News


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.

 

 

 

 

Quick Tip: Tidy Up Your Desktop

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Quick Tip: Tidy Up Your Desktop

We all know the five-minute period of hectic activities before a visitor arrives at your house - frantically putting yesterdays newspapers in the bin, clothes in drawers, and quickly sorting letters and bills to be put in your letter holder. Similarly, you want to make sure you have a clean desktop before you invite your colleagues or customers to view your screen.

Fortunately, most of the time that you are expected to present in a meeting you have time to prepare. So next time you are putting those final touches on your presentation, do a quick clean of your desktop. Put loose files into a folder and make sure no sensitive information can be seen within file or document names. In addition, take a few minutes before the meeting to close all the applications that are not needed for your presentation, especially web pages you don't want to expose - Facebook, news, sports, etc. Taking the extra time, even just a minute or two, will help you appear more organized and professional.

Subscribe to our blog and newsletters for more tips on enhancing your video meetings!

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Introducing our New Look!

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Introducing our New Look!

As you may have noticed, some things have changed. Nope, its not a new hair cut... We have launched our new website!

We wanted to enhance our customer and visitor experience while using our website and felt there was no better time than the start of the New Year. So far, 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Easymeeting and we have a lot more surprises up our sleeves, from new features to new services and products! Our new website will be the hub for all the upcoming action from the Easymeeting team- so keep your eyes open for some more changes this year.

Go ahead and look around, we have kept all of the great information you were familiar with and added so much more! You can learn about Easymeeting's mission and company values, read customer success stories and even find recommended accessories to help enhance your video meetings.

Want to tell someone how to meet you in your virtual meeting room? Send them to our new How to Join page with written and video instructions.

Easymeeting would love to hear your feedback. Email news@easymeeting.net or comment below to tell us what you think. To keep up to date with future exciting news, subscribe here.

Cheers! - The Easymeeting Team 

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Set Yourself Up for Successful Remote Working

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Set Yourself Up for Successful Remote Working

At Easymeeting Americas, our office is only about 50 meters from the Mystic River, and a few times every year the water level rises high enough to cause flooding around our office and send employees home for the day.

Fortunately, we have contingency plans in place to ensure that--in case of flooding, electrical or winter weather emergencies--our employees are able to work from home without sacrificing productivity. Video conferencing is a part of the equation, but there are other tools that can make life easier for employees who wish to clock in from their home office.

Here are a few tips that will help your employees spend a day at home without missing a beat!

VPNs -- Virtual Private Networks can enhance and extend the security of your office’s network by allowing employees to connect from anywhere. Thanks to VPNs, Easymeeting employees who sit in Virginia, Rhode Island and Norway can connect securely to our networks.

B.Y.O.Tech -- This trend has become increasingly popular thanks in large part to the rise of the tablet. Employees are working from their personal tech inside the office, and it is making them feel more fully-equipped when working remotely.

Cloud-based Storage -- In the same vein as BYOT, cloud-based storage allows employees to access work files from anywhere. We have used services like Livedrive, Microsoft’s OneDrive and Google Drive, and had positive experiences with all of them.

Finally, plan ahead! If you think bad weather might keep you out of the office, bring your work home with you the night before, and wake up a bit earlier than usual to make sure you’re on the same page as your colleagues. As is the case in many workplace situations, communication is the key.

 

Want to see how Easymeeting can keep your team connected when weather and other emergencies prevent them from getting to the office? Try our video meeting solution for 14 days free of charge!

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Happy Holidays and Thanks for a Great 2014!

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Happy Holidays and Thanks for a Great 2014!

This week we just wanted to take a moment to thank all of our customers and partners for a great 2014. Without the great relationships we have with our customers and partners, Easymeeting would not be successful and we do what we do, for you!

We are wishing each and every one of you are wonderful Holiday season, and best wishes in 2015! Stay safe while traveling and enjoy your holiday season. We look forward to seeing you all in the Easymeeting Cloud in 2015, and to introducting some exciting new things from the Easymeeting family throughout the year.

We will leave you with a little video of our Experts getting into the holiday spirit. Enjoy here and we will see you next year!

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The 2014 Easymeeting Holiday Gift Guide

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The 2014 Easymeeting Holiday Gift Guide

It is officially the time of year where everyone is scrambling to buy last minute gifts. Not to worry! Easymeeting is here to help. This year, Easymeeting's Alex Teixeira, gives his top 10 holiday gift ideas broken down into five categories to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list: big ticket items, tech, time management, home office and stocking stuffers.

 
 

Big Ticket

Rebel Desk -- Save the money you had earmarked for that new video game system, and invest in a loved one’s well being, instead! Rebel Desk, makers of the world’s finest standing desks, claims a standing desk can improve one’s fitness, mood and overall productivity.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 tablet -- Last year, we recommended the iPad, so it’s fitting that today we show its Android contemporary some love. The Galaxy Tab Pro boasts a beautiful 12.2” display, lightning fast multi-tasking capability and can be paired with data plans from all major cell phone service providers to guarantee web access on the go. It is a truly powerful device for both work and play, and a great gift this holiday season.

