You don’t want to go so big and bold that you look forbiddingly powerful, but don’t go so casual that your viewers think you run your company out of a dorm room.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for any room, so take control over the process of outfitting your rooms and start designing yours today. 
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Why You Need Huddle Rooms

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. 

Cut Costs

A huddle room should be furnished with a table and chairs and equipped with a basic video conferencing solution with sharing capabilities. So yes, a huddle room is an investment, but the modest size of the room (and the informal nature of the work that will be done in it) means you won’t have to break the bank outfitting it with world class speaker arrays or multi-screen video banks. Keeping it simple means keeping costs down.

Increase Flexibility

A workplace with multiple huddle rooms gives employees a distinct advantage: with collaborative, connected spaces on hand whenever the need arises, team members can quickly cohere into a brainstorming superpower. An uncluttered huddle room equipped with a table, chairs and simple display technology is an ideal location for employees to gather and hash out a new idea or connect with remote colleagues at a moment’s notice.

Welcome Your Remote Workers

Employees who spend most of their time working remotely probably won’t have their own dedicated workspace at the office. That would be an incredible waste of resources. But remote workers should have a place to work when they do visit the office. A comfortable, inviting and adaptable space--so no broom closets or basements, okay? Huddle rooms work great as a temporary staging ground for workers who aren’t often in the office.

Get Away From the Open Workspace

Many businesses are opting for open-plan workspace designs, which is all well and good, but this sort of arrangement makes it difficult to have a private or more intimate exchange. Who knows what will come up. Maybe you need to record a conversation and can’t have any background noise. Or maybe you need to make a personal call. Whatever the case may be, a huddle room provides a temporary refuge from the bustle of an open office.

Free Up the Conference Room

Without huddle rooms, smaller groups often convene in conference rooms, which isn’t the most efficient use of space. And an overbooked conference room can create scheduling headaches and logistical complications. Keep your worlds separate: let small groups use the huddle rooms and keep the conference room free for larger and/or more formal gatherings.

Increase Productivity With Intimacy

Big meetings can give participants far too many opportunities to disengage. A manager’s interminable speech, an incessant barrage of barely germane digressions, crosstalking colleagues picking at a technicality--such dispiriting conference fouls are very good excuses for bored employees to let their minds drift to more pleasant and far less productive thoughts. The intimacy engendered by a huddle room keeps everyone present, and with that presence comes expectation: that everyone will stick to the task at hand, that everyone will be heard, that everyone will be listen.

Use our Advanced Search  to explore a range of video conferencing solutions for huddle rooms like the Polycom Realpresence Centro and beyond.

 

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Use Video For A Better Call Center

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.

Not every experience with a call center abides this infernal pattern, but it happens often enough that most would agree the system is broken, or at the very least in need of some improvement. While there may never be a way around grating hold music (sorry!), there is a way to improve the interpersonal aspects of the call center experience: using video chat and videoconferencing solutions that offer opportunities for face-to-face communication.

Of course, seeing a call center representative won’t make them any more knowledgeable, but much of what is perceived as a lack of insight is in fact more often a result of the vague and easily dismissible nature of a telephone conversation. In other words: it is a lot harder for a customer to accurately explain his or her issue with words alone, and it is a lot easier for a call center employee to treat the customer as an abstract nuisance if they are only hearing a voice.

Just imagine if every cable company had a video chat option. Customers could SHOW them the back of their cable box instead of attempting to explain what they’re seeing with their untrained eyes. Or imagine a credit card company that offered the option of video chats with their collections department. Customers might actually feel like they are being treated with respect by a living, breathing human instead of being hunted down by a menacing voice hiding in some dark, dirty bunker in the middle of the desert.

There will always be people who would rather make voice-only connections with strangers, which is perfectly understandable. There is an aspect of intimacy in a video chat, and not everyone wants to be on such friendly terms with some dude from their internet provider. But with videoconferencing and video chat technology making their way into more and more of our daily interactions, the desire for such interventions will only increase. And with good reason: intimacy can be profoundly transformative, even at the level of a call center interaction. Eye contact and body language can shift the adversarial nature of a complaint call or the vaguely threatening vibe of a collections call into a conversation between two humans who might actually end up not only understanding each other but wanting to continue doing business together.

Take a look at the Polycom RealPresence Platform for your call center.  

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BYOD Is Good For Everyone

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.

Save Time and Money
Letting employees use their own devices obviates the need for a costly investment in the latest technology. The cost of keeping tech up to date is transferred to the employee. You probably won’t be able to update your devices on a regular basis, but your employees likely will. So your staff will have access to the latest and greatest features and capabilities, at no cost to you. And your employees will already know the ins and outs of their own phones or devices, so there won’t be any need for training. They’ll be ready to go immediately. 

Make Your Employees Happy
For better or worse, our devices are our constant companions. It might not be healthy to feel so attached to a little machine, but that’s just the way it is. People want to be with their phones. It’s how they engage with the parts of the world that matter most to them. Employers would be wise to keep this minor human frailty in mind. A happy employee will do better work. 

Give IT a Break
People might not know much about what happens under the hood of their work-issued devices, but the amount of time spent on a personal device has rendered pretty much everyone an expert on issues that might arise with their own phone or tablet. Letting people work on devices with which they are already familiar will cut down considerably on the time IT spends troubleshooting device issues. And then IT can focus on the big picture stuff that only they can (and should) handle.

Increase Productivity
A plumber will do a better job with pipe cutters she is familiar with. A painter will paint a better picture with his own brushes. A mechanic will get a car fixed faster in a garage he’s organized himself. An office worker is no different--with tools that work for them, they will do better work for you. 

Stay Connected
A BYOD policy might bring some some of your employees’ personal lives into the workplace, which might not sit well with you, but consider this: work will be going home with them on that same device. Which means they will be more accessible after business hours, as well as more amenable to working from home, if need be. This is a good thing for you and your company. 

Find out more about Prime Call Cloud MeetMe here.

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Audio Conferencing Tips

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?

Don’t Be Late
This is the golden rule for every gathering, no matter the technology mediating it. But a late arrival can be especially jarring in an audio conference. There’s just something unsettling about a new voice suddenly appearing in a conversation that’s already well underway. Don’t be that guy who waltzes into the conference fifteen minutes late and needs to be brought up to speed on stuff that was already covered. You’d be embarrassed to do this in person. You should be just as embarrassed to do this over the phone.

