Blog


Our Easymeeting Blog keeps our readers up to date with news, updates and on providing our readers with valuable insight into being more productive and using video conferencing within their organization.

 

 

 

 

What is a virtual meeting room?

Comment

What is a virtual meeting room?

We know that when you can't physically touch or see something, it is hard to understand. For service providers like Easymeeting, it can make it difficult for customers to grasp what exactly is being offered to them. Many of our customers or potential customers have asked what a meeting room in the "cloud" really means.

For this reason, we have decided to share with you the easiest way to visualize what a virtual meeting room is.

Picture your virtual meeting room as a physical meeting room. There is a table, a whiteboard and a specific number of chairs at the table. Similar to this conference room, your virtual meeting room has a specific number of "chairs" based on your subscription. There is no standing room, so the room can only hold the number of people as there are chairs. Once someone gets out of the chair and leaves the room, someone else can enter the room and fill that chair.

Often times in meetings it is more beneficial to show the other attendees what you are talking about instead of just explaining it, so you go to the whiteboard. Whether this is a webpage, and excel spreadsheet or a new marketing campaign, you can share this in your virtual conference room. How? With your virtual meeting room, you have the option to "present" which means anything on your computer can be viewed by the other participants on their respective devices. Presenting desktops is a feature many of our customers utilize daily, taking collaboration to the next level.

Your virtual room is always available so you can use this room as much as you want for as long as you want. Many companies find that having multiple virtual meeting rooms is beneficial, just as they have multiple physical conference rooms. This allows several departments or employees to conduct their business meetings at the same time, rather than a large company all scheduling around one room, physical or virtual. 

The meeting room stays in the same place. Once you have joined a meeting from that room once, you will always know how to join it. The virtual meeting room has the same meeting ID everytime you join it, making it easy for you and your guests to attend meetings. There is no guessing what the meeting ID is or how to get to your meeting. Additionally, you can lock your virtual meeting room with a lock feature or pin number, just like you can lock your physical conference room. This helps to ensure privacy during confidential meetings as well as avoiding interruptions from that notorious co-worker that never checks the schedule and barges into the conference room unannounced mid-meeting.

To try your very own Easymeeting virtual meeting room, request a 14-day FREE trial here.

Comment

When was the last time you stood up?

Comment

When was the last time you stood up?

It's time for employees to take a stand, literally. It feels like every other day I see a new article about how bad sitting for extended periods is for your health. The last time I read one of these articles, I asked myself, "what is stopping me? Why do I feel the need to put my health on the back burner to get an email out 5 minutes sooner?"

I wanted to share a few suggestions that I have found help me get up and get moving throughout my day.

  1. Set a reminder on your calendar or computer to get up every hour. You only need to get up for about 5 minutes. I save my trips to the water cooler and the coffee machine for these times. Feel like you don't have time every hour? Try starting with once every two hours.
  2. If someone down the hall sends you an email or chat, get up and walk to their office to "respond". Not only will it likely save you time by communicating face-to-face, but it will give you a break from sitting.
  3. Team stretching. Yes, team stretching! This sounds strange, but sometimes it is easier to remember to get up and move when there are others doing the same. Stand up, raise your hands above your head, move your neck around, you can do just about anything and it will be better than having your butt in your chair and your fingers on your keyboard. You can take turns each day having someone lead the team in stretching exercises, or create a friendly competition.
  4. Invest in a standing desk. They can be expensive, but if you have a lot of laptop users, you can create a standing workstation that can be shared throughout the day.
  5. Spend 10-15 minutes of your lunch break going for a stroll. Whether it is outside (I recommend it, especially with Spring now in the air) or down the hall. Don't have time to take a lunch break? Make time. It will not only get you moving, but it will help you stay productive by breaking up your day.
  6. Stand up, sit down, repeat every 30-45 mins. It's been a crazy day, you just looked at the clock and it is already lunch time. You haven't moved from your desk. Well just stand up, shake yourself out and sit back down. Pretty painless right? Try and do this every 30-45 minutes if you can't go for a walk throughout the day.

We are all busy. We all feel certain days getting away from us, and I am guilty as charged when it comes to not taking breaks. But I have found myself getting up more often to move around, and--surprisingly--the world didn't end. It's important for us to remember that our health and well-being should be our top priority.

