Archive for the ‘Web Conferencing’ category

Three good reasons to keep away from downloadable Web Conferencing software

July 12th, 2016

Web conferencing solutions that need software downloading are often tricky and difficult-to-use, especially for new users, contrary to on-premise server based solutions that prove to be the real cutting edge technology in this field in many cases.

Imagine the typical situation of the new recruit of your company that has to hold his or her first web meeting the same day he or she was hired. Without specific training and preparation, in many cases the poor guy will fail or have a very bad experience; it might end up how my first chat on Skype: “Hey, can see me?” “No, I can’t” “What’s happened? I can read the text chat but I don’t hear you or see you” “Try to set up the audio, then launch the video chat” “The audio? I can’t see the commands. Ah, here we are! Got it. But here there’s a strange message of error… ” and so on and so forth.

The problem was simply that Skype needs to be downloaded and then preliminarily set up. Nothing very difficult, ok, but I didn’t know that. I spent some time to fix the easiest step – downloading – but I wasn’t able to pass exam two – setting up. And my first virtual meeting was, as you can imagine, a real nightmare.

The bottom line of the story is that either you train your new staff to utilize web conferencing clients, or you totally change your type of web conferencing products. And, beyond my first bad experiences with web conferencing, there are at least three good reasons for keeping away from downloadable web conferencing software.

1 downloadable web conferencing software triggers pc firewalls. For security reasons, many companies adopt very strict firewall policies that simply do not allow internet downloads – point. The result is that some few participants will be prevented from attending the meeting. And maybe they are those three or four people you really need to interact with. Not very funny, isn’t it?

2 downloadable web conferencing software needs meeting preparations. The only way to avoid the situation of point 1 is to alert participants in good advance, so that they prepare themselves for the meeting by setting up their pcs, or asking their company IT staff to do that. This takes time, and, in any case, does not assure you that participants will do every necessary step to participate to your meeting.

3 downloadable web conferencing software needs competent staffs. New staff need to be trained in order to solve all the problems that can rise up with web conferencing platforms. Again, your company must spend time and money for nothing, as today there are products that do not need any downloading.

Is there a solution to these issues? Yes, there is. The technology has brilliantly solved these issues by introducing web conferencing products that need no downloading. They are product that

  • Are not blocked by any firewall;
  • Do not interfere with any antivirus or group policies;
  • Do not need any preliminary complicated settings.

The result is that attending meeting is fast and uncomplicated even for your new hired staff.

An example of these innovative web conferencing products are R-HUB’s web conferencing servers. They are a full featured on premise web conferencing suite which allows you to easily schedule meetings in a very short time.

R-HUB web conferencing servers need no download of any kind and allow people to join audio conferences either via speakers for listeners only, via microphone, or by telephone for active participants.

If you would like to learn more about how R-HUB web conferencing servers visit their website http://www.rhubcom.com

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Web Conferencing, on-premise servers versus clouds. Are cloud solutions really cheaper?

July 11th, 2016

Today’s on-premise servers are able to provide effective and cheap web conferencing and to compete even with clouds, as the Californian company R-HUB’s products clearly prove.

Are cloud solutions really cheaper than ownership? Aka opex against aka capex, where the first stands for the cloud approach and the latter for the on-premise approach, is a debate that managers wage daily at companies. Readers would be probably taken to instinctively opt for opex, as everybody has been so well evangelized on the cloud wonders and advantages in the last few years. They will certainly do that, after reading the numbers given by a Yankee Groups study which clearly shows that on-premise systems are, on average, 60 per cent more expensive than cloud solutions.

Yet, in the meantime something has changed  in web conferencing industry, and what is common truth might have now become a fallacy, even though limitedly to the field of web conferencing.  The fact is that server producers have not stayed idle, they have developed new products that are able to compete with clouds. An example is the Californian company R-HUB‘s web conferencing servers.

