Let's be serious here, almost everyone is in the Holiday spirit by now. Many people are using the last of their vacation days before the end of the year and spending time with friends and family. But as excited as we are- business must go on, right?
There is this guy, you may have heard of him. He most commonly goes by Santa Claus, but also operates under the aliases of
- Ash Man (Germany)
- Babbo Natale (Italy)
- Befana (Italy)
- Bellsnickle (Old America)
- Bozicek (Slovenia)
- Christkindle (Germany)
- Father Christmas (England)
- Hoteisho (Japan)
- Sinterklas (Indonesia)
- Kerstman (Belgium)
- Pere Noel (France/Canada)
He is pretty busy this time of year, but every once in awhile- he has a business meeting he just has to attend. Today we got to witness first hand through video conferencing just how important these meetings can be. It's little things like this, that remind us what the Holidays are all about...
Thanks Kris Kringle!
In honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting, we're urging everyone to "Pay it forward" and participate in #26actsofkindness.
(Happy to see the Joy on these little kids faces today- Norway, Connecticut and Pennsylvania connect with the North Pole.)
We recently had the honor of being named among the top tech companies to watch in Connecticut by the Connecticut Technology Council. We are proud to call Connecticut our home to the U.S. Headquarters of Easymeeting and have enjoyed getting to know so many of the other businesses that are leading the way for our state to continue to grow and employ it's residents with exciting careers in technology.
You may be thinking, Connecticut and Technology? Really? But yes, really-- the tech world doesn't reside in Silicon Valley alone! Below, an exerpt from the Connecticut Technology Council's webpage states the Council mission statement, and why CT and Tech work so well together.
"For a state to thrive economically, it must continue to reinvent itself through innovation and job creation. Perhaps more than any other state, Connecticut has the necessary combination of factors to be a major contender in today’s global marketplace: an educated workforce, the availability of wealth and risk capital, some of the world’s best academic institutions, and an intense history of success and invention that runs through every part of the state.
The mission of the Connecticut Technology Council is to build an interactive community of innovators and their supporters that can leverage these great advantages to create a thriving economy, job growth, a global reputation for entrepreneurial support, and a lifestyle that attracts the best and brightest people to come here and retains the
young people who have grown up here."
...and we're not the only ones that enjoy calling Connecticut the home to our tech haven. Some of the other companies named on the list have some pretty awesome stuff going on too.
www.budderfly.com - this company is GREEN! Budderfly is has created a cloud based energy management tool for companies to monitor the energy usage making them more aware of consumption, and therefore- better equipped to cut down on costs. Pretty cool!
www.whyscience.com - on the Why Science web, it reads :"Why Science provides education technologies empowering teachers to more fully engage students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). We create customized technology learning systems and education/training programs that integrates years of best practices classroom experience into an easy to use web 2.0 teaching platform." In my opinion, anything that makes our youth stronger learners, is a win!
www.bioarray.us -Bioarray Therapeutics is a company that has brought "new molecular tests using genome-wide expression technology" so provide information and options to women with breast cancer so that they can choose the chemotherapy regimen best suited for them.
And to think- with just 4 out of 75 companies you can communicate more efficiently with Easymeeting, use energy more efficiently with Budderfly, educate more efficiently with Why Science, and fight cancer more efficiently with Bioarray. We've got a lot of good stuff going on in New England- don't miss out on it while your waiting to see what rises from Silicon Valley!
Check out this adorably cheesy video we made to introduce ourselves to the Connecticut Technology Council! And feel free to pass along any acting coaches in the area that you can recommend for my future :)
I wish this topic made as much sense as the benefits of Internet as a service, or a cell phone as a service. Let's be serious here, how many people are going to invest in the infrastructure to create their own internet or telephone service when they can call Comcast, Verizon and the likes.
We're not quite there with video conferencing yet, but we are well on our way. Most of it is because of history. Traditionally, for videoconferencing you, or more likely your company, did buy the infrastructure and host it internally to make sure that the CEO of your company could have a choppy, pixelated call with the CEO of another company.
