I have had a couple trainings recently with customers who are just as interested in the pro tips of video as they are in the basic user interface of the Easymeeting services. I always take this as a good sign, kind of like a class that asks a lot of questions- it means they are listening, and planning to use the information.
With that being said, I though it might be worth it to spread the word a little bit more. For our readers who aren't quite ready to jump on a training session with one of our Easymeeting Experts; we still have some advice for you on how to pull off your business meetings like a pro!
1. Be attentive. As basic and mundane as this sounds-- it is the first thing we all need to be reminded of. People are used to being on the telephone and being able to multi task while not really paying attention. Video is a means of eliminating those pointless meetings, and replacing them with actual conversations. So always remember, be attentive, make eye contact (yes, I'm serious), and focus on this meeting. We can SEE if you are looking at your phone, or typing on your computer- so give your undivided attention to the people who are speaking, presenting, and listening! This will go a long way, and create a stable environment without the distractions of tapping keys, text message beeps, and having to repeat conversations.
2. Self View. This one comes in two parts...
A. Check yourself out. I typically recommend that all video callers check their video quality in the beginning on the call, maybe even calling in a few minutes early to get situated, and then either removing the self view or ignoring it for the remainder of the call. It is important to make sure you are sending a quality picture, with good lighting and a professional view of your office. We often see mobile callers joining from an iPad or laptop that have the angle facing the ceiling, and the fluorescent lights- while painting the caller in a horror movie-esque light. Imagine how important this is when your face is being broadcast on a 60 inch flat screen tv in your business partners conference room!
Good Lighting vs. Horror Story Lighting(yikes, I can't believe I added this picture)
B. Stop looking at yourself. It is human habit to stare at yourself if you are sitting in front of a mirror. But if you are focusing on what you look like while in a video call, that means you are not giving your business partners, associates or customers your full attention. Once you have committed to your surroundings- there is no need to keep checking your self out; so don't.
3. No background noise. This one may go above all else. There is nothing worse than connecting with someone on video and they are in a cubicle office setting with no headphones, or a home office setting with dogs barking and children screaming with no headphones. Be aware of what's going on around you and the fact that the other participants are going to hear this too. I always recommend using headphones with a built in microphone when you are calling from a computer or an iPad to reduce the background noise coming into the call. If you don't have anything like that available-- find an empty room and shut the door or ask the kids to have a quiet contest until you are off video. It's distracting for everyone else on the call-- and often times awkward to bring up if you do not know the other person well. Another way to eliminate this is anytime you are not talking, mute your microphone. This way you won't be adding any audio into the call unless you are choosing to and it will be the most stable environment for the rest of the participants.
These pointers are just the tip of the ice berg- but will make a big difference in the first impression you are giving out to your other video participants. Video conferencing becomes second nature after you get comfortable with the idea of being on video, a little preparation will go a long way!
Interested in a trial and introductory training with one of our Easymeeting Experts? Sign up today!
I do more demo's of the Easymeeting services than I could possibly even begin to count. Our partners call me at various times with their various end users and I get the opportunity to show what we do, while meeting some pretty cool people around the world. This week has been what I can only describe as a "Super Demo" week. As I hang up from one call, I am often being immediately brought into another one.
Typically I will be on a large screen overlooking a conference table full of Scandinavian business people, then broadcast over 4 iPads throughout a company in London, and then make my way across the United States from East to West. It's too bad I can't acquire frequent flyer miles on the cloud -and let me tell you, there is nothing more nerve racking than realizing your face is plastered on a 65 inch plasma screen in front of 30 people you have never met. Needless to say, I have gotten pretty comfortable being on video, and accepting that everyday is not a perfect hair day.
Today I was on a demo with a company in Southern California for awhile doing some demoing and testing of the product. It's always interesting to learn what companies do and how they are thinking of using video conferencing. As soon as we said our goodbyes and finished up our convo on California's superior weather, I received a call on my video system from one of our other channel resellers, and I was suddenly doing a demo in the middle of a park in San Fransisco. The traffic was zipping by, and we were LITERALLY walking the guy's dog while talking about Easymeeting. Like I said, I am not often surprised by demos- but this, was pretty freakin' cool. Talk about the epitome of ad hoc meetings.
