Blog - Page 13 of 31 - Advanced AV

Upgrade Your Conference Room: What You Need and Why

“You only get one chance to make a first impression.” This famous saying holds true for many aspects of our life, from personal to business. When it comes to business, this saying can definitely be applied to your conference room.

Is your conference room making a good first impression? If your company doesn’t have a state-of-the-art meeting room, it probably won’t make a lasting impression on clients or associates. This could also translate to how they view your entire business operations. There are many ways to update your conference room by incorporating the latest audio and video technology.

Projector screen. If your old projector screen is yellowed and wrinkled and has holes in it, it’s time to replace it. The importance of this essential conference room staple is often overlooked, but using superior quality screen technologies will give you a brighter and sharper image.

Upgrade the screen to a large, flat display. Something in the 55 to 80 inch range, with digital video and VGA inputs, is fairly standard today. Projectors work more cohesively with 16:9 aspect ratio presentations.

You will also need an upgrade if your multimedia projector has a dull bulb that hasn’t been replaced in years. Many times it’s not much more expensive to just replace the entire projector with an updated HD one, giving you a crisper display and enhancing your videoconferencing experience.

Speakers. The days of having cheap PC speakers on the conference table are over. A good audio system is the key to running an effective meeting. Clarity in sound helps participants understand the content easily and become fully immersed in a presentation. Installing ceiling speakers will give you optimum sound. It will also remove the table clutter and provide a cleaner and more […]

By |May 27th, 2015|Blog|1 Comment

Five Reasons You Need Unified Communications in Your Business

Unified communications (UC) combines all communication channels over a single digital connection to provide a number of benefits to organizations. It’s not surprising many more businesses are adopting UC technology every year. A report from Transparency Market Research indicates that by 2018 the unified communications market is projected to grow to $61.9 billion. Businesses can harness all the advantages of UC by controlling all the digital exchanges within its infrastructure.

The following are some of ways UC technology can benefit your company, no matter how big or small.

 

Improved Flexibility and Efficiency

Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) provides more flexibility to companies and their employees than analog or traditional networks. In a BYOD (bring your own device) work climate with many employees working from different locations, UCaaS streamlines messaging. It uses a unified inbox and a single phone number for all communication needs. As a result, less time is wasted searching and organizing information, allowing employees to focus on core tasks.

Secure Data Storage

UCaaS can turn your audio signals into digital data. This encrypts the data and adds an extra layer of security to your business information. Unified communications ensure that sensitive information you send through email, phone or fax will be seen only by the intended recipients.

Businesses require a higher level of security today and UC can provide that safeguard especially when combined with robust user-authentication systems.

Cost Reduction

No two businesses are exactly the same. The needs of a start-up will differ from the demands of a global organization. UC recognizes those differences and can scale its services accordingly.

With UC, businesses can pay for the traffic they need instead of paying a set rate, which was the case with traditional systems. Most UC vendors offer […]

By |May 19th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Use Video Collaboration to Improve the Health of Your Business

We are witnessing a remarkable shift in the way businesses operate. In an increasingly virtual and global environment, it is imperative for businesses to adapt new ways of working to stay competitive. Today, we see more employees working remotely, dealing with business partners and customers across the world. Businesses need to effectively support their dispersed workers and clients to boost productivity while keeping costs down.

Clear communication and close collaboration play crucial roles in business operation, innovation, and profitability. A single misunderstanding, miscommunication, or misinterpretation can cost you money and your reputation. Video communications can help businesses perform while overcoming key challenges of the mobile enterprise environment.

The Effect of Video on Business Communication

Video is now a preferred medium for communication in the corporate world. According to a Cisco and Redshift Research study, 87 percent of younger executives (out of 1,300) believe that video positively and significantly impacts an organization. Another survey by Wainhouse Research finds that 78 percent of the total 1,007 participants consider online video as an effective tool for business communications.

The real power of video collaboration lies in its ability to provide face-to-face interaction. In fact, it is a middle ground between in-person meetings and voice-only phone calls. This helps in building better business relationships. Using video, businesses add an extra dimension by allowing participants to read non-verbal signals and build rapport.

Advantages of Video Collaboration

It is no surprise that almost all sectors are leveraging the power of video collaboration. While retailers and financial institutions use video communication and conferencing to interact with customers, manufacturers employ this technology to resolve production issues. It benefits the healthcare industry by providing language interpretation services and psychiatric care. Its developing capabilities connect clinicians across the country with hospital-based […]

By |May 12th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

The Argument for More Interactive/Visual Content on Websites

Here at Advanced AV, we are dedicated to giving our customers what they need and want. To better serve you, we are doing a total revamp of our website. We know what our customers want: More interactive and visual content on our webpage. This includes Slideshare presentations, infographics, and videos. We want to share the reasons behind our decision to make these changes. If you are running a business website, reading this article might just convince you to do the same. Join us as we let you in on the benefits of building a more interactive website.