Feeling extra nice this year? Check out the keyboard that can be paired with this awesome tablet to give a PC experience.

Tech

Pebble -- Wearable tech has made a major leap in 2014 thanks to the expansion of Android brands like LG’s G Watch and Samsung Galaxy Gear, and the announcement of the Apple Watch (coming in 2015). This holiday season, however, we recommend smart watches from Pebble. Their product is affordable, reliable and compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones.

SoundShooter Portable Speaker -- Big sound has never been more portable! Check out this cool innovation on the bluetooth speaker from Philips. With a price tag of less than $25, it boasts some serious bang for your buck.

Time Management

The Four Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss -- One of the best selling business books of all time, and for good reason! Tim Ferriss shows readers how to maximize productivity and trim the proverbial fat from their workweek. It’s a great gift for the aspiring entrepreneur, young professional, or any students on your list this holiday season.

Evernote -- One of the best time savers I have ever invested in is Evernote. There is a free version available, or--for only $5 per month--you can purchase the premium version of the app for someone in your life who could use a boost in their organizational skills.

Home Office

SmartHome Starter Kit -- If someone you love works from a home office, they are likely to be more sensitive than most when it comes to saving money on your utility bills. Smart Home solutions allow users to control everything from lights to locks to thermostats directly from their smartphones.

External Hard Drives -- It is absolutely crucial to have one’s files backed up on an external drive, and this is especially true for those who work from home. These hard drives are more affordable than ever, and most come with software to help users backup their files with relative ease. It might not be the most exciting gift in the world, but what external hard drives lack in “wow” factor they more than make up for in practicality.

Stocking Stuffers

Hand Held Scalp/Head Massager -- These contraptions may look alien, but they make fantastic stocking stuffers! For just over two dollars you can give the gift of relaxation and stress relief to two of your friends or family members.

The Startup Vitamins 2015 Desk Calendar -- The recipient of this cool calendar will be treated to a new motivational quote every month! When in doubt, a desk calendar can be a nice gift for just about anybody from colleagues to loved ones.


What’s on your wish list this holiday season? Let us know by posting on facebook, or tagging us on Instagram or twitter--@easymeetingnet.

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The Importance of Test Calls

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The Importance of Test Calls

Sometimes video conferencing gets a bad reputation for being difficult to use. Inexperienced users may think that only people who are “tech savvy” can take advantage of the technology, but in fact it is quite the opposite; video is for anyone and everyone!

Here is one super simple tip that will make your future meetings easier and more enjoyable in just two words: test calls.

They may sound like a nuisance, but test calls can save you a lot time and unnecessary frustration when it comes time to dial into that important video meeting. They can also minimize the risk of joining a meeting late because you realized you never installed your web camera, or help you to realize that sitting in front of your office window will cause you to look like a silhouette. It will also help you identify any network or device issues before the time of the call, and--if nothing else--generally gain you a higher level of familiarity and comfort with your video software.

The purpose of the test call is to troubleshoot and eliminate any difficulties of joining at the time of your call. For most, this test call will confirm that everything is all set and working. For some, the test call might identify an issue and gives you time to get it resolved in time for your meeting. You don’t always need to have a test call, but they are crucial to work out the initial kinks of your first call. And test calls aren’t just for mobile users; it is important to test that your video conferencing system is able to make calls outside of your network, as many systems are behind your company firewall.

With Easymeeting, we have Experts standing by to help you with your test call.

Email or chat with us to schedule your next test call, or just dial 800 on your EasyNumber-enabled VC system, tablet or computer and we will be at your service!

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We Are All Travelers

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We Are All Travelers

[Guest blog by Hans Johan Tofteng, CEO and Founder of Easymeeting]

You can see heavy advertising for one of the airliners - “We are all travelers”. They are probably right, and I have to admit, I like travelling. For many of us, the problem is that we are travelling too frequently for business, and not often enough for pleasure. We must stop and ask ourselves, how much do we actually gain as a result of this travel? How much did we gain if we traveled 4 hours for a 1 hour meeting? Its easy to measure the cost of the meeting by the price we pay in dollars, but how do we measure the mental energy and time used? That is the most precious commodity of all...

Lets conduct a little test: imagine having a conversation with another person while your eyes are closed. You will soon realized that most of the information is missing from the conversation. Body language is crucial to good conversation, and we miss it in a telephone conference or in a phone call. Now imagine having a great conversation and seeing each other with video. You are able to notice when that person is agreeing or disagreeing based on their body language even if you aren’t in the same room--or country, for that matter! 

Imagine replacing 30% of your meetings with video meetings where you can focus on the conversation, and technology takes the backstage. After all, conversation is the most important part of a meeting, not the technology required to make it happen.