(A Snapshot from my iPhone of my walk through the park in San Fransisco, sorry- I didn't catch the dog quickly enough!)
Our partner was on his new Samsung Galaxy S3 phone checking out our beta Droid app and cruising around San Fran. They gave me a little 360' tour of the park and what other companies were in the general area, and then of course- introduced me to the dog. He's not the first dog I've met over video, as we get to work with a lot of people who have the luxury of working from home, but he was the first dog I ever got to take on a virtual walk.
It's days like today where I get so excited about the technology that is available to us and think about the 100's of people that I have been able to meet from all over the world because of it. I did quite a bit of traveling throughout college and right after and miss the experiences that you have when you are soaking up the culture of a place that is not your own. Needless to say, I still miss traveling to new places, and am looking forward to a few upcoming trips, but I still get the experience of meeting people from different cultures, communities and countries. It's amazing and quite frankly very refreshing how often I get off a call and am amazed by how friendly the people I just met were.
Clearly, it's been a good day for me and our Easymeeting team and I am looking forward to another "Epic Friday" at the Easymeeting offices tomorrow! We hope you are experiencing the same kind of productive, efficient, and exciting job bliss. If your not; try something new. Remember: The definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"- Albert Einstein.
We often get calls from customers, or questions during demos that I automatically reflect to one of our tech specialists Grant Murdock. As Grant will tell you- almost anytime the word firewall is mentioned I am standing at his office door handing over the phone or dialing him into a video call. It works well this way, I think technically speaking it is called 2nd tier support- but here at our Mystic, CT office, we call it "asking Doogie Howser", whose nickname was assigned by our US Channel Sales Manager, Cody Loughlean, after we realized that Grant either already has, or can find the answer to just about any technical question we have tested him with.
With the being said- we thought it might be a good idea to enlighten our readers with some of those FAQ's that we get from our customers, and potential customers, as well as a few questions to learn a little more about Murdock too. Why question #5? Because with the copious amounts of hot sauce we have at the office... I need to know which one to keep fully stocked to keep our in house brainiac satisfied!
1. Are the Easymeeting services secure to use?
Yes, Easymeeting uses the same level of encryption that consumers use to protect their banking information online when shopping. Most room systems support encryption by default, but you should ensure your call is encrypted prior to discussing anything sensitive.
2. How many people can I connect with at one time from my video system or a mobile device?
Up to 28 continuous people can be seen at one time. After 28, the last 28 people that spoke on the conference will be the ones displayed on the screen at any given time. We had a 32 participant call on an iPad one time and it was fun setting up my transformers Optimus Prime replica to be a "participant."
(See Optimus Prime in a business meeting in the lower right hand corner)
3. How do you recommend setting up a videoconferencing system on a company's network?
It depends on your companies security posture. The easiest way is to set up a dedicated line on a public IP to allow a steady and reliable connection. Codecs don't hold the valuable information that our computers posess so hacking is not as much of an "issue". If you want to secure things a little bit more, you do have some options. They all have their plusses and minuses but two options would be opening ports or creating a DMZ for video conferencing equipment.
4. What is the latest, or upcoming piece of technology that you are the most excited about?
Technology in general excites me. Speed, capability, and features are getting crazy! Just yesterday I streamed an episode of The Walking Dead to my phone on my porch. With a few taps on my phone, I paused the show and moved the stream to my Samsung SmartTV right where I paused it on my phone! How cool is that?!
5. What is your favorite hot sauce?
I've been on a huge Sriracha kick lately, but I will go back to good ole' reliable - Frank's RedHot every now and then. If I'm feeling adventurous, nothing says hot like a 2oz. bottle of Blair's 3am Private Reserve. Signing a waiver to get it and reading a page long warning label basically telling you to not let it touch you or put it directly on food is a sure fire way to warm the soul.