Why We Know It Matters

Content is now king. When it comes to helping your customers easily find you and learn about your business and your products, you just must have interactive and visual content. Why? This sort of content can quickly and easily deliver helpful information to potential customers. Also, having interactive and visual content helps a webpage rank higher in search page ranking. Therefore, more people are likely to land on your website instead of your competitors’ sites. An interactive website is part of the new wave of SEO.

Presenting Content on Slideshare

Slideshare is a great tool. Using a presentation-like platform, you can easily tell customers about your business, products, research, and sales pitch. You can include tables, graphs, charts, images, lists, and much more, and customers can scroll through the slides at their own pace. Providing interesting and interactive content allows customers educate themselves about the products and services that interest them on their own time. Also, Slideshare allows employees and sales agents to present directly from your site, helping a pitch in a snap.

New Infographics

Infographics are a fantastic way to creatively illustrate complicated statistics, research, and other […]

By |May 6th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

What Your Employees are Really Doing During Conference Calls and How to Change it

Because of the mainstreaming of mobile, as well as Smartphone and tablet use, many organizations are today employing remote workforces. Connecting and and collaborating through mobile call conferencing is efficient and cost effective. But, do you ever wonder what your remote employees are really doing during those conference calls?

In a 2014 study, Dialing In, Tuning Out: What Employees Really Do on Conference Calls and What You Can Do About It , more than 500 employees were asked what they really do during conference calls. The findings revealed that a majority (82 percent) of employees remain distracted with non-work activities.

Multitasking is perfectly acceptable remote work behavior. However, the survey shows that most employees misuse the multitasking opportunities that conferencing provides. The top 10 multitasking activities include: Sending emails (63 percent), eating/cooking (55 percent), texting (44 percent), checking social media (43 percent), video games (25 percent), and shopping online (21 percent).

While 80 percent of the disengaged employees in situations discussed above use the mute button to slack off, technology is not fully responsible. A larger share of the problem lies in the lack of proper management of conferencing activities. This leads to “false participation” issues.

How can companies make their conference meetings more engaging and productive?

Don’t include everyone in a meeting

It may be a tempting idea to ask everyone in a team to join a meeting as a way of enhancing interaction. However, it’s not necessarily a positive step. Try to separate team-building meetings from ones that are strictly work-related.

For meetings with multiple teams, often all members take part in the conference call from start to finish. This is a bad idea. If the sales team segment doesn’t come until the last 20 minutes of the meeting, […]

By |April 30th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Are You Ready to go Mobile Only?

While most businesses are trying to become “mobile-first,” there is an apparent disconnect between the doing, and the why. One of the biggest reasons is many companies are leveraging the power of mobile without having a clear strategy in place. Brands are stepping into the “mobile-first” world not because they want to offer better customer experiences but because everyone else is doing it. Therefore, mobile is still treated as a parallel to existing business frameworks instead of a self-contained strategy. How can businesses become truly mobile-only?

Mobile is no longer the second screen

From a digital standpoint, the last few years demonstrated a huge shift in individual device preferences. Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, emerged as contenders to traditional large screen devices, such as TVs and personal computers. Today, they already outpace these older products. According to the 2014 AdReation study from Millward Brown, Americans spend 151 minutes per day on their smartphones, and only 147 minutes in front of TVs. It’s even worse in some Asian countries: “In China, consumers spend a whopping 170 minutes a day buried in smartphones, nearly double their TV watching time.”

The idea that mobile is the second screen is an old, worn-out concept. Yet, most brands design their strategies focusing on desktops and larger screens. They tend to forget that their prospects and target audiences are using mobile devices to search for them and their products. Failing to offer people a good mobile experience is a huge disservice.

Make mobile the standard for everything digital

According to the recent Mobile Path to Purchase Study by Nielsen, nearly half of respondents consider mobile to be the “most important resource” when making purchase decisions, and more than a third use only mobile […]

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

How Technology Adds Value to the Employee Experience

We all learn in different ways. While some prefer visual aids and others audio files, there are people who need a bit of both. Businesses are now looking for advanced and innovative solutions to empower and retain their people. With the right technology, it is possible to empower employees to become more effective, resulting in better research, better presentations, and better performance.

A PWC report finds that millennials are different from previous generations in a variety of ways. Most significantly, this generation “views work as a thing not a place.” For them, productivity is not measured by hours worked but by output and goals achieved. Most importantly, this generation prioritizes work/life balance; in fact, it’s mandatory for them. Based on the findings of this study, PWC implements new practices into daily work, improving their retention rates significantly.

