Polycom continues to demonstrate its commitment to open standards among unified communications solutions with its announcement of the Polycom RealPresence platform. This new offering includes a comprehensive software infrastructure for universal video collaboration.
The Polycom RealPresence Platform (formerly referred to as the Polycom UC Intelligent Core) is the software infrastructure that powers Polycom’s HD telepresence and video solutions.
The open-standards approach of the Polycom RealPresence Platform ensures integration with hundreds of unified communications and social networking applications, such as Microsoft Lync 2010, IBM Sametime, and Jive’s social business platform.
A video conference on Sept. 9 linked youth voices from the United States, Lebanon, India and the United Kingdom. Small children when the attacks occurred in 2001, the participants are now high school and college students actively engaged in seeking understanding and respect across faiths, beliefs and cultures.
This was not a one-off event. All of the participating schools are part of a new initiative called “Face to Faith” — an international schools program sponsored by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation currently active in more than 400 schools in 17 nations. Through video conferencing and online community, students ages 12-17 communicate directly with their peers around the world. They are able to address issues of global concern through civil dialogue with one another about their beliefs, values, attitudes and faiths.
We have seen the benefits of video conferencing technology for patients who live in remote areas – the ability to gain instant access to specialists and medical professionals located across the country. In times of medical emergency, video can be the difference between life and death. Doctors can use video to treat stroke patients during the short window after a stroke when it is crucial to be evaluated for a life-saving treatment.
Individuals can tell the mood of a client or supplier as soon as they walk through the door of a meeting room or appear on-screen, in a way they cannot do on the phone.
‘That’s why face-to-face meetings are so important,’ he remarked. ‘So perhaps rather than ask whether video conferencing is desirable or effective, we should surely be asking why on earth we choose to limit ourselves to voice-only phone conversations when there are much more effective options available.’
Because of these factors, teleconferencing is one of the best ways to ensure effective communication between colleagues, suppliers and clients in different locations, he added.
Mr Warburton concluded: ‘There can be no doubt – body language and non-verbal clues transform the effectiveness of our communications.”
If your business has invested in a video conferencing system, chances are you have considered a managed or cloud service to ensure a successful user experience. Studies have shown that companies that use a managed service to manage, schedule, and monitor their video conferencing systems enjoy an improved user experience and return on investment.
A recent study by Wainhouse research called Video Conferencing Managed Services outlined the benefits of a managed service:
Enterprises considering (or already using) a videoconferencing managed service provider to manage and enhance their rich media communications environment should focus on five deliverable and measureable benefits:
- Increased asset utilization: Conferencing investments provide a return only when they are used. Hence, we believe a major goal of any vMSP program should be to drive additional utilization.
- Faster and more complete deployments: An MSP experienced in installing, debugging, and delivering conferencing services can, and should, shorten the “time-to-benefits” for its customers.
- Improved budgeting and cost control: A comprehensive vMSP program should provide the end user with a clear understanding of what his costs will be, and how they may or may not change over the life of the contract.
- 24 x 7 support and protection from staff turn-over: Providing qualified and experienced internal staff to support the “follow the sun” operations of an internal conferencing service can be very challenging. For vMSPs, however, this is a core part of their business offering and value-add. As such, they are structured and optimized to provide this service in a cost-effective way.
- Improved conferencing management: Conferencing should be managed like any other service or department within the enterprise. Key requirements include clear service level agreements, detailed usage and performance reports, and a single point of accountability. vMSPs offer a wide range of assistance in this area ranging from turnkey management to specific support elements designed to augment and support customers’ internal management team.
Contact IVCi at firstname.lastname@example.org for information aboout our newly expanded managed services offering.
According to AVInteractive: The education and research sector reports that 86% of organizations expect to see significant growth in usage. Use is widespread across the sector but could be more frequent. There are high levels of internal use within organizations. Cost and time savings are considered most important benefits.
Looking forward, 86% of respondents predicted that the use of video conferencing would increase within their organization due to a combination of improvements in video conferencing technology and a wider drive to reduce organisational costs.
The technology is finally here to make a dispersed workforce feel connected even when miles apart, according to a recent article in Forbes.com. High definitionvideo conferencing at the desk top is now capable of making people feel connected, even if they work on projects without ever meeting their colleagues face-to-face.