If you have any Easymeeting questions, or want to tell us about your new technology kick or have a hot sauce recomendation for Grant-- give us a shout out! Want to follow Grant "Doogie Howser" Murdock on Twitter? Check him out @grant_murdock
Once upon a time, phone books were the "it" way of finding someones information. Today, they still are- but I must assume that yellowpages.com and google.com are frequented a little bit more often than someone going into the hall way closet and digging out the traditional, one million page long, dusty old phone book. (Luckily for all of us, there is a plethora of videos on youtube.com of how to rip a phone book in half and look like The Hulk. Don't worry, I included a video of it at the end of the blog, I couldn't resist)
However, the Phone Book was really and ingenious idea. It has been recreated in many forms online, and without search directories like this-- people and companies are just not nearly as accessible as they should be. With that being said, there does seem to be a lack of such tools in the video industry- or at least that is what everyone thinks. But as some of the video world is now learning, Easymeeting.net has created an online directory that is free to register and where you can list your videoconferencing systems under company names and locations. You can even make the room "bookable" if you want the possibility of renting it out to other people.
This idea is part of the catalyst in which the Easymeeting videoconferencing services were born. There are so many companies that have invested in videoconferencing systems, but do not use them (WHAT!?!), because no one else knows that they have them- but with a growing video "directory", the investment you have made into that system can be returned to you.
With the Easymeeting directory you can register your system with it's IP address so that your contacts can easily find you and contact you via video. You can also include some of the other Easymeeting services in your listing, like the easyConference virtual meeting rooms or easyNumbers for simplified dialing. As the directory grows, and our customers and their contacts become more familiar with the tools available to them in the video world they will be able to have easy, scalable and HD quality video calls, while being having access to their contacts, and being accessible by other companies through the video world.
If your company has a video system, or even more so, if you bought the videosystem, you know that it was an investment, now start working on getting the best use, and a great ROI by optimizing your technology to make it user friendly, or for that matter- used at all! We know that for a lot of people the whole video world, especially videoconferencing as a service and virtual meeting rooms can be a bit overwhelming. It's new, and it can be a little hard to wrap your head around-- but we are here to help answer your video questions-- just ask!
Now, back to ripping phone books in half- my husband did not believe this was possible, and although I tried it last night- I wasn't able to do it as easily as I explained. But I just had to share this with you guys- this is the shortest version I could find, without all of the muscular grunting- Enjoy : ). Warning: you SHOULD try this at home.
I have often blogged about the challenges videoconferencing as a product has faced and how videoconferencing as a service can solve this with creative go to market strategies, further corporate adoption of BYOD (bring your own device) etc... What opportunities are there and what does this mean for the customers... Why Video conferencing?
First and foremost one has to look at the key factors that are impairing growth as we know it. There are drivers and there are restraints.
Focus on reduction of the carbon footprint (CO2) by cutting "hard" travel.
Lower High Quality (HD) Video Conferencing System Price Points
Global and Remote Workforce & Collaboration
Increasing Focus on the SMB by Vendors and Providers
The more and more I look at each of these points and they are valid but why? Taking the Drivers first... there has been a general shift in focus whereas CO2 or carbon footprint initiatives have been mostly placed on the backburner due to the global economic environment. Less important today than in 2008-2009 as companies are not willing to invest in "green initiatives". Business is back to basics again and focus is only on the bottom line and keeping your business afloat.
There is an increased focus on the SMB market but most is from outside providers. Traditional video conferencing vendors still maintain their focus on the "whales" or the Enterprises or various reasons including contract size, technical complexity and awareness. However service providers operating in this sector or so called "video conferencing as a service" VCaaS are forcing increased adoption by the SMBs by offering to an extent previously high end services via the cloud instead of via the box(es). Saving the end user money and creating a product more readily available to the SMBs. However the message from the traditional vendors is askew. They continue to focus on the "tech talk" and make the end user in the SMB space concerned about everything from security and firewalls to admin tools and this before the customer or even segment has understood and accepted the "idea" of video conferencing as a solution to their current problem. I liken this to a bad salesman talking him/herself out of a deal even though the customer is ready to buy.
Ever dropping price points helps but not if the message continues to be tech talk and tech focus which most SMB´s do not have the experience or resources to be able to understand. This is a typical move of a desperate box pusher.