Kill the Noise
Audio quality is certainly important in a video conference, but sound hiccups can be partially compensated for by visuals--moving mouths, shared content, body language--that do a good deal of the talking. You’re going to live and die by sound quality in an audio conference, so you should be extra vigilant while doing your pre-conference sweep of distracting ambient noise. Turn off your fans, copy machines, radios. Make sure your cell phone is set to silent. Put your dog in the yard for a while. Tell the kids to keep it down. Errant sounds are disruptive in video conferences, but like the late guy mentioned above, they are especially annoying when they come out of nowhere without a visual referent. 

Elect a Moderator
Crosstalk is a serious problem in audio conferences. Without visual cues, it’s way too easy to step on someone else’s words, thereby creating a mess of indecipherable sound. A designated moderator can eliminate such awkwardness by making sure people get added to the conversation one person at a time. The moderator should also have an agenda on hand to keep the call from straying too far from the key talking points. 

Announce Yourself
Everyone present should identify themselves at the beginning of an audio conference, but during conferences of more than a few people, attendees should also state their names every time they speak. It’s otherwise pretty impossible to tell who is saying what. It might feel a little strange, but everyone should know who is speaking when. 

The Mute Button Is Your Friend
If you’re not speaking, better to be safe than sorry: mute your line. This will eliminate the possibility of any stray sound finding its way into the conference. And then you can cough freely. Or yell at your dog. Do what you will! You’re on mute! 

Integrate Visuals
Yes, it’s an audio conference, but you can still incorporate visuals for purposes of clarity. Or, at the very least, to keep everyone’s attention. You can do this by sharing content via something like Prime Call Cloud MeetMe. Or you can send a preliminary email with a printable agenda and essential documents.   

Explore our range of audio conferencing solutions here.

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Advantages of Cloud Video Conferencing

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.

If you’re not sure if the cloud is right for you, consider the following benefits.

Cost
A cloud-based video conferencing solution eliminates the need to invest in costly infrastructure. For smaller companies working with a limited budget, a solution like Prime Call Cloud MeetMe delivers the benefits of video connectivity without the burdensome financial sacrifice. Sure, all that fancy gear makes a conference room look nifty, but not everyone can afford such expensive furniture.

Simplicity
The whole point of integrating video into your company’s routine is increasing connectivity and collaboration, but not everyone is an A/V expert, and managing an on-premises video system isn’t always simple. A cloud-based solution pares down the process of connecting to a few simple clicks that anyone with minimal internet experience should be able to handle.

Accommodating Growth and Expansion
It’s not only smaller companies who can benefit from a more affordable cloud-based alternative to on-premises videoconferencing hardware. Larger companies in a growth phase can bring new office locations into the loop immediately with a cloud solution, which drastically cuts the delays inherent in installation and configuration.

Scalability
Maybe your business peaks in predictable seasonal patterns. Or maybe you just don’t know how heavy your videoconferencing demands are going to be. If you’re bandwidth demands are inconsistent or uncertain, cloud-based solutions can allow you to expand or contract as needed. Why pay for something you’re not using?

Minimizing Risk
The rate at which technology changes and improves is, in many ways, a pretty wonderful thing, but for companies that invest thousands of dollars in state-of-the-art infrastructure, it can be incredibly daunting to face the prospect of paying for equipment that might or might not survive the ensuing years of technological upheaval. Cloud-computing lifts the burden of such fortune-telling and puts the weight where it should be: on the shoulders of experts managing your conferencing subscription.

Mobility
Connecting with your traveling employees and telecommuting team members can be logistically bumpy, but with a cloud-based service, all end points--desktop PCs, tablets, phones, home office computers--are united, and with a simple interface that any employee can feel comfortable with, no matter where they are.

Click here to take a look at our Prime Call Cloud MeetMe and other cloud video solutions.

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Video Conferencing For Better Healthcare

 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.

Going to a doctor can sometimes feel like traveling back in time--the instant access and virtual mobility we enjoy in everyday life seems to vanish when we cross the threshold into the world of medicine. Seeing a primary care physician is relatively straightforward, but what if you need to see a specialist? That could be another endless wait or another long drive, and for folks in rural areas, we could be talking hours of additional travel. And for people who are seriously ill, such physical mobility isn’t even an option.

But a medical facility equipped with video conferencing technology can put patients in touch with outside providers immediately. With a solution like Cisco’s TelePresence service, for instance, a far-flung expert can be brought into the room in high definition video and audio with just a few clicks. No driving. No waiting. No unbearable anticipation or worry. The people who can help are already there, loud and clear.

The peace of mind this affords a patient is immeasurable. By bypassing time-consuming and potentially traumatic transfers, patients are often able to stay close to home, in a familiar environment near friends and family.

And for some people, a visit to the doctor isn’t even necessary. Healthcare providers who use video conferencing technology to meet with patients can dramatically reduce primary care visits. According to a recent study, there are approximately 600 million annual primary care visits in North America, half of them for health problems that could be addressed without an actual office visit. So with a videoconferencing solution like Lifesize Icon Flex, which is interoperable with such applications as Skype and Lync, doctors and nurses can make house calls to patients to quickly assess the situation and, in many cases, eliminate the need for an in-person appointment.

It’s not only patients who benefit from telemedicine solutions, though. The healthcare field is one of constant change, and it is essential for providers to keep up to speed with the latest developments in the industry. This continuing education, which often involves a good deal of traveling, can now be accomplished via video--a doctor can stream a live surgery, for instance, or an entire hospital staff can join a seminar from the comfort of a conference room. Doctors can keep abreast of developments in their field, and they don’t need to sacrifice vital time that could be better spent with patients. It’s a win-win situation.

Click here to explore our selection of video conferencing and telemedicine solutions.

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Topics: lifesize cloud, Meeting Recordings, recording and streaming, polycom media suite

Save It For Later: Recording Solutions

 

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.

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Topics: lifesize cloud, Meeting Recordings, recording and streaming, polycom media suite

Don’t Be Afraid of the Cloud

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.

(Note: vacations are still a must!)

The instant access and lifestyle flexibility engendered by the internet has transformed the nature of work: telecommuting allows companies to give their employees an unprecedented amount of freedom, and the unimaginable vastness contained in a cell phone means that anyone can be an expert on pretty much anything. Answers are a mere click away and personal time is no longer so rigidly defined against professional time.

To ignore this seismic shift in the way people think about work is to risk stifling the creativity and drive that is necessary to keep a company vital and productive. People now live in a personalized, virtualized world--a world in which we are increasingly empowered to make our own schedules and call on a seemingly infinite number of resources to get our questions answered.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow for companies stuck in the old ways of doing things, but it’s not all that difficult to adjust to this new paradigm. The key: we must embrace the cloud. Shifting to cloud computing gives employees the flexibility and responsiveness they expect by liberating them from the cubicle and granting them instant access, which in turn increases productivity, streamlines otherwise unruly projects and reduces costly investments in tech infrastructure.

