It's that time of year again... you are going to swear off beer, or chocolate- or start going to the gym every day. Sure, they all sound like great New Year’s resolutions, but if you are anything like me, your head is in the cloud (pun intended) and you won't make it past January with those unreachable goals. I’m here to help… Let’s make some work resolutions we can all keep and with video conferencing it will be easier than ever!
These suggestions from the cloud will not only help you accomplish more at work during the Year of the Snake (ewww, snakes), but also give you time to focus on some of those other resolutions you made!
1. Work Smarter, Not Harder
Working smarter allows you to manage your time, feel more accomplished and more secure in your job; all of which causes less stress and increase productivity. As employees of a technological time, we have so many resources at our fingertips and they should be taken advantage of!
Have you ever had an issue that needed to be resolved, but it was dragged out through email due to lag time between responses or requests needing lengthy explanation? Maybe not everyone is in the same location to get up and walk to the conference room or to each other’s desks… Maybe writing doesn’t express your idea as well as it should… Solution?? Schedule a meeting in the video conferencing cloud where you can all be in the same place, same time and sharing ideas or presentations with each other. You just saved yourself time, stress and made it easier to get your job done!
2. Go Green and Save Green
Companies are all looking for a way to decrease their carbon footprint. They have green buildings, print double sided, and encourage public transportation or carpooling. A simple way to go green is to use video conferencing instead of traveling for business meetings.You still get the personal interaction by seeing/hearing your audience and collegues. It can also cut down on paper use by sharing documents through a presentation or email instead of printing and distributing them at the time of your meeting.
Also in an effort to save money, your company may have decreased their travel budget. Think of the cost of airline tickets, hotels and food for a couple of days... even worse think of the time needed to travel (sitting in an airport after waiting in line at security... yuck!). This is all eliminated by meeting in the cloud instead!
I think this next one will be your favorite... I know its something important to me and the rest of the Easymeeting.net team!
3. Enjoy Life More - Keeping work and life at a healthy distance
More and more companies are starting to see the value of having their employees have a balance between their work and personal life. Not only does it promote physical and mental well being of employees, but it creates more efficient and more productive employees. Video conferencing allows for less time spent traveling for business and spending more time at home. Also, it allows for you to be available for meetings when you are working from home or are away from the office. As I mentioned in our first resolution, we have so many resources available to us, but we must make sure that we don't abuse them and overuse them. Just remember that a work-life balance is needed to be a better employee...
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Does your company have resolutions of their own? Here is a related article from the New York Times I found interesting about other companies resolutions and trying to help employess find balance between their work and personal lives.
Let Easymeeting.net help you accomplish these resolutions in 2013!
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.
Videoconferencing has always been in my mind "dogged" by "tech talk". Focus has been on the latest in technology and how great this is for the end user. The challenge is the great divide between the tech talk / tech terminology and the end user. For nearly two decades videoconferencing specialists have followed the path of least resistance and created positioning strategies, white papers, brochures and proposals to other tech oriented /interested persons.
Over the past three to four years there have been some half hearted efforts to open new doors to the "non tech" world. Most if not all have failed and failed miserably. The old saying "you cannot teach an old dog new tricks" remains true especially within the videoconferencing world. With this in mind I thought I would share with you some of the comments and the like that I have enjoyed.
Via a Linkedin.com forum yesterday ""My specialty is in the End-User's Cloud Experience- e.g., MOS,R-factor,packet loss,jitter,delay,echo,signal-to-noise ratio) for the real-time IP monitored." As a user I would ask myself "What the heck is he talking about?". By way the forum focuses on VideoConferencing via the cloud in which easymeeting.net is a global service provider of. Another discussion ref. "the user" was labeled "Transcoding, hosting,..." very user friendly.
Now looking back a few years I recall a channel news release from a major US based videoconferencing player - a leader in the global videoconferencing market and it stated "Cut the tech talk focus on user benefits" it started... then ended with "remember to present the h.323 data sheet". Ok and what is a data sheet asks the user.