Global workforces are becoming more and more standard as the world continues to shrink with high speed internet readily available in most locations. One might wonder how much smaller the world would be and how much more global collaboration there might be if videoconferencing had higher usage and adoption rates. One day...
For the most part the restraints remain constant although outside players within the VCaaS space are offering easier to understand and use services that somewhat eliminate the complexity restraint. Global and local economic restraints remain a truth as well. One would think that with this economical environment that customers would cut travel and make investments in videoconferencing but then again 1+1=2 and not 11. Complexity + work habit = lower adoption rates.
The landscape has become more and more volatile and aggressive with vendors signing more and more channels to fight for the same business. I met with a UK partner yesterday and he said.."it used to be 7 others were competing for the customer...now it is 10 times that". The end result is the customer either passes totally or goes with the lowest price regardless of service level. This equals a poor and not supportive business model for the channels and a horrible user experience for the customer. Any wonder videoconferencing has not yet taken off?
Now the move to VCaaS models is forcing the hardwar vendor to play "me 2" and thus cutting off the legs (revenue) of their somewhat loyal channel partners. Time and time again I have seen this happen. It provides no benefit to anyone with the exception of the spreadsheet master at the vendor.
Videoconferencing has the great challenge of competiting with traditional technology (phone, plane, car) and hybrids (webconferencing with video chat)... the message is still difficult to understand. Perhaps a complete facelift of the industry is needed so that more companies adopt videoconferencing as their choice. But then again... 1+1=2 and not 11.
VideoConferencing As A Service - Try It Free 14 days!
Often those not familiar with videoconferencing technology ask me about how it is used and who do we sell to. Most conversations revolve around larger enterprises, health industry, multinational corporations of all size and so on... as soon as I start to delve into how the technology and price points have migrated to the small and medium enterprises (SME) market segment the conversation takes an abrupt turn to an end.
For some reason it becomes so personal that the person I am in dialogue with would rather change subjects eg. going for a cup of coffee, last nights hockey score whatever. However I began to contemplate why this happens. Likely because it is still too foreign to them and their needs, they have trouble identifying personally how they and their organization could benefit and last but not least that they are not current enough with the "latest" in technology and are uncomfortable with "new" tech talk. That being said I began to look at other segments that have adopted videoconferencing or video meetings into their communications practices.
In my early days in this industry I was a participant to a collaborative video communications music summit between a theater group in Stockholm, Sweden and the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. It went seamlessly... both sides enjoyed the other´s input to their music and listening to the others renditions. Wow video had come so far that the quality was superior and the sound was brilliant and well this non traditional videoconferencing user was collaborating in a way previously impossible without sitting on an airplane for hours and collaborating face to face. Of course at a great cost in time, money and stress!
Videoconferencing has been adopted by many educational institutions across the globe as a way to collaborate, e- and distance learning and so forth. However the use of videoconferencing services via a new trend "virtual excursions" has been picking up steam. Virtual excursions are literally trips or excursions whereas the user does not have to travel but can enjoy and realize the benefits of eg. The Metropolitan Museum of New York, Bob Ballard´s Institute for Exploration, Galleries and Museums across the planet are beginning to quickly adopt video communications as tools for learning, engaging, motivating and inspiring our youth as well as giving access to the masses to collections across the world that were only previously reserved for those with the financial means (travel).
This has also transcended to the travel industry whereas albeit lower quality product such as web cameras have been used... they are offering a virtual visit to a location that they are planning on visiting, would love to visit or are looking for a place to visit. All via this technology that allows the user more information and an enlightened approach to traveling.
Let us be honest... when planning a vacation... a static website with dated pictures does not tempt us anymore. We need more information, web cameras, live feeds and more... Seeing the exterior of a museum is nice but to see it from inside and enjoy the latest collection from afar via a virtual excursion ala. videoconference is best.
Now educators and students/clients have a way of collaborating that time and distance does not prohibit. Realtors selling not only luxury homes but any property are quickly adopting hybrids of videoconferencing technology in showing their product to a greater number of potential customers. One can see in the near future more and more realtors, museums having videoconferencing tools whether via their tablet, smart phone, pc/mac or vc system available to not only communicate with the head office but with customers across the world.