But guess what? Those days can be over. Now video is available as a service. You pick the service and/or service provider that works for you, and voilà- you are connected to the world! Without having to get a budget of a zillion dollars approved so that your company can build the necessary configurations in house. Oh the beauty of the cloud.
So if the fact that video conferencing as a service, or managed video conferencing is readily available isn't enough of a reason. Here are five benefits of why video as a service just makes sense.
Your IT department is already busy, so when they also have a large amount of video infrastructure to manage- how happy are they going to be when you have questions of how to use the system or how to get a customer on a call. With Managed services, you have a service center to call to help you with these issues. You can get the answers you need, when you need them, without putting added workload on your IT resources.
This is a touchy subject for anyone who has had to deal with allocating bandwidth to a company. It ain't cheap, and how do you know how much is too much or when too much is not actually enough? When you are using video in the cloud, you don't need to worry about having enough bandwidth to host an eight way call from your location. Be selfish- just worry about yourself, and the service provider in the cloud will host the bandwidth for the other seven participants.
3. Money, money, money
Let me put this simply. It is going to cost more to buy, host, manage and continually service and upgrade your own multi point video infrastructure that it is to pay a monthly or yearly service. Did I mention that salary that you will have to pay someone to handle having all this hardware somewhere in your office?
With Managed services you can scale the amount of users that you need on a call fairly easily compared to that of changing the port capacity on an MCU that you have previously purchased. Needs change, companies change, and meetings change-- you don't want to be constricted to a certain amount of callers when it doesn't fulfill your needs, right?
5. Mobile meets hardware, easily
Now I am not saying that you cannot have the capability with in house infrastructure to connect a video system, an iPad and a computer into a multi point call. But, it's going to cost you. With Video Conferencing as a service, you are able to connect with so many different kind of endpoints, and you know, and as the times and technology change service providers adapt and continue to offer the latest options.
If you need more convincing, let me know. I am sure I can come up with a few more reasons why managed services are they way to go, explain why they are here to stay, and that they were worth the wait!
A quiet week on the blog means a busy week in the cloud! We have been boomin', to put it quite frankly. But I have finally taken a break from traveling the world via the cloud to eat something, drink something, and obviously... blog something!
One of our tech specialists was working on a case with a customer today who had their video network set up that they could not make calls to other systems, they could only receive calls from other systems on the same network. Because of this- there video usage was down, and they wanted to learn how to connect all of their systems with other companies and with mobile options. To elaborate, it's more common than you might think for a video network to be set up so that it can't even talk to anyone. I cannot even count the amount of times we have spoken with companies that own systems, or worse yet, own infrastructure for video- but have not been on a call or even touched anything for two years- technologically speaking, it's heartbreaking.
Now I have to admit- Easymeeting and VCaaS are my video world. What I mean by that is that I don't come from a background of vendor specific video operations. So it never occurred to me that a no name video system may not be able to talk to or share data with a big name video system or that a company would set up their said systems in an environment that does not allow communications. All cell phones talk to each other- why wouldn't all video systems? Well apparently, and as I fully understand now, this was not the way that the video world was originally brought to life.
Maybe someone from the early video infra days can shed some light on why you would make a product that doesn't talk to anyone else, but we don't need to worry to much since the VCaaS world has shifted. We have moved into a friendlier, "co-habitational" world where Lifesize talks to Radvision who invites Polycom who brings their friends iPad and Samsung Tablet who bring their children iPhone and Droid and the babysitters, PC and Mac. Get it, we're together in this.
A couple of weeks ago I had a call with David Maldow of Teleprsence Options. David and his team are always on the up and up in the video world and regularly test different products, services, and infrastructure. Myself and one of our West Coast Sales reps, Gary Luhrman, joined David on a call to show him the latest in the Easymeeting world. David was telling us that one of the things he likes about Easymeeting, and VCaaS in general- is that we act as the "Videoconferencing Whisperers", just like Cesar Millan of "Dog Whisperers" who makes Shih-tzu's and rottweilers and every breed in between behave well, alone, and with eachother.
