Archive for February, 2018

Mobile Virtual Collaboration, the new frontier of Video Conferencing

February 12th, 2018

Time runs fast. It was only yesterday, when we were all amazed at the idea to speak face-to-face with our friends through Skype on our pcs. Today, it has become common experience for everybody to work with a remote team through mobile video conferences. Tomorrow, we will meet our colleagues in a virtual office

In a globalized and connected world, working all together in the same physical space is impossible, as teams are composed of workers scattered throughout the five continents. Therefore, there is no option to video conferencing; this technology offers the only possible, practical solution to the problem of managing remote team. The need to keep together distant workers is probably the most important factor behind the boost that video conferencing has had during these years.

Another important new trend is the increasing use of mobiles and smartphones to participate to video conference. This new social phenomenon is strictly connected with a change in the patterns of living and working brought about by the so-called millennium generation, who is born techy and free and with a sort of natural allergy to the old economy.

Remote workers have discovered that much of the downtimes they have while travelling or waiting for the bus can be used to work or to answer the emails from the office. The gig-economy has boosted this trend even further: thousands of freelancers and digital nomads prefer working from home or some exotic resort through their iPhones and iPads to staying in the traditional office with a bossing boss around.

These changes in workers’ attitudes request a change in the technical equipment of tech enterprises. Today, video conferencing platforms must be highly integrated with multiple operative systems, so that to allow mobile owners to connect and conference-in. This is called Bring Your Own Device Policy, which means that the organization has simply to provide remote workers with a video conferencing platform, while it is up to each individual worker to equip himself with the device (laptop or smartphone it may be) to connect.

Video conferencing solutions must be then preferably web app (the so-called web conferencing technology), as there is no need to download software that way. The particularity of web apps is exactly that the software is on the browser, so that users do not have any more the pain to install software on their devices with limited memories and resources.

In conclusion, organizations have to adopt a new pattern for their remote collaboration tools that awards solutions which are web-based and highly integrated with the exiting operative systems (iOS, Android, Windows) for mobiles. This is the only way to enable a Bring Your Own Device Policy and bring on board workers independently from the technology of their devices.

If you are interested in the opportunities and challenges of virtual teams and remote collaboration, you are going to find more useful resources on R-HUB`s Blog at http://www.rhubcom.com

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How to make your Video Session Successful and Fruitful

February 11th, 2018

Video conferences are undoubtedly helpful to communicate with your remote team. But how to make the most of it? Preparation, etiquette and body language are the three key tips that every user should follow

Today, video conferencing is like the washing machine; it is that kind of technology that has so much pervaded our daily life that is impossible to get rid of. However, there is also room to improve, no matter how much experience we have with video conferences.  These three tips will help you to make your video sessions successful and fruitful, by making the most of your video conferencing technology.

1- Choose the right video conferencing tool for your needs

Video conferences rely necessarily on technology. Therefore, you’d better have the right tool for your needs. However, choosing among the hundreds of solutions that are available on the market today is difficult. While small startups could find an on-cloud based app convenient, larger organizations could profit more from an all-in one, integrated solution like R-HUB`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com).

This line of very compact, silent, self-configuring and self-installing conferencing servers offer you all the advantages of both on-premise servers based and software based video conferencing solutions. Then, you will enjoy a very affordable product that assures you the best in terms of security and speed/quality for real time collaboration, but without the usual pains in the neck of servers, in particular without maintenance costs and the need of a devoted room to lodge the servers.

The best approach is to fill a list with your needs/requirements, and then compare them with the features of each solution that is available in your area/country. Then, the right choice for you should stand out almost immediately.

2- Study and practice etiquette

Hobbes, the great English philosopher, taught us that rules are important, as they save us from the wild and harmful state of nature and allow humans to live together in a society. Same in the digital world: netiquette helps humans to cooperate and communicate, without some few basic rules a video conference would be so chaotic that many participants would log off immediately.

Netiquette is more complicated than ordinary etiquette, as it is important to keep into consideration the particular features of video conferencing technology. For example, it is fundamental to avoid voice overlapping, as it could severely affect the same data transmission of the session.

3- Prepare yourself for your virtual meetings

Virtual meetings must be carefully planned and prepared, probably even more then real meetings, because here there is also the difficulty of the use of video conferencing technology. Therefore, check in advance your camera, audio, headphones and background, and adjust these devices when it is necessary.

Dress properly and prepare every document you wish to share. The room where you are going to stay should be silent and properly lit. Your desktop could become visible during the session; then, you’d better close every folder or document that is not pertinent with the topic of the discussion.