Prime Call Cloud MeetMe, for instance, is a video meeting service that requires NO on-premise infrastructure or IT support, while enabling anyone (whether in the office, at home, halfway across the world, you name it) on any advice to chat via video. A service like Prime Call Cloud MeetMe responds to new needs: for freedom, for easier collaboration, for faster answers, for happier work. For everyone. 

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Topics: MeetMe, PrimeCall, cloud

No More Meeting Room Meltdowns

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. 

What could go wrong? Oh, right: everything. Your beautiful PowerPoint presentation doesn’t seem to want to travel the short distance between your computer and the big screen. The DVD player is missing a cable. That new laptop is actually so new that it hasn’t been loaded with the programs you need. Oh, and Bob is there, you can see his face, and he is in fact sniffling and, boy, he really is sick, so sick that he seems to have lost his voice but no, you just don’t have audio. 

No one’s socks are getting knocked off. Everyone is leaving this meeting with socks on. And here comes the IT tech to clean up the mess. Eventually. Soon. Maybe. You called him twenty minutes ago. Where is he? You’ll have to stall. Say something funny. Keep them engaged. Uh oh, you’re losing them. It’s a nightmare. 

There is nothing worse than leading a meeting that falls apart due to technical problems. Okay, there’s one thing that’s worse: being stuck in a meeting room as your boss or co-worker flails and stutters through a series of equipment failures.

Of course, the painful scene sketched above is a worst case scenario, but even the most tech savvy among us are prone to flounder a bit when faced with the daunting prospect of giving a presentation while managing A/V components. And there just never seems to be enough tech support staff to respond to such calamities as rapidly as anyone would like. 

None of this is anyone’s fault, really. You can’t blame the IT department for being swamped. And you shouldn’t blame the person up there wrestling with recalcitrant technology, either, because sometimes things just go wrong. Sometimes EVERYTHING just goes wrong. It happens. But it doesn’t have to. The key is eliminating the confusion that ensues when multiple devices come into play. You shouldn’t have to choreograph a dance involving multiple remotes, cables and screens. 

The alternative to this tangled mess: automated meeting rooms. Imagine showing up to a meeting to find the equipment already humming and warm, ready to go. And instead of a different remote for every component, you’ve got a single universal remote. And instead of dancing from machine to machine, how about one easy-to-use touch panel? 

No more sweating bullets while you wait for IT. No more checking your watch and fighting sleep through an awkward, malfunction-prone meeting. Meetings can be what they were meant to be: informative and organized, helpful and maybe even a little bit appreciated. 

Contact us for more information about automating your meeting rooms.

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The Skype for Business Article You Must Read

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. 

Respect the Status

Lync gives users a plethora of “presence” options, and if everyone in your organization is on the same page regarding when to use “Busy,” “Available,” “Be Right Back” et al., then you should trust that “Busy” means BUSY and refrain from interrupting anyone displaying this status. Basically: don’t be rude! 

Don’t Stay Too Busy

You’re busy. You’re always busy. That’s because you’re at work. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be “Busy” on Lync all day long. At some point, people might begin to think you’re using your Lync status to hide from actual business. Which, fine, everyone needs a minute alone, but be sure to make yourself “Available” if you are working on something that won’t suffer from an occasional interruption. 

Keep Your Desktop Clean

Lync allows you to share an image of their desktop in a conversation, which is awesome. It’s a quick and easy way to show your IT department the precise nature of your problem or to give a co-worker a clear view from your vantage. Before you do this, however, do a thorough check of your open tabs and windows and close anything that might not be germane. Keeping an eye on the ball game while you work? Maybe close that play-by-play feed before you share your desktop with your boss, you know?

Define Your Relationships

There are some people who can and should be able to interrupt you, even when you are hard at work. These people are called bosses. And you can let Lync know that they can interrupt you even if you have your status set to “Do Not Disturb.” To do this, change your privacy relationship with that person to “Workgroup,” and that person will be able to clear the hurdle of your status and reach you when others can’t.

Acronyms Can Get In The Way

So much of your life is defined by the casual nature of chatting, and so it’s understandable that the slang-heavy, acronym-rich way you write to your friends might bleed into your work chats, but try to refrain from overloading your colleagues with internet-speak. No one wants to spend half their day perusing online acronym dictionaries to decode what should be simple conversations. 

Don’t Be Mysterious

Sometimes it’s not enough to simply be “Busy” or “Away” or “In a meeting.” These are helpful indicators, but specificity is key, so take advantage of Lync’s “personal note” feature, which gives you the ability to add information to your generic status. If you’re mobile, you might want to let people know this. And maybe you can give people a bit of insight into what sort of meeting you’re in, or just how long you’ll be away. Keeping people informed like this will eliminate a lot of needless small talk and keep people up to date on how you’re spending your time. 

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Topics: Skype

How Not to Look Stupid on Video

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. 

Dress for Success

The age of telecommuting has spawned an army of pajama-clad professionals, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but even if you’re working from home and have no plans to do anything involving pants and shoes for the rest of the day, you’d be wise to get at least a little bit spiffy before launching yourself into the video realm. It’s pretty simple. What would you wear if you were getting ready for an in-person meeting? Wear that.

Location, Location, Location,

Yes, you could join a video conference without leaving bed, and sure, it would be a piece of cake to lug your laptop to a coffee shop and take a meeting amidst the energizing clamor of cafe life, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you don’t have access to an office, plant yourself in a quiet and simply decorated space that won’t lead your interlocutors to wonder what’s happening just past the edge of the screen.

The Right Light,

The whole point of video conferencing is that it allows people to overcome barriers of physical distance and meet face-to-face, but a video link becomes just another phone call if those all-important faces are shrouded in darkness. You don’t need to be a master photographer to stage a pleasing close-up of yourself--no one expects a living, breathing Annie Leibovitz portrait to show up to the meeting. Just be sure you are facing a sufficiently bright light source, because you definitely don’t want to be the vaguely menacing backlit shape on someone else’s screen. Who wants to talk to a creepy shadow? No one.

Stay tuned for Part II. In the meantime, check out this infographic we put together so you can look your best on video. 

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Topics: look good on video

Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Benefits

 

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Topics: CloudAXIS, Polycom RealPresence

10 Secrets of Unified Communications

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.

Growing out of childhood, the thrill of the chase and reveal faded as we moved on to more adult pursuits. Well today’s your lucky day. Cover your eyes and start counting as we return to yesteryear and play a little hide and seek with your unified communications technology.

