Archive for the ‘Video Conferencing’ category

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 ABC of Virtual Team Management

July 13th, 2017

Managing a virtual team can turn out more difficult than expected. Luckily, there are some few best practices that help.

Managing virtual team implies to face a whole host of challenges, from lack of face-to-face communication to working across different time-zones. Luckily, some few best practices for remote managers have been developed in the last few years. We have summarized them up in the following list of tips.

1) Prepare a welcome manual to provide your new hires with all the necessary information about how to do things. This will help you to save a lot of time and make your new hires more productive and less questioning since the beginning.

2) Utilize some operational documents during each step of the process, so that everybody knows what have to be done next.

3) Include in your welcome manual a Communication handbook, or, better, create it as a separate manual. Here, you will lay down the directions on how to communicate with other team members.

4) Hand out a contact information sheet, or make it available as shared document to every team member.

5) Hold regular virtual meetings both individually and with the whole team. It is the only way to create cohesion within your team.

6) Make periodic reviews to inform your team members about their individual progresses. In the reviews, measure individual and team performances, in order to give adequate feedback.

7) From time to time, have some face-to-face time with your team members in order to build confidence and strengthen relations.

8) Consider time difference. You’d better change meeting times frequently, in order to avoid making the same people wake up early or stand up late.

9) Hire the right kind of workers. Select only people that are really cut out for virtual teams through a test period.

Tools are important for virtual teams. It is necessary to have an instant messenger, screen sharing, screen capture, cloud file sharing, and other collaboration tools. You’d better opt for an all-in-one solution, like R-HUB`s web video-conferencing servers http://www.rhubcom.com , rather than creating a confusing, contradictory and often difficult to manage personal set of various apps.

R-HUB has a suite of servers purposely designed for real time collaboration that gives you all the necessary functionalities to hold and manage your real time conferences. The utilization of a new technological approach allows R-HUB to knock down delays to 3-18 seconds only (usually they are 30-40 seconds) in their live streaming servers, in order to enhance interactivity.

Live interventions during a conference are supported, so that your virtual meeting looks as real as possible, and contents are shown on the whole desktop for a more effective communication. Differently from traditional live streaming products, speakers can be located everywhere in the world.

Last, don’t forget to develop the proper mindset for virtual team. The feeling of being isolated from the team can be fought by appreciating and celebrating team members’ achievements. If you manage a team composed of people from any corner of the world, working on flexible schedules is a real necessity as well as accepting all cultural differences and setting the hours when you are available online in case of need.

In conclusion, managing a virtual team takes more work than a local team, but it can be affordable. Just keep in minds these simple tricks and good practices when building your virtual team.

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The Secret of Live Stream Video Technology Attractiveness

July 11th, 2017

Live stream video technology has been recently rediscovered by institutions and individuals, at the point that today it is one of the most popular media artifacts. What is behind its success?

When it was given by Hulu the possibility to watch The White House Correspondents Dinner in real time, the success was high, and this only one of the dozens of examples of successful live-stream video events. Today, organizations of any kind try to exploit live stream video technology, especially for commercial purposes: for example, to create new brands, like Esperian, or to enhance the promotion of traditional brands, as Nissan did with its Maxima launch at the New York auto show in 2016.

So, why does it work? The answer is enclosed in one word: liveliness. Remote viewers are promised to have a similar experience of those who are going to attend the event for real, despite the fact that they are not actually present. Coming deeper into the concept of liveliness, we find out that liveliness is composed of two main components: the illusion of presence and remediation from TV. These two factors are equally balanced in making live-stream events so captivating and alluring.

The Illusion of Presence

When viewers watch a live stream video, their point of view is the one of the camera that works as a kind of proxy viewer from them. In other words, it is as if they were physically present at the event, or, to say it better, they has the illusion of being physically present. This effect is what is also called telepresence.

Naturally, it works in the measure that the stream is seamless and smooth, without any disruptions. This is the reason why the choice of the technology is important. For example, the new R-HUB`s live streaming servers http://www.rhubcom.com/v5/live-streaming.html are able to reduce the delay to 3 seconds only (usually the value ranges from 30 to 40 seconds).

The TV Remediation

Remediation is described as “the mix of older cultural conventions for data representation, access and manipulation, and newer conventions” (Lev Manovich). In other words, TV remediation is a combination of elements taken by traditional TV broadcast and newer forms coming from the internet.

In this way, live stream video technology reinvents the web by remediating what has gone before on TV. The effect is that viewers are going to experience something that is old and familiar at the same time, the live TV-broadcast of the past reinvented for the web. Nothing could be more reassuring.

The Charm of Direct Interaction

The main difference with the old live TV-broadcast is that viewers can have live interactions with the speakers during modern live-stream video events through the internet. It is sufficient to combine live stream video technology with web conferencing, as R-HUB has done in its latest severs.

The benefit is that the illusion of presence becomes even stronger, not to mention the level of engagement of the public that really peaks up. In facts, it is proved by some Harvard University researches that direct interaction is a great way to involve people (source: http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/08/why-we-overshare-the-brain-likes-it/ ).

This is the reason why this new medium is growing popular in organizations, as it allows real dialogues between managers, salesmen and customers. This latest feature is particularly important in some new marketing strategies, like the above-given example of the creation of the brand Esperian.