He hit the nail on the head, we WANT EVERYONE to talk, not just people within their own organizations, or people who have bough the exact same video system. There is a lot of room for the industry and the users to grow in the video world. Some people have it and can't live without it, some people haven't even seen it yet but are getting closer with the advances in today's BYOD initiatives, the need to cut back on spending, travel, and become more energy aware and efficient. As more people adapt to video on mobile devices, and realize that there are affordable options with easy connectivity, the participants will continue to grow- and we're looking forward to being a part of it.
Does your company have systems that are under utilized? Turn them into time travelling space shuttles, or at the very least- systems that can talk to mobile devices, with the Easymeeting services!
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!
We didn't forget the Easymeeting of the Week! It has been a crazy busy morning at Easymeeting.net with more exciting demos and meetings coming up this afternoon. Don't you just love it when you can feel a buzz in the air? Even, when it's 85 degrees outside!
One of the things that we preach, is our time, using it wisely and cutting down on travel. As much as we love our services, we know that meeting someone in person will continue to be the best way to communicate, but video, will continue to be the second best way.
Recently, one of our customers had to make a trip for a convention in Toronto where they could present their products. We all know the conventions and expo's are one of the greatest ways to connect with people and introduce what you have to offer. Unfortunately, when you attend these events, you are leaving the office, your work, and your employees behind. However, Easymeeting videoconferencing doesn't have to be something you use just to avoid travel. It can be something you use while you travel.
This week, while our customer was in Toronto, he was able to connect from his laptop in the hotel to his office in the US and still communicate with his team. With the document sharing capabilities they were able to go over a project the marketing team wanted to launch, but needed his final approval for. When he was done connecting to the office, he connected to his kids and wife at home too. He was still able to see the colors of the new marketing scheme, and the excitement on his kids faces when they talked about their day at school, all while being at a convention in Canada.
When you can't actually be there, Easymeeting is the next best thing, not only with your company, but maybe even with your family!
Have a business trip coming up? Try our 14 day trial and stay connected even when you are on the road!!
We received an email from one of our loyal customers on Thursday evening just before it was time to put together our Easymeeting of the week. I had another example that will just have to wait until later, because I love hearing stories straight from the customers even more than I love hearing myself talk(which is a lot!).
Our guest blog customer, RisCo AS, develops software for radiology workflow and communication at hospitals. There customers are both publicly and privately owned hospitals throughout the Nordics. Our customers job is to meet existing clients and recruit news ones and handle some sales related activities where participating in eHealth conferences, workshops, demonstartions, and meetings with customers are involved.
Here is a description from Knut Andreassen of RisCo on what they do, and how Easymeeting helps.
"Demonstration of our software for exchange of radiology data between different radiology solutions at hospitals, is one of my core activities. This is a complex area in eHealth, and customers are always demanding proof of concept. The best way to do this, is demonstrating how one or more of our customers are using the solution in their daily running of the clinic. A demonstration outside the hospital walls, always requires a high level of security on the hospital side. We´re using Easymeeting to run our demonstrations.
On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, I ran a workshop in Stockholm, Sweden. Meeting up with some very interesting potential customers. We ran a workshop with a live demo from two of our customers; one in Tromsoe and one in Oslo. We used videoconferencing and the Easymeeting service. All participants in the meeting just dialed in to my meeting room. The customer met up at the office rented in Stockholm. After a brief introduction from our side, we invited a radiology technican from the University Hospital of Northern Norway to run demos of different user scenarioes. Data was shared through Easymeeting on the projector in the meeting room. UNN presented and the customer was asking questions and commenting as we went along. The experts from the hospitals in Tromsoe and Oslo answered the question and we started a discussion how our solution could be implemented on the customer side. Very powerful way of selling. Seeing is believing! One customer telling a potential customer - this is really good! Look what we have achived with the solution.
