Category: Video Conferencing

The ability to communicate effectively is so important for business leaders that top MBA programs are now featuring courses that teach “soft skills,” like how to receive feedback well, speak respectfully to subordinates, and control emotional responses to conflict, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Although “hard skills” like finance and accounting are important and are included in most MBA programs, these skills become less relevant as employees climb the corporate ladder and start entering management positions. Managing a staff, handling disagreements, and decision making skills are abilities most will learn on the job and not the …

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Pope Benedict conducted the first ever video conference with the astronauts of the International Space Station. The pope spoke to the astronauts through a video link in the Vatican’s library. http://thecelebritycafe.com/feature/pope-has-first-ever-video-conference-space-station-05-21-2011

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According to a press release that just hit the Web, Polycom’s new EagleEye Director creates a user experience that we haven’t seen before. This dual-camera tracking system actually makes sure that whoever is speaking is always highlighted (zoomed in and centered), creating a more personal and realistic meeting experience. Polycom’s Eagle Eye should limit the need for camera and remote control adjustments. “Unlike simple camera tracking technology of the past, the EagleEye Director gracefully transitions between highlighting individual speakers to capturing the entire room, allowing users to replicate a life-like conversation and drive more productive meetings.” More here: http://198.154.240.130/~ivcicom/polycom-eagleeye-director.html

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Many of us could stand to increase our powers of observation. Observational skills can be improved if, like working out a muscle, they are used more often. In a business setting an inability to correctly read others’ reactions can be disastrous and lead to poor decision making. More companies are using video conferencing for meetings with business associates at remote locations to get all of the advantages of visual collaboration. Next time you are in a video meeting, pay close attention to other participants’ body language. Think about what their visual cues are telling you that belie their words. The …

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Video Comes to Board Meetings

April 25, 2011, by nparker in Video Conferencing

WSJ: As videoconferencing technology becomes more sophisticated, it is slowly moving up the corporate ladder to the boardroom—helping to save some directors the hassle of air travel and making it easier for boards to recruit international members. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703907004576279382859573922.html

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According to study results released by Cisco, users of video conferencing receive both quantitative and qualitative benefits from the technology. It also sets out to explain why there may be hesitation to use this collaborative tool. TMCnet reports: The biggest barriers to adoption of video collaboration, the study found, are not technology limitations but rather lack of experience and/or lack of understanding about how benefits outweigh costs. People who regularly use this technology are generally eager to extol its benefits, and overwhelmingly say it is worth the cost. Yet those who do not use it have a hard time understanding why …

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Extroverts Make Better Leaders?

April 20, 2011, by nparker in Video Conferencing

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, extraverts are more often leaders of companies than are introverts. In fact, in the business world saying you’re an introvert can be a kiss of death. If an executive’s job is high profile and requires interacting with people and energizing a group, introverts can fall short as they are more reserved and think things through before speaking. But what secret can extroverts learn from their introverted peers? According to the April 20th article: “Ian Cook, the chief of Colgate-Palmolive Co., characterizes himself as introverted. He believes his strong listening skills played a role …

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Time and Cost Savings: Virtual field trips enable students to safely visit new places without leaving the classroom. Increased Learning: Attention to the subject matter increases, resulting in improved retention. Student Collaboration: Students from different schools can work together on the same project. Team Teaching: Teachers can enhance curriculum by virtually bringing experts into the classroom. Professional Development: Teachers can learn new skills or earn a degree without leaving their school. Group Meetings: Increased speed of decision making for school board administrators.

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Court rooms in New York have increased the number of hearings conducted over video conference, and it is predicted that the court room of the future will include use of this technology, according to a recent article in the NY Daily News. The benefits of using video conferencing for hearings include reduced exposure to risk and increased security. When more hearings are conducted over video a reduction in inmate transportation costs can also be expected. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2011/04/10/2011-04-10_hearings_by_video_surge_in_courts.html

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According to a recent NY Times Podcast interview with executives from a telehealth company, people who require immediate psychiatric help are receiving it thanks to a telehealth service called telepsychiatry. A variety of health care organizations ranging from hospitals to community mental health centers that have difficulty finding person-to-person psychiatrists in their area use telepsychiatry to see patients they would otherwise not have had access to. Telepsychiatry utilizes high definition video conferencing equipment and other immersive technology to create an intimate experience that can replicate a one-on-one consultation in a doctor’s office. Patients who are treated in this manner report that meeting with the doctor over …

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