video conferencing software

Top five collaboration apps for control, presentation, and video conferencing

Whether you’re collaborating with remote colleagues or coordinating with clients, you need easy communication tools to get the job done. During core productivity hours, one simply doesn’t have time to deal with dropped calls, stream lags, choppy audio and video, annoying downloads and plugins, poor lighting, or other frustrating and time-wasting technical issues.

In today’s software-driven age, there isn’t a dearth of software applications that can help communicate effortlessly. However, how do you know which ones are right for your application? Also, what are the cost implications of these applications?

At Actis Technologies India, we have nearly four decades of experience is deploying communication, collaboration and automation solutions for the biggest local and global enterprises and conglomerates. Here, we share a list of top five collaboration apps for automation control, presentation, and video conferencing applications.

 

1. Barco Clickshare

 

Barco’s Clickshare helps meetings become more productive and efficient. You can easily share content from your laptop through a USB device by a simple click of a button. This Clickshare app allows you to take over an entire screen and display content that will be automatically formatted and can be shared among users.

 

2. Crestron Pyng

 

Pyng by Crestron electronics can easily and quickly set up whole-home audio systems, thermostats, lighting, shades, door locks, and security systems. It can effortlessly pairs wireless accessories to the Crestron PYNG-HUB that acts as a cloud-based control centre the Pyng network so nothing is ever lost.

 

3. Epson iProjection

 

With Epson’s iProjection app, you can easily project images and files wirelessly from your mobile device on to a projector. You can display web pages, add annotations with use of the built-in annotation button, connect up to 50 devices, display real-time images from a mobile camera, share images, and even use the app as a projector remote control.

 

4. GoToMeeting

 

GoToMeeting has established itself as the “go-to” solution for video conferencing and virtual meetings, and with good reason: HD-quality video, screen sharing, personalized meeting URLs, and the ability to connect to meetings via desktop or mobile, thus making it a popular choice for enterprises. Teams of all all sizes can quickly collaborate by using the whiteboard feature to annotate and highlight the presenter’s screen. International toll-free numbers and options to translate control settings make GoToMeeting a convenient option for global teams, plus it’s easy to change presenters for meetings with multiple hosts.

 

5. Polycom RealPresence Mobile

 

Polycom’s RealPresence mobile app gives you the flexibility to collaborate via any personal device, from any location. It provides premium quality audio, video, and content sharing. Users can access enterprise directories at a swipe of a finger through its cloud-based deployment. This app is optimized for use with mobiles and requires Polycom RealPresence infrastructure.

We hope you liked this quick and informative blog post from Actis Technologies India. If your business is looking for well-integrated communication solutions in India, feel free to get in touch with us.

 

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A closer look at the importance of audio on Video Conferencing sessions

Group Of Businesspeople Meeting Around Boardroom Table

Video conferencing is one of the most efficient ways for businesses to communicate. It saves travel costs, promotes more face-to-face interactions, and boosts productivity. Video plays a huge role in providing the many benefits of video conferencing, however, the importance of clear audio is often overlooked. Audio issues can completely downplay the benefits of video conferencing by hindering communication efforts. So what causes these audio issues in video conferencing sessions? Here we take a closer look at the importance of audio on video conferencing sessions and how to solve them.

What causes of audio issues during video conferencing?

Video conferencing is meant to make everyone involved in the conference feel as if they are in the same room. This feeling of unity is a staple of video conferencing. However, when a video conference involves numerous locations with multiple people, crosstalk is a major issue. When more than one participant of a video conference speaks at the same time, the audio becomes jumbled.

In our mobile-first world, background noise can be another leading cause of audio issues. For many enterprises, it might seem like a no-brainer to ensure video conferences are set in a quiet, distraction-free environment. However, as more participants join in from devices outside the office, it’s not possible to regulate the background noise.

Some factors affecting clear audio during video conferences are not man-made. For example, companies’ conference rooms are often a symbol of status, therefore they are big, ornate rooms with large conference tables. Spacious conference rooms are great only if a company has large enough speakers to disperse the sound evenly throughout the entire room. If soft speakers are used in a large conference room, audio clarity suffers immensely. There is nothing wrong with spacious conference rooms. However, if a company does not plan its technology to fit the size of the conference room, it becomes an issue. In conference rooms that contain high ceilings or a large conference table, echo and audio reflection confuses real-time audio during video conferences. The goal of video conferencing is to enhance communication and collaboration, but the enhancement is made difficult if an echo is causing participants to hear the same thing repeatedly.

How to resolve audio issues in video conferencing sessions?

