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Why Skype Isn’t A Business Video Solution

Skype is a very popular audio and video conferencing program that has helped many companies improve the way that they communicate. It is true that Skype has been beneficial for companies that want to save money on communication, but there are also some downsides to using Skype that not everyone is aware of.

Call Quality

Some people who use Skype complain of pixelated images and laggy audio that is hard to understand. In a piece written for Small Business Computing, Gerry Blackwell reports that voices can break up and calls sometimes have a high level of latency, which can negatively impact a conversation. In small doses these issues can be a minor annoyance, but in the worst scenarios these problems can make Skype unusable. This is a major setback for businesses that depend on Skype to make important calls that need to take place to move projects forward and is one of the main reasons why Skype is not best for business.

Network Reliability

Another of the big reasons why Skype is not best for business is the reliability of its network. In an article for The Inquirer, Lawrence Latif writes about a major Skype crash that occurred very soon after Microsoft decided to buy the program for over $8 billion. The article also features quotes from Ashish Gupta, a CMO and SVP of Vidyo, a New Jersey-based video communications company. Gupta praises Skype for making video conferencing more popular, but warns businesses that they must invest in a reliable, enterprise-grade platform for their communications if they want to avoid the consequences of a major Skype network crash.

Security

Many businesses have video conferences that deal with very sensitive information. If this information was compromised, it could lead to a disastrous […]

By |July 1st, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

4 Ways To Drive Employee Adoption Of Video Communication

Video communication can provide a number of potential benefits for your business. By allowing people to talk face to face across great distances, it can improve productivity, save money, allow better collaboration on projects, and much more. But the benefits will only happen if your employees actually start using video communication as part of their workflow from day to day. And since it’s a newer technology and perhaps even foreign technology to many of them, getting them to the level of regular use can be a challenge. Here are 4 ways to drive employees to adopt video communication.

Provide the Tools. The first step in encouraging video adoption is simply to make sure that the tools are available to all of your employees. If video is being done on the desktop, make sure that each computer is equipped with a hi-definition camera for video chat, as well as the latest and most efficient videoconferencing software applications. A number of professional videoconferencing tools allow for seamless integration with the programs that they’re already using, such as IM. If the conferencing solution is room based, make sure those that have access to the technology know it is available as well as how to use it. Having the right tools and being aware of what is available may sound a bit simple, but if you are trying to drive adoption this is an important first step.
Explain the Benefits. Of course, you’re fully aware of all the reasons why adopting video communication will benefit both you and your employees. But do your employees know? For instance, the comprehension of information (Per HP Study) can improve up to 8x when video is used for a conference versus phone.  This is why it […]

By |June 18th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

5 Reasons To Consider Video Content Management

In today’s fast pace world people are busy. We are more mobile than ever and due to this it can be increasingly hard to get all of the people you want in a meeting in a room at one time.

Over the years this has led to teleconferencing, web conferencing and telepresence as an alternative, but even to make those types of calls happen everyone still has to be available at the same time AND they need to be somewhere with good internet and ideally not too much noise.

Sometimes, the message being shared doesn’t require all to be in the same room or even available at the same time. In fact, sometimes a meeting is more of a one way communication and the important thing is the ability for the audience to see and hear the content within a certain period when it is convenient for all parties. This is why video content management is key to the future of business communication. Here are 5 more reasons why Video Content Management may be a great solution for your business or organization.

Convenience: No matter what the message is, with a video content management system your employees, customers or suppliers can visit and consume the content when it is convenient for them and the creator can make the video when it works for them. This allows people to spend their days out of meetings and busy producing, which is key for most businesses.
Training: It turns out most people are much more visual learners and this is why a video content system can really make a difference. Capture and record how-to videos or important educational content and employees can go back and view the videos on-demand. Also new employees […]

By |June 10th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

4 Non-Traditional Applications For Video Walls

A video wall is a set of multiple screens or displays, tiled together in the form of a wall. They can be used to display multiple sets of information concurrently, or to assemble all of the smaller screens into one larger image. Typically, video walls are being used as digital signage that can be seen clearly from a distance, or as part of ultra-lavish entertainment systems, enjoyed by the very rich. However, that’s only the beginning of what they’re capable of. Here are 4 non-traditional applications for video walls.