They are small, compact, silent, self-installing, self-configuring and self-updating on-premise servers purposely designed for small businesses (but they can be utilized also in the context of a global multinational). Real plug-and-play servers, they have smartly solved many issues about costs and expenses that are traditionally associated with capex, like:

  • Licensing. R-HUB adopts a flat license that allows utilizers to add further participants to a web conference at zero cost. On the contrary, cloud scalability has always a price at the moment that it is necessary to scale up the resources utilized (and the relative costs) in order to face the loader traffic generated by the increasing number of participants.
  • Maintenance, installing and configuring. Being real plug and play servers, R-HUB’s products do not need either any IT team or maintenance. Cloud solutions, on the contrary, need some software men that take care of what is going on the cloud (and maintenance, even though this detail is never mentioned).
  • Training. No need to train staff to utilize new products, as R-HUB’s interfaces are very intuitive and easy to use.
  • Data migration. This is a common problem of both clouds and on-premise servers. Being costs similar, this factor does not make any difference.
  • Integration. R-HUB web conferencing servers can be integrated to API`s, software or whatever else of other vendors thanks to the LDAP protocol and other tools developed by the company. Visit R-HUB web site for further information http://www.rhubcom.com
  • Hidden costs. A common hidden cost of servers is that they need a cabinet or a whole room that hosts them. This is not the case for R-HUB’s web conferencing servers. They are so silent and small that they can be place even on a shelf of your office bookcase.

And the price? R-HUB’s product prices range from 295 US$ to 1495 US$. Probably less than an Amazon instance, certainly less than your secretary monthly wage.

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Web Conferencing today’s dilemma: Keeping on-premise server based solutions or go cloud?

July 7th, 2016

What to choose between clouds and on-premise servers? On-premise servers are not all the same, so the correct answer depends on the technology of the on-premise server concerned.

Despite what it looks like, the debate between supporters of cloud solutions and supporters of on-premise servers is destined to go on for years. The problem is that new developments in both cloud and server technologies keep on moving the goal posts, so that it is difficult to take a definitive decision for one or another technology.

According to the Yankee Group (they are a group of IT experts), on-premise systems are 60 per cent more expensive than cloud solutions. But it is true? The answer depends on the technology utilized. So, while this is true for traditional on-premise servers, that is not necessarily true for innovative on-premise products, for example, the Californian company R-HUB’s web conferencing servers.

The Yankee Group’s report determines some advantages for cloud solutions. The SaaS (the acronym stands for Software as a Service) allows end users to cut down consistently on many costs that are traditionally associated with on-premise servers, like data centre, hardware, maintenance, installation and configuration, electricity power, staff training and IT personnel, IT infrastructures and networks, not to mention cabinets and space.

This is undoubtedly true for traditional servers that are heavy, cumbersome and noisy machines that require a lot of attention and special cares. So, no doubt that in the traditional computing scenario going cloud is a great solution, even for web conferencing. But what happens if the technology changes? In such a case, is still Yankee Group’s report valid?

In my humble opinion, a revision of the considerations of the report has become necessary at least in the field of web conferencing. In facts, many of the issues raised in the report have been brilliantly solved by the new generation of on-premise web conferencing servers.  A clear example of this assumption are the Californian company R-HUB’s products.

R-HUB’s products are plug-and-play, which means that they are self-installing, self-configuring and self-updating machines. So, bye bye IT team, it is not necessary any longer, neither for maintenance. Similar considerations can be made about the network and the necessary IT infrastructure.  And we have already swept away at least a good half of the traditional on-premise server costs.

Coming to the space needs, R-HUB’s web conferencing servers are so silent and small that they can be set on the shelf of a bookcase. So, no need of rooms and server cabinets. And about staff training, R-HUB utilize a graphic interface that is quite similar to web conferencing services like Skype; in one word, something easy-to-use and very intuitive.

Even in web conferencing, technology runs fast and need continuous refreshing. What seems a rock-hard truth today, it becomes a fallacy tomorrow.

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The Basics of Web Conferencing in Six Points

July 6th, 2016

How to profit from web conferencing, how does web conferencing work, the available technologies, its costs and main features, and the security issues.

Making your first steps in web conferencing is not as difficult as it may seem. In this article, we provide you with a quick start guide of just six points.

1 – How can I profit from web conferencing?

In many ways. The three most important are:

  • First, web conferencing allows you to cut down on costs, as travels and posh hotels are not necessary any more.
  • Second, web conferencing helps you save a lot of time, as you do not have to move physically from a place to another.
  • Third, web conferencing makes your meetings easier to manage, as it provides you with several tools (like polling and document sharing) that are not available during an ordinary meeting.

2 – How does web conferencing work?