Audio issues can hamper the various benefits of video conferencing, but there are ways to combat these issues. Crosstalk is an issue that will continue to arise, despite the technology being used. However, having a clear, structured, and outlined video conference can eliminate some crosstalk. Another non-technological solution for issues such as background noise is to simply educate and inform participants and employees.

Encouraging employees to use the mute function on their microphone when they are listening can make a huge difference. There are many technologies that alleviate audio issues as well. Acoustic treatments can help combat audio issues like echo and reflection in large conference spaces. Isolation platforms, diffusers, sound barriers, and absorbers are all viable options to ensure echo and audio reflection will no longer be an issue.

Microphones can also cut down on unnecessary background noise and provide clarity of audio during video conferencing. Provide clients and employees with microphones and you will notice it has a major impact on the audio quality during video conferencing. Specific types of microphones are designed to pick up only intended audio while rejecting unwanted ambient noises such as fans, computers, etc. Microphones are a way companies can ensure clear communication and collaboration during video conferencing.

Why is clear audio paramount on video calls?

Video conferencing is rapidly becoming the standard of communication in enterprise settings. Video conferencing provides practical benefits for companies looking to streamline and enhance communication and collaboration. The video functionality of this style of conferencing is a staple to its success, but the audio aspect is often overlooked. Audio issues can easily negate the benefits of video conferencing. However, by educating employees and participants on the best video conferencing practices, using the best system for specific spaces, and using microphones, companies can ensure audio quality during video conferences are crystal clear.

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Here’s how video conferencing contributes towards a company’s growth

 

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Technology plays a major role in the contribution of any company’s growth. There are so many offerings by the technology, which has contributed to the growth of numerous companies. One of such great technological inventions which can work as a great contributor towards business growth is a video conferencing solution.

A videoconference is a live, visual connection between two or more people residing in separate locations for the purpose of communication. At its simplest, video conferencing provides transmission of static images and text between two locations. At its most sophisticated, it provides transmission of full-motion video images and high-quality audio between multiple locations. Below are key contributions of video conferencing solutions for growth in today’s business.

Enables quick real-time communication

Business is dynamic and strategic. As a good business player, you have to make sure to arm your team with the tools, which can allow them to take quick decisions. One aspect to keep in mind is that in any business, before taking any decision, it is important to discuss the same with the core committee members. The video conferencing solution is the tool, which can empower the business owners and their team with a real-time communication platform. Using a conferencing solution, the conferences can be conducted quickly and decisions can be taken promptly.

Versatile communication tools

It is a known fact that each business has a different communication need. For example, there can be a need for a quick audio conference within the board members for easy discussions. At the same time, a video conference can be required for a team training for the remote members or to give demos of the product. The conference solution comes with the capability of both audio and video conferencing.

Easy and intuitive remote communication

The conferencing solution comes in a form of a web-based software. This type of conferencing solution can be accessed using a web client. This web client can be accessed from any web browser. This reduces the headache of installing any software on the system and carry that system everywhere to conduct a conference. To use a web-based video conferencing solution what you need is a web browser and good internet connection to support the bandwidth required for conducting the web conferences. So now, even when you or your staff members are travelling and are away from your systems, you and your staff members can still participate in conferences using any device.

Screen sharing

The laptops, desktops and smart devices are part of many businesses. The screen sharing functionality of the conferencing solution allows the teams to collaborate and work together remotely. This can be a boon for tech, manufacturing and IT companies.

Any company or business has a few core requirements to support their growth which includes the following:

  • Uninterrupted communication mechanism
  • Real-time communication tools
  • Strong Collaboration tools
  • Quick decision making
  • Beating the competition
  • High-tech tools

A video conferencing solution is a great platform which satisfies many important needs of a business including communication and collaboration. This conferencing solution will empower the businesses with the real time and a powerful communication mechanism which supports remote communication and collaboration. This improves the productivity of the team remarkably. All these reduces delays, accelerate business processes and contribute to the growth of the company.

Actis’ blog share and discussed key contributions of video conferencing solutions for growth in today’s business. Read this interesting blog to learn more.

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Easy tips to have productive conference calls with remote teams

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In today’s tech-driven world, employee teams telecommute and work from different parts of the world. Many global companies now allow employees to telecommute or work from a remote location or home. The benefits of a remote workforce stem from allowing employees to spend more time in their comfort zones, thereby enhancing productivity.

Although communication can be accomplished in numerous ways, from email to instant messaging and web conferencing, face-to-face interactions are still pivotal. Today, it is commonplace for teams to meet their remote counterparts via video conferencing platforms.

