Archive for June, 2011

Hosted Web Conferencing, Packaged Software, or Appliance?

June 30th, 2011

Most of the web conferencing products available in the market today are packaged software or hosted based  (or SaaS) but there is another solution: web conferencing appliances. And while many companies are starting to use and understand the benefits of appliance based solutions, some others still don’t grasp what web conferencing appliances mean and what they can offer when compared with software and web-based products.

Hosted web conferencing products have two major downsides. One is security and the other is the cost. Hosted web conferencing services are the most insecure of the three because companies have no control over a third party server (where the product is hosted) and its security measures, making it very difficult to control if someone unwanted is listening to the conversation. Cost-wise is also more expensive in the long run because these services are usually priced per month or year, becoming an ongoing cost to the company. On the upside, hosted services are usually easy to use and are always updated.

Packaged software, being hosted by the company who owns it, is much more secure than hosted products but still has several costs attached to it. Usually software solution has high upfront total cost because you should have a dedicated computer to host it to avoid disruptions from other applications. In addition, software requires extensive time to setup and maintain.

The best solution is appliance based products. The upfront cost is low because you have got a complete hardware and software bundled and pre-configured package in appliance. So, you could save money from purchasing another dedicated computer.  In addition, appliance is easier to deploy because most of appliances comes in as a plug-and-play mode and require no IT ongoing maintenance since the appliance would update itself. This is contrary to the common understanding, appliance only for IT professionals. If you could setup your own router, you should be able to setup it and never worry about the ongoing maintenance.

Appliances (and packaged software) are safer because it gives you much ehanced access security. As we all know, the weakest security point in web conferencing is access security. Every web conferencing system today uses meeting IDs and/or passwords as a simple access security measure 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 the access security. Your computer screen may be captured within seconds once a hacker intercepts. Once you realize you have been hacked, it is too late to close your meeting.  The best way to protect against the security breaches described above is to use an on-premise appliance where you could choose your own way of appliance deployment and use firewall to protect your meetings. In addition, hosted web conference makes it is impossible to integrate with LDAP because of potential security risks.

Comparing the three types of web conferencing solutions, it is clear that appliance-based web conferencing is the best choice. These are not only the most secure, they are also cheaper in the long run and easier to deploy and maintain.

Today, many telephony and video conferencing appliances come with limited web conferencing functions. Certain security appliances such as those from Juniper include web conferencing option. However, as far as we know, RHUB Communications is the only vendor dedicated in delivering web conferencing appliances. Starting at $995, RHUB appliances are claimed to be paid off by 3 to 10 months of subscription fees compared with hosted services. After quick research, we tend to believe the claim.

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Business Web conferencing to Grow Exponentially over the Next 5 Years

June 23rd, 2011

Ovum and Cisco have recently released reports stating that business video conferencing will be growing exponentially over the next five years.

The Ovum report focuses on the Asia-Pacific region and it forecasts that video conferencing will become a US$804 million business in the region with an estimate compound annual growth rate of 7.84% between 2011 and 2016. According to the report, the two major video conferencing markets will be India and China with a 16% growth each.

“Enterprises are seizing the huge opportunity that video conferencing offers them to cut costs and improve productivity by reducing business travel,” stated Richard Thurston, Ovum analyst and author of the report.

“They are starting to use video conferencing much more frequently because of ongoing economic concerns, continued efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, enhancements in video technology and price reductions that are improving the business case.”

“The next five years will see solid increases in expenditure from businesses in Asia-Pacific, partly because of their already high expenditure on long-distance air travel,” he added.

Another report, Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, which analyses and forecasts global IP traffic, states that global IP traffic will grow four times over the course of the next four years with internet reaching three billion users and with 15 billion devices connected to the web. According to this report, business web conferencing will grow 6 times from 2010 to 2015, which means that video conferencing is growing faster than IP traffic.

This means that, without a doubt, video conferencing will be growing exponentially over the course of the next five years. With this growth many companies will be looking for the right video conferencing provider and providers will be competing for a growing market. It also means that managers and CEOs must be well informed on the devices they’re looking to buy.

RHUB’s TurboMeeting appliance is one of the best in the market. It is not only fast and reliable but also offers top security measures to keep all the data safe. TurboMeeting was designed to offer companies everything they need for real-time collaborations. It is easy to use and to install, not asking attendees to download any software. Once installed, it updates the firmware automatically and doesn’t need any IT maintenance and it can be used in Windows, Mac, and Linux.

As the flexibility is becoming the key for the success of business in a global market, managers will hardly miss this opportunity to expand globally while reduce business expenses by adopting remote collaboration tools. RHUB’s full featured appliance, one of the best in the market with both web conferencing and remote support functionalities, is very promising to conquer a growing market.

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Virtualization as One of the Keys to Economic Recovery

June 21st, 2011

Things are not looking very good for global economy right now. On one hand there is an oil crisis which affects prices on most commodities and has vast repercussions on the industrial sector, on the other there is another crisis in Europe, the US most faithful friend, which affects deeply the American import/export sectors, slowing down growth and crippling the economy. All of this has two consequences:  increasing the unemployment rate and decreasing confidence, making people cut on spending which further cripples the economy.

The latest Gallup index, which measured the confidence of the American people, shows that confidence went down by 9% in just two weeks. According to a Gallup survey, 70% said that the economy was getting worse and 47% said the economy was poor.

Another report, this time from the National Federation of Independent Business, found out that small business are refraining from hiring as a way to cut back on spending.  In fact, this same report states that in May there were more business planning to decrease payrolls than increasing them.