Participants get invited to a web conference by an email that states the time, the provider, the code to enter and all the other relevant details to participate. In some cases, you are requested to download some software. Once got into the conference, a list with the participants appears.  Every participant sees the same image.

3 – What are the available technologies for web conferencing?

There are two available technologies. Web hosted web conferencing technologies, which utilize the web, like Skype; on-premise server based web conferencing technologies, which utilize a devoted server.

  • On-premise servers are more reliable and safer , but more complicated to manage, as they often need an IT team, except for the servers of the Californian company R-HUB http://www.rhubcom.com
  • Web-based solutions are cheaper, but unsecure and not as reliable as on-premise server based solutions because they are based on the web.

R-HUB’s web conferencing servers are a kind of third solution, as they present some features that are common to both traditional on-premise server based technologies and web hosted solutions. Being self-installing, self-configuring and self-upgrading, they need neither maintenance nor a devoted IT team.

4- How much does it cost?

Much depends on the technology considered. Servers are certainly more expensive than a web hosted service like Skype. But watch the license costs. Web hosted solutions often require an additional license for any additional user or participant to a web conference. On the contrary, flat licenses (for example, RHUB’s licenses) allow you to add a virtually unlimited number of additional users at zero cost.

R-HUB’s web conferencing servers are not expensive (they vary in a range from 295 US$ to 1495 US$). Other brands’ servers can be significantly more expensive. On average, they cost 60% more than a web conferencing cloud service (source: http://www.maximizer.com/blog/which-is-more-expensive-cloud-or-on-premise/).

5- What can I expect from web conferencing?

Today’s web conferencing  gives you a lot both in terms of performances (HD video quality, speed) and functionalities,  like document sharing, polling, raising hands.  Naturally, it depends on the single producer and/or provider.

6- What about security?

On-premise server based solutions are safe, as they do not rely on the net. Web-hosted solutions are unsecure, as data and communications can be intercepted or copied by hackers through the web. If security is an important issue for you, on-premise based solutions are still the more advisable.

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Web Conferencing your Virtual Career day through R-HUB’s Web Conferencing servers

July 6th, 2016

It is all about simplicity. How and why R-HUB’s web conferencing servers can be really helpful for every virtual career day organizer.

Virtual career days have become a common experience in today’s digitalized society. From students to managers, there is almost nobody that has not attempted to find a job by participating to one of these events at least once. Not surprisingly, the number of the institutions that hold, organize or promote career days is on the increase, at the point that even EPSO, the recruitment office of the European Union, has started to utilize this important tool.

For virtual career day organizers, the choice of the technology is not trivial. It means to be able to find a service or product that ensures a high reliability level and high performances, for example in terms of video quality. In facts, visual expressions, and more in general body language, play an important role in the kind of communication that is established during a job interview.

Other common issues,  with which virtual career day organizers have to deal,  are high volumes of traffic  with sudden  peaks  concentrated in a relatively short time, the necessity to allow access to virtual meetings  to many users without paying an arm and a leg in licenses, and obviously the security issues.

But the most important factor to take into consideration is simplicity. The attendants of a virtual career day need something that is easy to utilize and understand, as they are not software men. Same situation for managers and organizers, their ideal product is something easy to deploy and upkeep, as the institutions that have the means of the European Union are few, after all.

The products of the Californian Company R-HUB can be a good solution for virtual career day organizers for several reasons.  On the side of the attendee, they offer easy graphic interfaces with intuitive commands and tools. There is no need to install any software, and they support every mobile device. Finally the quality of audio and video is excellent, even on tablets.

On the side of virtual career day organizers, the most interesting R-HUB’s product features are:

  • Plug and play technology. No devoted IT team is necessary, as R-HUB’s technology utilizes on-premise servers that are self-installing, self-configuring and self-upgrading. Just plug in your server and it will start working. That’s all.
  • Unlimited users allowed. R-HUB’s web conferencing servers use a float licenses system that allows to add further users without the need to buy additional per user licenses. This simplify a lot web conferencing management.
  • Compactness and noiselessness. R-HUB’s web conferencing servers are silent, small and light. They can be placed on a desk, and they do not need any cabinet or special room or space.

Naturally there are other products on the market that ensure high quality web conferencing services. But R-HUB products really deserve a mention. For further information, visit their website: http://www.rhubcom.com/

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