videoconferencing Archives - Page 4 of 4 - Advanced AV

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

Pushing Products or Solving Problems

One of the hardest things about being an AV integrator is the mere number of products that do the same thing.  I suppose that could be called out as a challenge in most tech industries, but in our industry there is no doubt that this is a problem.

With customers doing more research on their own than ever before and this aforementioned glut of similar products, we hear regularly from customers who are asking about a certain piece by name whether it be a projector model “X” or a video conferencing unit model “Y.”

As a reseller it is easy to get caught up in these requests and therefore find a price and quote our customers on every single product that they inquire about, but as an integrator it is important that we hold close to something more.

Perhaps best phrased as a question, are we pushing products or solving problems?
Why We Must Focus On Solving Business Problems
For a long time high tech presentation equipment was more of a nice to have than a need to have for businesses.  That is why for a long time there was a few “Tech” spaces with all the fancy toys and the rest of the organization was left to flip charts, easels and whiteboards.

Today we are connected 24/7/365 and that change which is being driven by our desire to have technology on demand is finally imposing its will on just about every business and institution on the planet.  Schools, government and business all seek to be more connected and collaborative.  The way we see it technology is a vehicle to solve a problem, not just another widget to make a space just that much cooler.

In the world of technology, it is […]

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

Delivering Piece Of Mind With AV Monitoring Solutions

We’ve all at some level experienced the technology that fails us right as we need it most.

Perhaps it is during a demonstration or when you are trying to connect for an important videoconference.  Too often it seems to happen at the most inopportune times leaving us frenzied as we try to make due with what is working.

If “Imagine It” were enough to sell, we wouldn’t need technology at all, right?

Unfortunately, we do need our technology to work and Murphy’s Law has bit us all a few times.  Nevertheless if we were smart, we would learn from these situations.

While sometimes the circumstances that surround a botched demo or failed call are completely unavoidable, in today’s technology rich world, I believe the onus is on us more than ever to plan and prepare to make sure our technology works and of course have a plan b for when it doesn’t.
 
Is It Time To Monitor Our Presentation Technology?
 
When the CEO of your company walks into the boardroom with an expectation to do a video call with a client across the ocean and the system doesn’t work, how unhappy is she going to be?

Chances are in that moment she is going to want you to do whatever it takes to get the system running.  Noting that if it cannot be fixed quickly she would like to see the system removed and returned to whoever sold you the useless heap of garbage.

The exact rhetoric may somewhat vary, but the message stays the same:

This stuff is expensive and it should work!

A certain amount of planning can help avoid these things, such as testing out the tech a few minutes before the call, but realistically if a technician walks into the room […]

By |March 25th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Google Enters Business Video Market – What Does It Mean?

A lot of people would think that when perhaps the world’s most recognizable brand launches a hardware based video conferencing product that will be affordable for just about every business on the planet that it would make the competition nervous.

Well for those that haven’t heard, just this past week Google announced the launch of its “Google Chrome for Business” HD telepresence solution. This supposedly plug and play solution is promising to deliver HD video to up to 15 simultaneous sights and it sells for all of $999.99. (For just the hardware Unit – No Installation)

As a technology integrator and a passionate provider of collaboration technology to business, schools, government and more, let’s just say for us, this news is terrific. Perhaps some of the best news we have heard in sometime.

If you find yourself asking why, don’t feel alone, when we first read the news there were immediate butterflies in our stomachs as we felt the potential implications of the Google jumping into our market, but then we thought about it a little more and realized that Google’s involvement into Video Telepresence isn’t a negative thing, it is a huge positive as it is the ultimate validation of what we are doing.

How many people out there are getting the big thumbs up from Google? By entering this market Google is saying video is the real deal and we couldn’t agree with them more.
 
Disruption Driving Better Business (Video)
 
We all know that business video leads to better business outcomes. With on average of 8x better comprehension than a typical voice call, the need for collaborative video solutions has arrived.

For sometime we have been talking at Advanced […]

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

Present, Annotate, Collaborate all in real time! I must be dreaming

Written by Jack Cary
On Mondays, at our office, we have meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Although we
have seven conference rooms of various shapes and sizes, each equipped with technology to
help facilitate collaborative sessions. It seems, at least on Mondays, that they are all booked, all
day. For today, the scheduled meetings were under way and I felt confident that the technology
in those rooms was well matched to the requirements which had been discussed the previous
week.

However, next Monday’s planned meeting was going to prove to be a bit more challenging.
The Senior Vice-President of Global Sales was flying in from New York for the Annual Sales
and Forecasting Meeting and the year’s sales data and forecasting reports were going to be
reviewed. This high level meeting required collaboration with all regional offices as well as
senior management in the West Coast headquarters. On top of that we needed live input from
our top, account executives in the field and access to data, streaming in from several key client
sites. We needed the technology of all seven of our conference rooms, in one room, at one
time.