Concalls, videoconferencing, and other familiar tools of communication collaboration have been around for years. They’re now part of daily life as remote-based workers become scattered all over the world. What you may not know, however, is that technology from companies like Microsoft and Polycom has advanced rapidly to enable levels of functionality unknown to many users. The latest hardware and software has ushered in an age of unified communications (UC) offering collaboration benefits undreamed of only a few short years ago.

So today we’re going to poke around the corners and crevices of your UC system and reveal 10 hidden secrets that you may not be aware exist.

Simplified video collaboration (VC)

When you need to schedule a videoconference, you don’t want to conduct an inventory of which systems every attendee is using. You just want a meeting and your attendees want to use the tools they already have. Seems like a simple request, right? Up to now, however, it’s been difficult to pull off.

That’s no longer the case thanks to the Polycom RealConnect for Microsoft Lync solution. With Real Connect and Lync - or Skype for Business as it is now known following Microsoft’s recent acquisition - everything is done through a single platform. There’s no need to learn new ways to schedule calls, no new software or plugins, or anything that has to be deployed to anyone’s desktops. Users can schedule a call more quickly and bring together the various disparate technologies easily.

The other benefit is that the users will experience the call seamlessly in their own familiar way, whether that’s in a Skype for Business gallery format or a Polycom platform view. The best part is the magic is all taking place behind the scenes without any required intervention from the users.

Simplified VC workflow

Navigating the conventional manual workflow for setting up and conducting a videoconference is painful. You have to decide whether to schedule the call via Skype for Business or if you should use a third party plugin. Users have to remember there is no click-to-join URL for this type of meeting and instead must call in using the conference ID. Callers will have different multi-point video depending on their video system.

With the Polycom RealConnect, the call can be quickly and efficiently scheduled and launched from Skype for Business leveraging Microsoft Outlook. Attendees can call in using the conference ID or they can use the click the link to join from Skype for Business or from the calendar on Polycom endpoints. Users experience shared content in their own familiar format.

Tools should make the videoconference experience easier, not be another set of flaming hoops you have to jump through to collaborate and accomplish tasks. RealConnect for Skype for Business provides the streamlined workflow that makes that happen.

Smooth transition from PBX

Change can be disruptive and uncomfortable - for both people and organizations. It can also create delays and drive up costs. But sometimes change is inevitable. It’s why we no longer use horses for transportation.

Businesses are facing this dilemma when it comes to their PBX systems. Although useful for many years, there is a clear move away from PBX because of high maintenance costs, waning support, inability to scale, and lack of modern communications features. Infonetics Research reported that in 2013, the PBX market declined by 3% while UC applications surged by more than 21%.

The secret is that this inevitable change doesn’t have to be painful. The joint Polycom/Skype for Business solution offers organizations a smooth conversion path that offers familiar devices and quick ramp up time for users. Organizations have found the combined Polycom/Skype for Business UC platform delivers an ROI as high as 98%. The move from PBX is inevitable. Might as well make it as seamless as possible.

Connect on any device, anywhere

Look around as you walk down the street, sit in a train station, or sip on a latte from your favorite barista. What do you see? Heads down, buried in cell phones, tablets, or laptops. Welcome to the mobile world.

Users are no longer chained to their desktops. They get work done everywhere, at any time, on multiple devices and they need the technology to make that happen. Polycom RealPresence video and voice solutions with Skype for Business unify communications across all work environments – home, office, conference room, coffee shops, and everyplace in between. Users enjoy an intuitive communications experience regardless of device or location with ease of use and easy access. 

Your team needs this kind of connected communications experience to keep them competitive in the marketplace.

Direct integration with Microsoft apps and infrastructure

There’s nothing more frustrating than working on a PowerPoint or SharePoint presentation and having to exit to send it to a colleague. The entire process is cumbersome and creates delays.

The Polycom/Microsoft UC solution eliminates that obstacle. Polycom devices work directly with the Microsoft applications people use every day like Skype for Business, Office, and SharePoint, as well as Microsoft infrastructure like Active Directory, Exchange Server, and Edge Server. You can manage both the communications and application through a single interface to streamline deployment and speed up your ROI.

Your team can collaborate instantly and securely thanks to Skype for Business’ presence information within email and business apps and allows users to find colleagues and initiate conversations without leaving the application. It also lets you work with virtual teams inside as well as outside firewalls with colleagues wherever they may be working. Polycom solutions extend the benefits of Skype for Business and enable highly scalable and secure voice and video collaboration experiences in multiple environments all within the familiar Skype for Business interface.

Rich Presence enabled communication

The on-demand world we live in has certainly made us… more demanding. We want what we want when we want it and that extends to our need to communicate with colleagues. We all know how frustrated we get when our email goes unanswered for five minutes or our IM just hangs there in cyberspace without a response.

A key benefit of a modern UC environment solves those issues through the concept of presence – an indication of a user’s availability and readiness to communicate. Taken a step further, Rich Presence provides additional information about users showing if they’re busy on the phone, on a mobile device, or available on a video device.

With a Rich Presence solution, users set their own status or they can use automatic settings. For example if you haven’t touched your keyboard for a specified period of time, you’ll be switched to “away.” You can also set it so you can’t be disturbed or let people know what you’re busy with – such as being with a customer. The feature can also connect with everyone’s calendar for even more detail.

Rich presence promotes collaboration and improves efficiency by eliminating the time required chasing down people you need.

Video content library creation

Voice to voice and face-to-face real-time communication is crucial to effective collaboration, but there are times when more is needed. Team members often need access to valuable content previously created by others in the organization. The Polycom/Microsoft solution solves that issue by providing a centralized video repository to receive Skype for Business-generated recordings and automatically publishing them to SharePoint where authorized users can get to them.

Creating a video content management layer using SharePoint not only makes it simple for users to access the videos, but it also enables administrators to easily manage and scale the content. Your staff benefits from on-demand and live video streaming available from a single location for training, sharing user generated video content, internal communications, archiving, and compliance.

Think of it as your own organizational Netflix.

Multi-Vendor environment enablement

No man (or woman) is an island. Neither are many UC installations that can quickly become a conglomeration of various vendor devices and solutions. In a perfect world, every UC environment would be one happy, homogeneous family. Unfortunately UC life doesn’t normally work that way.

In today’s mixed UC environments, the only practical way to truly unify communications and keep your future options open is to employ the broadest possible use of open standards and native interoperability. In other words, do whatever you can to make all your “different stuff” work together.

A Polycom RealPresence platform does this by acting as a central hub for your UC environment. It works with business and communication applications from hundreds of vendors and supports enterprise, cloud, and hybrid deployments. It supports BYOD and works on any vendor network making video collaboration universal.