Lastly, imagine your dinner table without an empty chair, and that you are spending your evening learning about your family’s day rather than sitting in an airport or hotel eating fast food or room service.

The next time you are planning a trip ask yourself, “could I have this meeting over video?” Video will not replace all travel, but video meetings can let you decide when to travel for a meeting. The benefits are great - you will be at home more with your family and friends, you can be more productive without leaving your office and your family, friends and colleagues will love that you are not exhausted from all of your business travels.

Start replacing your business travel with video and see what great conversations you can have with Easymeeting.

[Edited by Sara Santos]

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Breaking Bad Communication Habits

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Breaking Bad Communication Habits

Benjamin Franklin once said “Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

Bad habits are one of those things that nobody likes to talk about. We’ve all got them, but most of the time we prefer to act as if they don’t exist. Good or bad, habits shape the way you communicate with others, especially in business. While technology has brought an essence of “ease” into the business world, for many of us it has also instilled a few bad habits.

Experts are already declaring that upcoming generations won’t be able to hold conversations, form proper sentences or offer up a firm hand shake because they are constantly hiding behind screens. Business is about relationships, so why do we prefer the impersonal connection and sometimes even anonymity that comes with communicating through certain forms of technology?

How can we fix this? How do we break the mold when most of our colleagues won’t even answer a phone call from an unknown number? Our society prefers to get caught up in a hurricane of one liner emails than to have a five minute conversation that gives us a chance to assess a situation, find a solution, and move forward. I am as guilty as the next person; I actually take pride in my ability to type 84 wpm... Thanks Mavis Beacon!

What’s the solution? You guessed it - video conferencing!

Imagine the time you can save by having direct, face to face conversations with coworkers and colleagues that are focused and committed to giving every conversation the time and attention it deserves. Here at Easymeeting, we encourage our employees to cut out as much of the unnecessary email communication as possible. There is nothing as personal, efficient and effective as a face to face conversation.

Challenge yourself: the next time you look at that to do list or get ready to start a project at work, see how much faster you can accomplish your tasks by quickly addressing topics with people in a meeting; whether in person, over video, or on the phone. See what else you can accomplish once that to do list is complete for the day. Sometimes it’s about working smarter, not harder- so give it a try.

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Balancing Safety and Availability

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Balancing Safety and Availability

The idea behind this blog is the result of a recent experience when someone close to me decided to answer a facetime call as they were driving. My first instinct was to yell at them “What are you doing??” but instead I said call me back later and hung up as quickly as I could.

With smartphones and tablets, technology is at our fingertips almost ALL of the time, but it is important for us to remember that we don’t always need to be available. Here at Easymeeting we are scheduling and conducting video meetings on a daily basis. We have seen people join from all different locations - home offices, board rooms, their hotel room - almost everywhere. As the holiday season is quickly approaching many of us will be juggling business and personal travel while trying to stay on top or our daily work tasks, but there is no work worth putting your safety at risk.

Like you, we love technology. We also love our families and value our time outside and away from work. We want you to use Easymeeting and other work tools to be productive, so you can spend time with your family or do the things you love, not to be available no matter where or what you are doing.

Don’t be afraid to let a call go to voicemail, delay a response to an email, or reschedule a meeting if you are on the road. Being unavailable is not a business faux pas, as long as you are courteous about timing and respectful of those that you work with - safety should always come first!

We do not recommend calling into an Easymeeting while you are driving! If you must join while on the road, pull over and put your car in park. If you MUST be on the move be sure to initiate your call while parked using our audio-only option and a hands free connection. The reality is, this is still considered distracted driving and is dangerous and potentially fatal. For more information about distracted driving, click here.

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When Great Minds Meet, Great Things Happen!

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When Great Minds Meet, Great Things Happen!

[Guest blog by Hans Johan Tofteng, CVO and Founder of Easymeeting]

Imagine a school, made up of children at different locations that all share a teacher in Spanish, English or Chinese, but the teacher is in Spain, England or China. Wouldn’t that be exciting? And a great learning experience for the students. Think of what an exciting learning experience it would create for all of the students and teachers, both local and distant!

I think this could be beneficial for the teachers and students in so many ways! First of all, the students could see how important it is to learn foreign languages, and teachers can enhance their skills, while learning even more language. Everyone would learn about the cultures of other countries through conversations, as they share their knowledge. Secondly, to have students work together with students in countries around the world is exciting and inspiring for students, more so than a traditional lecture. Being able to learn language by doing, and allowing for better understanding of each culture can create even better friendships.

I know this may sound like science fiction, but it is not! In the Northern Part of Norway, kids in year 3-4 of school are sharing language teachers by use of video meetings. They also receive music classes from Manhattan School of Music - learning music history, language and meeting people from the United States. With video conferencing things that seemed to be something of only imagination can now be a reality. We can bring different cultures together and give our students amazing experiences!

Students benefitting from distance learning and celebrating with other cultures.

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