Archive for October, 2013

RHUB: Web Conferencing That Works

October 31st, 2013

Not so long ago it would have seemed like science fiction. Web conferencing makes it straightforward to arrange a meeting with your potential customers in Shanghai, and to exchange data is as uncomplicated as if you were all sitting around the same conference table. This has important implications for a company’s bottom line. Business travel expenses for most companies have been slashed, because why travel when arranging an international conference isn’t any more difficult than making a phone call? Web conferencing is one of the most important tools in any business’s toolbox.

Too bad, then, that the potential savings of web conferencing sometimes go unrealized. It’s happened to the best of us. The conference is just getting started, our pens are poised, ready to take those first notes, but we can’t make a connection. The next fifteen minutes are taken up with desperately punching buttons and opening and closing browser windows, punctuated by intervals of dead silence.

At RHUB, we pride ourselves on avoiding most glitches that will ruin a meeting. For view-only attendees, there is nothing to download. This means firewalls and antiviruses won’t block attendance. Missing or incorrect Flash installations won’t translate to confused and frustrated would-be participants. The only requirement to join a meeting is the ability to access the Internet.

With RHUB, it takes just seconds to connect to the meeting, and view-only attendees can access a meeting from Linux or Unix browsers, not just Windows or Mac software. Meetings can even be joined via iPhones, iPads, or Android devices. Attendees who are also presenters need only download a meeting manager.

How does it work? With RHUB, you buy an appliance, a piece of equipment that looks something like a router. You have a one-time fee, instead of steep monthly charges. We estimate that buying an RHUB appliance is equivalent to paying monthly fees for 3 to 10 months for most other options.

The RHUB appliance uses a floating license with no limit on the number of users, so the more employees there are using RHUB in an organization, the more economical it is compared to other options.

Installation is simple. Setup only needs to be done once for hosting, and it takes less than 30 seconds. Setup is only necessary for hosting; view-only attendees never need to do any setup. Anyone within your organization can host meetings without incurring any extra expenses.

It’s great for on-site meetings. Internal meetings are secured by your firewall. Screen refreshes take place at local network speeds, so everything is lightning fast. And it’s great for meetings with clients. It’s brandable and can be integrated with your website.

Each appliance comes loaded with six applications: web conferencing, which can be used for demos, classes, and sales presentations; remote support, a useful application for technicians; audio conferencing, for VoIP-based conferences; video conferencing, for webcam-based conferences; remote access, which permits access to a home computer while traveling; and web seminar, which is excellent for presenting online classes for view-only attendees.

Questions? Give us a call at 866-758-0984, and learn more about the pleasures of using web conferencing that’s economical, and better yet, that actually works.

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How Collaboration Technology Can Help Your Business

October 11th, 2013

Change Management refers to a systematic method for assimilating change within an organization. Change management also assists with transitions for individuals on a personal level, as part of the  overall, changing collective. Change managers, then, are those who oversee and guide this process. They are essential for helping an organization meet its transitional goals. And with the wonders of collaboration technology, change managers can be more effective in their roles, because it’s easier to communicate with various members of an organization, regardless of whether they’re scattered across a six-acre business complex or across the country.

The position of change manager is merely one example of a job that can be enhanced and empowered by collaboration technology. For the balance of this article, we’ll enumerate a few more ways that collaboration technology can make your life easier.

How Collaboration Technology Is Employed
First of all, collaboration tools enable you to change the way documents and media are updated and shared. This ease of use among team members fosters better communication and collaboration. And obviously, for collaboration to be successful, communication within the group must be successful. In order for this to occur, then the various departments in the organization need to be able to work together — conveniently. And convenience is a great strength of collaborative tools. So, thanks to the convenience and ease of frequent interpersonal connections via online collaboration, project details like assignments or problems can be discussed immediately.

Some Components of Collaboration
Collaboration consists of communication, conferencing and coordination.  Communication is the exchange of information by using the following familiar methods: instant messaging, texting, e-mailing or telephoning. Although this component is still interactive, it relies on auditory or written correspondence.

Conferencing builds upon communication by adding a visual enhancement to your cooperative work. Through slides and video, your attendees can also interact visually. The old adage, “A picture paints a thousand words,” still holds true, so employing audiovisual aspects strengthens your collaborative efforts, helping you to ultimately communicate more clearly.

Coordination is basically when the individual team members complete their portions of the project independently and then bring their progress back to the proverbial table to assess the next steps of the overall, shared goal.