I reviewed the details outlined for this meeting, and I was growing concerned that none of our
conference rooms had a complete, unified technology system capable of facilitating all of the
requirements for this special meeting. As I pondered my options, I remembered something my
oldest son had shown me while visiting from North Carolina. He had shown me a new, mobile
gaming console called “PS Vita.” He described it as a “multi-touch,” high-definition; interactive
console for gaming. It had rich graphical content, accurate control options, expandable memory
and a large, high resolution display. It unified all the best aspects of gaming into one device.
I walked out of my office and headed over to the […]

By |March 15th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

The Cloud – Collaborative Virtual Space

I had just passed my securities licensing exam and the company required our presence at a conference 200 miles away from our home office. Ten of us drove the two hundred miles from Philadelphia to Hartford to attend the three day meeting. Accommodations, meals, gas and other expenses added up to a good bit of money, even twenty years ago. One associate needed to catch a flight out of Philadelphia International Airport the day we were driving back. Our caravan of cars sped through flooded freeways to get our colleague to his plane on time. The experience was memorable but the expense of bringing people together in one place was only outpaced by the time lost out of the office. The lost productivity and the time away from the business of doing business had a rippling effect that lasted for days after the conference. There had to be a better way.

Two decades later, business communications has migrated through numerous technologies including conference-calling, video phones, video-conferencing and telepresence. Numerous advanced technologies have been developed to reduce the time and expense of distant meetings. Video Teleconferencing (VTC) has helped to bring multiple people in different locations together without those people leaving their local offices, classrooms or homes. Video Teleconferencing and Telepresence have evolved beyond early beginnings of massive investment, limited graphics, jittery motion and poor quality audio. Today’s systems include cloud-based solutions with multiple end-points including large venues, the desktop, smartphones and tablets.

Major providers are now beginning to reach beyond some of the constraints of “traditional” video teleconferencing. Today, clients are looking to their unified communication integrators like Advanced AV to design more collaborative environments across multiple, global locations. To that end, “Cloud Telepresence Systems” […]

By |January 25th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Eye Contact Makes Remote Meetings More Effective

Apple is once again featuring prominently in news headlines following the announcement of its new iPad 2. This latest must-have device is thinner, lighter, and faster, with increased battery life and a new “smart cover” that increases functionality.

But perhaps one of the most interesting attributes of the new iPad is the addition of Apple’s Facetime software to its built-in applications. This makes mobile video chatting more accessible in a larger format than previously available, with the iPad screen providing a near life-size representation of the human face.

While Facetime is a fairly rudimentary video communications platform, its increasing presence will mean that more and more people will be adapting to the idea of adding video to their voice communications. This is interesting not just from a technology standpoint, but also in terms of human behavior. Voice is a great indicator of mood and comprehension, but when you add the possibility for eye contact and observation of facial expressions the value of an exchange between participants is elevated significantly. Or, as Apple itself elaborates, “The big, beautiful iPad display is a great place for a face, because you can really see it. Not a smile or laugh goes unnoticed.”

Most presenters in business and education are well aware of the value of eye contact. But this important function of communication goes further than merely ensuring your audience is engaged. Eye contact can also make up for all manner of inhibitors to an effective meeting or collaboration. Specifically because, according to presentation skills consultant Debbie Bailey, “Good eye contact cuts physical distance in half, helps you connect with your audience on a personal level, and invites audience members to participate in your presentation.”

If eye contact can cut distance in […]

By |March 16th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

How To Prevent A Technology Disaster

Today we encounter technology in nearly every aspect of life, including the formerly low-tech activities of grocery shopping and filling your car’s tank with fuel. And even though technology is supposed to make our lives easier, sometimes it seems like a great deal of patience is required to get the most out of electronics. Every time a desktop computer freezes, or the automated car wash machine won’t accept dollar bills, a feeling of intense frustration and helplessness can suddenly turn a good day into a bad one.

For many people, the presence of technology is nowhere more keenly felt than in the workplace. It is not at all uncommon to spend an entire day in front of one or more computer monitors while connected to desk and mobile phones, videoconferencing equipment, and presentation technology. This is true not just for those with office jobs, but also medical practitioners, educators, and just about anyone else who earns a paycheck in this day and age.

Seeing as how the rewards and detriments of interaction with technology are now a major part of everyday life, studies are being conducted on just how this change affects us. A 2004 report on “User Frustration with Technology in the Workplace” states that “Research on computer anxiety, attitudes, and frustration has shown that a disturbing portion of computer users suffer from negative affective reactions towards the computer, which can subsequently affect whether or not they use the computer, and whether or not they use the computer effectively.”

Furthermore, “In some cases, user frustration with technology can even lead to increased blood volume pressure and muscle tension.”

That particular study wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. It did find that, “There is a measurable benefit to improved […]

By |March 3rd, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Taking Shelter From The Storm

This has been one of the snowiest winters on record in the United States and Europe. In the eastern United States, residents are running out of places to put the snow in what seems like a daily ritual of removing multiple inches — or sometimes feet — of new accumulation.

Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore have all logged their snowiest winters in history, and on January 27, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg reported, “We have now had the snowiest January in New York City history. We have had 36 inches since January 1, breaking a record last set in 1925.

Across the ocean, the United Kingdom experienced its earliest snowfall in 17 years in November 2010. On the European continent, some 60 percent of the German Weather Service’s weather stations below 200 meters elevation saw record snow falls for December.

This comes as no surprise to those with an eye toward advanced weather forecasts. Before the winter began, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that this would be “another winter of extremes in store for U.S. as La Niña strengthens.” In NOAA’s winter outlook, Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, advised, “La Niña is in place and will strengthen and persist through the winter months, giving us a better understanding of what to expect between December and February. This is a good time for people to review the outlook and begin preparing for what winter may have in store.”

With a bit of planning, the snarls of winter travel can be avoided, ensuring business continuity even in the direst of meteorological circumstances. Tracking the National Weather Service’s seasonal predictions are just part of the solution. […]

By |February 8th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments
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