Archive for the ‘Audio Conferencing’ category

Virtual Conferencing Trends: 2 reasons why On-Premise servers will beat Clouds

March 1st, 2017

The ability to offer specific services for telepresence and storage of private data could be the winning card that the providers of on-premise server based web conferencing solutions will play to win the game against cloud based solutions.

According to Frost & Sullivan’s latest report, the shift to clouds has been accelerating in 2016 which will lead to a slowdown in on-premise web-conferencing market next years. Will the prediction come true?

In 2014, on-premise video conferencing market held the largest share in terms of revenue (around 74%) and, undoubtedly, this share will decrease next years. However, according to a recent report of Transparency Market Research, even in the most pessimistic scenario servers will be still able to generate over 53% of revenues in 2023. Therefore, on-premise servers seem to be destined to retain their market leadership, despite the growth of clouds.

It is not a case that big firms like Cisco still have on-premise server based web conferencing  solutions in their product lists, and providers  of conferencing services that have massively bet on on-premise technology like R-HUB (http://www.rhubcom.com) are thriving. R-HUB`s suite TurboMeeting in particular is a great example of an on-premise server based product that is competitive in terms of price and performances.

Considering that TurboMeeting costs only around 1000-1400$ on average, we cannot but reject the common reasoning that customers are massively shifting to clouds because of budget considerations.  Simply, the importance of this trend has been exaggerated. Like every new technology, clouds have their moment of glory now; but saying that on-premise server predominance is going to be undermined is against any evidence.

Why is on-premise technology still holding the line? The reasons behind on-premise servers endurance are essentially two: telepresence and security. Telepresence, the new mantra of web conferencing, assures clients an immersive experience during video conferences. Technically speaking, clouds are not the best solution for it; consider, for example, latency:  audio and video requires low and predictable latency times, which makes it easier to manage and distribute video and audio data in systems where the network can be controlled end-to-end. But this is not possible when a company opts for a cloud.

Security is an old issue of any solution that utilizes a common space to store data. Clouds can be as safe as possible, but internet connections are always at risk of being hacked, no matter how many measures are taken in order to protect them. Then, some specific kinds of data require more advanced security than what clouds are able to offer. In these cases, it is necessary to maintain the traditional, but sure, on-premise server based technology.

Two further good reasons to keep away from clouds are:

  • Government regulations: It happens when your data are regarded as sensitive and have to be stored in compliance with specific rules and standards.
  • Accessibility: Some countries restrict access to internet. When there is no government on the way, it is the lack of adequate bandwidth that can create issues.

In conclusion, it is too early to say that clouds are going to outperform on-premise servers in the future. A coexistence of these two systems is more probable, as they have both their pros and cons and in some cases they are complementary.

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Get your Audio Conferencing tool for free

February 15th, 2017

Audio conferencing is heavily utilized today not only for business, but also for private use. In this post, we will see how to get your audio conferencing tool for free.

In an interconnected world, the quick growth in popularity of audio and video conferences does not come as a surprise. No matter if the purpose is to organize a dining with friends or hold a meeting of the board of directors of a global company; this technology will prove to be very helpful in most situations.

Now, the question is whether it is possible to get it for free. The answer is yes, as many providers of audio and video conferencing services often offer free versions of their products, yet limited to private use or free trial periods of 30 days.

For example, the servers of the suite R-HUB`s TurboMeeting include a great free audio conferencing service, Turbo Conferencing. It allows you to host audio conferences for any kind of devices – from traditional landline telephones to mobiles, pcs and tablets – with calls from 28 countries. The quality of audio is ensured by the choice of reliable carriers, and phone providers are not charged in order to avoid that they refuse your calls.

It is possible to schedule, record and publish your conferences anywhere you wish.  Especially audio conferencing service providers will find TurboMeeting particularly interesting, as it is able to offer a high level of seamless integration with your existing systems and functions.

For further information, visit R-HUB web site (http://www.rhubcom.com)

UberConference (http://www.uberconference.com) is characterized by a well-designed GUI with strong visual features that allow you to know every moment what your participants are doing (for example, speaking).  The cons are the severe limitations of the free version: recording is not allowed and the max number of participants is limited to five. If you wish to have something more, it is necessary to upgrade to the Pro version and spend 10$ a month.