The Collaboration Solution for You!
RHUB specializes in delivering a simple and secure solution for online collaboration. In fact, our company’s name — RHUB — is an amalgam of the phrase “real-time collaboration hub.”

RHUB has a 6-in-1 Web conferencing solution that’s actually an appliance, as opposed to a hosted or software solution. Software solutions are costly and aren’t as user friendly at the outset. Hosted solutions are not secure. But the RHUB appliance works from behind your firewall — not outside of it — so it’s sleep-at-night secure. And the RHUB appliance is easy to use, as well.

The RHUB appliance gives you flexibility and value by combining six real-time collaboration methods into one appliance.

1. Web conferencing — RHUB’s Web conferencing enables you to give sales presentations, trainings, product demonstrations, and it allows you to collaborate interactively with your attendees.

2. Remote support — RHUB’s remote support capability gives you remote control of an attendee’s computer, regardless of whether that person is a PC or Mac user. It allows you to remote reboot, and you can remotely log out and log in again as a different user.

3. Audio conferencing —RHUB brings you VoIP-based audio conferencing, as well as free landline audio conferencing services.

4. Video conferencing — RHUB also gives you multi-point, Webcam-based video conferencing. If you use your HD Webcam to present video, RHUB’s system will deliver your video at photo-level quality and even in true color with 100 percent accuracy.

5. Remote Access — RHUB’s appliance also gives you the ability to access your office or home PCs from anywhere, anytime.

6. Webinar — RHUB also enables you to provide online seminars without having to download anything for your view-only attendees.

So, in conclusion, if you’d like to empower your business with the wonders of collaboration technology, RHUB would love to help you. Learn more from our Web site: RHUB.

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Don’t Be Afraid! “Universal Attendance” Is Guaranteed

October 9th, 2013

Since October is here and jack-o’-lanterns
are starting to adorn neighborhood
porches. RHUB has two scary stories for
you from the world of Web conferencing.
Have either of the following nightmarish
scenarios ever happened to you?

Scary Story 1:
You have a great new
product line that you’re
genuinely excited about
releasing. You’ve developed it for months, and the time has finally come to present it to the board and to other key investors. And since your major contacts are all remotely located, you decide the best way to pitch your product is during a big Webcast event. All these busy people are finally confirmed and planning to attend.

But it’s time to begin and your attendance numbers are very low. Worse yet — your primary investors aren’t present. What happened?

They actually tried to show up, but they were unable to join your live event Webcast because some of their computers were locked down under the protection of their corporate I.T. policies, which have prevented them from installing your Webcasting software. And others were not permitted to attend because of similar firewall and server blockages. Heartbreaking. Or what about this terrifying scenario?

Scary Story 2:
Something has gone wrong with your biggest client’s account. Time is of the essence. You’re absolutely positive that you can clear up the misunderstanding and right the ship again, if you can just coordinate a quick video Webcast with the client and your sales team. No problem. You should be able to save your top account and have everything resolved before dinner time.

Your live Webcast has been scheduled. The client is giving you a chance to make things right. Your nervous sales team is connected with you … but your V.I.P. client never shows. But she tried! What happened? Was it an anti-virus or anti-spy software blockage? Was she running an unsupported platform, like Mac, Linux or Unix? Or was it something like a wrong (or missing) Java Virtual Machine or Flash installation? Who knows? In fact, you’ll never know … because that client is gone forever.

RHUB: A Happy Ending
In a competitive business world, these types of horror stories are indeed scary, and unfortunately, true. But never fear — RHUB is here with the first Web conferencing solution that’s truly capable of guaranteeing what we call “universal attendance,” which means everybody can attend.

That’s right! For your view-only attendees, there is nothing to download, which means that no firewalls or group policies or anti-virus protection can prevent your intended attendees from joining your meetings. We can literally guarantee the attendance!

And by the way, when your attendees join an RHUB Web conference production, it is fast. It takes fewer than five seconds — not minutes — to join a meeting.

Another reason we call it “universal attendance” is because your attendees can join a meeting from any operating system, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, etc., as well as any PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or Android device with a browser.

So, with 100 percent attendance guaranteed, the only things in the cold outside your meeting doors this fall will be trick-or-treaters, not your would-be attendees. RHUB invites you to let go of tricky Web conferencing solutions and treat yourself to the sweet guarantee of universal attendance. Visit our Web site to learn more: RHUB.