This only shows that businesses are looking for ways to cut their spending and many still see laying off as one of the most effective ways to do this. In the face of the current situation, it is normal that businesses are worried about surviving than growing.

But what many businesses don’t realize is that there are other ways to curb spending and one of these ways is to restructure their practices and operations. As times are changing, so is technology. Practices that in the good old days could be done by physical presence are now possible to be done virtually, saving the costs and time that the physical practices required.

RHUB conferencing and remote support appliances can help restructure many business practices and virtualize operations, reducing business expenses. RHUB appliances have four applications: web conferencing, remote support, remote access and web seminar.

Web conferencing allows companies to meet in a virtual environment thus cutting on costs of travel, including gas, hotels, etc. It also saves time and allows people in different parts of the world to participate from their local offices. Web conferencing is perfect to discuss business practices, collaborate interactively in the same project, make sales presentations, etc.

Remote support allows companies to give remotely PC and Mac support to their clients. This saves the costs of the dislocation to the clients house to work directly on his computer and also saves the time of the travel.

Remote access allows workers to access their office computers from anywhere and anytime, meaning that they always have access to their work. With remote access function, employees can work directly from home and to solve any problem or question that might arise when they are not present, making them more productive.

Web seminar allows workers to attend a seminar to improve their working practices without leaving the comfort of their offices. This saves time and money on the travels and it also saves the costs of renting the required space for giving the seminars.

In an age where small businesses are fighting for their survival, virtualization of their business operations might be the key to their success. All that is required is a shift in the frame of mind of managers and CEOs and a small investment that in a short time will pay itself many times over.

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Ensure your Business security via RHUB Web Conferencing Appliance

June 14th, 2011

Web conferencing plays a very important part in every business, irrespective of whether it is small or big. It can be considered as one of the biggest boons for businesses of the twenty first century, because it gives countless companies the flexibility to conduct business beyond the walls of their offices. In fact, conferencing technology has created something that was considered unachievable at one point of time – a global marketplace. However, the Internet has always been anonymous with a lack of security. In addition, the continued absence of any stringent cyber laws means that there is still a great risk of security breaches in cyberspace while companies are using remote collaboration tools to team up over the Internet.

The vulnerability of web conferencing technology to security threats is not just applicable to large business; they are a reality for small and medium sized businesses as well. The frightening part, however, is that you would not even realize when your video or audio meeting sessions are compromised by unexpected intruders. This is especially the case when you have sent out tens or hundreds of invitations with passwords and login IDs. Those emails could easily get intercepted over the cyberspace. Thus, if you want to protect your business materials and if your business involves a lot of conferencing between other departments or with clients all over the world, then you need to first make sure that your business information remain completely secure. If you secure your internal and external communication portals over the internet, more than half your business cyber security measures are set in place.

However, the big question still remains – how can you secure your web conferencing services to ensure that your business stays secure? Appliance-based web conferencing solution is highly recommended. This is because that, compared to most software or web-based solutions, appliance could be deployed behind companies’ own firewalls.  Thus, unlike the hosted web based meeting service where conferencing is hosted in vendors’ servers, appliance-based solution will host meeting session on in-house servers. In this way, appliance gives users the ultimate protection from users’ own firewall. RHUB web conferencing appliance is a leading vendor who is dedicated to providing reliable and secure hardware based solution.

In addition to the firewall protection, RHUB web conferencing appliance offers transmission and access security to your web conferences while providing an affordable and easy way of conferencing over the internet. So, if you are concerned about internet security for your business, consider getting your hands on RHUB web conferencing solutions.

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The internet is responsible for 21% of the economic growth, new study reveals

June 13th, 2011

According to a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute, the internet is responsible for 21% of the economic growth, accounting for 3.4% of the GDP of the analyzed countries . The Internet Matters report also finds that small and medium businesses have increased productivity by 10% since they started using the internet and that those using Web technologies grow and export twice as much as the others which don’t use them.

The study, which was released to coincide with the first eG8 conference held between 24 and 25 of May in Paris, finds that internet use is growing everywhere and in every sector of society. This growing, the study states, is still in its infancy. In more developed countries, like the UK and Sweden, the internet accounts for 6% of the GDP but in most countries it is still under 4% which shows that internet use still has much to grow.

Internet Matters also correlates internet with job creation. The report says that 2.6 jobs are created for every one that is destroyed by the internet. An analysis of the French economy has shown that the internet has created 1.2 million jobs over the last 15 years while is has destroyed 500,000.

The internet as a major factor in increasing productivity

According to the report, for which were surveyed more than 4,800 SMEs, those that use the internet in their business practices grow and export twice as much as those with a small or none internet use. The study also shows that SMEs with an heavy use of Web technologies also created twice the number of jobs than their counterparts.

But the number of the companies with a high use of Web technologies still accounts for only 27% of all the companies studied, meaning that only 27% of the 4,800 SMEs are taking advantage of the benefits and the growth the internet gives to its users. According to the study, 42% of the companies reported a low Web-intensity and 31% reported medium Web-intensity.

Curiously the report also finds that the countries with a higher percentage of companies with a high web-intensity implemented practices are also those to which the internet contributes a greater portion of the GDP.

Online tools to increase productivity

This means that most companies aren’t still taking advantage of all the internet has to offer and of the Web tools and productivity enhancing technological solutions available in the market. Tools like the RHUB 4 in 1 Webconferencing software have been proved to improve productivity in companies in every sector of the market while, at the same time, it cuts down costs.

Webconferencing tools increase productivity by improving communication between and among the several departments, increasing work flow, collaboration without any employee having to leave his work place. These tools also allow employees to access their work place from home and allow them to attend seminars without leaving their workplace, reducing costs and time spent on dislocations.

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