May 2016 - Advanced AV

Building Houses in Belize

At Advanced AV, we make a point to celebrate the exemplary work of our team members in the office, but we also pay attention to the extraordinary things they do outside of it. Serving the community—not just our local community but also our neighbors around the globe—is something Sales Engineer Darren Brown knows all about.

Last summer, Darren spent a week of his summer volunteering his time in the Cayo region of Belize, a place known for its tropical landscape, cultural diversity, ecological tourism, and Mayan temples. While on the mission trip with a group from the Audubon, PA-based Victory Church, though, Darren found much of the country to be “plagued by poverty and a lack of education.”

In the region, only 55 percent of children go to what’s known as upper school—the equivalent of high school in the states—and even fewer actually graduate. Often, girls get pregnant at a young age, and Darren reported a cultural norm that “views children as a burden,” leaving many abandoned or neglected. The goal of Darren’s mission trip with Victory Church was to partner with North Carolina-based Oasis Ministries to build safe, sturdy homes for local villagers while providing education and guidance.

Oasis Ministries was founded by Pastor Ron and Linda Braaten, who, on top of leading the Belize initiatives, have taken in orphans and worked to reunite them with their biological parents at the mission location.

“At any given time, there will be six to ten children and young adults living and working at the mission,” Darren said.  “Some of them have learned trades like cooking, construction, and carpentry through the mission to later find work or start their own business.”

While in Belize, Darren, and his team members built the foundation […]

By |May 24th, 2016|Blog|1 Comment

How Cloud-Based Interoperability Will Turbo-Charge Collaboration

Cloud-based interoperability is quickly becoming essential for teams wishing to achieve high levels of collaboration and communication, and the marketplace is finally catching on. Microsoft and Polycom recently announced that they will jointly deliver the industry’s first cloud-based video interoperability service by the end of 2016, allowing Microsoft customers to leverage their existing video investments while uniting with those of other vendors. This joint initiative marks the beginning of a wider trend, where those that embrace cloud-based interoperability will experience turbo-charged collaboration while those slow on the uptake will be left behind.

Cloud Collaboration and Interoperability

Collaboration software’s dependence on the cloud has never been more apparent than now. “People are using mobile devices to do everything they do,” says Josh Steimle, contributor to Forbes, “and if there is something they can’t do on their mobile phone, they’re frustrated and ready to leap to the first offering that comes along.”

Cloud-based integrations have traditionally allowed off-site employees to connect their devices with a company’s core collaboration software, supporting a rise in remote teams among the global workforce. Interoperability is the next step in collaboration and productivity, referring to the seamless integration of multiple third party tools with a cloud-based collaboration suite. These tools can range from CRM or help desk software to online accounting and VOIP services, but currently, the biggest player in cloud-based interoperability is streaming video and video conferencing.

The Rise of Web Real-Time Communication: The Death of Internal Email?

In 2014 and 2015, the heavy hitters of the Internet browser game began supporting Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), an open-source technology and API standard that bypasses traditional phone networks to offer data sharing as well as voice and video calling, all in-browser, no additional application required. Chrome, Firefox, […]

By |May 17th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

The Cyber Fears Hospitals Face Today: What You Need to Know

Today’s hospitals are as digitally connected as any other modern facility—but their data is often much more sensitive. Unfortunately, many health care facilities aren’t doing enough to protect their equipment, patients, and connected devices from cyberattacks.

In early 2016, one hospital in California was forced to pay $17,000 in ransom to cybercriminals to protect the hospital and its patients. The attackers locked down the hospital’s network for ten days, leaving patients at risk and health care providers in a precarious position. Hospitals don’t typically go public with information about cyberattacks, but a report from the Ponemon Institute found that 90 percent of health care facilities faced breaches in 2014 and 2015.

How Unified Communications Can Help Prevent Breaches

Hospitals who deploy unified communications (UC) and video conferencing may be in a better position to halt attacks in progress and stay up-to-date on the latest cyber security measures. UC technology can automatically notify IT security staff or equipment vendors when equipment has been breached.

Hospital IT specialists can meet with vendors or manufacturers and even receive virtual training through video conferencing to ensure hardware and firmware are up to date and secure. By working together, vendors and health care providers can strengthen defenses against cyberattacks in multiple ways.

Discover Cyber Attack Entry Points

Attackers have numerous pathways to access hospital networks and bring operations to a halt. Connected electronic medical equipment resides on the hospital’s internal network, as do confidential patient records. While internal systems are secure, attackers gain access to hospital computers connected to both the internal networks and the internet. Hospitals that offer Wi-Fi to patients and visitors may also create a vulnerable entry point for cybercriminals.

Today’s “smart”—that is, network-connected—medical implants may also represent an attack entry point. Devices such […]

By |May 10th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

The Value and Demand for Room-Based Videoconferencing Continues to Grow

As businesses invest more in the globally-connected workforce, it’s not uncommon to find more organizations with employees in multiple locations scattered across the world. As such, videoconferencing solutions that streamline real-time communications between teams of employees, independent contractors, and managers have never been more-in-demand. While traditional desktop-based videoconferencing has been the linchpin of online business collaboration for years, small to midsize businesses (SMBs) and large enterprise organizations alike, have recently begun turning to room-based conferencing solutions for more cost-effective, intuitive, and streamlined collaboration.

A Global Shift Toward Videoconferencing

A recent survey by Wainhouse Resource of Duxbury, Massachusetts found that of 4,700 end users of videoconferencing surveyed, 94 percent believe that the biggest benefit of the technology was increased efficiency and productivity throughout their organizations. On top of that, because video calls typically have a defined start- and end-time, 88 percent reported that discussions were also impacted in a positive way, tending to be more focused and less littered with chitchat. As videoconferencing continues to prove its benefits to connected-businesses, more are looking to adopt the technology in 2016.

The Benefit of Face-to-Face Interaction

While conference calls are great, there is so much lacking in a conversation when you can’t see the other participants—especially when there are 50 or 60 of them. Beyond being able to hold employees accountable (no more sleeping in teleconferences for you!), the connection that co-workers and customers gain from face-to-face interaction is often strengthened by visual cues and nonverbal communication. There’s nothing worse than the silence on the other end of the line after pitching your boss or client a new idea, waiting to hear whether they’re on board or think you’ve just said the stupidest thing they’ve ever heard. At least with videoconferencing you […]

By |May 3rd, 2016|Blog|0 Comments
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