Polycom’s Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) enables Skype for Business users to collaborate in Virtual Meeting Rooms, reduces bandwidth consumption, eliminates the need for expensive gateways, reduces complexity, and lowers your Total Cost of Ownership.

Simply put, a Polycom solution allows your technology to play well together.

Streamlined installation and integration

All the bells and whistles sound perfect, but you have to get them integrated and up and running within your current environment to enjoy the benefits. Polycom simplifies the installation and integration process with its Unified Communications Professional Services group.

They provide expertise to address the intricacies of integrating Polycom video solutions into complex communications environments to improve communication while reducing costs. They’ll evaluate your company’s business goals, usage levels, types of technologies, and geographic diversity. From there, they’ll plan and design a solution to ensure maximum utilization of your current infrastructure Project-managed deployment to help ensure timeliness and optimization of technology implementation and adoptions.

Polycom Global Services handle the full spectrum of UC installations, from large, complex integrations with your primary UC vendor to custom deployments with multiple vendors, to legacy system and business process integration with existing video and telepresence infrastructure.

In other words, they make sure it all works for you.

Significant cost savings

As wonderful and effective as the new UC solutions are, you’re still going to have to justify the expense. The good news is that UC technology is not just another pretty face. It saves money - something sure to get a smile from any controller or CFO. A Polycom/Skype for Business solution provides a positive ROI in many areas.

Integrating voice and video directly into business applications dramatically increases staff productivity, eliminating the need to fumble between software tools and phone/video devices to collaborate with other team members. Streamlining the communication process increases usage and drives a faster ROI. ZK Research estimates that integrated voice features can save the average worker four hours a week.

The productivity of IT staff is also improved since upgrading features to every user is a snap. Instead of having to physically get to every device, a centrally managed implementation allows you to roll out features to every user at the same time.

Modern UC technology extends worker productivity by enabling mobile and BYOD initiatives. Mobile devices can handle both video and voice as easily as a laptop or desktop, making remote collaboration simple.

Finally, a Polycom/Skype for Business solution lowers the overall cost of communication through reduced long distance calls and trunk charges, ease of moves, adds, and changes, and lower overall system maintenance.

It adds up to a compelling response when your CFO asks you to show her the money.

Summary

There you have it. Ten cool features right at your fingertips that can help you become more productive and efficient. And as UC technology continues to evolve, you can be sure more exciting things will become available to help you find and collaborate better with your colleagues, whether they’re across the hall, or across the country.

And now that we’ve ferreted out these things out, it’s up to you to take advantage of them. You can uncover your eyes now.

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Topics: av integration

Learn why firefighters love Polycom

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.

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7 Collaboration Tips for Manufacturing Companies

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Topics: Collaboration, Manufacturing

Set Up Your Video Conference Room The Right Way

Video conferencing is becoming the simplest way to communicate and collaborate. The following 5 tips will help renovate your meeting space into the greatest video conferencing room possible!

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Topics: Collaboration, conference room

3 Uncommon Benefits of Video Enabled Workplace

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.

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Topics: Collaboration

4 Collaboration Benefits You're Missing

 

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Topics: Collaboration, communication, travel expenses

Choosing the Right Polycom Phone

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. 

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Topics: teleconference, Polycom Video Conferencing

Solutionz Grant Program Services Benefits

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.

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Topics: Grants, Education, Telehealth, telemedicine, teleconference, Grant Program Services

5 Video Conferencing Myths

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Topics: telepresence, Collaboration, av integration

How are Law Firms Using Video Conferencing?

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.

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Topics: Collaboration, Blue Jeans

How Does Video Conferencing Support Financial Institutes

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Topics: Collaboration, communication

Video Conferencing Solutions for Manufacturing

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.

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Collaboration

Video Collaboration Solutions for Emergency Management

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.

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Topics: Collaboration, Polycom RealPresence, communication, Polycom Video Conferencing

The Difference Between Video Conferencing and Telepresence

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.

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Topics: telepresence

Cisco Video Conferencing Solution for the Hearing Impaired

Cisco and the Oman Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced the launch of a new Cisco video conferencing solution for Omani citizens with hearing difficulties at the Comex Oman 2014. 

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Topics: telecommuting, mobile telecommuting, mobile video conferencing

Stay Motivated When Working From Home

 

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Topics: Collaboration, teleconference, Microsoft Lync, technology

Maximize Your Mobile Video Conferencing ROI

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.

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Topics: Prime Call Cloud MeetMe, mobile video conferencing, PrimeCall, Bring Your Own Device

Video Conferencing in the Oil and Gas Industry

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.

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Topics: Collaboration, telemedicine

Pexip Bridges Microsoft Lync with Traditional Video Conferencing

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.

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Topics: Pexip Infinity, Microsoft Lync, Pexip

Cisco Releases New Video Conferencing Products

On Wednesday, Cisco confirmed several new video conferencing products and updates proposed to increase its position in this developing corporate market.

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Topics: conference room, high definition video conferencing

Collaboration From a Distance

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.

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Topics: RealPresence, Collaboration, communication

Video Conferencing Provides Virtual Field Trips

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.

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Topics: Education, distance learning

Polycom RealPresence Mobile for any Occupation

 

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Polycom RealPresence, RealPresence Mobile

Elderly Patients Benefit from Telemedicine

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.

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Topics: telemedicine, patients, benefits of telemedicine

Video Conferencing Benefits for any Business

Organizations are becoming more aware that we are living in a connected world. Video conferencing is playing a vital role when it comes to a more effective way of communicating.

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Topics: business video conferencing

Polycom Launches CX8000 Room System

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.

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Topics: polycom cx8000, cx8000, polycom room systems, Polycom Video Conferencing

Video Conferencing Tips to Remember

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.

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Benefits of Video Conferencing in Courtrooms

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.

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Topics: Judicial Services, Courtrooms

Correctional Facilities Use Video Conferencing for Visitations


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.

So what is the purpose of allowing inmates this awesome technology?

Video conferencing visitation eliminates the public from having direct contact with inmates. Visitation through video conferencing completely eliminates the visitor’s from having to go directly to the facility.

Here are some benefits video conferencing will have for correctional facilities:

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Topics: correctional facilities video visits, correctional facilities

Telehealth Coverage Extended for Military Service Members

Last week, President Obama signed a bill into law to extend the telehealth coverage for military service members as part of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act

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Topics: Grants, Military, Telehealth, telemedicine, Healthcare, government

Grants Help Schools Afford Video Conferencing

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.

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Topics: Grants, Telehealth, Grant Program Services, Healthcare, school grants

See Why your Business Needs Video Conferencing in 2014

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!