Collaborative Projects. One of the major uses for video walls is providing multiple data streams alongside one another to gain a wider perspective in a particular field, such as in control rooms. This can be carried a step further, however, to allow two or more people to work side by side on a project, using the same interface. As opposed to the split screen or picture-in-picture effect that comes with using a single monitor, a video wall can display high definition mock-ups side by side for in-depth comparison. It doesn’t have to be an important work project, either. One popular use for video walls is gaming, and the display lends itself perfectly to multiplayer games.
Exhibits and Educational Displays. In addition to giant concert display screens and home entertainment centers for the very rich, video walls can be used to bring education to life in a way that regular screens can’t. For instance, they can be used to create multimedia exhibits in museums. An otherwise dry display could catch the attention of museum patrons with the addition of a giant video screen that can be seen from the moment you enter the room. A string of display screens laid out […]

By |June 3rd, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

AMX Acquired By Harman Group: Any Effect On AMX Users?

For more than 25 years Advanced AV has been a partner to a number of the most popular technologies in the AV, IT and collaboration markets.

From Cisco to Polycom and NEC to Christie, we have long been loyal and committed to working with great vendors who develop great products.

In the 1990’s one of the product categories that really took off for audiovisual spaces was the integrated room system. Whereas before, carts supported many technology spaces and projectors (mostly due to price), with the lower prices and higher quality of projectors came a robust interest in permanent technology installed into meeting and learning spaces.

As more and more devices became part of the system. Items such as VHS, DVD, computers and more, the mere number of remotes became cumbersome and this drove the requirement of something intelligent that could offer easy control of all of the devices in the room.

With this came the birth of the logic based control system for audiovisual systems.

Over the next 20 years two companies would dominate this market, the first being AMX, which was the first and the second being Crestron, which is now the biggest.  Later on other entrants came into the market, most notably Extron, but as a whole the control market has evolved with the IT market and now much of the room control has moved from analog and IR to primarily IP control.

For the most part the players in the control market have stayed the same, but this past week for the second time in less than 10 years the first player in the control game has been acquired.

Back in 2005, AMX was acquired and taken private for the first time by Duchossois Industries. The group was best […]

By |May 27th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

4 Tips For Enhancing Technology Use In The Classroom

Today’s classroom has come a long way since the days of creating transparencies for the overhead projector, or wheeling the TV/VCR combo to the front of the room to show a movie to the class. Modern education is all about interaction and engagement through multimedia. But the question is how do you do it? There are all sorts of great new technologies available, but what can you do with them? How can you use this technology to help your students learn better? Here are 4 ways of enhancing technology use in the classroom.

Connect with Other Students. One of the things technology does is to bring the world closer together. Your students have the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world who share similar interests. And you have the opportunity to teach them how to do that in a safe, educational environment. Find and connect with other classrooms around the country and around the world, and chat with them via video conference. Find out what they’re learning and what their classroom life is like, and compare it to what your students are doing. You’ll both be able to learn from each other, and, hopefully, keep in touch throughout the rest of the year, or even beyond!
Create Videos. Anyone can show a movie in class. But it’s much more exciting to make one in class instead. Have your students create different types of videos based on the material they’re learning. Experiment with different formats and different techniques. You can have one be a documentary, one be a TV game show, another be a mystery or a sitcom, etc. While they’re learning the material, they can also be learning how to operate a camera, compose […]

By |May 20th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

The Role of BYOD In Using and Managing Integrated AV Spaces

We know that technology is changing and nothing makes this more apparent than the fact that 90%+ of smart phone users are within arms reach of their device 24/7/365.

While this may not be you, I would be willing to bet that you know somebody who is this way and more likely than not, you know a few. Bottom line is we love our devices and if we were allowed to use them for everything in our lives, we would. Just think about what we are doing with them already.

Scheduling
Social Media
Email
Calorie Counting
GPS
Product research and so much more

This list could be thousands of items long, but for this audience and this platform we want to tie it back to our customers and prospective clients. So let me ask a question; what is the role of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) within integrated AV spaces?

With iOS and Android applications coming out the woodwork there are seemingly applications for just about everything including the control of AV devices. Manufacturers have built applications for control systems, projectors, lighting and conferencing among many more, but just because they are available, should they be used?  Perhaps a better question is which are the applications that are good for the user versus which are good for the technology user?