According to the article, the following are some compelling ways video is changing work habits and practices, and uniting a disparate workforce:
•Teamwork and more effective meetings.
It might seem obvious, but video can fundamentally change the nature of virtual teamwork and contribute to the effectiveness of meetings. I have noticed in my meetings that the pure act of seeing and being seen raises our level of engagement, responsiveness and ownership, which ultimately leads to effective meetings.
This is probably the biggest challenge posed by the dispersed workforce. It’s tough managing employees that you never see. Sure, they do their work, but how do you help them on their career path, ensure they feel like a valued member of the team and handle any potentially sensitive discussions? Right now, remote workers are often relegated to being ‘individual contributors’ rather than team members or leaders. Video has the potential to change that, adding the element of nuance that is lacking in phone calls, and leveling the playing field between those in the office and those not.
Our notion of teams and teamwork is already being challenged and will continue to become more and more dynamic. Instead of static teams that work together day in, day out, we’ll bring together groups of people that are experts in their field for specific projects. Those people might be employees, but they might also be consultants or contractors, and they could be based anywhere in the world. They’ll work together for as long as the project requires, and then go their separate ways. They will probably never meet in person. This new form of team will only work if we find a way to inject the H Factor, and video will be absolutely crucial here. Without the engagement and commitment it brings, things could disintegrate pretty quickly.
The importance of training in a dispersed organization cannot be underestimated. It’s the company’s primary opportunity to ensure that everyone feels part of one organization, understands all processes and is equipped to be an ambassador. Many companies still choose to fly people in for their initial induction, but that just won’t be practicable when the majority of employees are scattered around the country and the globe. Video will fill the gap here, perhaps becoming the main mode of training for important sessions.
Have you ever hired someone without meeting them face to face? You will. It’s a certainty that at some point in the future, it will become untenable to physically meet every person we hire. Video interviews will become standard practice and will ultimately replace in-person interviews in some cases. Access to high-quality video on the desktop will play a vital role here in enabling interviewers to gauge the reaction of the interviewee and to establish a rapport.
In sum, the adoption of video across all employees is a pivotal point in how companies operate and how people work together. Whether we know it or not, a revolution is taking place in the way we work as global economics and the pace of business dictate a more dispersed workforce. We could view this as a challenge, or as an opportunity. Easily available and deployable high-definition desktop video might just be the key that lets us unlock all the benefits, and mitigate any potential downsides, of new virtual workstyles for all employees, not just the C-suite.
IVCi has expanded its strategic partnership with Talk and Vision, a provider of visual collaboration solutions and managed conferencing services throughout the European Union.
This expansion will tightly integrate both companies’ joint video network operation centers as well as enhance service and support options for both IVCi and Talk and Vision’s U.S and international customers.
IVCi and Talk and Vision have been providing UC services to mutual clients across the globe for over seven years. These UC services help multi-national businesses break down geographic barriers to effective communication with visual collaboration solutions that are implemented throughout their worldwide locations.
Cloud Video Startup Blue Jeans Network Taps First
Now that the word is out about Blue Jeans Network, a much buzzed-about videoconferencing startup, it’s time for the company to start building a channel presence.
Founded in 2009, Blue Jeans Network emerged from stealth mode in late June and confirmed commercial availability of its any(ware) video conferencing service. Blue Jeans had launched field trials earlier in the year to build buzz from an early subscriber base, but according to Stu Aaron, chief commercial officer, it has now begun full-bore recruitment of VAR and service provider partners.
On Tuesday, Blue Jeans confirmed a partnership with IVCi, a well-known Hauppage, N.Y.-based solution provider and videoconferencing specialist.
IVCi has just announced a new partnership with Blue Jeans Network to connect consumer desktop video, such as Skype and Google Talk, with business class offerings from Polycom and Cisco.
This service, called the Desktop Experience, is powered by the Blue Jeans Network, and allows IVCi’s team of managed video experience (MVE) professionals to securely connect consumer desktop video solutions as part of the standard MVE meeting process.
- The Desktop Experience is truly device agnostic, allowing for support of numerous consumer based systems as well as mobile devices such as iPad and iPhone.
- Business level video can be joined with multiple business and consumer desktop solutions, allowing even more participants to join business critical video meetings.
- This service is cost effective and scalable.
- Video conferencing rooms stay secure while road warriors and mobile users connect with their preferred application or device.