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Topics: Collaboration, communication, Polycom Video Conferencing

Five Ways to Manage Mobile Video Conferencing and Telehealth

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. 

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Topics: Telehealth, mobile video conferencing, mHealth

Preparing for Video Conferencing Presentations

Video presentations using video conferencing are becoming more and more predominant in today’s business place, as are audio conferences using web conferencing and conference calls.

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Topics: presentations

The Convenience of Telemedicine

 

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Topics: Telehealth, telemedicine, convenience of telemedicine

10 Ways Your Small Business can use Video Conferencing

With high-speed internet, quality web cams and microphones, anyone can host a video conference, even a small business! 

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Topics: Small Business

Eight Key Terms in Video Conferencing

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.

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Prepare Your Classroom for Distance Learning

Video conferencing is becoming an effective tool in the classroom. Being prepared to instruct virtual learning can be crucial.  Making sure you have an understanding of its benefits, restrictions, and how to utilize it, can help make your teaching experience easier.

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Topics: Education, distance learning, classroom preparation

Ten Common Video Conferencing Questions...Answered

1 .     Why does my business need video conferencing?

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Video Conferencing within the Workplace

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.

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Conquering Video Conferencing

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.

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Topics: mobile video conferencing, conquering video conferencing

Is Affordability Stopping You from Using Telehealth?

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. 

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Topics: Grants, Telehealth, telemedicine

Veterans Association Using Telemedicine Solutions

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.

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Topics: telemedicine, Healthcare, government

Best Practices for a Video Conference Room Set Up

Video conferencing has become an important way to communicate and collaborate. The following 5 tips can help transform your conference room into the best video conferencing space possible!

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Topics: conference room, conference room setup

Prime Call Cloud Meet Me

With Prime Call Cloud MeetMe you can connect anywhere, anytime, on any device with Video as-a-Service.

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Topics: Prime Call Cloud MeetMe, MeetMe, PrimeCall

Polycom RealPresence Mobile

Do you love using telepresence but find it hard to stay connected on the go? Check out Polycom's RealPresence Mobile solution.

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Topics: RealPresence, Polycom RealPresence Mobile, Polycom RealPresence, RealPresence Mobile

Veterans Association Using Telemedicine

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.

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Topics: telemedicine, government

Throwback Thursday: How Meetings Used to Be

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! 

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Topics: mobile video conferencing, meeting

Video Conferencing in Vermont Libraries

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.

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Topics: libraries

Increase in Federal Use of Video Conferencing

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.

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Topics: government, federal video conferencing

Negatives of Telecommuting?

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.

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Topics: telecommuting, av integration

BlueJeans, CloudAXIS or PrimeCall?

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.

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Topics: CloudAXIS, BlueJeans, PrimeCall

Penn State Uses Teleeducation

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.

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Topics: Grants, Education, Teleeducation

Five Common Misconceptions about 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.

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Three Helpful Ways to Convert to a Flexible Work Environment

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.

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Topics: mobile video conferencing, Flexible Work

Polycom HDX or Polycom Group Series?

Both the Polycom HDX and Polycom Group Series are two of Solutionz’s most popular choices for group systems, but there are some distinct differences between the two.

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Topics: polycom group series, polycom hdx, hdx vs group series

Blue Jeans - Bringing the Conference to You!

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.

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Topics: telepresence, mobile unified communications, GoogleTalk, mobile telecommuting, Microsoft, mobile video conferencing, FaceTime, Blue Jeans, Microsoft Lync, av integration, Polycom Video Conferencing

University of Texas Develops Distance Learning Program

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.

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Topics: Education, distance learning

Polycom CX Series Perfect For Round Table Discussions

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.

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, polycom CX Series

Video Conferencing Enables Students to Connect

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.

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Topics: Education, distance learning, connecting students

Polycom Telemedicine in China

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.

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Topics: telemedicine, telemedicine in China

Why Telemedicine Can Mitigate the Physician Shortage

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.

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Topics: telemedicine, Grant Program Services, Healthcare

Telemedicine in the Navy

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.

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Topics: Military, Telehealth, telemedicine

Quick Tips for Telecommuting

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?

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Topics: telecommuting, mobile telecommuting, mobile video conferencing, tips for telecommuting

5 Tips to Maximize Your Mobile Video Conferencing Investment

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.

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Topics: mobile unified communications, mobile video conferencing

Distance Education for Adult Students

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.

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Topics: Education, distance learning, students

Unified Communications at Manchester City’s Stadium

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.

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Topics: mobile unified communications, mobile video conferencing, soccer, stadium vision

Telethearapy in The US Military

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.

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Topics: Military, Teletherapy, Tele Therapy, Telehealth

Chocolate and Video Conferencing

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.

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What is Unified Communication?

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.

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Topics: av integration

Telepresence for Trauma Environments

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.

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Topics: telepresence, Telehealth, telemedicine, Healthcare

A Case for Telecommuting

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.

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Topics: telepresence, teleworking, telecommuting

Hesitating to Adopt Video Conferencing? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t.

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.

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Topics: Grants, Grant Program Services

Video Conferencing Helps Graduate Students Deliver Dissertation

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.

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Topics: Education, students

Our Most Popular Video Conferencing Blogs

Listed below are the top Solutionz’ video conferencing blogs you have all deemed most helpful.

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Topics: Collaboration, top video conferencing blogs

Telecommuting Congress

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.

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Topics: congress, telecommuting, government

Telemedicine Around The World

Telemedicine is saving lives around the world. From Ireland to India, telemedicine is helping doctors, patients and whole communities live longer healthier lives.

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Topics: Telehealth, telemedicine, telehealth around the world

Interactive Healthcare Website

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Topics: Telehealth, telemedicine, Healthcare, Interactive healthcare

Implementing Video Conferencing into Your Business Model

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.

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Topics: teleconference

Telehealth Adoption in Your Healthcare Field

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.

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Topics: Telehealth, telemedicine, Healthcare

Unified Communication in Our School Systems

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.

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Topics: av integration

Myth Busters: Teleworking and Video Conferencing

video conferencing myth buster

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.

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Topics: teleworking, mobile video conferencing

University of Hong Kong Implements Polycom Video Conferencing

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.

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Topics: av integration

Secretary of State Clinton Uses Video Conferencing to Connect

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.

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Topics: Collaboration, teleconference

Video Conferencing in Classrooms

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.

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Topics: Education, distance learning, classrooms

Connected Employee Engagement

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.

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Topics: telecommuting, employee engagement

Advantages of Unified Communication in the Workplace

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.

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Topics: communication at work, av integration

Smiths Group Uses Polycom RealPresence to Increase Communication

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.

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Polycom RealPresence

Telehealth in Elder Care

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.