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Cloud Computing and the Wonders of Video Conferencing

October 8th, 2013

Pardon the pun, but the phrase “cloud computing” is a somewhat nebulous term. Let’s begin by exploring this phrase with a few stabs at defining it.

Jonathan Strickland of How Stuff Works explains that cloud computing “allows workers to log into a Webbased service that hosts all the programs the user would need for his or her job” and that “remote machines owned by another company would run everything from e-mail to … complex data analysis programs.”

InfoWorld’s Eric Knorr and Galen Gruman point out that definitions of cloud computing vary, but that “the cloud” is a familiar, metaphorical reference to the Internet. InfoWord says that some analysts define cloud computing as “an updated version of utility computing,” or in short, “virtual servers available over the Internet.” But Knorr and Gruman explain that some people have a broad definition that includes “anything you consume outside the firewall … including conventional outsourcing.”

Webopedia defines cloud computing as “a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources, rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications” — or more simply, “Internet-based computing.” But Wikipedia explains it as “a large number of computers connected through a real-time communication network, such as the Internet.”

These four previous explanations are currently Google’s top four hits for defining the term. And though it was an oversimplification, Webopedia’s “Internet-based computing” definition seems to give us a sense of the phrase’s meaning.

So, what does cloud computing have to do with video conferencing? Well, as long as you have a browser on your PC, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, then cloud computing makes it possible for you to hold a video conference.

The necessity of having fast and dependable broadband connections was an initial pitfall for video conferencing, because that’s what enables two users to have clear audio-visual conversations. But nowadays, users can video chat on their tablets even with only 3G or 4G wireless data transfer speeds. And as Wi-Fi access continues to increase, there will be more development on this front.

So, in a world where cloud computing has become a commonplace reality, RHUB stands ready to assist your household or professional organization in reaping the benefits of video broadcasting. RHUB provides you with multi-point, Webcam-based video Webcasting capability so you can connect with your clients or distant family members via live video feed. If you’d like to learn more about RHUB’s video conferencing solutions, visit our Web site here: RHUB.

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Long Ago George Orwell Explained Why Your Online Meetings Are Not Secure

October 7th, 2013

It is a delicate balance to raise a voice of warning without sounding like an alarmist. But as George Orwell, the author of “1984” put it, “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Perhaps quoting from Orwell is the best place to begin an article like this, for it was he who wrote these infamous words: “Big Brother is watching you.” This sentence was no doubt true, to some extent, in 1949, when Orwell first published his dystopian novel, but some 64 years later, Orwell’s sentiments have never rung truer.

This blog post isn’t
intended to be
inflammatory or to
sound like a bunch of
paranoid conspiracy
theory, but consider
another article from
August 2013, where
TechWeek Europe
reported that two
encrypted e-mail
services — Silent
Circle and Lavabit —
have “closed over
fears of requests from
the U.S. government
for their users’ data.”

TechWeek Europe’s writer Tom Brewster said the United States has pulled a number of communications providers into its PRISM surveillance program, in an attempt to have access to U.S. citizens’ personal data. (Interested readers can find out more about these matters by running some Google searches on “Edward Snowden,” “NSA whistleblower” and “PRISM surveillance program.”)

But setting aside the news headlines and any political affiliations you may have, take a moment to think about what this information means for everyday Web conferencing and remote support users like yourself. In short, the U.S. government (and we would argue — any talented hacker) could clearly gain access to any hosted provider’s database, giving them complete access to Web meeting details and all the Who, What, When, Where and How of your organization. And if this is true for stateside users, can you imagine what this means for international users?

By the way, if you find yourself feeling naively skeptical at this point in this article, take a gander at the surprisingly relevant advertisements that have been appearing on the sidebars of the Web pages you’re browsing. Ask yourself: How do “they” know so much about your interests? Lucky guesses? No. They know…

For all the reasons stated above, this is why RHUB recommends our secure appliance for all your Web conferencing or remote support needs. Unlike hosted services which leave your meetings exposed to the World Wide Web, RHUB’s appliances work from behind your firewall (not outside of it), giving you a much higher level of security. You can read a brief overview of these various setups here.

So, if you don’t want to risk having “Big Brother” or anybody else privy to your online collaborations, then we highly recommend that you visit our Web site and learn more about the peace of mind available from using RHUB.

To conclude with one final quote from George Orwell’s “1984”: “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.” And though he probably had something different in mind, one could certainly argue that Orwell’s meeting place with no darkness is RHUB. At least, we’d like to think so.

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