A conference call executed with everyone’s best interests in mind is the right way to accomplish those objectives with your remote team. Conferencing technologies allow meeting in the virtual space, saving time and money and offering flexibility in location and timing. This post discusses easy tips to make conference calls with remote teams productive and effective.

Keep it short and focused

Let’s not bore everyone to tears with corporate updates and policy changes and what-not. Send that information in an email (with bullet points for easy reading) and refer to the document to make your points. Use your conference calls to help your team members overcome obstacles, hash out ideas and help each other out.

Use the right video conferencing platform

You are responsible for making sure your conference call goes smoothly. Part of that is using the right technology. These days, cloud-based video conferencing offer businesses a license-based “always-available” communication service without the hassle of having on-premise servers and other infrastructure.

Have a clear plan and agenda

Plan an agenda and email it to everyone. It doesn’t have to be formal, but everyone should be aware of your discussion topics and prepared to contribute to the conversation. The agenda can be sent along with the meeting invite. Modern audio and video conferencing platforms feature calendar integrations built-in.

Make the call engage and interactive

Ask your teleworkers question, use their names and make them feel involved. The more they feel like they belong to the discussion, the more they’ll feel like offering ideas. You could also promote the usage of annotation tools available in today’s unified communication and collaboration platforms.

 

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Future of AV: Holographic 3D video conferencing with Kinect

Future of AV

Video conferencing is changing the way we interact with people across the globe. While video conferencing is not a new phenomenon, experimentation with augmented reality in this space is new. Industry experts predict that VC will evolve with visual and aural augmentation technologies.

Recently, a team of researchers at Kingston, Ontario’s Queen’s University have developed a video conferencing tool that works on Kinect cameras letting you see 3D holograms of the person you’re talking to. The device has been named as Telepod. This technology drastically changes the way video conferencing is conducted. Visually, it appears as a piece of technology from futuristic sci-fi movies. The Telepod spices up VC with life-size 3D holograms.

The system consists of a 1.8m tall cylinder with 6 Microsoft Kinect cameras placed on the top and a 3D projector fitted inside. As you may already know, Kinect is a popular line of motion sensing interactive devices by Microsoft for their Xbox gaming consoles and Windows-based PCs. It enables users to control and interact with their devices using gestures and spoken commands. This reduced dependency on external controllers or any sort.

While conferencing, each person stands in front of their own Telepod, which can capture and track their movements in three dimensions resulting in a life-size 3D holographic image projected inside of the cylinder. You can walk around and view from the back and the sides. There’s even a medical version named Bodipod that leverages the same hardware letting you interact with a 3D version of the human body. You can view it from multiple angles and use gesture commands to peel away layers & see different parts of the human anatomy.

As one of India’s leading AV integration companies, this technology excites us. We can’t stop thinking about how beneficial the Telepod would be in the field of visual communications. Here’s to holographic 3D video conferencing of the future! The following video gives you a closer look and small demonstration of the Telepod. Do have a look and share this post with your peers and colleagues.

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Top Business Benefits of Video Collaboration Solutions

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Effective communication between key stakeholders is vital for businesses to grow and be more productive. In the modern business setting, teams need to collaborate more frequently to drive strategic business objectives. These days businesses operate from multiple locations spanned across the globe. Face to face communication in this scenario involves travel and all its financial and non-productive implications.

Luckily, modern video collaboration solutions are helping business counter this and collaborate seamlessly with anyone from any corner of the world. Video conferencing equipment powered by IP Telephone and VoIP is not making communications fast, but also affordable and accessible to enterprises of all sizes. Let’s have a closer look at all the Top business benefits video collaboration solutions have to offer.

Increase in productivity by faster collaboration
It is imperative that workforces and teams communicate and collaborate for a successful business operation. The current modes of interaction such as e-mail, IMs, phones or workflow applications have virtually no provisions for nonverbal visual cues. These cues aid in understanding, processing, and comprehending communication accurately and quickly. Video collaboration solutions empower real-time, bi-directional communication and quicker decisions leading faster project completions and increases organizational productivity.

Reduced Travel Costs
In today’s globalized economy leveraging new market opportunities is always lucrative. This involves employees travelling to on-site locations engage in face-to-face interactions with partners, team members, customers and other stakeholders. All cost involved in the employees travelling is borne by the business. While physical face-to-face communication is important in critical situations, there is a large chunk on repeated and unnecessary travels that can be avoided. Saving on travel cost is one of the major benefits of deploying video conferencing equipment in offices.