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Topics: Telehealth, Healthcare

Cisco's Futuristic Television

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.

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Topics: television

Video Conferencing On College Campuses

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.

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Topics: Education, distance learning, Higher Education

Conference Room Design and Set Up Tips for Video Conferencing

Here is our guide to getting the best quality video and acoustics within budget for your video conferencing needs!

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Topics: telepresence, conference room, av integration

Video Conferencing Helps Resolve Complaints in India

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.

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Topics: teleconference

Polycom Video Conferencing in Denver School District

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.

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Topics: Education, Polycom Video Conferencing, distance learning, Colorado

The Future of Telepresence

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.

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Topics: telepresence, Polycom Video Conferencing

Hybrid Approach to Unified Communications

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.

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Topics: teleconference, av integration

Video Conferencing Checklist

Earlier this year we gave you a guide on becoming a video conferencing expert. Today we bring you a video conferencing checklist to run over before and after your meeting.

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Polycom Aiding Doctors at the South Pole

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.

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Topics: Telehealth, Healthcare, Polycom Video Conferencing

How Will Video Conferencing Help You?

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.

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Topics: Collaboration

Video Conferencing Giving Workers Options

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.

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Topics: Flexible Work

Holographic Technology to Enhance Distance Education

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.

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Topics: Grants, distance learning, distance education, holographic technology

BYOD Cuts Desk Numbers in Federal Offices

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.

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Topics: Bring Your Own Device

Polycom RealPresence Powers 2012 Tech Awards

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.

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Topics: polycom hdx, Polycom Video Conferencing, Polycom RealPresence Mobile, Polycom RealPresence, Polycom OTX 300, Healthcare, Microsoft

Unified Communications is a Smart Investment

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.

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Topics: communication, av integration

Cisco Collaborates with the University of Waterloo

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.

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Topics: Collaboration, Higher Education

Cisco Uses Video Conferencing and WebEx Social to Connect

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.

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Video Conferencing Available to Texas Jail Inmates

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.

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Topics: telejustice, inmates using video

Telemedicine Helping Aging Community and Their Doctors

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.

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Topics: Telehealth, telemedicine, geriatrics

Telemedicine Video: How Can Video Conferencing Help Heal?

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Topics: Telehealth, telemedicine, Healthcare

Polycom RealPresence Helps Improve Collaboration

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.

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Collaboration, Polycom RealPresence, Morris Polich & Purdy LLP

Collaboration and the Way We Work

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.

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Topics: Collaboration, communication

Video Conferencing – The Future of Online Education

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.

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Topics: Education, Grant Program Services, Higher Education

8 Reasons Why the Government Should Use Video Conferencing

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.

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Topics: telecommuting, government, av integration

Video Conferencing : Therapy From Home

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.

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Topics: Teletherapy, Telehealth

Polycom 4th Quarter Promotions

Polycom, the industry leader in unified collaboration solutions, will be rolling out new promotions on October 8th. Listed below are details about some exciting changes happening!

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Topics: telepresence, Polycom Solution Center, Polycom Video Conferencing

Telemedicine in Mental Health Facilities

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.

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Topics: telemedicine, Healthcare, mental healthcare

Implementing a Video Conferencing Strategy

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.

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing

Telemedicine Benefits Rural Areas

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.

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Topics: Telehealth, telemedicine, benefits of telemedicine

Department of Defense Using Video Conferencing

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).

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Topics: department of defense

Telejustice Saves Time and Money Worldwide

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.

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Topics: telejustice, Polycom Video Conferencing

Become an Expert at Video Conferencing

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 for those 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.

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Topics: Telehealth

Cisco and Purple Insights Survey Voters About Video Conferencing

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.

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Topics: Collaboration, communication

Polycom Teams Up with Right To Play Through Video Collaboration

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.

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Collaboration, distance learning

Polycom Sweeps 2012 FGDLA Pillar Awards

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Topics: telepresence, Polycom Video Conferencing, Polycom Telepresence

Don't Count Out SMBs for Telepresence & Video Conferencing

 

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Collaboration, SMB

Polycom Video Conferencing Bringing International Teams Closer

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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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Collaboration, polycom video conferencing brings together teams, international team

Just a Few of the Leading Benefits of Immersive Telepresence

After conversations with analysts, value-added resellers, and customers we have some of the leading benefits of video conferencing. In no particular order…

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Topics: telepresence

Do Not Miss the Polycom Trade2Great Promotion

There is no better time to Trade-up/Trade-in for one of Polycom’s latest and greatest Video Collaboration solutions!

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Topics: telepresence, RealPresence, Polycom Video Conferencing, Collaboration, Polycom Promotion, Polycom Telepresence, Polycom Video Trade-In Program

Go Mobile with Polycom’s Easy2GoMobile Promotion

For a short time, receive 200 licenses for FREE with the purchase of a new Polycom RealPresence Resource Manager (CMA 4000) with 100 licenses!  If you already own Polycom’s CMA 4000 then take advantage of a 75% savings off of additional licenses!

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Topics: telepresence, CMA 4000, Polycom Video Conferencing, Polycom Promotion, Polycom Telepresence, RealPresence Mobile

Why Video Conferencing Solutions for Healthcare Make Sense

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.

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Topics: Telehealth, Healthcare

Video Conferencing for Higher Education

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.

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Topics: Education, distance learning, Higher Education

Extending Education with Video Conferencing

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.

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Topics: Education, distance learning

Accelerate Your Polycom Experience

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:

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Topics: telepresence, Polycom Video Conferencing, Collaboration, Polycom Telepresence

New Exciting FREE Polycom HDX Remote Control App Now Available

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Topics: polycom hdx, polycom remote control, polycom app, Polycom Video Conferencing

Telepresence and UC Transform Human Justice Processes

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Topics: telejustice, Collaboration, av integration

Video Conferencing field trips


"Photo: http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/education/yourfieldtrip/outreach/videoconf/"

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Topics: Education, classrooms

Exciting News for Tablet Users - Polycom RealPresence Mobile

 

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Topics: Collaboration, Polycom RealPresence Mobile, Polycom Video Conferencing

How to Increase Alexa Rank

 

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Today Upgrade Your Polycom Video Conferencing Solutions

Save Money and Get Money Back!  Upgrade to the latest solutions from Polycom!

Trade-in your current video conferencing unit, including VSX, or conferencing bridge & upgrade to the Polycom HDX® room telepresence series or Polycom RMX® conference platforms — take advantage of the benefits now!

