Archive for August, 2009

Video: 2 Minute Introduction to RHUB

August 28th, 2009

The first of a series of RHUB videos to come.

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RHUB Unveils TurboMeeting Version 4.0 – Web Conferencing Solution

August 18th, 2009

New features include Webcam capabilities, enhanced View Only support for Macintosh Users,

and increased capacity for managing larger meetings

The TurboMeeting On-Premise Appliance Offers Significant Advantages Over Hosted Solutions

San Jose, CA, August 18, 2009 — RHUB Communications, Inc. (RHUB), the provider of TurboMeeting Web conferencing solutions, today announced the release of TurboMeeting Version 4.0 adding even more value to the Unified Communications platform through feature rich video, chat and screen-sharing collaboration solutions. This technological shift represents a major update to the company’s current product line, including key enhancements for RHUB’s award-winning TurboMeeting Web conference software, with extensions for Remote Support and enhanced capabilities for Macintosh clients.

Now with TurboMeeting 4.0, work teams will have access to a variety of additional collaboration features that further enhance their conferencing and remote support activities, including the ability to activate Webcam support for their online meetings. TurboMeeting’s Webcam feature delivers broadcasting functionality with high quality video streaming for clear viewing for the user, and, allows users to easily get

up close and personal during their online meetings.

TurboMeeting 4.0 also provides users with an increased capacity to host and manage larger meeting groups. By using 4.0, enterprise teams can now host web conferences for up to 200 attendees to facilitate business meetings, sales presentations, training sessions and other activities.

“TurboMeeting delivers a powerful tool for dispersed work teams to quickly collaborate and share details in a fast and simple way,” said Larry Dorie, CEO of RHUB. “Now with all of the new 4.0 features, we are giving users even casino online more virtual tools that further enhance their productivity and work performance, and, that seamlessly work together to drive even more value to the enterprise.”

Other key features of TurboMeeting 4.0 include:

  • Improved performance for No Download, Web 2.0 browser users
  • New, No Download Flash client with scaling and Chat
  • Remote Printing for Remote Support applications
  • Improved color images with high performance
  • Mini control panel for full screen applications
  • “Run as Admin” for Remote Support applications
  • LDAP/AD integration is now available for TM 800/TM1000/TS700 models
  • Improved “Record” and “File Transfer” functions
  • “View Only” mode now available for Macintosh based presenters

The new 4.0 Macintosh client supports the patent pending RHUB no-download “View Only” mode. This mode is enhanced with a new Flash based client and an improved Web 2.0 browser based technology.

In addition, the Remote Support enhancements with 4.0 now provide remote support users with the ability to enjoy Remote Printing, One-to-One File Transfer, “Run as Admin” mode and improved Record, which all add powerful features to an already comprehensive Remote Support and Remote Access toolset.


RHUB specializes in On-Premise Web conferencing appliances, giving users complete ownership and control of the hardware and software. On-premise appliances offer significant advantages over hosted solutions, including:

  • Lower Total Cost of Ownership
  • Enhanced Access Security
  • No IT support required
  • Customization opportunities

For a full listing of TurboMeeting appliances and specifications, visit www.rhubcom.com.

About RHUB

RHUB is a premier provider of on-premise Web conferencing, remote support and remote access appliances, based on the Company’s TurboMeeting software, that meet the needs of any organization. The Company’s end users total over 8,000 in a variety of market segments including services, manufacturing, and government. RHUB is privately-owned and headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. For more information, visit www.rhubcom.com.

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Net Ready 2.0 – Time to Revisit “Net Ready”

August 16th, 2009

Net Ready

It been almost a decade since Net Ready was published (January, 2000) and a lot has changed since then. Now deep into the second major recession since the book encouraged us to operate as much of our business as we can over the Internet, what can we still learn from it – what still applies and what has changed?

