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Integrating New Technologies with Audio Conferencing

Audio conferencing in various forms has been around for a long time. There are few in the business world who have not participated in an audio conference at one time or another, whether it was a toll-free reservationless call, an operator assisted event call or an audio call in conjunction with a web conference or webinar. In fact audio conferencing has been around for so long it is sometimes considered old news compared to newer technologies such as web conferencing and the various forms of video conferencing (room-based video, desktop video, mobile video, etc.). It would be easy to assume that audio conferencing is a mature technology that has had no new developments for some time as everyone's attention has turned to flashier alternatives. That assumption is wrong!

August 26, 2014 | Categories: , , , , | Tags: Audio and Web Conferencing services, Communication, Conference calls, Conference Service Provider, Conferencing, Event management, Meetings, Mobile Conferencing, Technology, Timed Agendas, Two Rivers Conferencing
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
Best Practices

Video conferencing continues to gain currency as organizations are forced to constantly wring more efficiencies out of smaller and geographically distributed staffs. Conferencing in general is an effective alternative to travel because it eliminates cost and time lost in transit. Video conferencing provides some benefits that other types of conferencing (audio and web) do not, particularly the added intimacy and sense of expression that comes from the participants actually seeing each other onscreen.

Video conferences are an extremely effective form of communication when they are conducted well. Conversely, they can be an unintelligible mess of distraction and garbled communication if best practices are not followed. There are several forms of video conferencing available in the marketplace today including handheld and desktop device based methods as well as room-based video conferencing. The best practices below are intended for room-based video conferencing although many of them apply to the other forms as well.

Best practices are as follows:

May 1, 2014 | Categories: , , | Tags: handheld, moderator, room-based, video conferences, video conferencing

We think it's important to provide some perspective to the discussion about Marissa Mayer's decision to quash Yahoo's teleworking policy. It appears that telecommuting is alive and well, at least at other employers in the Silicon Valley, as evidenced by a Silicon Valley Business Journal Survey of Valley Companies.

July 2, 2013 | Categories:

Earth Day is an annual event that has been observed on April 22 every year since 1970 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Don't worry, that isn't a setup to preach about the importance of doing your individual part in observance of Earth Day, although there's nothing wrong with that.

Earth Day is one of those events that most of us have heard about, but find easy to forget until someone or something brings it to our attention again. Let's face it — every day we all have to prioritize the competing demands for our attention and energy. And lately, there certainly hasn't been a lack of important challenges and issues confronting every person and every business.

April 22, 2013 | Categories: , , , , ,

Looks like we were just slightly ahead of news trends on the subject of Telecommuting with our January and February blog articles. Thanks to Yahoo's recent policy memo, obtained and published by tech blog All Things D, the subject of telecommuting has suddenly jumped to the forefront of news for many leading general and business media news outlets.

March 17, 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 ThomasNet.com 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: , , ,

One of the ironies of the vast amount of online information available to help managers and business owners is that with so many sources, it can be difficult to keep up with the most recent information on any given subject. A recent article at smallbiztrends.com provides a summary of some of the latest findings on the benefits and challenges of telecommuting. Topics covered included cost savings, workplace efficiency, employee job satisfaction, the latest in work-at-home trends, establishing data security for remote workers, and a lot more. There are also links to the information sources if you want to do a deeper dive. The overall message is pretty clear – if you are willing to take the right steps and safeguards when enabling telecommuting within your workforce, it can be a win-win for both you and your employees who would like the option to work remotely.

Two Rivers offers a wide range of tools that are designed for your remote work force, including Audio Teleconferencing, Web conferencing, and Video Conferencing. To find out more, and let us help you choose the right service for your team, contact us today.

January 15, 2013 | Categories: , ,

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