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, av integration

Polycom EagleEye Director: Make Meetings More Dynamic

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Topics: EagleEye, dynamic meetings, Polycom Video Conferencing

Cisco Survey Reveals Importance of Telepresence for Healthcare

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Topics: telepresence, Telehealth, Healthcare

Polycom Telepresence Makes Its Mark In Hollywood

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. 

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Topics: telepresence, Polycom Telepresence, Polycom Video Conferencing

Solutionz Wants to Help you Win the RUS DLT Grant

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.    

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Topics: Grants, Education, Grant Program Services

Telepresence Made Easier for Enterprises

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Topics: telepresence, communication

Video Conferencing Now a Need for Enterprises

New advantages are being discovered everyday through the deployment of Polycom video conferencing solutions in enterprises around the world.   Let us start by considering a few…

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Collaboration

Surprise! Video Conferencing is the Best Choice for SMBs


Contrary to what you may have heard, high-definition video conferencing solutions are ideal for Small to Medium Size businesses.  Quit making do with email, voice, or web-based video created for consumers applications and instead take the time to find out which Polycom HD video solution is right for your SMB. 

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, SMB

How Telepresence Solutions Meet Manufacturing Industries Needs

Solutionz offers immersive telepresence solutions for manufacturing industries that improve remote management and operational efficiencies. 

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Topics: telepresence, Manufacturing

Polycom and Microsoft Lync Transform Unified Communications

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.

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Topics: telepresence, Microsoft Lync, polycom and microsoft lync, av integration, Polycom Video Conferencing

Video Conferencing & Telepresence Solutions


The Right Choice For Any Industry

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Topics: telepresence

Telepresence Making History:The Cisco & CNN Partnership

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.

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Topics: telepresence

Make the Most Out of Your Meetings


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.

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Topics: telepresence, make the most of your meetings

Joining With Avteq To Bring You Unbeatable Prices

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Topics: av integration

Video Conferencing & Telepresence Is Endless



3 Steps to Start Understanding How

1.  
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Topics: telepresence, Collaboration, teleconference

VIDEO CONFERENCING MYTHBUSTERS

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing

The Polycom Video Trade-In Program

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.

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Topics: polycom hdx, Polycom Promotion, Polycom Video Trade-In Program, Polycom Video Conferencing

Polycom & Microsoft Unite for Better Video Conferencing

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.

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Microsoft

Learn How Firefighters Utilize Video Conferencing

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

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Topics: Polycom Video Conferencing, Training Firefighters

Video Conferencing Now Part of The Happiest Place On Earth

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! 

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Topics: polycom at disneyland

What Video Conferencing Solution is Right for You?

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.

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Polycom Open Telepresence Experience (OTX) & H.264

Earlier this week at Infocomm Polycom unveiled two of their newest product offerings - the Polycom Open Telepresence Experience (OTX) 300 and the expanded H.264 High Profile Support. Why are these products so exciting and what does it mean to the telecommunications industry?

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Topics: telepresence, Polycom Products, Polycom OTX 300, polycom immersive, Polycom Video Conferencing

ESPN Brings Cisco TelePresence to the 2010 World Cup

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.

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Topics: telepresence

Video Conferencing in Education

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Topics: Education, distance learning, video conferencing

Tailored-Fit TelePresence by TANDBERG

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.

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Topics: telepresence, video conferencing, TANDBERG Video Conferencing

Jack Bauer Uses Video Conferencing, Why Don't You?

Saving the world from nuclear bombs, terrorists, and biological threats can't be easy, but 24's Jack Bauer always seems to find a way. However, he doesn't do it alone - not only does he have a support team with his CTU colleagues, but Video Conferencing and Telepresence are now playing a part in saving the world.

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Topics: telepresence, cisco, Polycom Video Conferencing, TANDBERG Video Conferencing

New iPhone with Video Conferencing?

If you don't live under a rock, then you've heard the latest buzz about the leaked iPhone 4G, not to mention the poor sap that left the phone at a bar. The costly mistake resulted in the dissection of the prototype disguised to look like the iPhone 3GS.  The news spread like wildfire across the internet, and gadget geeks all around the world are bursting with excitement.

So what's the big deal about the new iPhone? Isn't it just like all the other iPhones, just a bit re-vamped with a bigger price tag? Maybe. Yet, there is one significant difference.  It's been speculated that the newest iPhone has video conferencing capabilities.

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Topics: iPhone, communication, video conferencing

Video Conferencing: The New Wave of Communication

Now more than ever before organizations are turning to new, innovative ways to conduct business during these challenging economic times. On the top of the list is collaboration. Introducing the New Wave of Communication - video conferencing - which is transforming the way organizations collaborate on a global scale. The New Wave of Communication allows organizations of all sizes to:

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Topics: Collaboration, communication

Volcanic Ash Boosts Need for Video Conferencing

The volcanic eruption in Iceland caused a complete halt in travel plans all throughout Europe. As thousands of flights in and out of Europe were cancelled, many people were left stranded with no word on when the next flight out will be. Business meetings were cancelled and destinations were unreachable. But as the saying goes, "Every cloud has a silver lining." In this case, the silver lining consisted of an integrative and innovative piece of technology, why of course- video conferencing.

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Topics: telepresence, telecommuting, travel expenses, technology

Top 5 Ways to be GREEN with Video Conferencing

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF EARTH DAY!

With the continuous increase of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, it is important now, more than ever to reduce our carbon footprints. Organizations, big and small, are doing their part by saving costs on travel, which reduces carbon emissions. Video conferencing and telepresence replaces the need to travel by car and plane, but doesn't compromise face-to-face interaction and productivity.

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Topics: telepresence, telecommuting, green video conferencing

Video Conferencing: Telejustice at Work

Throughout America's justice system, agencies at all levels face ever-shrinking budgets, even as caseloads continue to rise. Yet inherent process inefficiencies - and an institutional reliance on in-person communication - make it difficult for administrators to trim expenses without sacrificing levels of service and security or risking compromises in due process.

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Topics: telejustice, high definition video conferencing, government, video conferencing

Video Conferencing: Half the Bandwidth, Half the Cost

Want to save on your bandwidth costs but don't think you can with your video conferencing needs? Now with Polycom's breakthrough H.264 High Profile in Polycom high definition (HDX) room telepresence solutions, you can! High Profile enables network resources to be dramatically reduced for all video-enabled organizations. It allows Chief Information Officers to power video communication with fewer resources while simultaneously meeting their budget challenge constraints. With this revolutionary breakthrough, Polycom Video Conferencing deployments can now be more cost effective, increase efficiency, achieve greater quality, accelerate ROI, and be extended to a greater number of sites than ever before.

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Topics: telepresence, Polycom Video Conferencing, polycom hdx series, bandwidth cost, video conferencing

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