Archive for July, 2017

Why to prefer Remote Support from an IT Company

July 31st, 2017

If you are an IT company and the time to scale up has come along, outsourcing your services of remote support to another IT company is inevitable, as it is the only way to increase efficiency and cut down on costs.

The market of remote IT support has been growing fast in the last years, as it offers IT companies many advantages. Let’s see which ones:

1.) The costs of Tech Support becomes Billable. Out-sourcing allows you to record these costs in your company balance sheet and detract them from your company income.

2.) Your company becomes more efficient. Remote support reduces greatly the costs of travel and allows your team to save a lot of time, as much work is outsourced. As a consequence, your team productivity increases and profits as well.

3.) You can have much more customers. If your team gets able to do more work in the same time, you are able to take new business and scale up.

4.) Your service gets faster and customer satisfaction increases. Remote support allows your team to deliver a faster service by cutting out on travel and other operations and tasks. This is very helpful for your business growth, as customers want their problems addressed right by now.

5.) Remote maintenance becomes possible. You can offer your customers remote assistance and maintenance much easier.

6.) New marketing policies become possible. The result of the above-mentioned advantages is that you can adopt new and more powerful marketing strategies. For example, you could offer all-in-one packets that include service and maintenance at a fixed monthly cost. The advantage of this formula is that you have a predictable cash flow with subsequent less stress.

7.) Your pool of potential customer’s gets bigger. The improvement in efficiency allows you to reach a huger pool of customers outside your geographic location.

In conclusion, outsourcing the services connected with it`s support to an IT company is inevitable if you wish to make your business grow. The benefits range from smarter performances of your team to tax advantages and a more correct structure of your accounting.

If you are interested in remote support, visit R-HUB`s web-site http://www.rhubcom.com You are going to find many useful posts, articles and resources on this and other interesting topics.

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Real Time Collaboration: Fast Question and Answer about Low-Latency

July 28th, 2017

Let’s understand what low latency is and why it is so important in real time collaboration

Adepts of real time collaboration know very well how important low-latency is. In this fast question and answer session, we will try to answer four most common questions about low-latency.

What is latency? The delay between the time a camera captures a fact and the time you see it through your live-streaming tool.The cause of latency is that it takes some time to process the huge quantity of data that are eventually delivered in the form of the video that you are actually watching.

What is low latency? Nobody likes a high latency, as it would mean that real streaming loses much of its utility. This is the reason why low-latency is so much desired. Ideally, there should not be any delay at all; practically, a latency of 30-40 seconds is considered as acceptable in most situations.

When and why low-latency is important? In some cases, particularly in business, the delay is crucial.  For example, in video-chats: imagine that you are participating to a video chat and the speaker is interviewing an off-camera person in real time: waiting even just 30 seconds for hearing the answers can be annoying for most participants.

Another example is online auctions: any delay could alter bid registrations. In telepresence, when there are multiple screens that display the same person speaking, the delays of each individual screen must have all the same length in order to avoid problems of synchronization.

How can you get low-latency? The answer is immediate, it is through technology. Today, there are several solutions that assure you low-latency.

  • R-HUB`s live streaming servers (http://www.rhubcom.com/v5/live-streaming.html ). The latest product of R-HUB`s video conferencing server suite, they have been purposely designed for real time collaboration. Latency breaks down to 3 -18 seconds depending on the network conditions, which makes R-HUB`s servers a great solution for organizations that need a good tool which enhances interactivity to host their virtual meetings.
  • The effectiveness of the communication is ensured by displaying the content on the entire desktop along with HD webcam videos from multiple meeting panelists that can be located anywhere in the world.
  • Apple HS is an http-based protocol very used for streaming. Latency is about 30-40 seconds, which makes Apple HS inadequate for ultra-low-latency scenarios like real time collaboration. The problem here is the size of each data chunk that is quite big, and thus it takes time for the processing.
  • RMPT (Real Time Messaging Protocol) and WebRTC (Web-Real-Time Communications) are regarded as the standard for low-latency streaming. The first has the disadvantage of being based on Flash, meaning no support on iOS devices; the second works without Flash and is decisively more cross-platform and performing.