Do you professionally host video conferences and need good suggestions to enhance your presentation? You are going to find many useful resources and directions on R-HUB`s Blog at http://www.rhubcom.com

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Is there something like a Video Etiquette?

February 4th, 2018

Yes there is, and you should know it, as following video etiquette prescriptions will enable you to offer your guests a better experience in all respects, with consequent higher probabilities that they would come again to your webinars or presentations

Manners matter, in real and digital life. Especially marketers should try to optimize their video conferences: the better the user experience of potential customers during video calls is, the better the chances they will appreciate your presentation and come back again and/or buy your product.

We have clustered the most common rules of video etiquette in these four boxes, with the hope to be helpful for you.

Rules for Meetings:

  • Has the site you are calling has a correct IP address?
  • Set your camera before (and not after) your call, so as to avoid technical issues during your meeting. Do the same with the rest of your equipment (microphones, etc).
  • When you are not speaking, deactivate your audio through the “mute” button.
  • No voices overlapping: be patient and wait that your interlocutor has finished speaking.

Rules for Video:

  • Ban clothes that are too dark or bright, or with graphic patterns like checks and stripes. A classical turquoise shirt is still the best solution, alternatively muted and pastel colors.
  • Close drapes and blinds. The sun light could interfere with the lighting of your room with a bad final effect on the screen.
  • Be natural while speaking, and use natural gesture.
  • Fix your camera so that your face and shoulders are framed as much as possible, while the objects, like the table or the chair where you are sitting down, the less.

Rules for Audio:

  • Don’t shout; your voice must sound natural. If you shout, your voice could come off distorted.
  • Ask your interlocutors if they can hear you well. A good trick is to ask them to introduce themselves. In this way, you can immediately realize whether you can hear them or not.
  • During your meeting, mute the microphone before move it.
  • While speaking, make some small and frequent pauses. Remember that the audio has always a little delay, even with the best real time streaming products.
  • Limit side conversations.

 

Rules for Content Sharing

  • Do your computers and applications show documents/slides installed? Do these apps work in your video conferencing environment? Not every video conferencing platform is necessarily integrated with every kind of application to open these documents.
  • Test your presentation before starting your call.

If you are interested in video etiquette, you are going to find other useful resources and posts on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com It is also possible to enjoy a free trial period of 30 days.

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4 Tips to assure yourself and Your Guests a Flawless Experience during your Video Conferences

February 2nd, 2018

Video conferencing has become an essential tool for most people today. These four useful tips will help you to prevent troubles and have a smooth experience during your video calls

How many times have you thought of video conferencing as a pain in the neck? Especially technical problems can make your video session a nightmare, but there are also other less-known issues, like, for example, our bad appearance on the screen, which could spoil your conference and then your day. Luckily, video conferencing has been in use for long enough that there is a plenty of golden rules, best practices and tips available that can help you to keep troubles away.

  1. Know your tools

Most people simply want to start using their video conferencing technology immediately, with little or no grasp of the topic. Now, it is true that the graphic interfaces of video conferencing apps are generally easy and intuitive, one just for all R-HUB`s TurboMeeting ; but it is also true that everybody must spend some few minutes on reading  the instructions of the video conferencing tool at least once.

In general, a good knowledge of the tool you are going to use is essential for having a smooth session. Consider that human errors are still the cause number one of problems during a video conference.

  1. Visuals matter

Once you feel sure on the technical side of the thing, it is time to consider your appearance and the one of your surroundings. Look matters also in digital life, and many details are often enhanced by the keen eye of your cam, especially if you wish to experience telepresence.  Therefore, dress properly, set the background in a convenient way and spend some time in adjusting your cam and your microphone. You are going to find detailed suggestions and tips about this topic on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com

  1. Adjust the sound

Remember, between you and your interlocutor there are a microphone, some wires and a complicated technology. Don’t speak to your microphone, as it were a human person; first check it and, if it is necessary, adjust it, so that your voice doesn’t come off as too loud or too soft. Table microphones are the worst choice, as they can easily pick up some annoying noises like accidental or involuntary body movements. Prefer ceiling microphones.

  1. Try to be engaging

During video conferences, it is easy to fall into the trap of routine or be monotonous. Don’t read some text or slides, but speak to your audience. Make an effort to use some of the many tools that are available on today’s web conferencing platforms exactly to engage video conference participants, like the whiteboard and the polls.

In conclusion, learn the technical instructions of your video conferencing tool, then adjust your cam, audio and surroundings, don’t forget to dress properly, and try to engage your audience. If you follow these simple four tips, your conference will be a success.

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