27 Apr 2016

5 Tips for Running an Efficient Conference Call

Conference calls are a staple of business life, a necessity for organisations of all shapes and sizes. It might even be difficult for you to put a number on the how many conference calls you have participated in during your career. However, how many of those conference calls were run efficiently and were a productive use of the participants’ time? Here are 5 tips on how to do it:

1. Be prepared ahead of time
There is nothing revolutionary here. Being prepared for anything will probably make you more efficient at it, but there are a couple of basics to make sure are covered before call time. Send out an agenda in advance of the call to all participants. This will make sure that the call stays on topic, keeping the length down, but it will also allow people the time to prepare. Hopefully this means that they can bring their best insights and perspectives to the discussion. Send out conference room PINs and bridge numbers well in advance to all participants. The sooner everyone can get into the conference room without unnecessary delay, the sooner you can get down to business. For International participants, make sure you’ve given them a local number to dial into.

2. Keep statements short
As humans, we communicate best in person. Body language is a very powerful communication method. Of course, on audio conference call, we must rely on our voice. You need to tailor how you communicate to the medium you’re using. For voice only conferencing, keep your statements concise and to the point to avoid confusion. Instead of trying to remember what you said 4 sentences ago, or furiously scribbling notes, others can take your point on board and respond appropriately, leading to a better discussion.

3. Punctuality
Again, this is pretty basic, but at some point you have probably felt the pang of uncertainty or frustration that comes from sitting in a conference room by yourself 5 minutes after the scheduled start time. Obviously the quicker the call starts in earnest, the more the group can get through but how often does a person who has been waiting for other participants leave the conference room when the others are late because he or she has plenty of other work on their plate? There are three outcomes to this, either the call is rescheduled, cancelled altogether or there is even more delay getting someone to dial back in when the rest of the group are finally ready. Time is one of the more precious commodities, so if you are going to be late, notify the moderator or other participants. The call moderator should dial in early, to make sure that everything goes smoothly with the rest of the group joining the call.

4. Record the call
If possible, record the call. You’ll need to let everyone know that you are recording and confirm that anyone from another company is OK with this but it’s well worth doing. Nearly everybody takes notes at some stage during a conference call, but if they need to check another detail after the call, the recording will allow them to do so even if they can’t get in touch with another participant. A recording will also let you summarise the what was discussed, allowing you to action our final and most important tip…

5. Share outcomes of the call
Following on from the previous point, this tip works for in person meetings too. Sharing the outcomes of a meeting or call allows the participants to set about the action points assigned to them, or at least remind them to. They don’t have to double back to confirm what they need to do.

 

Via: www.dubchamber.ie

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04 Mar 2016

The Connected Workplace: Unlocking the Potential with Samsung Print

The way we work today is changing and our workplaces are having to adapt to the ever increasing demand for mobility. Mobile devices and cloud based productivity apps mean that employees are connected to their tasks and colleagues no matter where they are or what time of day it is. At the same time, businesses are embracing big data, and trying to figure out how they can integrate the Internet of Things into the workplace in order to improve productivity,
performance, customer interactions, critical decisions and revenue generation.

Becoming the Connected Workplace
Transforming an office into a Connected Workplace has moved on from the days of Bring Your Own Device and into the unlocking of staff potential. Successful IT teams will not just support, but anticipate the various applications and service needs as well as the devices to support the business requirements. Remote working, which has been one of the most successful trends over recent years, will be replaced with smart offices that will act more like creative villages to make staff more productive, healthier and happier. Innovative tech companies such as Google and Facebook are leading the way with this by building offices that bring their people together in a more innovating and effective way. By harnessing the power of the cloud and the internet, the Connected Workplace means that not only will your office be able to recognise that you are heading to work, through your mobile phone, smart watch or even your in-car system, but it will be able to get you completely set up for the day. The office will automatically turn on your desktop computer, inform you of your schedule for the day, and print off any documents you have been updating while working remotely.

