Archive for the ‘RHUB News’ category

The Pros and Cons of Browser-Based Collaboration

January 14th, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Browser-Based Collaboration

Recently, there has been a tremendous amount of buzz regarding browser-based collaboration systems. The promises offered by browser-based collaboration can certainly be compelling. As a result, there has naturally been a ground swell of activity created around this technology. This has proven to be particularly true given the new capabilities for multimedia communications offered by HTML 5-based browsers, such as WebRTC. With this type of technology, it is possible for users to make both voice and video calls within the browser without the need for the plug-ins required by services such as Google Hangouts and Skype.

While such technology may seem new, RHUB has supported a browser-based model for more than seven years. During that time, RHUB has gained a great deal of experience as a pioneer with this approach. Even before HTML 5 was made available as a browser technology, RHUB invested in ensuring that HTML 4 was an effective meeting platform. Additionally, RHUB recognized early on the limitations of Flash and developed a capability that would make it possible to work with or without Flash.


The Advantages of Browser-Based Solutions

As previously mentioned, the advantages offered by a browser-based solution can be compelling, including:

  • No Download Necessary- By using the built-in browser engines, screen sharing is supported without the need for the attendee to download client software. This can be a great advantage for attendees with download restrictions.
  • Easy and Quick to Join- By joining with a browser, all the attendee needs to do is point the browser to the meeting server and then log into the meeting. This usually only takes about 10 seconds.
  • Platform Independent- Any compatible browser is able to join the meeting.
  • Audio and Video Supported- HTML 5 makes it possible to support audio and video using the facilities within the browser.

 

The Disadvantages of Browser-Based Solutions

Certainly, the list of advantages associated with HTML 5-based browsers is impressive. But, with those advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks. Just a few of the issues we have discovered over the years that could impact these advantages include:

  • Browser Compatibility- Although every browser is supposed to be HTML 4 or HTML 5 compatible, we have found that this is not always the case. Variances in browser implementation can affect compatibility. As different versions usually have differing levels of compatibility, this can create problems. If a version is compatible with screen sharing and video algorithms, but is not compatible with audio, the meeting could be affected.
  • Connectivity-  Real-time collaboration, particularly when it comes to audio, relies on a high-quality Internet connection. Browsers are inherently asynchronous. As a result, they simply are not designed to maintain a connection with the server. This can result in intermittent performance in some instances. Additionally, browser-based meetings conducted over WiFi tend to suffer from drops in the WiFi connection. This can result in a choppy experience for the meeting participant.
  • Platform Dependency- While there is the promise of platform independence, the browser on that platform must be compatible. This means, for instance, that if Safari does not support the latest features that Chrome supports, users on Safari could experience issues. In the case of WebRTC, this can become even more complicated. While it is currently supported by Firefox, Opera and Chrome, it does not yet have the support of IE. Furthermore, while Microsoft has announced that it does have plans to support WebRTC, there has been no such announcement forthcoming from Apple’s Safari.
  • Keeping up with the Jones”- In order to be truly platform independent, the host must use a version of the system that is compatible for all popular browsers. Furthermore, the developers of those browsers must make sure that the features are in sync with one another. The reality is that this is not often the case. Mozilla is not likely to be concerned about the features that IE is planning to release.

Are you interested in learning more about the advantages offered by RHUB? If so, call us today at 866-758-0984 or email us at sales@rhubcom.com for a quick demo.

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How RHUB Helped AltaPointe Health Systems Support Multiple Locations

January 13th, 2015

AltaPointe Health Systems is a company providing high quality behavioral health services that are focused on promotion of recovery and wellness. They are offering their services in several counties in Alabama and it seems that their business is expanding more and more. AltaPointe was founded about 60 years ago and today they are the largest regional community behavioral health provider in Alabama. They currently have a staff of 1.100 clinical and non-clinical members. One of the main reasons why AltaPointe is so popular and why the number of people using their service is constantly increasing is the fact that they are following the latest trends in both medicine and technology.

As mentioned before, AltaPointe operates in several counties in Alabama so it is no surprise why they have multiple sites. All these sites need IT support. They have tried using Virtual Private Networks but it turned out that this solution won’t work because it was working very slowly. The reason behind that were certain bandwidth problems. Besides the need for remote support, they needed desktop sharing and web conferencing in order to conduct efficient training sessions. Since this is a large company that constantly hires new employees they need a lot of staff training and these personnel usually comes from different remote locations. This was a really costly activity because they were losing both time and money for travel reimbursement.

