“Last year was the worst year we’ve had in the history of disasters.” – Al Berman, Disaster Recovery Institute. That sounds pretty ominous, but what exactly does it mean? Organizations have been facing costly downtime and the frustrating task of getting systems back online and operations up and running in the aftermath of earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and more. A disaster can be as simple as a single building power failure or severe and horrific as the Japanese tsunami. Even if the event is isolated, the after effects can permeate throughout an organization, especially if employees are dispersed and required to collaborate remotely. What’s …

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If you are a small or mid-sized business owner, you probably know the secret to success lies in the quality of the relationships with customers. In an increasingly competitive corporate landscape where consumers have access to more information and more choices than ever before, small companies must build and maintain closer, more personal bonds with their clients. It is this customer-focused approach that helps small businesses please customers and increase revenue. Of course, most organizations recognize the importance of providing outstanding customer service, but small businesses are truly in the position to deliver. They can use video conferencing technology to not only …

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Collaboration, team work, relationships and communication; these are some of the latest buzzwords in business today. Companies are not only embracing the collaboration era but looking for ways to enhance communication and strengthen relationships between colleagues, business partners and even customers. The result: video enabled organizations. The benefits of video conferencing are undeniable and technological innovations have made video more accessible and easier to use than ever. As a result, organizations are adopting visual collaboration solutions at a rapid rate. However, while some organizations are creating a competitive advantage with stellar results; others see the equipment slowly collect dust. So, what makes the …

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The prevalence of cloud services has begun a heated debate among IT professionals and spurred two different types of thinking. One side consists of professionals that prefer to handle all IT components in-house and more or less resist the cloud. The other side consists of professionals who are embracing the cloud and prefer to outsource certain components to different experts. This leads to the challenge most IT professionals face; should we continue to do everything ourselves or embrace the cloud? Let’s start by further defining the two different positions. While some IT professionals fear the cloud because they believe it will steal part of, if …

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Norm Meets Friday the 13th

July 13, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Tips & Tricks

It’s here, Friday the 13th, and I have a huge meeting today. I woke up in a panic last night because I had a nightmare that I completely bombed the presentation and then got fired. I don’t understand why they had to schedule this meeting today – do they not understand I have the worst luck ever? Then I’m walking to my car this morning and a black cat crawled right in front of me and gave me the stare down. This is a bad omen, something is going to go wrong, I just know it. As I’m driving, I start …

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Conference rooms play a major role in any organization. They’re where presentations are made, ideas are formed and innovation happens. Management teams go to discuss business strategy, work teams go to collaborate on projects, business partners go to discuss relationships, and sales representatives go to court clients. The bottom line is conference rooms are where business happens. Therefore, it is very important to consider the factors that make a space conducive to meetings. Before designing and implementing an audio/visual integrated room it is important to take some time to consider the meeting space itself, where the room will be located in …

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The video conferencing industry is changing faster than anyone can keep up with. The technological innovations are staggering and many have led to greater reach and lower cost, higher quality video solutions. One of the latest trends emerging is video conferencing directly within the web browser.  HTML 5 and a new standard known as WebRTC are making many of these solutions possible. WebRTC allows browsers to facilitate real-time communication; including voice, video, and point-to-point file sharing. This new technology will soon be standard in all popular browsers. This standard is still in a “draft” format from the Web Standards Body but many of …

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Social collaboration, a combination of social media, visual collaboration and unified communications, is becoming a significant trend in business today. When used together, these technologies can improve products or processes and ultimately drive true innovation which has a direct impact on a firm’s bottom line. This is the third post in a series discussing the benefits of social collaboration. For part one click here. Today’s global environment is moving at a faster pace than ever. New products and services are continuously being created and modified to adapt to changing consumer and business needs. As a result, organizations need to find …

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The essence of effective project management lies in communication – conveying goals, updates, and other information among the many parties involved.  While the type of projects that need to be coordinated may vary across industries and company departments, all project managers must accomplish set goals within a specific timeframe. To accomplish this, project managers utilize the collaboration tools that are available to get the job done; these include email, instant messaging, and audio conferences. While these communication devices can work well, projects that utilize video are more likely to be completed on time and on budget. Video is a valuable tool …

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Norm here. I use video on a daily basis and absolutely love it; although, I seem to make a lot of mistakes which can be rather embarrassing at times. Out of the goodness of my heart, I’m sharing some of these instances so you can avoid making the same mistakes. Well yesterday I had a little snafu during my presentation to a client. I got caught up chatting with a co-worker and was running a little late. I had just enough time to join the video call but figured it was okay since I could just connect my laptop and …

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