Everything Can Be Connected
The ability to connect any number of things and applications together to improve productivity is round the corner and one area undergoing major change to be part of the Connected Workplace is printing. Whilst print does still remain a necessity for many businesses, particularly large enterprises, documents are undergoing a digital transformation from traditional paper to files displayed on-screen, on mobile devices, and shared by cloud services. At Samsung Print, we are seeing a huge demand from our customers and are working with a number of specialists such as Danwood who have already embraced this. Working closely with Samsung they are able to provide a consultative approach to the customer, blending decades of managed print experience with the ability to deliver digital convergence across screens, mobiles and tablet devices. Today’s mobile approach means that it is increasingly important that employees are able to print from any device they are working from. It’s also crucial to be able to scan physical documents into digital versions directly so that they are available on mobile devices via the cloud. Cloud printing including Cloud Connector for Samsung printers, and MFPs is an innovative mobile printing tool, which lets business users manage their print operation from any device, at any time and from wherever they are. Working closely with Samsung, partners are able to help clients rethink their approach to print and introduce them to the connected workplace in order to unlock the potential from digitalisation, mobility and the cloud.

The Connected Workplace
Smart technology is empowering the rebirth and rejuvenation of the office, making it an environment where we will be happy to work. The Connected Workplace will allow employees to communicate intuitively, face-to-face, to consult and collaborate to solve the increasingly complex work situations. As we see more innovation, such as smart systems that can handle the masses of data and scheduling that makes a modern office run smoothing, we will see less stresses and less overworked workforce. In return we will see happy, positive employees who have time to be more creative and productive, which will ultimately benefit the business. For more info on the Samsung Connected Workplace please call Digicom on 01 4600022

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01 Mar 2016

Digicom Audio Visual

What is one of the biggest Challenges in your organisation?

Talent Retention

Your internal client is the most important asset in your organisation. You’ve taken significant time and resources to recruit the right talent. Now that talent wants to work in a positive work space environment with dynamic technology, that works seamlessly.

 

UIUX.

User Interface User Experience

The technology is only as good as the client’s use & experience of it. Digicom invest in experienced Certified Audio Visual Solution Architects, who consult with the client and design a solution that aims to exceed the user’s expectation

 

Project Management (PM)

Delivering the UIUX

Once the design is agreed in a written format through a bill of quantities, program of works and scope of works, the Solutions Architect is ready to kick off hand over to Project Management. PM manage the CAD Drawings & schematics with the client design team, through a series of site meetings. PM own installation, commissioning and programming of all the AV inventory, using certified engineers, up to the point of delivery to the client.

 

Service Support.

Maintaining the UIUX

On completion, PM hand to service support and training is scheduled with the client. Digicom provide ongoing dedicated service support with a help desk to schedule room bookings and dedicated Field Service Engineers. The responsibility for our solution remains with Digicom for the lifetime of that solution.

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29 Feb 2016

JLL Case Study

 

AV Technology in the Workspace

The biggest challenge facing organisations today is talent retention. Companies like JLL invest significant resource in recruiting the right candidates in order to fit the culture of their organisation. Once inducted, the next challenge is to motivate their staff into long term careers with the organisation. JLL identified the need for an open workspace environment with with clear transparent communication between colleagues. They also identified the need for keeping the technology up to date and making it work seamlessly.
The Audio Visual technology deployed by JLL is simple to operate, functional and delivers up to a 4K standard. The client enjoys the use of wireless presentation systems through the use of the Barco Clickshare. Users can simply share what’s on your laptop or mobile device, on a presentation screen. Whatever device they are using, ClickShare can get the content on the screen. The iconic ClickShare Button is used for laptops, while a dedicated, free app is available for tablets and smartphones. Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, it doesn’t matter which platform they are using.

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User Interface User Experience (UIUX)

JLL sought a larger workplace to accommodate a growing — and increasingly tech-insistent — staff and their evolving needs. The move also prompted a rethink the firm’s current AV systems. It was time for a technology refresh. JLL selected Digicom as its AV integrator to deliver a fresh collaboration platform at their Hatch Street offices. Digicom worked with JLL’s IT team, architect, and general contractor to deliver a mix of new-generation AV solutions to meet the expectations of a global, mobile, and traditional workforce. Integrated spaces include:, Lounge, Boardroom, Large and Small Conference Rooms, Video Conference Room, Video Collaboration Rooms and Open Areas.

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Ideal Work Environment

JLL’s office represents spaces, amenities, and experiences that meet the expectations and needs of a modern workforce: attention paid to employee work/life balance, social interaction, a culture of collaboration, and conferencing without limitations.