Now this "disease" is not only related to the traditional videoconferencing companies but the new "via the cloud" providers. I googled one of our perceived (within the industry) competitors and I have to be honest they have done a great job with PR & MEDIA and have brought a great deal of industry attention to videoconferencing via the cloud. However I have to share this I found via google "
You get the point? How about the average small and medium sized business? the true user?
In final I attended as I do yet another partner conference this past year of an up and coming videoconferencing manufacturer. 2.5 days of tech talk, 30 mins of marketing and sales and then the game changer portion of the conference focusing on what will change the industry for the user... "IPv.6"! The audience was amazed how this will open new doors to the market and change video as we know it! I was astonished at the response. Now if you do not know what this is please check out WIKIPEDIA or see below and I am sure as a non videoconferencing early adopter you will quickly run out and buy a system because this will change your life. This explanation given by a website dedicated to IPv6.
|IPv6 with its 128-bit addressing system combines security and authentication, quality of service (reserving bandwidth), plug-and-play for network device configuration, a hierarchically structured routing system, and is thereby ideal for use in IP enabled videoconferencing. Using IPv6 protocol, it is possible to achieve enhanced frame and transmission rate and bandwidth usage.
Now explain to me how this will change my life from a user perspective? In order to open new doors to the market videoconferencing needs to be presented to businesses based on the benefits it provides eg. reductions in travel costs and stress, immediate return on investment, face to face meetings ad-hoc and or planned, increases in productivity, improved quality of life and a positive effect on the environment among others.
Videoconferencing is here to stay and in a few short years our children will ask "Daddy, Mommy what was it like not see someone when speaking to them?". We have a guide available that can help you understand the benefits of videoconferencing. Click on the link below.
-How your company can grow with Videoconferencing
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!
Videoconferencing has long been identified with the Fortune 500 executive, costly, great quality only on television and in movies and difficult to use. With the launch of freeware such as Skype, Facetime and so on... many more users have been exposed to the great phenomen of videoconferencing albeit not business class the user has been exposed to video meetings at a rate so fast that the traditional business class providers can only nod in awe to.
Over the past year or two more and more business class services providers have begun to dabble in offering business class services to the SME (small-mid sized enterprise) market to a degree of success. Most are focused on what they believe is the sole reason videoconferencing has not been adopted at a faster rate and that being "price". From 29.95 a month to 50.00 to 99.00... price price price... however the message remains the same.."technology, technology and technology" and not the real benefit videoconferencing provides. By focusing on price and technology the service provider has again "missed the boat". They see offering a low end product with low end service so that it fits on top of the way people work today and less on the true benefit video brings, saving time and increasing productivity. How they generate buzz is based on "more features lower price" followed by the message that no one really understands (h.323, h.264 etc...). As the head of a small business I would not understand it how h.323 benefits me.
Of note a recent survey from TeleworkResearchNetwork showed that 80% of Americans would like to telecommute.This alone will lead to retention of key employees, cuts in office and travel costs and recruiting. this by having employees work from home at least 1 time per week. Then add stress reductions and the positive effect on the environment and it is a wonder why more companies do not adopt to the use of video sooner.
Some of the benefits videoconferencing does provide for the small business are:
- Improved communication between offices
- Improved communication between team members
- Improved communication with resellers, distributors and vendors (in the future customers and user groups)
- HR Training and Education
- Cuts in Travel Costs
- Elimination of related stress
- Positive Impact on Family and Personal Life (work life balance)
- Better Time Management
- Increased Productivity
- Employee Retention
- and more...
-How your company can grow with Videoconferencing
We have a ways to go but in baby steps we are making progress.
-Try it out 14 days
I just returned from a great week of events at our US HQ in Mystic, CT where our Americas team had participated in the CT BIZ EXPO in Hartford,CT. After several 14-16hr days, nearly 100 demonstrations and more than 200 pitches, not talking baseball here :-) I started my long journey home.