For me tips and tricks on how to stay focused, on task and healthy while at work, subscribe to the Easymeeting.

Comment

BYOD Is No Longer A Trend

Comment

BYOD Is No Longer A Trend

 "Bring your own device" (BYOD) is the practice of allowing employees to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes.

In 2014, Market researcher Gartner Inc. predicted that almost four in 10 organizations will rely exclusively on BYOD by 2016, and will no longer provide devices to employees. Moreover, they predict 85 percent of businesses will have some kind of BYOD program in place by 2020.

Today, even the super security conscious companies are making this shift in policy because BYOD offers a number of benefits, and employees are starting to demand it.

Advantages to having a BYOD policy:

  • Improved productivity: Research sponsored by Citrix showed that almost one in five small and mid-sized businesses achieved productivity gains of 30 percent or more by adopting mobile work styles like BYOD. Because your employees are comfortable with the device they are using, they require less training and on-boarding efforts. Plus, your IT team will be more productive and less stressed without receiving frequent help desk tickets regarding device issues.
  • Improved bottom line: Companies are able to avoid spending money on devices that might not be as powerful as the consumer devices that many of their employees already own.
  • Improved talent: BYOD allows for a more mobile employee base, and is attractive for remote workers. BYOD also helps these employees to stay connected with video conferencing and other collaboration tools even when they are not in the office.

Things to remember:

  • You should have a BYOD policy in place. Among other things, this will establish the level of support that can be expected for employee-owned PCs, smartphones and tablets from your IT department.
  • Be security conscious. You should also have a BYOD security policy in place to help protect your company's confidential information.

With employees using services like Easymeeting that allow employees to connect to their EasyConference room on a device they are comfortable with, it makes meeting even easier. Give us a try by requesting your free 14-day trial.

For many small to medium sized businesses, this practice has saved them money and kept their employees happy. Does your company support a BYOD policy? If so, tell us about it in the comments section.

Comment

Start Your Video Meetings On Time

Comment

Start Your Video Meetings On Time

In case you missed it in our March Newsletter, Spring is in the air and like most people you are busy, busy, busy. But are you are using your time as productively as possible? Start by beginning your meetings on time. If your team or colleagues are notorious for using more time than allotted for the meeting due to a late start, follow these 5 steps, and get your time back!

  1. Log into the meeting a few minutes early. Being logged into the meeting room does not mean that you cannot accomplish anything while you are waiting to get started. Simply put your microphone (and camera) on mute while you work and wait for others to join.

  2. Include the "how to join" instructions or auto-join link in your meeting invite. In many cases, meetings start late because someone doesn't know how to join. So for first-time users (and forgetful colleagues) it is easier to see the dial instructions, or simply to follow an auto-join link in the invitation.

  3. Begin the meeting when all the "key" players are present. Some invitees are not considered critical to a meeting, so --if this is the case--begin your meeting once all the key participants have joined. Typically the beginning of the meeting is not the most important, and if someone is taking notes they can send them to anyone who arrived late.

  4. Keep your meetings small. Stay focused on what you want to accomplish by the end of the meeting. Brainstorming/problem-solving meetings may require a larger group than a decision-making meeting. Popular opinion tends to suggest 10-25 people in a brainstorm/discussion meeting (sometimes breaking into subgroups) versus only six or less in a meeting that a decision needs to be made. When thinking of who to invite think small, but not so small you are eliminating diverse opinions.

  5. Be respectful of other people's time. We all consider our time precious. Sometimes, simply remembering that being late for a meeting means you are wasting other people's time is an easy way to fix your chronic late syndrome. If you are a critical participant in the meeting and you are running late, send the other attendees an email 15 mins before the meeting as a courtesy.

Meetings are a great tool that can help you and your company save time and money. Be sure you are prepared at the start of your meeting and don't forget to reach out to one of our Experts if you would like to make a test call prior to your meeting, we are happy to help.  Try Easymeeting for free and start enhancing your conversations today.

Comment

EasyTeleport, Set to Launch

Comment

EasyTeleport, Set to Launch

Easymeeting.net has announced its latest revolutionary product offering, EasyTeleport. A first-in-class teleportation solution, the company believes this new service will forever change the way humans travel, meet, and communicate.