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10 Mar 2015

Infographic: Six steps to creating a highly collaborative video culture

Polycom recently conducted a global survey, in conjunction with analysts Quocirca, of their existing video customers to help give them a clearer picture of how, why and where their clients are making use of collaborative video. The full 12-page report ‘Fostering a culture of adoption’ has been released and is full of compelling insights into how to drive more video use within your organization.
They’ve summarized some of the major findings in this infographic ‘Six steps to creating a highly collaborative video culture’ below:

[gview file=”http://www.digicom.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/six-steps-to-driving-a-highly-collaborative-video-culture-infographic-engb1.pdf”]

Source: www.polycom.co.uk

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03 Mar 2015

ISE 2015 Review

ISE 2015 was certainly a spectacle to behold, there were several hundred exhibitors showcasing the latest and greatest on offer.

Cisco had a very impressive magician at their stand drawing the crowds toward the new sleek MX series products, I kept hearing the same tag line from Cisco reps around the stand “they are now just big phones”.  You order one part code and parachute it in.

Maybe not quite as simple as that but it’s certainly getting there with the integration of the Cisco Be6K which allows phones and VC systems to seamlessly operate within the Cisco environment.

The real magic however came from a smaller stand behind, and they were creating quite a stir.

Pexip makes a virtualized software infrastructure which transcodes communication types and lets everybody meet in the middle. It can be deployed on premise, or run in a private or public cloud, and even supports connecting the two if you require scale and flexibility.

To date it was able to take feeds from traditional video conferencing units, soft clients, Lync, Web RTC through your browser or traditional phones and because everybody is meeting in the cloud you are not as worried about firewall traversal.

The Pexip team were showing off some new releases which will allow users to integrate Skype, yes Skype! Not just Skype for business/Lync and the new release also allows a very cool feature where you can leverage your existing video conferencing systems and make a live broadcast through YouTube.

 

Image: Crowd getting treated to some slight of hand.

 

Conor O’Neill, Digicom Audio Visual Consultant

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25 Feb 2015

How to Make Friends and Influence End-Users

The delicate process of relationship-building was explored in all its psychological depths yesterday in the InfoComm Professional Development Training “Needs Analysis of End-User Requirements — What Are They Really Saying?” session taught by Bill Thomas, CTS-I, a staff instructor from the association.
Detailing the finer points of “getting to people’s real feelings” from the initial project interview through to a follow-up survey after commissioning, “it’s all about creating comfort,” Thomas emphasized. “Our end-users aren’t technologists like us. Create an atmosphere where it’s okay for them to say what they think and what’s on their mind, rather than talking them through ‘Technology, technology, technology’ and ‘We really want to look smart.’ If we make them feel bad that they don’t know as much about technology as us, then we haven’t connected with them.”
To gain better results from meetings, take careful note of the atmosphere you’re generating, the body language you and your client are using, and continually check understanding. “Keep asking, “Does this seem right to you? Am I understanding what you’re asking for? Do you understand what I am talking about? Is that what you think too?”
Tailoring your interview to the person with whom you are speaking is key, asking questions about the aspects of the system with which they will connect and interact on a daily basis.

The classroom was abuzz with discussion on the best questions to ask in the interview process, and how to elicit ideas and needs from potential clients. In general, InfoComm training at ISE is a tremendous draw, particularly for Peter Fox, sales director of Digicom in Dublin, Ireland. “I come to this event for the learning, to learn more about the industry and the happenings within the industry. I concentrate more on attending classes than going to stands,” he said, adding, “I’m basically in these classrooms or in one of the show-floor Unified Communications or Commercial Solutions Theatres all day.”

By Kirsten Nelson, www.avnetwork.com

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24 Feb 2015

HDBaseT Alliance – The Standard of the Future, Today.

Defining the standard of the future

The HDBaseT Alliance advances and promotes the adoption of HDBaseT technology as the global standard for high definition, digital connectivity. Since its founding in 2010 by LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Valens, the Alliance has brought together the leading names in the Consumer Electronics and .Professional AV manufacturers, and it counts today with more than 100 members and hundreds of products

Enabling 5Play over a single cable

HDBaseT technology has become the new standard for home and professional networking. It brings a rich feature ,TMset, increased reach, and better performance than existing solutions. The cornerstone of the technology is 5Play the converged delivery of uncompressed high-definition digital video, high-quality audio, Ethernet, up to 100 W .power, and various control signals, through a single LAN cable.