We now live in a time where it is necessary to honor employee engagement in new ways. It is time to re-think talent, right from the recruiting process to employee engagement, retention, and rewarding. According to Gallup, employee disengagement causes U.S. companies to incur an annual loss of between $450 billion and $550 billion.

Technologies like cloud computing, mobility, telepresence, and web conferencing make remote employment a reality today as employees work in different locations and still collaborate anytime, from anywhere.

It is now possible to obtain and share knowledge around-the-clock. In fact, this trend is currently accelerating due to faster Internet connectivity and mobile devices.

Technology also increases the overall flexibility and diversity of an organization. In addition, it enhances a company’s capability to adapt to the changing needs of its people. In other words, technological adoptions help employers to become people-centric, which improve the company’s overall performance and increases employee retainment.

More […]

By |April 14th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Five Reasons to Eliminate Conference Calls

Conferencing technology remains popular and is used by numerous organizations and corporate businesses. With a simple click of a button, you can host and attend meetings from anywhere, anytime. As telecalling is incredibly affordable and backed by additional advancements in AV technology, conference calls help to yield better business results. So, what’s not to like?

Actually, quite a bit; from lack of attention from attendees to technological disruptions, numerous things can hamper the quality of your meeting. And many today argue that conference calling is not always the best way to communicate.

Here are five reasons why.

Building trust. Conference communication lacks the depth and warmth of in-person meetings. Therefore, it is detrimental to building a trusting, influential relationship. The changes in your tone, eye contact, the pauses between your words, the hint of a smile or frown, and other body language work as subtle communication channels carrying emotional information. There is no way you can translate or communicate these cues through conference calls; therefore you fail to make deep connections with people.
Time differences. Scheduling an international conference call is challenging when time differences come into play. When it is a busy Los Angeles Monday morning, your associate in India is getting ready to call it a night. This forces some attendees to stay at the office beyond normal business hours. Now, you may argue that with smartphones, laptops, and other WiFi technology, attendees can now take calls from anywhere they may be. While it is true, there are chances of interruptions and participants are more likely to miss information, resulting in awkward meetings with less than optimum outcomes.
Conference calls get loud. This is especially true when you are having a conference call with a […]

By |April 7th, 2015|Blog|1 Comment

How Psychological Distance Can Make You a Better Leader

With all the talk lately of remote work and virtual employees, it’s easy to forget that many people still have to work in a brick and mortar environment, elbow to elbow with colleagues and supervisors. The reality is that, in these situations, there is often a need for us to create a “distance” between ourselves and those around us. It could be because your colleague suddenly get a promotion, and is now your direct manager, or vice versa. Or perhaps that last group project was a rough one, and resulted in some office tension and lingering hard feelings. Distance may be needed because a co-worker has left the office and responsibilities are being divided up, or someone new has joined the company. Any of the above scenarios are likely to put some strain on your work relationships that distance may help defuse.

Often, though, especially in open space work environments or smaller offices, achieving physical distance might not be possible. But you can still achieve some distance — psychological distance. Psychological distance simply means taking a step back from those around you, your colleagues, even your clients, and rearranging your priorities. It is often defined as a “gap” or “social distance” that needs to be created between you and your co-workers in order to keep working conditions positive and healthy. Psychological distance allows us to take a break from constant mental connection and focus on ourselves, which is something that is good for us and our relationships, business and otherwise.

There is also something called experiential distance, which involves imagining something before you experience it. This is something leaders should understand and get comfortable with, because it will allow them to recognize the positive effects of psychological […]

By |March 31st, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Rapid Growth may be Harming your Business

Can growth be bad? Well, considering all the importance placed on margins, ROI, increased sales figures, etc. it may seem like growth is the only thing businesses should be striving for. After all, from the time an organization open its doors, growth is the goal. As a business makes its way towards that dream of the break-even figure that every start-up longs to achieve, discussions about growth are always first and foremost. However, after your company has crossed that initial stage of growth, what’s next? This is a vital question to consider. In fact, companies who ignore this question and are unable to keep pace with their own growth may ultimately end up imploding.

The Risks

A cash crunch is the first bump in the road for many fast growing companies. Often, businesses spend money on upgrading their infrastructure or operations when they should be financing their growing sales. A company that grows too fast may not have the budget to maintain the number of sales and level of service expected of them. This is just one example of rapid growth hindering the long term sustainability of an organization.

Even a corporate biggie like McDonald’s gets it wrong sometimes. For years, they depended solely on their sales figures and ignored the warnings of market analysts, who repeatedly stressed things like market saturation and declining profits. In 2003, they admitted that they were no longer a growing stock after years of failing to heed the warning signs.

Moreover, rapid growth also means rising expectations of customers. In any business, not being able to fulfill a loyal customer’s expectations is one of the biggest failures. Once a business gets the reputation of failing the customer, it is almost impossible to […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments
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