FreeConferenceCalls (http://www.freeconferencecalls.com) has a name that says it all. Through this tool, hosting conferences for free is really possible and there are not nasty surprises, as when you have to pay for some important additional features like recording. The limit of participants per conference is 96, which goes up to 1000 in the HD version that is available also for iPhones and Android.

Another useful tool for audio conferences is Speek (http://www.speek.com). Being a completely browser-based application, you do not need to download anything, and there is no pin access code. It is free for up to five guests per conference.

Last of the list is JoinMe(http://www.joinme.com), another browser-based app  for collaborating online that offers many useful features like file sharing, whiteboard, chat and meeting recording. It is easy to use, and the max number of participants per meeting is quite high (250 in the free version).

In conclusion, finding an audio conferencing tool for free is easy, independently from the technology that you prefer.  Simply start browsing through the web, and many other will pop up, each one with its free version.

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Ten Golden rules for Effective and fruitful Conference calls

February 14th, 2017

Leading  conference calls could be trickier than you expect. Follow these ten easy rules,  and you will make your conferences really effective and fruitful.

It is difficult to imagine an organization that can avoid using conference calls in the global market of today. So, how to do in practice? First, it is important to buy the right conference call service. Luckily, the choice is wide and goes from R-HUB TurboMeeting, a server suite for virtual conferences, to the traditional free software’s  like Skype and Paltalk.  The difference is that while TurboMeeting is expressly designed for enterprises and professional use, services like Skype and Paltalk seem to be more suitable for private/general use, at least in their free versions.

Second, simply follow these simple but basilar rules.

No mobiles

Landlines or specific conference call hardware like TurboMeeting servers are much more reliable than mobiles that are inevitably exposed to the risk that something goes wrong. For example, it happens quite frequently that many participants cannot attend or follow your conference simply because of loss of reception or the fact that cellphone batteries are running down.

Prepare everything in advance

If you start to interrupt your conference to search your pc folders for the files to share, your audience will immediately lose attention, and do not expect that it is so easy to gain their attention again. This is the reason why you shall send participants all the necessary documentation (like files, slides, images) before the conference starts.

Forget slides

The problems with slides are that they can be extremely boring, especially if they are filled up with walls of text.  At least, try to reduce them to the minimum necessary and avoid writing too much text.

Be on time

Be polite and enter the conference call on the scheduled time. Your moderator should be already in. Consider that keeping people waiting increases proportionally the risk that some participants leave.

Set a time limit

It is important to give participants the opportunity to schedule their day. So, please provide them with a list of items to treat and an estimation of the conference length. Another important point to keep in mind is that attendants’ attention tends to decrease as time passes. So, make your conference as shorter as you can.

Multitasking is evil

Focusing is important during a conference call, so forget your emails and close your socials. Any lack of attention could be contagious and makes you lose participants’ attention.

Engage participants as much as you can

Not only will your conference be more interesting, but you can also get some precious feedbacks if you are able to involve participants. So, do not be shy, ask questions, and get participant active and engaged.

Ban broad questions

Specific questions on specific topics are much more effective and able to prompt interesting answers than a trite “what do you think?”.  In this way, you also prevent dead air and embarrassed silences.

Be the leader

Be the leader. Taking charge of the conference is the golden path to gain participants’ attention.

Craft great endings

People need to leave the conference with a sense of purpose, otherwise they will think to have wasted their time. At the end of the call, it is important to sum up what has been reached and establish the next milestone. Use takeaways.

What benefits can you expect by following these ten rules? You will be able to get your message across more effectively and save your and other people’s time. Participants’ engagement will increase, with subsequent greater impact of the conference on them. The energy of the event will be greater, and participants will join another call more willingly.

If you are interested in conference calls, you are going to find further information on R-HUB web site (http://www.rhubcom.com ).

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What are the Six best Platforms for Free Conference calls?

January 20th, 2017

Online conference calls have become a popular way of communication today. From R-HUB Turbomeeting to Paltalk, here comes a quick description of six products for free conference calls that in our opinion offer the best in terms of quality and user-friendliness.

