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Maximize Your Organization's Potential with Unified Communications

Today's workplace is global and dispersed. Businesses need seamless collaboration that merges all forms of communication including voice and data. In our global work environment, meetings are held at multiple locations and varied times. Documents need to be shared for effective management and decision-making. Calendars have to be accessed quickly so meetings can be coordinated with geographically dispersed participants. Bottom-line, communications needs to be fast, efficient and flexible while using resources in the most cost effective manner.

Enter Unified Communications (UC) which integrates communication services in a cost effective real-time way. UC unites audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, presence information, telephony, document sharing, call control and unified messaging (integrated voice mail, email and fax) all under an integrated communication service.

August 19, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , , | Tags: Audio Conferencing, Collaboration, Communication, Conference calls, Conferencing, Decision-making, Meetings, Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, Workplace Productivity
Conference Call Etiquette

Many business people have questions about the proper etiquette to use when hosting or participating in a conference call. While many have weighed in on this issue, there is no one set of definitive rules governing proper conduct of a conference event. We would like to offer the following suggestions as guidelines for consideration by anyone required to host/moderate or requested to participate on a conference call.

Guidelines for hosts / moderators:

  • Get comfortable with the fact you will be talking in front of a group and receiving no visual cues or feedback.
  • Set up the meeting in advance and communicate the dial in number, pass codes and other information. “Spring forward, fall back” is something to keep in mind for your time zone crossing colleagues. Hint: Check on the Internet or even phone a colleague in that country and ask what time it is!
  • Start the meeting absolutely on time; don't reward latecomers' bad behavior by waiting for them. Take a roll call at the start of the meeting, highlighting the missing attendees.
  • Treat the conference call as if it were a meeting. You know the routine; prepare and circulate an agenda, take notes, publish meeting minutes, and identify the date and time of the next scheduled meeting.
June 24, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , | Tags: Conference Call Moderator, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Corporate Culture, Employee Morale, Employee satisfaction, Meeting Manager, Meetings, Moderator, Participants, Timed agendas
People in a Meeting

Meetings held on audio, web and video conference calls are one of the common ways that many of us get work done on the job. We may discuss issues, share new information and make important decisions in meetings. However, conference calls can also be one of the ways that time is wasted in the workplace. A timed agenda can be a great way of keeping meetings on track and making sure that meetings not only begin and end on time, but that each topic also gets its just allotted time. We believe that the use of a timed agenda can also serve as a helpful training and recognition opportunity that can remove the burden placed upon the conference call moderator or host for developing and managing the conference meeting's timed agenda. These opportunities are highlighted in bold print below.

February 27, 2014 | Categories: , , , , , , , | Tags: conference call moderator, conference calls, employee satisfaction, meetings, timed agendas, video conference calls
Meeting in Paradise

To quote Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This saying has significant relevance when considering the value of conducting conference calls on a fixed schedule basis. Many of Two Rivers Conferencing's clients conduct daily, weekly or monthly conference calls attended by management team members as a way to “manage by talking around” the recurring issues and challenges that these team members share in common. They find that, through these scheduled calls, they can very effectively assist one another in permanently resolving issues. Examples include:

February 20, 2014 | Categories: , , , | Tags: conference calls, law firms, management team, sales organizations, service departments, trucking companies

Today, most very large businesses take advantage of high quality video teleconferencing to securely reach beyond the enterprise (as well as between remote locations within the enterprise) for effective face-to-face online business meetings. This typically requires those organizations to acquire premise-based video conference equipment, a high capacity data network infrastructure (in the cloud or on-premise), and video conferencing services that can support business partners and a mobile workforce.

Such enterprise level video conference users also require readily available - if not 24/7 - skilled and responsive technical support service to ensure that video collaboration works when it's needed. Although video teleconference equipment has become much easier to use, room based video conferencing services still requires some technical know-how to avoid delays and glitches.

September 30, 2013 | Categories: , , ,

Some companies and organizations are stuck in the past, and as a result, avoid considering video conferencing as a viable option for effective business meetings that require gathering together multiple work groups from distant locations.

Using video conferencing “in the past” effectively meant a large investment in expensive premise-based equipment and facilities (video codecs, dedicated conference rooms) and high capacity network connectivity (ISDN, T1s), and internal resources (Telecom and IT support). Even after all that investment, there was a risk that the quality of your video conference call, or the ability of other participants to successfully join your long-distance meeting (or both) could be an issue, causing the productivity of your business meeting to plummet.

August 29, 2013 | Categories: , , ,

If you are looking for recent industry trends and data on work-place telecommuting, look no further than the July 2012 article in the Industry Market Trends (IMT) blog at News: Working Together by Working Apart: The Telecommuting Culture by Ilya Leybovich, which very nicely summarizes a wealth of data on telecommuting from many different sources, including an Ipsos/Reuters poll of over 11,000 people in 24 countries, including the United States. Here is just a small sampling from that January 2012 survey that reflects impacts on worker efficiency and employee morale:

February 15, 2013 | Categories: , , ,


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