Below is a snap shot showing 25 participants in several countries collaborating. Imagine a realtor having an open house, a museum having a grand opening for a new collection, imagine a dance troupe in New York and one in Moscow working together. It is happening...it is coming and coming fast. Video meetings / visual communication is here to stay.
see some of the great tools available ... that are most affordable and give an immediate ROI on your virtual excursions!
I always start my morning with a cup of coffee as soon as I get to the office. Sometimes, as soon as I walk in the front door I head for the keurig(aka my best friend) and fire things up. However, this Thursday morning--- my day began with a different kind of jolt.
One of our channels was pitching to a rather large customer who has been searching for a way to bring 25 endpoints together, specifically with the capability of a high quality call from and to iPads. In our initial introduction, you would tell that they hardly believed us, "Oh yea we can do that, no problem"!
So as every good sales person does, they asked to see it. And we showed them. Now, being an International company means that we are not all typically in our offices at the same time. I normally have til about 10am EST to chat with our Norwegian counterparts - so we started early- and this, is what happened.
- 1-6. Polycom System, Lifesize System, 3 Radvision Systems,and a Droid Phone, in Tromso Norway
- 7-8. Lifesize System and a Radvision System in Oslo, Norway
- 9-11. Mac Laptop, iPhone, and a Lifesize System in Stockholm Sweden
- 12-13. ZTE System and a Droid Phone from Berkshire, UK
- 14-23. 4 Radvision Systems, 1 Lifesize System, 2 Mac's, an iPad, an iPhone and a PC from Mystic, CT
- 24. Lifesize Softphone in Buffalo, New York
- 25. Radvision System in Santa Cruz California
Thats 16 standard videoconferencing systems, and 9 Mobile Devices, captured below in an iPad Screen shot. And yes, as you can see below- we have room for three more endpoints on continuous presence!
The real beauty of this is how easy it was. We pulled together an ad hoc meeting in less than 15 minutes with 25 endpoints, from four different countires in 5 different time zones. Anyone who knows traditional video, knows that to create this kind of call would have required your company a large monetary investment on the infrastructure, hiring an IT whiz, or an entire department to handle the calls, a whole lotta' bandwidth piped into your office, and probably a lot of planning. With Easymeeting's managed videoconferencing as a service offering-- it was easy, peasy, lemon squeezy- at a quite literally, a fraction of the cost!
If this kind of show stopping technology doesn't wake you up in the morning- than their isn't a coffee in the world that will get you excited about anything at work. But we get pretty excited about what we do here at Easymeeting.net, and I just couldn't not share this particular proof of concept with our readers.
If you want give it a try yourself, check out our free 14 day trial. We can help you find the services that are going to enable your company to work efficiently, and internationally, without having to leave your home office, or your praised Keurig machine. Don't be afraid to reach out to our team during the trial process and ask how we can help solve specific problems in your company by connecting over the cloud!
Ok you have read the subject of this blog post and your first thought is yet again..."has he lost his marbles?"... I can say... yes that happened years back when I entered the world of videoconferencing when planning new routes to market. That aside what does videoconferencing and farm/sea to table have to do with each other?
For those of you not yet familiar with the farm and sea to table concept, it a fast growing movement whereas local restauranteurs are focusing their menus on more locally grown, season produce, meats, fish etc... literally from the farm to the table or the sea to the table, same day, great quality and well again...change from the way "things" have always been done.
I started thinking about how different this is than the traditional chain restaurant that buys from big box distributor and how change is being forced on an industry that is as old as time itself via the customer. This movement is not only isolated to a few special niche restaurants in the Northeastern United States and Pacific West Coast but a global movement as customer´s demand support for smaller business (small local farms, fisherman, etc...) and want a unique product that they personally take ownership into. Ownership? yes... with pride and knowing you are personally supporting a local producer, local restauranteur and local fisherman also known in some circles as "think local" the customer feels as though they are personally contributing to their local economy for the betterment of all and not some company named xxxx located in xxxx who has little focus on the local business other than as a distribution point for their often bland, cookie cutter food that is well...not fresh and less appetizing. This has taken to the food retail market as well with The Market, Whole Foods and other grocery stores focusing more and more on locally produced product. Change is spreading to all corners of this once stoic industry.