In conclusion, live stream video technologies combined with video conferencing could have an increasingly important role in the digital economy. The extent of its use is quite wide and includes areas as marketing, product promotion, remote collaboration, and remote team management.

The secret behind its success is its allure that is based on liveliness, a mix of telepresence and remediation from TV. However, the reliability of the live stream video technology that is used is crucial, as even the smallest disrupt could break the thin illusion of distant viewers that they are being present for real at their far events. And without this magic, live streaming is useless.

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How to choose the Best Live Stream Solution for your Video Conferences

July 7th, 2017

Live stream video conferences enable speakers to use powerful tricks to engage their audiences, like having outside guests, or even allowing participants to intervene and speak live. How to choose the best live stream tool? Here come a short report on the different solutions that are available on the market today.

What could do better than a live talk-show, in order to engage your audience? According to some Harvard University researches, people love to talk about themselves and share their experiences with the world (source: http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/08/why-we-overshare-the-brain-likes-it/ ). Luckily, to live stream a talk-show is not an excessively complicated affair.

The best solution is naturally to use a specific product for the purpose, like R-HUB`s live streaming servers http://www.rhubcom.com/v5/live-streaming.html .

Designed specifically for real time-collaboration, R-HUB`s servers are silent and compact, and very easy to set and use. They allow your participants to have live interventions, the most requested feature of this kind of products.

A strong point of R-HUB`s live streaming servers is that speakers can be located everywhere in the world. This is a great advantage in comparison with traditional live stream products which can broadcast contents from one physical location only.

The content is shown on the entire desktop, in order to maximize the message impact on the targeted audience. Interactivity is much enhanced by knocking down delays to a range among 3 – 18 seconds depending on the network conditions, and security is the highest thanks to the choice of the on-premise server based technology.

A second option is to use some special software, in order to incorporate your guests from outer sources into your live stream. The advantage of this solution is flexibility: you can use your existing Skype, Hangout or other video call solution accounts, and go with software for the whole process without buying any single piece of hardware.

Among the software that makes you reach this result, we mention OBS Studio and Wirecast. They both allow you to add a video chat to your live stream, and they work pretty much in the same way. The difference is that OBS Studio is more difficult to use than Wirecast, even though it is to be said that the addition of vMix (an external paid utility) makes the process much easier.

A problem with software based live streaming solutions is the frame delay: it can be unreliable, as it is much dependent on several factors (like the browser and the network conditions).

A third option is to buy some kind of dedicated software for live stream integration of video chats. For example, vMix Call, an evolution of the basic version of vMix. The advantage on the second option is that you have a fully integrated live video streaming tool that is generally intuitive to use and does not require long setting preliminary processes.

In conclusion, live-streaming your talk-show is now possible without much pain and problems, on the condition to have the right tool at hand.

While R-HUB`s live streaming servers offer you an easy-to-use, fully integrated and inexpensive solution which merges video conferencing and live streaming together, other products simply enable you to fumble your video chat into live stream process in a more or less complicated way. They are more flexible, but the price to pay is a tricky setting process and a lower level of security and stream quality.

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The Secret to have an Excellent Video Conferencing Presence Explained

June 30th, 2017

Make eye-contact, keep control of non-verbal messages, adjust your camera angle properly, and check the background. These are the four main tips to keep in mind to have an excellence presence during your video conference.

Solutions like R-HUB`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com) assure speakers the necessary technology for seamless, top quality HD video conferences through which they can present their services and products or collaborate with remote teams. However, the human side of the affair is still important. So, how to behave in front of a cam? You will have no worries, if you simply follow these four basic tips that every smart speaker knows.

First, prepare the background.

Is the space behind you ready for your video-conference? Remember that the attendees will be able to notice every object around you. Some details, like a background window with a view or a TV device, could distract your audience much more than you expect. This is the reason why it is advisable to have just a white wall behind, so that the participants to your conference keep focused on your words and your presentation.

Second, adjust your camera angle of view.

Your camera angle of view must be never neglected, as it decides how you will be seen by your conference participants. Set your camera at your eye level, in order to avoid the so-called “video giant” effect, or, even worst, broadcasting your nose in the foreground. Remember that your pc cam is not automatically adjusted for the best user experience, so it is necessary to do the job manually before the conference begins.

Third, make eye-contact.

Eyes are the mirror of the soul in both real and virtual life. When eye-contact between the speaker and its audience is missing, the message that is commonly understood is an utter lack of interest. This is the reason why every communication manual suggests that you should look for eye-contact during a presentation. In a video-conference, it is sufficient to look directly into the camera lens. Yet counter intuitive, this movement will come across as direct eye-contact with your participants.

Fourth, keep control of your non-verbal messages.

A camera captures everything in its field of view, including your gestures and involuntary movements. In other words, your non-verbal messages will get clearly visible to your audience. So, it is important to be aware of one’s own facial expressions. Keep the mobile and every messenger shut downs, as every time a message pops up, you put on an involuntary facial expression that signals this new event to the participants to your conference. For the same reason, it is a good idea to show only your face and shoulders during a conference, as your arms and hands are two powerful means for non-verbal communication. Take also care of your hair dressing and clothes, and do not try to fulfill several tasks at a time: it would convey the message that you are neither paying attention, nor taking care of participants, which is always too bad.

In conclusion, video-conferencing can be really helpful as communication tool, at the condition to know its basics and respect some ground rules. It isn’t that difficult, after all; read again these four tips, and you will be ready for your first close-up!

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