July 2015 - Advanced AV

Bringing Videoconferencing to the Classroom

Videoconferencing is no longer exclusive to the workplace; today, video conferencing is having a huge impact on education, opening new teaching and learning opportunities for staff and students alike. Imagine gaining real world experiences and sharing first-hand information with experts, lecturers, and peers from around the world, without ever leaving the classroom. This is exactly what’s happening in education today as more and more institutions adopt online learning, and introduce video collaboration into their curricula.

Not too long ago, the high cost of videoconferencing systems made it difficult for some schools to take advantage of video in the classroom, but thanks to rapid technological advancements, that is no longer an issue.

Today’s in-class videoconferencing set-up is not the bulky, difficult-to-use AV equipment of the past. Mobile technology, Wi-Fi, and the increased use of smartphones, tablets and laptops allow for never before seen flexibility for faculty and students, and Internet-based videoconferencing services, such as Google Hangouts and Skype, have “mainstreamed” video, which more and more people use in their everyday life. For schools with the budgets to “go pro,” integrated AV systems can now be customized to suit individual needs, allowing the technology to scale alongside educational facilities classrooms to accommodate a price point that is reasonable for smaller institutions.

The technology aside, there are also myriad educational benefits to incorporating videoconferencing in the classroom today. Here are just a few:

Broader Range of Course Offerings

There are some smaller schools that simply cannot offer students a large variety of classes. Videoconferencing allows schools of any size to participate in distance learning, which expands course offerings cost-effectively. Students studying foreign languages, like Japanese for example, can have the opportunity to interact with teachers and students in Japan. Taken a step further, […]

By |July 28th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

How to Land a Dream Project Manager Position

Project management is a coveted position. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to break into this career path. Irrespective of whether it is an IT, AV, or UC project, managers always have the most challenging roles to play. So how do you secure a project management job?

Get Your Basics Right

The best way to start is to learn from scratch. Learning hands-on skills from the projects you are on is always a good idea. A PM’s primary role is to manage, coordinate, and monitor the activities of resources and their use of the tools and technology. In scenarios where you are not formally the PM, there is nothing that prevents you from being proactive, and taking on the task yourself. By doing so, you get to understand the nuances of managing resources—but make sure to make copious notes of everything you’re learning—as these notes can help you determine whether or not project management is right for you. Here are some of the things a great project manager does every day:

Prepares requirements documents outlining the scope of work.
Scheduling, defining milestones, and formalizing a plan of action.
Arranges a kick-off meeting, and ensures the right players are invited and in attendance.
Prepares status reports.
Organizes the project closure meeting.
Conducts debriefings on the overall project experience, and analyses what can be learned.
Prepares a MOM of the debriefing session and circulates throughout the team.
Archives all documents and files.

Once you do this for a couple of projects, you will develop a deep understanding of a PM’s profile. This prepares you for subsequent interview sessions for your dream job.

Looking Beyond IT Project Management

Project managers are in high demand in industries like AV, UC, and video communications. But given the current AV/IT convergence/evolution, where AV/IT are […]

By |July 21st, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Is Voice Mail Going the Way of the Dodo?

In the age of unified communications, a large number of U.S. companies are removing voicemail mainly because texting and email are faster and more popular. Others are contemplating whether it’s indeed “time to hang up on voicemail.”

Big corporations, such as Coca-Cola and JPMorgan Chase & Co., are already eliminating voice mail and phone messaging systems in order to save money. JPMorgan is likely to save $3.2 million by removing voice mail for 56 percent of its employees. Coke, on the other hand, will save $100,000 by doing the same for the few thousand staff that still have access to it.

In fact, JPMorgan initially started eliminating voicemail solely as a cost-saving measure, but now the company is on its way to removing it completely. The most interesting part of their story? Employees voluntarily surrendered the service. In voicemail’s early days, people were grateful to have a messaging system that allowed them to do more business over the telephone, and spend more time away from their desks, without the fear of missing important calls. Voicemail also provided rapid, person-to-person communication without much secretarial or administrative support.

Today, we have much better options for effective communication than email. A host of more advanced communications tools are available that makes voicemail feel like outdated technology. Now, you have access to emails if you want to send a message instantly, and for shorter conversations, we use texting and instant messaging. To have a more personalized discussion, you have the option of conference calls and virtual meetings. Be it personal, bi-directional, or ad-hoc, the experience is always better with these more advanced communications tools.

Even those who still have voicemail today report finding it more if a hassle than a help. It’s easier […]

By |July 15th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

How to Prepare Yourself for a Videoconference

As technology becomes more affordable and reliable, many people are using remote video collaboration in business. Cloud-based videoconferencing allows corporations to reap the benefits of flexible remote collaboration and mobility without making huge investments in hardware or infrastructure.

That said, doing a remote presentation comes with its own set of complexities. To make sure your video meetings are the best possible, you need to consider certain factors.

Preparing for Remote Technology

There are a few technical complexities involved with remote video presentations. To ensure there are no glitches, be sure to take the following three steps:

Assign someone to watch the software during the presentation. This person must be familiar with troubleshooting and have a thorough understanding of how the software you are using works.
Have at least two run-throughs before the actual videoconference to check your technology, such as bandwidth, audio and video quality, and lighting.
Get feedback from someone on your team about your tone, pace and your visuals, and make the necessary adjustments. Remember, you need to have enough time prior to your meeting in order to make these changes, so make every effort to schedule your run-through the day before, where possible.

Focus on Good Presentation

While preparing for the technical part of your videoconference is important, that’s not all you need to focus on. You also have to prepare for your presentation to make it effective. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Keep your audiences in mind while creating the content. Make sure it’s stimulating enough to catch their attention, and filled with interesting, thought-provoking facts. Explain the problem or issue for which the conference has been arranged, followed by a solution and action steps to be taken in the coming days.
Prepare script and visuals related to […]

By |July 7th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments
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