We got very good feedback from the workshop. Easymeeting is a perfect tool for communication and collaboration. It is very flexible. The parties included in the workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday used videoconference/Telepresence from Cisco, PC´s, Mac´s and iPad. We used experts from customer sites. The customer got extra value of talking to another customer in their native hospital environment. We also included some experts from RisCo from our main office in Tromsoe. Just call the virtual meeting room from the Mac and Easyconference solution. The expert answered some specific questions and demonstrated the specific functionality.
The customer was quite impressed by the flexibility of the whole setup in the workshop. Live demo from another customer. Secure, smooth and very powerful. Easymeeting is a critical tool in my job for running the sales process.
Easymeeting - Time Well Spent!"
Thank you to Knut B. Andreassen, Sales and Marketing Manager and the rest of his team at www.Risco.no AS for being our guest bloggers! (Below: Demo in action!)
If you or your company are interested in learning more about how Easymeeting.net videoconferencing services could help you work more efficiently, check out our free 14 day trial!
While I am a proponent of the use of technology like videoconferencing and related services to be used to the maximum of it´s potential, from time to time it is extremely important to meet face to face and in person. The videoconferencing industry as we know it has long suffered in finding the right mix to position it´s value within the market. Simply replacing face to face in person meetings would require billions of dollars in a global marketing investments to help change work habits and to educate John Q. Public on the benefits of video over everything else " in person". From my experience with the industry the traditional manufacturers nor the largest distributors are investing in product and use awareness...not before the global economy tanked nor when it was glowing hot.
With this in mind one better understands that it is up to more slight changes in work habits, product and services education as well as better and more affordable availability of the videoconferencing tools that will win the day but over time and perhaps a decade or more and most importantly change will come from the outside and from the current "captains" of the industry. It will not be Cisco or Polycom or even the LifeSize division of LogiTech or "you name it" here that will affect change but the user and easier to understand information on the benefits of video and not the latest in "tech ()#(")#(#".
However in order to keep in touch with John Q. Public we do travel and we do meet customers who have and the hoards of customers do not have videoconferencing tools. Easymeeting.net for the majority of our time focuses on events like the coming Connecticut Business Expo in Hartford, Connecticut where 4,000 company representatives ascend on the fantastic Connecticut Convention Center on the banks of the Connecticut River each June. We assume that 90% do not have videoconferencing services as this follows the generally available industry statistics and this is ideal for easymeeting.net as we focus on this who have not yet adopted videoconferencing services into their daily communications routines.
Yes... we have done these events by videoconferencing and yes this year we will have several virtual attendants like the head of our easymeetingExpert team in Mystic, Conn. Caity Serra, Patrik Ankarstad in Stockholm, Sweden and our great team of Experts in Tromsø, Norway. However in 2012 I will attend along with our team in Connecticut and will dilligently work to present the values that traditional and mobile videoconferencing bring to the user. Last year I attended the event via video and it was quite interesting to see and hear the response of the the 90% - some scared, some skeptical and many well without a thought. A year later, a year more mature and I believe we have something the attendees at the CT BIZ EXPO will truly appreciate. Our easyConference services which allow traditional videoconferencing systems to communicate seamlessly with PC,Mac,Iphones and IPAD and a 14 day trial to evaluate the easymeeting.net services. While a desktop hardware product like our easyPersonal or our conferencing room product the easyRoom may be a but much for the 90% our easyConference service can within a few moments enable your PC,Mac, Iphone and IPad to become a videoconferencing system. Humm that is something that should be interesting enough to begin the long process of changing ever so slightly work and meeting habits. Is it not?
Easymeeting.net will hold a drawing for an IPAD2 with 3 months of easyConference services included to an attendee of the CT BIZ EXPO. Come on down to Booth 308 on June 7, 2012 and check out what easymeeting.net is all about.