Improved Hiring, Retention and Employee Motivation
Video collaboration solutions allow companies to tap into talent pools from a larger geographic dimension. This particularly helpful for businesses with specific hiring needs that involve multiple rounds and people in the whole interview process. Improved communication solutions and protocols can help businesses creates a smoother more enjoyable workflow. Furthermore, mitigating the need for travel allows employees to strike a right work-life balance, minimize office commute, and usage saved time on productive tasks.

Improves agility in a competitive environment
Video collaboration solutions offer multiple paths for creating agility and competitive edge. Teams are empowered with tools for faster decision making that reduce the time to market and sell new products and services. Video conferencing equipment can be used by all resources be it sales and marketing, research and development and human resources to share time-sensitive information that can help businesses stay ahead of their competition.

Video collaboration solutions can be immensely beneficial to businesses and business users. It has the prowess to make global business environment smaller and well connected.

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12 Essential tips to achieve better enterprise desktop Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is becoming the preferred way for businesses to conduct both one-on-one meetings as well as group meetings. Employees can use video conferencing to participate in meetings in a more relaxed and comfortable way, whether they are working from home or in the office. Live video feeds let participants interact with each other in real time.

Using video conferencing regularly, results in increased involvement and stronger personal connections. For businesses of different sizes, video conferencing can reduce time spent walking between campuses and buildings, and also reduces travel time for meetings.

More importantly, advances in video conferencing software makes it more appealing and cost-effective than ever before. Also, the advent of cloud-based video conferencing means that businesses do not necessarily need to invest in expensive hardware to make that all-important video call.

However, all video conferencing is not created equal. You will need to choose your equipment carefully depending on your unique needs. We shall talk about the 12 essential points to keep in mind for successful enterprise desktop video conferencing. Here goes…

1) Use a top-notch camera: Use a professional-grade camera to ensure best image quality. Also, do not forget to keep the camera lens clean.

2) Use the right microphones: If you are connecting to your video conferencing system using mobile phones and tablets, you should use a Bluetooth microphone and a wired headset. Another option is using a clip-on microphone that has noise-cancelling features and a wide pickup frequency range. Also, you should mute your microphone when it is in listening mode and conduct video conferences from quiet, indoor meeting spaces.

3) Use the right lighting: You can record and transmit high-quality images only if there is good lighting in your meeting space. You should experiment with lighting by moving it around. Also, avoid direct sunlight on your face or behind you.

4) Use enhanced bandwidth: If you have insufficient bandwidth it will hamper desktop video conferencing quality. Bandwidth problems result in the skipping of video conferencing images and decreased window size. Be sure to enhance bandwidth to the computers you plan to use for desktop video conferencing.

5) Reduce the burden on the memory and CPU of your computer: You should not do any other tasks on your computer, such as processing or downloading while you are on a video conference. You should also close all unnecessary applications to improve memory resources.

6) Pay attention to body language when on a video conference call: You are being continuously watched when you are on a desktop video conference, so pay attention to what you do and to your body language. Do not yawn, clean your ears or cough into the camera. Ensure that you mind your manners when on a video conference.

7) Ensure that your background is clean: Your background, such as walls and furniture appear very clearly on desktop video conferences. Ensure that your background is clean and appealing. A plain, light-coloured background with your company logo looks best.

8) Speak directly to the camera: You should speak directly to the camera and not to the person on the screen. This is most noticeable when incoming video is projected on a large TV screen, but outgoing video is captured via the desktop in front of you.

9) Mute your microphone to eliminate background noise and echoes: If there is a lot of background noise, you should mute your microphone to correct this problem. You should also remove nearby electronic devices, especially phones or other wireless devices.

10) Become familiar with the video conferencing system before the call: Practice using your video conferencing system well ahead of your actual call. You should download the desktop video client and ensure that it installs. You should learn its chat function, try out the whiteboard, and select and deselect the camera or microphone. The more you know, the better you will look.

11) Dress the way you would for a formal meeting: Dress business-like like you would for an in-person meeting. You should wear royal blue, purple or gray as they contrast well with a light-coloured background. You should avoid wearing complex designs that the webcam cannot pick up effectively. Also avoid too much jewelery.

12) Practice using the system beforehand: You should practice your presentation by recording yourself using the video conferencing software and critiquing the presentation. Video conferencing will help you improve your presentations in both the virtual and the physical world.

These are the 12 essentials to keep in mind when setting up and using a video conferencing system.  Do pay attention to these before and during your video conference. Here’s to seamess and satisfactory video calls!

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Video Conferencing: Always Connected

Do you stay far away, yet want to remain connected with your loved ones? Do you have a business meeting with people miles away?This was never possible until the advent of video conferencing . Video conferencing has changed our lives, and how! Needless to say, it is one of the best innovations for your business. Continue reading

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