“Teleportation has always been something I’ve been interested in,” mused Easymeeting’s CEO and Founder Hans-Johan Tofteng. “It has taken us many years of work, and a lot of guinea pigs, but today our EasyTeleport service is finally ready to be used by the public.”

EasyTeleport allows users of the company’s TWS video conferencing system to teleport to any other TWS system simply by pressing the “near/far” button on their remote, and clicking their heels three times. The service requires a simple software upgrade, and will be sold on a per teleport basis in bundles of three round trips--or EasyTrips. Three EasyTrips will cost customers just $300; six trips $600, and so on.

“Really, it’s an unbelievable value for what you’re actually getting,” exclaimed US Channel Sales Manager Jonathan Fry. “During the beta testing we had a couple of hiccups--especially with teleporting a person’s entire body--but we’ve worked all of that out, and EasyTeleport is now just as safe as traveling by plane or train.”

For more information on EasyTeleport, visit easymeeting.net/teleport, or contact your region’s sales team today!

 

Note: In Norway, Easymeeting’s global headquarter, Aprilsnarr (April Fools' Day) is traditionally celebrated by local newspapers with a fake story, and we couldn't resist getting into the spirit of the holiday. What's the best prank you've ever pulled or seen? Comment below to tell us about it, and Happy April Fools' Day!

 

Comment

Boost Productivity by Setting Goals

Comment

Boost Productivity by Setting Goals

As we near the end of this year’s first quarter, I find myself thinking a lot about the way my year has gone so far, and the things I’d like to do with the months that remain. With that thought in mind, I’d like to share a personal practice that has helped me to become more productive and focused.

On the first day of each month, I set my alarm clock a few minutes early, and use that time to write down five things that I want to accomplish over the ensuing month. This gives me a concrete, measurable list of goals to keep me on track as the month goes on, and also serves as a reminder of the things that are really important to me. This list might not always consist of the five most pressing tasks for the upcoming month, but every item is something that I feel is important for my mental, physical, professional, and/or emotional well-being.

For example, last month's goals included re-reading one of my favorite books, exercising for at least 30 minutes every single day, and calling a few friends who I hadn’t spoken with in a while. Every Sunday night before bed, I check in with my list (which I keep on my nightstand) and see how I’m doing. This ritual guides my mental action plan for the week ahead, eases anxiety, and--when I can cross an item off the list--boosts self-confidence.

When I first started making these lists it felt like a chore, but now I look forward to it every month. This weekend marked the first day of Spring, and I think we’d all be well-served by setting a few goals for the season ahead. Will setting monthly, weekly or even daily goals help inspire you? Comment below to tell us what you think!

 

Want to keep up to date with video conferencing news and productivity tips? Subscribe to our blog.

Comment

Gatekeeper .113 is Ready to Retire

Comment

Gatekeeper .113 is Ready to Retire

For many Free Connect (EasyNumber) subscribers, this will have no effect on your services or will require no changes. 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Customers who utilize our Free Connect (EasyNumber) services, please note that on 13 March 2015 our Gatekeeper 88.84.173.113 will no longer be available. This will only require a small change for any customers who have configured their video system to register to this Gatekeeper. We suggest you confirm the settings within your video conferencing system before the 12th of March or contact our Service Center for more information.

Why? It is part of a globalized effort to streamline the Easymeeting services, and make them more user-friendly for our customers. From now on, customers who use Free Connect (EasyNumbers) will need to connect to the cloud through our main gatekeeper, 109.239.231.231.


We wish Gatekeeper .113 a happy retirement and hope it enjoys soaking up the sun with some margaritas!

Comment

How To Set Yourself Up For Video Using Mobile Devices

Comment

How To Set Yourself Up For Video Using Mobile Devices

We have a number of new customers that are unsure of how to set up their home office or desk for video meetings and come to our Experts for advice. These customers want to make sure they make a good impression, so to help you newcomers and even all of you video veterans out there, we put together a few tips to keep you looking your best on video.

Position your camera somewhere that you can look at it naturally. This will make your conversation feel more real and engaged because while you are looking at the other participants on your screen and glancing at your camera, it will give other participants the impression you are making eye contact with them. Alternatively, having the camera off to the side will give them the impression you are not paying attention to the meeting and working on other things, even if you are viewing the conference on your screen.

