The Rise of Social Collaboration

June 20, 2012, by Adam Kaiser in Collaboration

The last year has been quite interesting with a constantly shifting landscape of social media, visual collaboration and unified communications. Social collaboration, a combination of these, is becoming a significant trend and driving the behavior of key manufacturers and software companies. At the same time, businesses of all sizes are beginning to see social collaboration as a key component of their communications strategy. Point in case, Cisco announced Cisco WebEx Social earlier this week. Originally marketed under the Cisco Quad brand, WebEx Social is an attempt at 2 key things: 1) Expand the incredibly well known Webex brand into the social enterprise space and 2) Create a “hub” …

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The New Science of Building Great Teams

June 19, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration

A few weeks ago we discussed the characteristics of high performance teams; ranging from member diversity to conflict resolution skills. But how do you ensure the success of a team? Unfortunately, achieving the level of cohesion required to have a high performance team seems to depend more on luck than anything else. Well, maybe not. A new study from Alex “Sandy” Pentland suggests that building great teams is more of a science than an art. In his HBR webinar, The New Science of Building Great Teams, he discusses several points; including how different communication patterns enhance team creativity and productivity. If you have an …

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Skype To Start Advertising

June 18, 2012, by Adam Kaiser in Industry News, Video Conferencing

Would You Like Fries with Your Video Call? Sample advertising in a Skype call Late last week Skype announced Conversation Ads within their calling window. The ads will start appearing only in 1:1 audio calls but Skype has already mentioned additional “commercial experiences” in the future. So advertising during Skype video calls is certainly a possibility. Although, for paid customers, it appears the ads will not be present. Skype is a fantastic application, great for linking family and friends, as well as easily pulling in remote employees into video meetings. But, do you want to build your organization’s entire strategy behind it? Improved bandwidth …

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Here we are on the Friday before Father’s Day. In this case, it’s my first Father’s Day as a dad. My son was born just a few months ago and I have to say, it’s pretty amazing being a dad. I have learned so many things since the little guy was born! Changing a little boy’s diaper requires you to be far more agile than I ever realized. Diapers are not as foolproof as once thought. Eight hours of continuous sleep is about as likely to happen as winning the lottery. Despite these lessons, it has been an absolutely amazing time. What I really …

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Cloud video conferencing providers are popping up everywhere, each one promising the best service with the best features. Comparing all of the different offerings can become quite overwhelming. How do you determine which company is the best fit for your organization? Here are a few things to help narrow down the options: Expertise: Video environments consist of several different components; endpoints, infrastructure, desktop software clients, tablets and complete audio visual integrated rooms. Look for service provider with a wide range of expertise which allows them to assist with all aspects of your video environment. This eliminates the frustrating finger-pointing when you are having …

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iPads are everywhere! Enterprise. Education. Not-for-profit. The place I get burritos… Due to the iPad explosion, more and more organizations are looking to create iPad  applications that can help run their business. IVCi’s team of AV gurus has taken it one step further, creating an iPad application that can actually run your conference room or boardroom. Through some clever programing and a deep understanding of AV technologies, it is now possible to control every aspect of an AV integrated room from the touch screen of the iPad. Need to adjust the lighting or shades? No problem!

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Video conferencing technology crosses geographical boundaries and connects participants all over the world with the click of a button. Many collaboration sessions with peers are informal gatherings where different ideas and concepts are discussed. However, what is perceived as a normal hand gesture in one country may be completely offensive in another. Colleagues should be mindful of their hand gestures during international meetings and specifically avoid the gestures below that have multiple meanings. A-Okay In the US and UK this gestures is often used to signify things are “a-okay” or absolutely fine but in Japan it means money or coins. This can become quite …

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The Mobility Challenge

June 11, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Telepresence, Video Conferencing

Video conferencing with anyone, from anywhere, on any device is becoming a major trend. Users love the flexibility of being able to join from their PC at home instead of trekking into the office conference room. Similarly, the ability to join a video call while taking the ferry back home or even an extremely important client meeting while on vacation not only makes employees more productive but helps contribute to a better work/life balance. But can you really join a video conference from anywhere? For personal use – absolutely; because no one really minds a choppy signal that fades in and out or the …

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You can pay people to do pretty much anything nowadays; from landscaping and housekeeping to filing your taxes and even interviewing. Wait, interviewing?  How is that even possible? Think about it, the first round of interviews are usually done over the telephone by the recruiting or HR team.  The whole purpose is to weed out candidates so it’s typically very difficult to differentiate yourself. But, candidates know they must find a way in order to land that elusive face-to-face interview where they can win the job with their stunning personality and great interpersonal skills. To gain an initial advantage, some candidates are paying …

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It seems like every day there are new headlines in the telecommunications industry about unified communications, the latest acquisition, release or new cloud service. The term “unified communications” has been around for a long time; but it means different things to different people – just take a look at some major software companies or hardware manufacturers. Microsoft has taken its Office Communications Server, transformed it into Lync, and gained significant mind and market share with the product. In addition, they have worked closely with Polycom to integrate video conferencing into the Lync ecosystem. Cisco, on the other hand, has significantly invested in Jabber …

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