Other aspects to consider are the quality of yours and your audience screens and cameras, and the power of your streaming server or cloud service. As a rule of thumb, you’d better choose solutions that assure you full control over latency and audio and video quality, but without neglecting some important aspects like the presence of the necessary functionalities to ensure engaging and highly interactive virtual meetings.

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Seven Tips to manage your Remote Workers in Order to ensure Consistency and Productivity

July 25th, 2017

Today’s entrepreneurs are quite different from the ones of the past. Thanks to the digitalization of the economy, it has become really possible to run your business through your laptop from anywhere, whether it is from a bungalow on a tropical beach or from one of those cool cafés for digital nomads in Berlin.

However, managing remote workers is not as easy as managing the teams of the old economy, as distance creates some unexpected problems, like the difficulty to engage, motivate and control your team members. In other words, you need to develop a brand-new management strategy when you shift from real to virtual teams.

First, choose the right technology. Managing distant workers implies a more or less heavy utilization of the digital technology, particularly of video conferencing tools, like R-HUB`s servers, Skype, Google Hangout, Slack. It is important to adopt solutions that ensure both reliability and security.Just to give an example of a good product, we mention R-HUB`s new model of video conferencing servers for real time collaboration.

This is an excellent solution for managing virtual teams, as it offers managers all the necessary functionalities to engage video conference participants with a delay that is much less than ordinary live streaming products. For further details, visit R-HUB`s web site at http://www.rhubcom.com

Second, create your company culture. Like in ordinary organizations, company culture works also for team scattered throughout the world that meet only virtually. Your culture is anything less than your values, your business concept and marketing approach. Every collaborator should understand and align with your values, so that a minimum level of consistency in the delivery of the final product is always assured.

Third, communicate in an effective and clear way. Miscommunication is at the ground of most problems (and failures) of organizations. Therefore, it is important to double-check and ask lot of questions, and to work out effective communication procedures.

Fourth, set reasonable and reachable goals. Like in real life, remote workers need to have goals, deadlines and timelines. These instruments are even more important to make collaborators work as one in the digital economy, as distance could jeopardize collaboration at any moment.

Fifth: build your team. As distant as they may be, your remote workers are human beings that need to be motivated and encouraged. Do not forget the importance of comradery and group interactions.

Sixth: be respectful.  It goes without saying that you have to pay your remote workers fairly and treat them with respect. Remember that it is not that easy to find serious and hard-working collaborators, even in the digital economy.

Seven: have an onboarding process. Behind virtual teams there are real people. New hires need to acquire the level of knowledge, skills and behaviors of seniors as soon as possible.  So, it is always a good idea to train new staff.

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The Secret of Successful Virtual Teams is Collaboration

July 24th, 2017

A merely working together is different from true collaboration that requires a high level of mutual trust between team members and their capability to set aside egos. As difficult as achieving true collaboration may be for your collaborators, this is vital to build efficiency and win your competitors in the global market.

Unity is strength, an old idiom says. But what is exactly unity? This word is not a synonym of working together, as a team is something more than the mechanical sum of its individual parts. True collaboration is an expression that describes much better unity, instead.  It implies that team members are able to build mutual trust, share knowledge and set aside their egos without losing their energy, enthusiasm and proactivity. When collaboration is achieved, teams become magic and creative. The motivation of their members peaks up, and great results are achieved.

How do successful virtual teams achieve collaboration? According to some researches, team sizes matter. The larger the team, the more difficult collaboration becomes. So, the present trend to build teams of even a hundred of people is bad. A better solution would be the utilization of a fluid structure distributed on an inner core (charged with important decisions), an operational level (day-to-day ongoing work) and an outer network of freelancers or temporary members that are taken on board just to take care of a particular segment of the project. This setting allows gathering together those team members who need to collaborate with one other for some specific purpose or reason.