Even though videoconferencing as a product has never ever really taken itself to the mass b2b market it has suffered from the same challenges as the food production and industry business. Offerings that are difficult to understand and use, and not sure what the benefit it provides the user when it is not available to the majority of users. Essentially it is packaged and produced "somewhere else" for someone else and not YOU.
Now in the videoconferencing industry change is happening and slowly in terms of revenue but all forecasts show this to be a 4b-8b USD industry by 2016 and most of the revenue coming from new cloud providers (VCaaS=video conferencing as a service). The traditionals like those large food distributors named xxxx, in our case Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize and name your band here...are not growing the market or meeting the demands of the user. Up and comers (outsiders) like Blue Jeans Network, Vidyo, easymeeting.net and Whygo Video and others are listening to the end user and offering easier to use services that the market understands thanks in part to technology giant Apple who spent decades creating a business platform based on "ease of use".
While there are challenges and it is easy to start following the proverbial "me2" strategy - in other words chase the money based on history data (sales of traditional video conferencing systems and services) vs this new strategy of going where the biggest pot of money is now. These outsiders are presenting something new, something fresh and something needed to an industry long stagnant. It is said..."change always comes from the outside" and it is. The traditionals are struggling to hold on to market share while the up and comers are aggressively pursuing new markets and routes to market for their service. Like a tornado if the outsiders begin to follow the me2 they will be sucked into the core and spun around by the traditionals whom are in a defensive strategy of trying to protect their market share.
Farm and Sea to table brings a great user experience and appreciation to each and every customer. Customers in record numbers are thinking different and in alternative ways to eat, live and support their local businesses eg. Simply Local. Change brought on by the customer, entrepreneurial restauranteur, the farmer and fisherman on how we think, eat and live.
Dinners at the Farm in Connecticut (2011)
Using alternative methods of communication that are good for the local business, local economy, knowledge sharing and collaboration, for the user and the environment are taking precendent and has now come to the videoconferencing industry via the customer massaged for years by Apple and other producers of easy to use technology. The start of this great journey has just begun.
Learn more about these great services by downloading the
Perhaps it is because I work in this industry, the industry of technology and videoconferencing but I have noticed a major uptick in the media interest in videoconferencing, unified communications, managed services, "the cloud" or add your term here which is definitely a plus for us in this industry.
I have attempted to gather information on how much traction "our industry" has gotten in other business industries. I have surfed from high to low from sales and marketing groups, consultancies (IT and non-IT), business development, finance and even business travel and have found just about NOTHING! The articles I did find were garden variety advertisements for audio and web conferencing ala. Webex and their 1000s of resellers but nothing on videoconferencing, unified communications, managed xxxxxx. Ok something is wrong, really wrong here until I remembered the statistics that show the sales volume of videoconferencing hardware systems has not grown year on year significantly enough to make a dent in the mainstream media or the overall market penetration of videoconferencing and xxx communications, services etc...
I have evaluated where the information is most available and has the greatest presence and it is without a doubt hands-down... in our little industry again. We are basically telling each other in this industry of all the benefits of video, unified, managed etc... We are telling CTOs and IT managers until we have to re-invent the description into xxx services, communications, xxx as a service etc... like stirring the proverbial "pot". Essentially we are "preaching to the choir"!
Ok how about an industry and game changer... let´s tell the potential beneficiaries (the users) about how they and their business can benefit from the use of videoconferencing and xxxx service, managed, hosted, unified whatever... Again the industry is failing the largest audience that could most benefit from these great services.
I started to delve deeper into the "delivery" as I call it or the message these various providers or vendors are trying to get across. First let us ask...What is Unified Communications? Ok Unified Communications is and this from Wikipedia... "is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing (including web connected electronic whiteboards aka IWB's or Interactive White Boards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging(integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types. There have been attempts at creating a single product solution however the most popular solution is dependent on multiple products."
