Archive for the ‘Video Conferencing’ category

The 7 Best Practices of Job Video Interviews

August 3rd, 2017

Job video interview success is different than classic interview success. In this article, you are going to learn what it is necessary to set up and take care of during your job video interviews.

In a world where the new mantra is cutting down on costs, video interviewing becomes more and more appealing, as it helps organizations to save a lot of money and time. However, it is not a piece of cake; managers should address some issues that are specific to this medium, in order to make the most of it.

1) Set the expectations by communicating all the steps of the procedure. In particular, candidates need to know the timeline of the interview process, so that they can be more aware and prepared for each step. So, specify in your letter of invitation if there are scheduled multiple video interviews and at which stage of the process an in-person interview is necessary.

2) Ask yourself about the possible technical problems of your candidates. What does it imply if a candidate experiences technical or connection issues? Is it a symptom of ill-preparation, or an unforeseen problem?

3) Notice if the candidate is properly dressed and the environment around him or herself is tidy and clean. If the candidate fails on these points, it usually means that the interview is not taken too seriously.

4) Take care of your appearance, as small wardrobe details are usually enhanced through video.

5) Pay attention to body language. Video conferencing does not impede non-verbal communication, as facial movements are totally preserved in a video chat. A good idea is to register the whole interview, so that you can see it again later in order to study your candidate facial expressions and movements with ease.

6) Write an effective offer letter. A proper offer letter must include the basics ( the job title, the responsibilities and the wage) plus some additional elements, like:

  • – An outline of possible pre-conditions (like driving license, drug tests, background tests, etc);
  • – A personalized welcome abroad message. Candidates are incredibly skillful at detecting boilerplates, while they love so much to feel that the message was tailored expressly for themselves.
  • – The expiration period of the offer and next steps to follow: for example, the person to whom the offer must be returned duly signed up.
  • – Some extra information, like the expectations that are connected with the role, paid time-off policy, holidays, official closure dates.
  • – In general, you should mention all the points that were discussed during the interview, including bonus, merit increases, and so on and so forth.

7) Communicate the necessary legal requirements related to compensation according to the specific legislation of the states and cities concerned. For your information, be aware that wage theft acts have been adopted by California, New York, Seattle and the District of Columbia.

If you are interested in video interviewing, you are going to find more resources on this topic on R-HUB`s blog (http://www.rhubcom.com). It is also possible to enjoy a free 30 days trial of the products of R-HUB`s suite of video conferencing servers.

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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 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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