Here is my story: Our offices are about 1.5hrs by car from Boston´s Logan Airport. The drive itself went really ok. Little traffic, easy to drop off the rental car and then the check in. Check in went relatively quick and then a true "Why I use videoconferencing" moment. The security line was more than 400 feet long and snaked throughout the airport. There I stood with a VP from Philips Electronics also enroute to the Amsterdam and we chatted about videoconferencing. He also is a veteran user of the technology and like me "whined"..."why I do this...". After 1hr waiting I got through and proceeded to my gate. All went well until my flight landed in Amsterdam where I again waited and waited to get through immigration (25 minutes) and 25 more going through a secondary security check. I ran to my plane which was about to close its gates meaning another four hours at the airport waiting for the next plane to Oslo. Well I made it.
While I understand face to face meetings are important much of this could be avoided by using videoconferencing much more often and effectively and not necessarily for me but for the 90% in the crowd suffering through the same hell without having even experienced what videoconferencing could do for them. I limit my trips to once per quarter but daily meet with our global teams. For the others that have yet to embrace video I wonder...How do they do it?.
-Try it out 14 days
There has been a lot of press circulating in the recent weeks on the lack of women in tech companies, the need for women in tech companies and the difference in women in tech companies. I have been happy to see most of the articles are highlighting the increasing rates and the positives that women can bring to a male dominant industry, excluding the coverage on a recent outburst by an MC at a tech conference on why women should stay at home, REALLY BUDDY?
Being a woman, in a technology based company- this got me thinking. I don't feel like I stick out, but I have noticed that 90% of the people I interact with in a normal day are men. Coworkers, customers, resellers. I don't think I stick out, but maybe I do?
Jon Swartz of USA Today had posted an article today about "Women Changing the Tech World", and this got me and one of my female coworkers out of our Tromso, Norway office talking about being women in a tech company. My coworker, Veronica Hakaby, joined Easymeeting from a more female dominant work atmosphere and was excited to join a new industry when she started with Easymeeting 6 years ago. Veronica said that when she started, there were more people that wanted to talk to males when it came to technology and troubleshooting and did not seem very comfortable speaking to a woman. Fortunately, this has started to change and now customers are just as eager, if not more so to work with Veronica and other females in the company instead of always relying on male counterparts. Why, because they have proved themselves to be just as capable and helpful in the issues at hand as the male counterparts- and anyone who has ever had the pleasure of being on an Easymeeting video call with Veronica knows that she will be smiling the entire time!
I think that great companies are built by great employees, and that great employees come from a persons drive, dedication, and willingness to adapt while being in companies that provide the opportunity for growth- despite whether they are male or female. Veronica and I look forward to watching this industry and Easymeeting continue to grow and change, both with new and upcoming technology, and with the "tech boys club" opening the doors to some more women. We can hang, we might even be able to help.
Veronica Hakaby at the Easymeeting offices in Tromso, Norway!
Follow Veronica, myself and the rest of the Easymeeting team on twitter @EasymeetingNet and on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/easymeeting to keep up with Easymeeting!
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.
A colleague of mine sent an internal email to the entire company with the announcement that Eugene Polley had passed away at 96 years of age. Who was Mr. Polley? Eugene Polley was employed at Zenith Electronics in Chicago, Ill. and in 1955 he invented the remote (wireless) control for the Zenith Television Brand. Then called "Flash-matic" the impact of his invention is not widely recognized as a "game changer" but it clearly is.
Mr.Polley´s invention was so revolutionary and well meant more to dad´s across the world than just allowing those same dad´s to sit in their couch and change channels but it changed an industry and gave birth to new industries. This invention is credited to the creation of the TV and viewer user experience we have now - dozens if not hundreds of channels and of course the "mute" button which was designed to allow the user experience to be optimized by "muting" commercials (already in the 1950s) with a click of a button.
In the videoconferencing industry the remote control at first was to be as sleek as possible with as many buttons as possible. To show that the buyer had made "thee" right investent. Then cheaper personal systems in the past 2-3 years have been rolled out and to cut costs many of the buttons were eliminated and even "cheapified" if I may use an "Evan term". This showed "value" but neither have lead to an explosion in sales in the videoconferencing industry.
The remote drove an immediate push to buy the "user experience" of the Zenith brand and soon after every television manufacturer added this to their offering also known as the "me 2" strategy. Change later came not from the television manufacturers like Zenith but from the service providers or as we better know them the "television" service providers and later cable and satellite TV providers by offer bundled packages with remotes, dishes, and well everything needed to watch whatever they were showing.