Ok credit for them not telling us about H.323 or IPv5 or 6, Enums etc... but it is there...if you delve a little deeper. Ok as an average potential beneficiary how much of this am I supposed to understand? A little probably because my kids used to use "chat" and in school they had dropped the old chalkboard for a "white board" but other than that... how am I even supposed to imagine how I can incorporate this into the way I communicate in my company? my office? I hope someone can wave their magic wand and fix it for me so it is "easy" and it just works! No wonder the telephone meeting followed by the plane trip is still the choice of businesses across the globe. The industry is failing in it´s delivery of critical user focused information!
I recently received an update from another provider and their description is a little more to the point but still a bit hard to understand it goes "The basic premise of UC is to foster instant communication between workers beyond the traditional phone and email and into voice, video, IM, and wireless."
Ok close to something the user can understand but in the end of the day they are telling you to combine Video, Voice, Wireless and instant messaging. What the heck.. why is this important? Does not a videoconferencing system or service provide you with the essentials of communication.. Voice/Sound and a picture? Do I really need to instant message someone while speaking to them? Why incorporate this into your communications needs when there are 1000s of providers many offering free easy to use services and yes there is still SMS/text messaging albeit dying a slow and miserable death available cheaper and more effective than incorporating a multi 100k $ investment in some hardware based service in that little closet near the IT Manager (no offense). This reminds me of the picture from Afghanistan that has circled the globe via emaila nd facebook of the donkey pulling the car. Again someone is missing the point and it is the industry!
What You Should Consider
What your business really needs to consider is what tools are available that are easy to use, easy buy, easy to scale and easy to get assistance if you need so that anyone in your organization can best utilize the benefits of a service that have the best price performance. Can I make an adhoc call to our office in Tokyo or Berlin but simply dialing a 4 digits? eg. 9000? Can I easily reach assistance via email, phone or video via a 3 digit number eg.800? Can we use a standard internet service line? Your immediate return on investment can be measured in time less traveled and travel budgets, stress and even churn in your organization? increases in productivity? and more time... That sounds like things I would consider when making a choice on a communications tool and not how I need to build a "unified communications strategy" to get my CFO to buy into. Videoconferencing and the xxx services should be like picking a phone service. Easy!
If you think easy = cheap and not good enough then remember one thing... making things easy is extremely hard and labor intense. Just ask
and from the other side the industry that is failing you.
Yesterday I was trying to call and check the status with a change I had made with one of my banks. As you always have to do with automated systems I entered my social security number, and then my four digit pin, and then I answered my security questions which the computer misunderstood. Then, I was given a menu of 47837 things to choose from. Upon hitting 4#, I was told that exstension was not available at this time, of course not. So then I just started saying "representative, person, human, representative, person, can I please talk to a person, representative please". This works by the way : )
After I got off the phone I listened to my husband mock my "representative please" rant for a few moments and tried to shut him up by simply saying, "no one wants to talk to a robot about their business"...... obviously.
Which is why, and how I have my job as an Easymeeting Expert. Because nothing is more frustrating than repeating yourself or trying to explain your problem to an automated robot. So, at Easymeeting, we leave our magic robots and automated systems to handle our cloud, and our vacuuming- thanks to Roomba, and we, the humans- are here for you. We are here to train you on your new video conferencing system, and introduce you to your new featues available with the Easymeeting Services. We can help connect your conferences, record your conferences and moderate your conferences. We can answer small questions about changing your layout or more in depth questions about integrating existing videosystems or mobile options to easily connect to the Easymeeting cloud. We're here for you, we promise. We are not going to drop off a new video system to your office and dissappear for the remainder of your contract until we ask you to renew. With Easymeeting, you have live, human support every step of the way to ensure that your company is getting the best possible return on investment and learning to work more efficiently and productively, now!
Whether you are an existing customer, or considering trying videoconferencing within your organization, we are here for you. Sign up for a free 14 day trial of our easyConference virtual meeting room service and have an introductory training with one of our Easymeeting Experts today!