Social Media plays a great role in virtual team, as they can make the miracle to make dissimilar people to collaborate. The reason is that social media help your collaborators to find a common ground and share practices and advices. So, don’t be afraid of using them. The organizations that have been able to use social media correctly have all enjoyed consistent improvement in their workforce productivity.

Playing Games that encourage collaboration is another way to build great teams, in the measure that these games are able to get your team members into the right mindset for working together. This implies another important activity, staff training, the only way to help your collaborators to develop quickly some crucial skills like networking and emotional intelligence.

Role Clarity is the last (but not least) important factor behind collaboration. Some researchers have given evidence that collaboration increases when the group has not got a certain goal, but everyone has a well-defined role. It seems that it happens since doubt encourages everybody to collaborate and think more creatively.

In conclusion, collaboration is what makes the difference between mere working together and really effective and successful virtual teams. Recent researches have enlightened some of the key-factors that are behind true collaboration, like the skillful usage of social media, a wise team hierarchy and the specific training that teams receive.

Are you interested in virtual teams and their complex problems? You are going to find more resources on R-HUB`s blog (http://www.rhubcom.com). It is also possible to have a 30 days free trial through which to test your virtual team on R-HUB`s real time collaboration servers.

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The ABC of Online Meeting Participation

July 14th, 2017

In a world where herds of employees have been transformed into remote workers, knowing how to be a successful online meeting participant is important. Especially if you crave for success as a digital freelancer.

In a world where freelancers made up 35% of US workforce in 2016 (Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2016/10/06/new-survey-freelance-economy-shows-rapid-growth/#4b533e847c3f) , knowing how to behave during online meetings is a matter of life and death.

So, in this article I have taken down the most important best practices for online meeting participants, with the hope to help digital nomads, freelancers and remote workers to make the most of their participation to video and audio conferences.

1 Be active. Like in real-life meetings, during online meetings you shall be active and give your contribution, no matter how important it is. Wallflowers have been never welcomed; on the contrary, being able to add value to meetings has been always the first step to success.

2 Respect good manners. That politeness always wins on rudeness goes without saying, doesn’t it? But what are the rules of etiquette in a digital world? They are quite similar to those of real-life meetings. So, give the other participants respect by arriving on time, paying attention to speakers, avoiding butting in, waiting your turn to speak, and respecting the dress code. Nothing so different from the old, traditional meetings around a table, after all.

3 Prepare yourself before. Study the topic before and prepare some questions. Prepare your answers to the possible questions that some other participants could ask you.

4 Check and know how to use your technology.  Virtual meetings rely on a more or less complicated technology. Before entering a conference, check that everything is fine with your cam, computer, laptop, headsets, microphone and conferencing tool. Don’t look clumsy; illiteracy on the tech matter is not much appreciated today.

5 Be an active listener. Pay attention to speakers, and try to retain what they say. This will help you to come up with some few questions or a contribution later. If not, you will have fulfilled your obligations as participant to the meeting at least.

6 Invite other participants to contribute. If it occurs that you end up leading a meeting for any reason, don’t panic. A good strategy is to invite other participants to contribute by asking them their opinions on the topic of the moment.

7. Ask questions. When in doubt, ask questions. Often the meeting leader can’t wait for that, as questions break monotony and make meetings lively and productive.

8. Make a revision after the meeting. It is always useful to check your behavior after the meeting in order to understand what work for you and what does not.

In conclusion, being a good participant to an online meeting requires the same dedication of real meetings. The rules are similar, except for those few rules expressly connected with technology.

If you are interested in on-line meeting strategies, you are going to find many other resources on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com You can also enjoy a free period of 30 days when you can test your ability as online meeting leader by hosting some web video conferences through R-HUB web video conferencing servers.

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