The videoconferencing industry is now being driven to change again by those outside of the industry. Yes there are those in the industry that have left Cisco, Tandberg and company XXX but they have basically re-packaged what they had been selling and called it something new but still utilizing the old "sales" methods. Technology, technology, technology...
Change in our industry is coming from the outside. Cloud Services providers like easymeeting.net are changing the way we communicate and to an extent communicate. There dozens if not hundreds of providers out there and the important thing for the potential user is... are they communicating to you and do they understand your needs?
Well the remote control itself is being challenged with touch screens and voice activation / presence detection entering the playing field but it will take time for these "added values" to change the user habits and in the end it will change but because of someone not currently in the "remote control" or display/screen business.
Try easymeeting.net for 14 Days and see how we are changing the way we all communicate
I often used to wonder why videoconferencing and web conferencing companies were never in attendance at non IT/AV etc... type of "trade shows". Everyone attends CeBit and Infocomm where the competition is but what value does this provide the reseller? the distributor when you are located side by side with your arc rival? Well until now it is seems the answer lies within the market and the maturity of the market to understand this great service called "videoconferencing".
Whilst these shows provide an environment of understanding and maturity they do so from a "those within the known" perspective. These shows are attended by those interested in videoconferencing, cloud services, the latest on H 323 or SIP or IPv6. They include "technical" sales engineers, IT managers and Integrators etc... but what about the users of this fantastic technology? Ok throw in a referance customer that company xxxx flies in for a free trip to Vegas, a great dinner and even some gifts, but are these shows the ones that will force change in the way videoconferencing is perceived? the way it is used and adopted? To date the answer would be a definitive NO. Adoption statistics prove this. Growth has been "FLAT" at best!
Easymeeting.net has attended several global events "in the know" and those "outside of the know" and we understand the challenges that lie ahead. The question becomes... Is the industry ready to invest in opening up "new doors" to those "outside of the know"? or shall they continue to puff their chests to those that are "in the know"?
One great example I can draw on and perhaps giving us a clue as to why the traditionals (in the know) focus on the traditional industry events was the 2011 CT BIZ EXPO (Connecticut Business Expo) in Hartford, Connecticut. With our Oslo, Norway offices in tow (via video) easymeeting.net set up our booth, went through all of the "IT" fun in getting internet and even electricity in place. Set up our "CANNOT MISS" easyPersonal desktop hardware plus an extra display etc...and yes! With our hardware that is inexpensive, offers great quality, can be leased for under a hundred bucks a month...we were READY! Then came the business attendees... more than 4,000 companies, ca. 85% in our target segment from across Southern New England.
At first they were afraid. They walked a safe distance from the "videoconferencing plague"...usually in with brochures and goodies bag in hand following the traditional 180 degree avoidance model (give me a wide berth). After a staff pow wow we opted to start pulling attendees in as they do in tourist places.."hey you hungry" type of sales pitches... We quickly opted to follow this approach not to sell or lease our hardware and services but to gain a better understanding of what the market knew of videoconferencing etc... The general consensus could have been broken down into two areas...a- those that had some knowledge of "conferencing" and b- those that had none. For those that had none (b) it was either based on their current company size, business model or whatever but they had no need nor did they care. A- this group was interesting. The most knowledgeable when it comes to conferencing asked one primary question: How are you different than GoToMeeting?
After the event we had a lengthy de-briefing and it basically proved our theory of why the industry has not grown. Why? It is not positioning itself within those whom would benefit the most from videoconferencing... the user groups.
This being said we have kept with our strategy on engaging those who would benefit the most from videoconferencing - the user and SME market. Come on down to the CT BIZ EXPO on June 7th in Hartford, Conn. where easymeeting.net will be at Booth 308. Easymeeting.net will demonstrate the easyConference service in action (PC,MAC,IPAD and videoconferencing system) and will have a drawing for a Free IPAD2 with our services! And this kind of "show" is exactly where we want to be!