The Internet is the most cost effective communications system ever devised since the beginning of man. It uses less energy that smoke signals or jungle drums and provides more information per $ than: telegraph, telephone, telex, and TWX. It has more persistence and reusability than radio or TV (even with Tivo) and is compatible with a wide variety of media: landlines including copper and fiber optics, satellite, microwave and various radios. It is truly an epoch creating technology and one that every business needs to embrace enthusiastically to get and remain competitive.

Web 2.0 and SaaS

How can we cut costs and improve operations and customer satisfaction by becoming Net Ready 2.0? In 2000, the book preached moving as many business functions as possible to the Internet. This is still very good advice but the Internet of 2000 is very different from the Internet of 2009. The current Internet, Web 2.0, is built on the assumption that bandwidth is plentiful and cheap, and for the most part, it is. (The Internet of 2000 still had plenty of dialup access.) What does this mean for business? Well for one thing it means that SasS deployment can support more applications and those applications can have rich media interfaces. So, SaaS (hosted) solutions can cover more of your company needs. Additionally, with Web based applications being available to more casual users, the user interface can now be rich enough to help guide the user through complex applications without lengthy, productivity robbing delays.

SaaS deployment is enjoying rapid market growth, partly because of the deep economic downturn and partly because the technology and applications are getting better. IDC reports that growth is up 50% at the enterprise level and 30% for SMB.

To SaaS or not to SaaS

Let’s look at how hosted applications have grown to either meet or not meet the promise of 2000. A friend of mine, Chuck DeVita, has often said that the best way to deliver an application (hosted verses on-premise) is to deliver it the way the customer wants it. Implicit in Chuck’s statement (Chuck is a very experienced sales executive in Enterprise software) is that there is no one correct answer. It really depends on the needs of the organization. Hosted applications are easier to deploy, especially if you are starting from ground zero and do not have to deal with much legacy data. We are particularly fond of collaboration applications for the SaaS model. Yet, as we get more and more comfortable with Web based applications for collaboration we are sharing more and more sensitive data on the Web.

In particular, when it comes to Web conferencing, we need to pay attention to access security for meetings. The weakest security point in web conferencing is access security. Every web conferencing system today uses meeting IDs and/or passwords as simple access security measures to protect web meetings from unwanted attendance. However, the problem is that meeting IDs and passwords are usually emailed to attendees before scheduled meetings start. This process can easily compromise access security. Your computer screen may be captured within seconds once a hacker intercepts or guesses your meeting ID or password. Once you realize you have been hacked, it is too late to close your meeting.

As we deploy more and more applications on the Web, security will become more and more of an issue. What other issues do you think will become important as we make our businesses “Net Ready”?

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Collaboration with Video Conferencing & Web Conferencing

August 13th, 2009

Web conferencing and Video conferencing continue to be important tools in business communications and collaboration – especially with renewed interest in cutting travel costs and collaboration among disparate workforce personnel. The total communications/collaboration toolkit would include audio conferencing, Instant Messaging/Chat as well as Presence, but this paper will focus on Web conferencing and Video conferencing – what they are and when to use them.

Video Conferencing;

There are three major types of Video conferencing typically used today:

Web cam

Video conferencing

Telepresence

Wikipedia defines Web cam as:

Webcams (web cameras) are small cameras, whose images can be accessed using the World Wide Web, instant messaging, or a PC video conferencing application. The term webcam is also used to describe the low-resolution digital video cameras designed for such purposes, but which can also be used to record in a non-real-time fashion.

Web cam applications can also be termed “Video Chat” in that they are often offered in conjunction with Chat applications. MicroSoft’s Windows Live Messenger is an excellent example as well as Apple’s iChat.

Wikipedia defines Video Conferencing as:

A videoconference (also known as a videoteleconference) is a set of interactive telecommunication technologies, which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. It has also been called visual collaboration and is a type of groupware. It differs from videophone in that it is designed to serve a conference rather than individuals.

Wikipedia defines Telepresence as:

Telepresence refers to a set of technologies which allow a person to feel as if they were present, to give the appearance that they were present, or to have an effect, at a location other than their true location.