All these things have changed once AltaPointe Health purchased a RHUB TM500 Real-Time Collaboration Hub. This RHUB product comes with five meeting rooms and support for 20 users. The TM500 component can conduct multiple, concurrent training and remote support sessions. TurboMeeting allows remote support and web conferencing. Thanks to the appliance of TurboMeeting the staff at AltaPointe had the chance to engage in remote support activities that are not different from those they had for web browsing. All the problems they had with the VPN solution including bandwidth problems were gone. Establishing remote connections was flawless and they didn’t waste time on reconnections or lost connections. The only thing an attendee needs is ID information and link. Once they fill this information they will be connected in the same moment.

Of course, one of the biggest benefits of RHUB TM500 Real-Time Collaboration Hub for AltaPointe can be seen in the training costs. The training cost was significantly reduced. New employees didn’t have to lose time by traveling to a certain location where they can get proper training. The company on the other hand didn’t have to pay for travel reimbursement. This means that thanks to RHUB they were able to increase productivity and efficiency too. Since the server supports presence of many attendees at once the training process runs quickly and without any delays. It is no wonder why all of their remote sites use TurboMeeting appliance. The remote support and web conferencing are working all the time. The installation process was fast and went without any problems. On top of that, the software is constantly upgraded for even better performance.

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Better Support Means Better Meetings with RHUB

December 9th, 2014

Do you know how far back your vendor supports your operating system? We have recently found that some of the competition has actually dropped Vista and XP support. If you happen to still have one of these older systems, or some of your meeting participants have one of these systems, you could discover that a lack of support can end up being quite a problem when you are trying to get all of your attendees into a meeting.

Many times, we often do not stop to think about the level of support that is provided until that support is actually needed and then it becomes apparent rather quickly how important support actually is. This is something we understand all too well at RHUB and strive daily to ensure that our clients have everything they need to work in the most efficient manner possible. In fact, this is precisely why we still provide support for older systems, including XP and Vista, even while a lot of the competition has dropped support for those systems. We understand that there can be many reasons why you still might be working with an older system and do not think that you should be punished because of it. As a result, regardless of the system that you or your participants may be using, we will be able to do everything possible to get all of your attendees into a meeting.

We understand that when you are ready to begin a meeting, you need to begin it right away. Any delays can result in the need to reschedule the meeting and could also result in lost sales opportunities. This is your reputation that is riding on the line. By supporting the greatest number of platforms, we are able to provide you with the best opportunities for making your meeting a success.

Furthermore, if you should ever have any questions or experience any problems in getting logged into a meeting, you can always count on our robust support team to assist you. With the right web conferencing software, it is possible to conduct a meeting with coworkers, employees or customers just as if you were in the same room with them. We help to ensure that this type of functionality is never compromised in any way. With RHUB, you can count on a seamless, easy-to-use experience that will get you connected to your meetings quickly. If you should happen to have any problems, we are always here, giving you the support that you need.

Would you like to learn more about RHUB and the deep level of support we can provide? If so, call us today at 866-758-0984 or email us at sales@rhubcom.com for a quick demo.

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ADVANTAGES OF THE RHUB APPLIANCE

November 2nd, 2012

1.      You own it and,
there are no monthly recurring fees
or
pay forever models. Hold as many meetings as you would like with as many hosts.
The license manager only counts concurrent meetings/attendees, not names users.
The appliance installs in under 10 minutes.

2.      It installs
in 10 minutes
on your LAN or ANYWHERE.

3.      When sending meetings to attendees for viewing
Seminars/Webinars, – with the RHUB WebView technology, there is NOTHING TO DOWNLOAD – so
no Firewalls will stop them, or Group Policies – and no Antivirus will block
the meeting. The host sends out a URL not a file to download. When the attendee
clicks on it, they join the meeting in less than 5 seconds – not minutes, thus
guaranteeing the attendance. If the attendees can get to Google maps, they can
join your meeting.

4.      It works on a concurrent model not named licenses. So ANYONE can use it (whom
you allow)

5.      It is FAST (Screen refreshes are clearer and better than Hosted
Models)

6.      If you are holding meetings internally, unlike hosted
models, you don’t go up to the cloud and consumer your internet bandwidth – it
is all internal and screen refreshes are at Network Speeds. Lightning fast.