For The Technology Manager: Over the last several years asset and room management have come a long way. The network opened this up and gave technology managers the ability to monitor and manage rooms from just about anywhere so long as the room is up and online.  The problem with these tools and applications is that many were built as dedicated tools that resided on a single machine that was in the tech manager’s office. […]

By |May 6th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Should Your Company Be Looking At Mobile Meetings?

Meetings are important for business. They can be used to planning strategy, selling to customers and educating employees; all of which are important to operating a successful organization.

On the other hand, anyone that has been in the business world long enough may just tell you those meetings can be a massive waste of time. This is often at least partially due to the logistics of meetings such as getting everyone in the office into a room for an extended period of time to stare at a slide deck and then discuss its meaning.

The meeting and the discussion that follows are often quite valuable, but when you take employees out of the field for extended periods of time what is being lost? Moreover, even if the meetings themselves are good (which is often an item for debate), have you ever thought about the time and energy being put into getting everyone in the same room at the same time?

Perhaps some of the time this level of in-person interaction is important, I would be willing to bet that much of the time it is not required and that a company could leverage technology to quickly mobilize the workforce to meet and then carry on with their work.

Are you aware of what is possible today for mobile employees?

In the past decade the proliferation of Internet has changed everything. High speed for both uploading and downloading have become lightning fast and widely available to just about anyone at a reasonable price.

On the mobile side 4G and LTE networks have given high-speed quality data for mobile devices riding the infrastructure designed for cell phones and smart devices. What this has also done is allowed for high-speed browsing, mobile work […]

By |April 30th, 2014|Blog|1 Comment

Rooms Solutions,Cloud Infrastructure: Smart Telepresence

For years the biggest challenge for making video scalable for enterprise has been the infrastructure.

Over the past 10-15 years the price of the room-based codec has dropped every year making a high definition room system cost about the same as the projector or flat-panel that went along with it. In short this opened up the door to video in every room.  With desktop video solutions being offered by companies like Cisco, Polycom and Lifesize, this has taken vide from the board room to the bedroom and everywhere in between, but regardless of how inexpensive these systems have become the real challenge to making them work for most businesses and organizations remains in the data center.

In short, how does an organization safely and easily connect all of these devices so they can talk to one another over the network. One thing is for sure; you can’t just leave them unsecured because these devices become easy targets for intruders.

The answer always has and always will be in the infrastructure. However, the second you add infrastructure to the equation you are talking big investment. Additionally with the rapid innovation in video bridging and infrastructure technology, the idea of making a large investment in a specialized appliance becomes more and more daunting for many companies. So what is the answer for companies that have video but need the infrastructure for simplifying dialing outside the firewall and keeping the assets secure?

The Solution May Just Be In The Cloud

Look up, it’s a bird, it’s a plane…no, it is the cloud.

So everyone is talking about this whole cloud concept and if you are using Dropbox, Google apps or perhaps some enterprise CRM or ERP you too are experiencing cloud day in and […]

By |April 15th, 2014|Blog|2 Comments

Cloud: A Critical Part Of The Future Of System Integration

 Today’s post is by Michael Boettcher, CEO of Advanced AV. 

As a company that for what seems like an eternity has been installing hardware into technology driven spaces we have to some extent dreaded the rapid proliferation of technology that has driven new categories like Mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Software as a Service (Saas).

Although many of us use these technologies day in and day out (glancing at my iPAD), there is always a certain amount of discomfort that surfaces when a major change to the way we do business is introduced.

Perhaps you can consider a time or two when your business model has been changed due to some type of industry disruption. Maybe it is technology related or maybe in your industry it is something else. Some of the examples that come to mind are hybrid automobiles, computer aided graphics and online media as major business model shifts that have turned industries on their side.

For the audiovisual integration and collaboration industry our time is coming and as a business we have a couple of choices.  We can:

Let the change happen and hope that we can hang on doing things the way we always have.
See the change as an opportunity to provide greater service and newer technologies to our customers.

We Chose The Latter

It would actually be pretty odd for us to come out and write about this type of industry shift if we were going to go any other way, but I think any business leader can respect the process of exploring your options.

Last week I came across a photo on one of my LinkedIn pages that said the most dangerous phrase in business is “Because it is the way we have always done […]

By |April 8th, 2014|Blog|1 Comment
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