Telepresence requires that the senses of the user, or users, be provided with such stimuli as to give the feeling of being in that other location. Additionally, the user(s) may be given the ability to affect the remote location. In this case, the user’s position, movements, actions, voice, etc. may be sensed, transmitted and duplicated in the remote location to bring about this effect. Therefore information may be travelling in both directions between the user and the remote location.

Type Resolution Speed Typical usage/application
Web cam Low Not real-time Viewing thumbnails of people

Uses computer display

Video Conferencing Medium Smooth video Viewing people/teams of people and visual aids such as white boards etc. Uses large displays
Telepresence High Smooth video Provides an “atmosphere” of being in the same room – very large and/or multiple screens

Web conferencing;

There are two methods to deliver Web conferencing and four different usage models:

Delivery:

Hosted – Vendor provides and manages Web based servers. All users access the servers via the Internet and all users are on the Internet. This approach has the advantage of ease of deployment – all the host/presenter does is point a browser to the Web site, download the client software and start the meeting. All attendees do the same – go to the Web site, download the client and join the meeting. The disadvantages of this approach are:

Access security – anybody with the correct meeting ID/password can get into the meeting and the server addresses are very public

Performance – all users use the Internet and this can cause some delays

Pricing – usually a subscription model with on-going costs

Branding -– Hard to “brand” with limited control over branding

On-Premise/On-Premise Appliance – On-Premise is delivered either as software to be installed on the customer’s servers/network or as a plug and play appliance to be installed on the customer’s network.

The software approach does suffer from what can be a complicated installation and the need for on-going IT support to keep the application software compatible with the server operating system and other support software as it gets updated.

The On-premise appliance is much easier to install and, once installed, is maintained remotely by the vendor.

The advantages of On-premise are:

Access security – the owner can control access by their firewall (the site is not “public”) . With RHUB you can also control access by IP address further securing access.
Performance – some users can be on the LAN of the server and thus not need to go over the Internet

Branding ­– Usually quite easy to brand

Integration – This approach offers the advantage of the capability to integrate into other corporate systems so the users can easily start and join meetings. (Start and Join buttons on: corporate Web sites, Audio conference start pages, collaboration tools…).

Usage models:

There are typically four types of Web conferencing applications:

1) Interactive meeting – Whereby the data from computer screens is to be shared and worked on. Where anyone in the meeting can present information from his or her computer and anyone else can control the presenter’s computer as if they were sitting in front of it.

2) Web seminar ­– Typically used when the information on one or a few computers is presented to larger audience and members of that audience just view the information. The audience members have no need to present information from their computers nor control the presenter’s computer.

3) Remote support – This mode is used when one person wants to gain access to and control another person’s computer. The person whose computer is being controlled usually has nothing to do with the meeting other than getting it started. This mode can also be used as a tutorial for training on applications on another computer where the trainer wants the student to also “run” the system

4) Remote access – Used to remotely access another computer unattended. This is an extremely powerful mode for accessing user’s computers that are at the office/home while the user is somewhere else. The meeting is started on the target computer and the user can login to the target computer from anyway and gain full access as if they were sitting in front of the target computer. This is done completely unattended. No one need be at the target computer to initial or accept the meeting/session.

RHUB TurboMeeting Appliance and Web conferencing:

The TurboMeeting (TM) 4-in-1 appliance supports all popular usage models for Web conferencing: Interactive Web conferencing, Web seminar, Remote support and Remote access. Delivered as an On-Premise appliance, The TurboMeeting appliance has all the advantages of On-Premise and includes vendor managed updates that eliminate the need for on-going IT support.

TurboMeeting now supports Webcam for the presenter. This is a “one to many” system in that one Webcam at a time (the presenter’s) can be viewed by all attendees. Many users feel that this is the “just right” use for Webcam – enough to make the meeting more personal but not so much that you have a screen full of talking heads.