Do not sit with a window or bright light behind you. Having a bright light behind you can create a shadow over your face on video and won't allow the other participants to see you clearly; therefore, you want to try positioning yourself sitting towards any windows or bright lights in the room.  If you can't avoid that big window behind you, you can also try placing a lamp in front of you on your desk to illuminate your face.

Create an area with a professional backdrop. While you are trying to avoid that window behind you, also make sure that what is behind you is professional. For example, having a wall with a piece of artwork or a bookshelf behind you will give a better impression than a messy play room or a sink full of dirty dishes in your background. For a casual meeting with your colleague this might not be as important; however, meeting with a customer or your boss, you want to show you are professional and meant to be taken seriously.

Sit somewhere quiet & use a headset. Make sure you are joining your meeting from somewhere quiet. It is amazing what these little computer microphones can pick up in their range! Headsets are a great way to cut out background noise, not only for you to hear better, but the microphone also picks up less background and more of your voice. If you are in a noisy place, mute yourself when you aren't talking, it will be much less distracting for the other participants in the meeting.

Do not sit too close and use PIP (picture-in-picture) to your advantage. When you join a meeting, look at your picture-in-picture to get an idea of how you are positioned and how the other participants are seeing you. Make sure you aren't sitting too close to the camera; typically from the elbows or the shoulders up is a good distance. Once you've made sure that you are seated how you wanted you can shut off the picture-in-picture if you find it distracting.

Having your first video meeting can feel awkward, but if you remember these easy tips you will look like a video conferencing pro in no time. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips!

Comment

“Here’s to the crazy ones,"

Comment

“Here’s to the crazy ones,"

In honor of Steve Jobs' birthday being earlier this week, I wanted to take a minute to share three of my favorite quotes and what they mean to me. In some shape or form, we try to apply these words of wisdom to the things we do each day at Easymeeting--whether we're conscious of it or not.

In case you missed it, last week I explained the Easymeeting Experience. With that in mind, this first quote exemplifies the way we feel every experience and product at Easymeeting should be: the highest quality possible.

"When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”

At Easymeeting, our employees use our products and services every day, and that keeps us intimately involved when it comes to ease and quality. We want you to be successful, and that can't happen if we have a lot of pretty things on the outside, but lack the guts to keep it running on the inside.

The second quote applies to any business or relationship, but it reminds us in a fun way that greatness comes from teamwork. Our teams at Easymeeting are like family and we have to work together to accomplish things we do each day. We realize that in order to take us to the amazing places we imagine video meetings going in the near future, it takes collaboration and ideas from all points of view. Plus, who doesn't like The Beatles?

“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”

This last quote is my favorite. At Easymeeting we try to break the mold and think outside of the box. We don't want to fit in the typical stereotype of what video conferencing used to stand for. Video conferencing has been known to be expensive, difficult to use and only accessible to large corporations. We want to make video easy and accessible to everyone and provide our customers with outstanding support. 

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Can you imagine the endless possibilities of bringing people together over video? We can.

Comment

What it means to deliver an Easymeeting Experience

Comment

What it means to deliver an Easymeeting Experience

One of our core values as Easymeeting employees is to "Deliver an Easymeeting Experience" to everyone we come in contact with, but what does that mean for you?

Every day our employees, Experts to executives, strive to exceed your expectations, and leave a lasting impression on everyone we come in contact with. We want to leave you with a smile or a positive feeling that lasts long after your conversation with us.

For most of you, the Easymeeting experience begins with one of our Experts. They are trained to change the way people feel about customer service by delivering great and friendly support. Whether it is through e-mail, over the phone or over video, our customers should feel they are getting the best support possible. Our Experts understand the high value of video, and they truly want to see you get the most of your Easymeeting service.

Even our executives strive to deliver an Easymeeting experience. It's common for our founder, Hans Johan Tofteng, to reach out to customers just to ask them how they feel about the services. They also design our products with the Easymeeting experience and values in mind.

Here at Easymeeting, we believe that our customer service is one of the most important things we can deliver to our customers and most of them will tell you that it stands us apart from most other companies.  Our focus is to provide great service to positively impact everyone else’s day and we will continue to strive to make every experience with Easymeeting a great one.

Have you had an Easymeeting experience you would like to share? Tell us about it in the comments below; we would love to hear from you.

Comment