7.      The quality of the Audio Bridge is superior (HD codecs) to other models.
Attendees can join by dialing a phone number or completely free using VoIP

8.      It is BRANDABLE – it will have your company name Logos all over (not
the Webex or GoToMeeting logos, or others). The exit page can be tailored to
your messages – very helpful for sales/marketing Webinar

9.      You can embed it and Integrate it with and in your websites and
applications
You can see examples at www.cloeren.com/meeting.html and www.inlinetech.com

10.  It also allows your techs to use this as a REMOTE SUPPORT TOOL (it
allows a technician to control another user’s desktop and access unattended
servers/PCs)

11.  It is extremely secure-you have complete control over meeting access
including by IP address.

12.  All sessions
can be recorded
and then saved to FLASH
or AVI so you can post these to your Web Site or Youtube or other appropriate
sites. You own and control the recording – not the hosted company

13.  It includes Video
conferencing

14.  It includes
File Transfer
. The host can send out
files to 1, select attendees or all attendees at the same time.

15.  It includes
remote printing
. The host can issue a
print job and it will print at 1, select attendees or all attendees (I think
remote printing is only available in the remote support/remote access mode –
need to check)

16.  It includes chat. Attendees can chat with each other
or host can chat with each or all

17.  Automatic reconnect – should an attendee’s internet
disconnect or go out, the second it comes back, the session is auto joined. No
need to do anything

18.  Host can choose to have attendees put their Email
before they can join – thus capturing the Emails.

19.  Reporting is
included
telling the host who has joined,
when, from where and capturing start and end time as well as their name and
Email

20.  Provided the unit is on the LAN and you have
maintenance, firmware is
updated automatically
with no user intervention (admin or user side). We
protect you from obsolescence

21.  There is an appliance for practically any meeting size

22.  Platform and device agnostic

23.  It includes REMOTE CONTROL – the ability to access your own computer
remotely

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Hosted based Web Conferencing issues

November 2nd, 2012

Hosted
based Web conferencing issues:

 

 

THE PAY FOREVER
MODEL:

·        
Hosted subscription based services means
recurring fees and $$$$ – you never stop paying and you never own it.

 

 

BRANDING SOMEONE ELSE ? GEE THANKS !

·        
Hosted subscription based services often means
that you cannot brand the service to your company. Why advertise someone else’s
services?

 

 

LIMITED
ATTENDANCE AND FRUSTRATIONS = HIGHER IT COSTS AND INCREASED COMPLEXITY

·        
Hosted subscription based services require a
download to your PC. Corporate firewall or group policies often block downloads
to desktops = attendee may not join meeting

·        
If you are not administrator of your own PC
(which is often the case in many companies), you will not be able to download
and run external programs/apps as required by hosted forever pay subscription
based services

·        
Operating system or device compatibility issues
(Windows 7 Mobile? Windows 8 Mobile? Latest Android OS i.e. Jelly Beans? iOS 6?
Windows 8? Apple MAC 10.7?) = attendee may not join meeting

·        
Antivirus product can be blocking the downloads
= attendee may not join meeting

·        
Incompatible browsers = attendee may not join
meeting

·        
User fear of accepting a download = attendee may
not join meeting

·        
All of the above problems can significantly
increase complexity, costs and increase IT work, or worse, having to lower your
security shield to enable hosted services to work (i.e. remove antivirus from
desktop or lower company Group Policy Object (GPO) security

 

 

NOT FLEXIBLE – NON BRANDABLE

·        
The inability to embed meetings into your own
corporate Web Sites

·        
The inability to make it compliant with LDAP and
Active Directory

 

 

Conclusion:

·        
Industry experts have stated that only a
fraction of the desktops can join a meeting. A meeting missing one key attendee
can be a failed meeting.

·        
Hosted solutions do not provide adequate access
security for many users since all is needed is a password and meeting ID –
which are usually distributed via unsecured email over the Web – a passing
person can see this or anyone who has access to your Exchange Calendar (often
shared between employees) – now can see and attend the entire meeting. All it
takes is 1 employee sharing your calendar or passing by to send that meeting info
to an external source, and the meeting session is now jeopardized

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