R-HUB Turbomeeting

What I like most of R-HUB products is their technology. The adoption of an on-premise server based approach has solved many of the problems that are usually connected with web applications, like spotty internet connections and security issues.

The price to pay is that there is some hardware to install; but this is manageable, as R-HUB’s web video conferencing servers are silent, light and take little space. A big plus is that there is no need of a dedicated team for installation and maintenance, being R-HUB’s web video conferencing servers real plug and play products.

R-HUB Turbomeeting offers a wide set of tools to engage your audience, from command/ screen sharing to polling. In one word, you get a product that has all the pros of a web app without the cons. For further information, visit R-HUB web site at http://www.rhubcom.com

Skype

Probably the most popular and known conference call platform in the world, Skype is easy to use and allows clients to host groups up to 25 participants. It is endowed with a rich set of tools that assure you and your guests a great user experience.

The cons: some security issues are possible as well as the risk of bad audio quality on faulty internet connections, as Skype is web based. Like most products of its kind, Skype requires the downloading and installation of software on your pc or mobile.

GoToMeeting

This product is not completely free, as you can use all its features for a trial period of 30 days only. Purposely designed for face to face video conferencing, GoToMeeting offers a high video quality and a great easiness of use.  The price to pay is that it is necessary to download GoToMeeting conference call software; but this is a common issue of many web-based solutions.

Free Conference Calling

Free Conference Calling allows you to host up to 1000 participant conferences for free 24 hours out of 24. For this reason, it may be considered as one of the most powerful conference call software available.

Other interesting features are free recording (on other platforms you have to pay for this service) and the ability to dial into their free conference call services by mobiles or landlines, as VoIP is fully supported.

TokBox

TokBox have some features that are not usually available for free, like the ability to do webinars or create talk show formats. Other interesting features are free video and audio calls, screen sharing and messaging.

PalTalk

PalTalk strong point is its compatibility with many devices, for example iOS, Android and Amazon Kindle. Both free video conference calls and free voice calls are supported.

A special feature of PalTalk is that they have about 5000 group chat rooms where you have chance to meet people that can share the same interests.

In conclusion, never has it been so easy to find a platform that offers conference calls for free.  Consider that this list is far from being exhaustive; start to browse the web, and you will discover immediately new products. If you spend time in researches, it won’t be difficult to find the right product.

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Hosting Teleconferences through R-HUB – 6 easy tips to improve your guests’ experience

August 8th, 2016

Introductions, participation, order, agenda, roll calls and refreshers:6 easy-to-remember tips that willgreatly enhance the quality of your virtual meetings

Being a host of a teleconference – no matter whether it is an audio conference or a video conference – is not an easy task as it may seem at first sight. Indeed, the host plays a vital role, and he is the real responsible of the final outcome of the conference at the end of the day.It is up to the host to arrange meetings, invite guests and control that everything goes smooth during any step of the teleconference.

What shall a host do to ensure that a virtual meeting is hitch free? Here come six easy tips that can really help you to be a perfect host.

  • Introductions. Hosts must politely introduce themselves and invite all participants to do the same. This is important not only because participants are given the opportunity to know each other in this way, but also because it helps them to recognize each other’s voices.
  • Participation. Ensure that equal opportunities to contribute to the meeting are given to all participants. Keep a list of all the names of the participants, and invite quiet members to express their opinions. Remember that the “Raise your hand” feature is very useful to get the attention of the host.
  • Order. Be the master of the meeting. Avoid people speaking over each other, or unfriendly behaviors, like those participants that impolitely butt in on another participant’s speech being unable to await their turn.
  • Agenda. Don’t let the discussion be driven off rail. Keep participants focused on the object of the meeting.
  • Roll calls.It is important to give any new participant that join the meeting later, an opportunity to introduce themselves.
  • Refreshers. It is important to stop and summarize-up from time to time. It provides context to the last comers, and allows you to scroll down to the next point on the list.

Have you already hosted a teleconference? If you wish to give us your suggestions or ideas, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Wish to learn more about teleconferencing? Please visit R-HUB’s website for further information:

http://www.rhubcom.com/v5/index.html

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