Please click here for more information on the event.
Not only is it Friday, but it's the Friday before a 3 day weekend in the US and much of Scandinavia! But before we all pack up for the day and enjoy our weekends, it's time for our "Easymeeting of the week"!
Easymeeting.net has been working with a lot of different educational programs and Universities over the years and are proud to offer them a better way to connect, and educate! Today, we want to tell you about a distance learning program that has utilized our easyConference services and our webTv's!
Education is one of the most important pillars in every society, and in the past- has sometimes been limited with geographical boundaries, commuting issues, and exspenses. But we want to pass kudos along to one of our customers who have integrated Easymeeting.net services into their distance learning program for many years to connect rural learning centers, classrooms, and community colleges to seminars and lectures at larger institutions that would generally not be available to all of these students.
As if this new way of learning isn't cool enough, I had a flashback to the dreaded Mid Term and Final Exam periods of my life as we worked with the customer this week to identify some of their usage statistics and map out their return on the investment in Easymeeting services.
I may be assuming here, but I would guess that most of us remember final and mid terms as an exhausting experience filled with Red Bull, stress, and trying to remember how your professor described the logic and reasoning behind Statistics, or World History, or Biology(ahhh!).
Well, this distance learning center has made this time in the students lives a little bit more manageable with the Webtv services that they can replay lectures from earlier in the semester, and review sessions for studying purposes. GENIUS. The students are utilizing these tools at a steady rate throughout the semester with spiking results during mid terms and finals when they are in study mode. What is the solution to trying to decipher a semesters worth of notes in your chicken scratch? Watching the lecture again!
Easymeeting.net services provide TIME WELL SPENT in the office, and the classroom!
Good luck to all of the students in the middle of exams, and Happy Graduation to the Grads of 2012! Easymeeting is wishing you all a safe and happy 3 day weekend!
Want to learn more about Videoconferencing? Check out this Whitepaper or sign up for our 14 Day Free Trial!
Two years ago if you, or I would have used the term "cloud" in a business meeting, everyone in the room would have undoubtedly looked to the sky to see what a cumulonimbus cloud could possibly have to do with the topic at hand. Today, it is nearly impossible to make it through a business meeting, an article in a business journal, or a business day without hearing about the cloud, and cloud computing, and cloud technology, and cloud management, and cloud, cloud, cloud.
For some of us, this transition was natural, we didn't even notice that it was happening, everything just went to the cloud, worked better, more efficiently, and we were happy with it. However, we left behind a group of people wondering why everytime we should be discussing business, our conversation turned to the weather. Like my mother (Hi mom! Happy Mother's Day), who looked at my brother and I recently as we discussed our equally cloud dependent jobs, and asked "What the heck is the CLOUD!?".
Ahhh, yes... the forgotten folk that we left on earth.
With that being said, we at Easymeeting.net prefer life in the cloud too. We are always excited and talking about our "easyConference" virtual meeting rooms, which obviously; live in the cloud with the rest of the magic technology we use today! You've never been to the cloud? You've never been on a business class, HD, flawless, videoconference? Okay... let's back up.
Our easyConference, as previously mentioned, is awesome. With the easyConference service you can have a multi-participant video meeting with your customers, partners, co workers, and potential clients all over the world. Joe from the NY office can call in on his computer, Sally in Cali can call in from the airport on her iPad, while the CEO pitches the new company idea from his conference room in London and the investors tune in from Beijing. You're all together, in the cloud, in a virtual meeting room, in an easyConference! It's easy, meeting with your team, while staying in your home bases where you work most effectively. Besides the postive effect that less travel has on the environment, it has a positive effect on your productivity, your work/life balance, and your overall well being.
So give it a try next time, cancel the red eye flight, enjoy dinner with the family, and jump into an easyConference to meet with your collegues in the cloud. You might just enjoy having your meetings in the clouds instead of flying through them while eating peanuts and listening to the guy next to you snore.