In addition, the TM appliance is a TCP/IP based unit that can coexist with other video conferencing systems. For example, Windows Live Messenger can be used for chat and Chat video while TurboMeeting is used for displaying screen information. The user is responsible for positioning the windows on their computer screen but the two systems can run concurrently, each supporting a different aspect of collaboration.

For full Video conferencing, RHUB has a partnership with Polycom and has an integration design that has been tested and certified as compliant with the Polycom system. Polycom provides systems for either Video Conferencing or Telepresence. The TurboMeeting system complements the Polycom system and is used for sharing computer screen data. TurboMeeting can also include people who do not have access to the Polycom system for sharing screen data (reference RHUB’s ARENA Partner Solutions Guide).

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TURBOMEETING 4.0 Released Today

August 11th, 2009

TM 4.0RHUB is pleased to announce the release of TurboMeeting 4.0. TurboMeeting 4.0 has substantially improved the image quality, speed, reliability and scalability over the previous versions.

1. Critical fixes in 4.0

  1. The speed issue with the browser only mode is fixed.

  2. The speed issue with the 16-bit and 32-color is improved

2. New features in 4.0

  1. Remote printing. To use the remote printing function, you need to select the “TurboMeeting Printer” on the printer selection dialog when you print a document. If you have multiple attendees in your meeting, you will be prompted to select an attendee to print the document at the attendee’s computer.

  2. Application server integration. This function allows you to integrate TurboMeeting with any of your application servers for user authentication. Details are shown at:

    http://www.rhubcom.com/web_conferencing/integration.html#user_authentication

  3. Webcam broadcast. You can use your webcam to broadcast video to all viewers. This function is available to the meeting presenter only.

  4. New Flash-based view-only client. If your attendees have Flash 9.0.45 or above installed, they can view your seminars right on their browsers. The Flash client delivers the similar speed and reliability as the download client does. It will eliminate the client software installation procedure. The Flash client provides “Fit to Window” and “chat” functions.

  5. Support 200+ attendees in one meeting room. This expanded capability is designed to support 200 attendees in any mix of downloaded interactive attendees as well as the two “no download” View Only modes.

  6. Improved recording with better reliability and smoother fast-forward and back-forward.

  7. Improved meeting speed with close to true-color images.

  8. Improved file transfer experience for remote support and remote access.

  9. View-Only function now available for presenters using Macintoshs.

  10. Block or reject attendees. To stop accepting any additional attendees, go to “Tools” and then check “Stop additional attendees”. To reject an attendee, right-click an attendee name and then select “Remove this attendee”.

  11. Control when to start sharing. If you prefer not to share your desktop when starting a meeting, go to “Tools”, “Option” and uncheck “Show my desktop when a meeting starts”. The meeting will start in “Pause” mode. Click the Start Sharing button to begin sharing.

  12. A mini-control panel has been added. When a meeting starts, click the “>>” minimizing button at the top right on the TurboMeeting panel, a small panel will prompt while the main panel is minimized. The small panel will always stay on the top of any window. It is especially useful when you do a full-screen PowerPoint presentation and want to control the meeting as well.

  13. Support “Run as admin”. When your attendee (supportee) joins your support session, you would not be able to do remote reboot and many other advanced functions such as logout, change user, or lock of a remote computer if the supportee does not have an administrator privilege. With this function, you can remotely run the TurboMeeting client as an administer by clicking the “Run as admin” button on the supportee’s TurboMeeting panel and then input your admin user name and password.

  14. LDAP/AD integration. This function is available only for the enterprise models: TM800, TM1000 and TS700.

3. New features in the next release

    Among a number of new features to be delivered in the next release, the main ones include:
  • User group function

  • Export and import of the system configuration

  • Conversion of the TurboMeeting recording to standard formats: Flash and/or AVI

  • Polling

  • Special color level for remote support and remote access to deliver faster speed.

Your comments are welcome. If you have any suggestions or new features that should be included in coming releases, please send them to support@rhubcom.com. Thank you!

The RHUB Team

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