Coming to a home near you

With the recently released HDBaseT 2.0 specification, the Alliance is now enabling the development of consumer .electronics devices to better address the needs of the connected home HDBaseT 2.0 brings the quality of pro-AV to the cost-conscious consumer electronics market, for an unparalleled user ,experience. From simple point-to-point applications and up to the most cutting-edge multimedia home solutions. HDBaseT 2.0 delivers the 5Play feature set, from any source to any display around the house, using a simple control app.

 

Via: www.hdbaset.org

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19 Feb 2015

Future Trends in Audio Visual – Destination 2020

Brad Grimes chaired an interesting panel discussion with knowledge experts, from within the industry at this years ISE Trade Show in Amsterdam. The internet of things or the automation of internet things, will be the most influential change in our lives in the coming years. We will track the behaviour of users of Audio Visual and automate it. Smart technology will be the unique buying trigger to decide what technology will be procured by organisations.

 The technology will always be evolving and adapt to people’s behaviour, in many cases, without them even noticing. Currently the industry is guilty of building silo’s. IoT will change this with presence and intelligence, that will end integrators building dumb rooms.

 With the ongoing integration of IT and the presence of Cisco and Microsoft at this years event, the panel described how important it will be for integrators to build their eco systems around their platforms. They are the largest enterprise platforms in B2B offices now.

 So, as a result the top 5 trends to watch for by the panel are:

  1. Intelligent Devices
  2. IP Version VII on the 5G Network.
  3. Remote engagement
  4. Software as a service, cloud based technology. Particularly in the video area. And oh, finally
  5. Watch your teenager. Their behaviour with technology is naturally collaborating and multi tasking. Observe it and see the future in the enterprise space.


So the future of Audio Visual is challenging, as we learn to stay expert in this exciting industry.  

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17 Feb 2015

Is 4k here to stay?

With so many manufacturers pushing the latest and greatest in 4k or ultra HD, it can quite confusing on what it actually is. 4k technology is generally referred to as 4x times the quality of Full HD or 4x 1080p. Simple right….unfortunately not..

There are 3 things that make up picture quality. The first of these are the number of pixels. So having 4x the amount of pixels is a good start.

The second of these is the frame rate or hertz. This is the number of frames per second, so the higher the frame rate the smoother the picture quality.

Finally the colour sampling or chroma sub sampling is the final component that makes up the picture quality. This refers to the amount of true colour shown on screen at one time. Unsampled colour is referred to as 4:4:4 while it is often sampled at 4:2:2. This reduces the bandwidth required by a third without effecting the visual quality of the image.

So, now that we know what makes a high quality image, how do we get all of on the screen. Easier said than done.

Display port is capable of carrying 4k at 60 fames per second with a colour sampling of 4:4:4. As is HDMI 2.0, which has taken over from HDMI 1.4 as the new standard of HDMI as of 2014. So unless you have a source device with a DisplayPort output or HDMI2.0 chipset you will end up with 4k at 24-30 FPS. This will greatly reduce the quality of the image and a better picture would be achieved at 1080p instead of 4k.

So we have the cable and we have the TV’s that can produce a 4k image. The problem comes in when you try to switch 4k video. Currently there is little or no way of switching true 4k due to the large bandwidth required. Many of the switchers use colour sampling of 4:0:0 to reduce the bandwidth. This becomes noticeable especially on the larger 4k screens.

The other factor and probably the most important component that currently posses a major roadblock to the success of 4k is content. With no standards set for a 4k video player currently on the market and with HD TV currently being broadcast at only 720p it is hard to see 4k being available to every household. There also remains the fact that there is very little content out there recorded in 4k

On the other hand streaming services such as Netflix are starting to release content in 4k as a premium service. Using Netflix as a native application built into the display eliminates the transmission issues inherent with 4k. On the downside it is recommend to have a 25mb/sec broadband speed and unlimited data allowance to watch 4k.

While there are a number of issues currently stopping 4k from being readily available, there is no doubt that the incredible picture quality offered by 4k means it is here to stay unlike 3D which proved to be little more than a gimmick.

Ciarán McGrath, Audio Visual Consultant (Digicom)

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