The Importance of Utilizing Videoconferencing Equipment to Enhance Productivity and Reduce Expense

With many companies taking full advantage of the video conferencing craze, many businesses feel the pressure of making the commitment to obtain equipment to stay in communication with potential clients and existing vendors. While the upfront cost might seem as though it is a substantial business expenditure, most companies experience a 50% savings or more on the annual cost of employee travel.

The Expense of a Video Conferencing System

Utilizing video conferencing technology is the ideal way to connect an old style of doing
business with a new one. Businesses have always been founded on relationships.
Deals have often been negotiated using nothing more than a handshake. As profits
become tighter, and the cost of travel continues to escalate, business relationships
have taken a toll. As a result, the technology of videoconferencing has helped many
companies continue to maintain strong relationships without the need to spend an
exorbitant amount of money to discuss business face-to-face.

A Simple Affordable System

Even a complex video conferencing system, like the Cisco C20, is easy to install and to
utilize. Based on plug and play technology, a video conferencing system will include the
display, a microphone, camera, a connection to the Internet, and a power cable. Some
systems use advanced auto-detecting features, straightforward menu applications,
and quick dialing using remote devices. Built as a simple system, video conferencing
solutions are affordably priced providing substantial savings to companies within the
first year.

Standard-based Technology

Like any new electronic components in the marketplace, it is important that the video
conferencing system is founded on standard-based technology. Well-designed
conferencing equipment, like the Cisco C20 QuickSet, provides instant 3rd party
bridging for immediate connectivity to Skype, Google Hangout, Facetime and other
video-calling software.

Recording of Call

For businesses that want to record the video, there are specific video conferencing
systems designed to do exactly that. Recording a video can be an essential feature
when utilized for pre-hire interviews, remote training, conferences, distant learning, and
other educational requirements. Some video conferencing systems provide recording
features utilizing company servers, content servers, and even DVRs.

Companies are beginning to see the benefits for adopting video conferencing to stay
connected through numerous collaboration platforms. The cost of videoconferencing
equipment is continually dropping, allowing companies the ability to utilize web
meetings to help boost productivity, cut company expenses, and build stronger
relationships with vendors, suppliers, customers and others. Videoconferencing offers
better solutions by allowing employees to develop a better work and home-life balance
by minimizing travel and stress.


Aastra Shows Off Its PBX Solutions

Enterprise communications company Aastra took advantage of the 2012 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference to show off what its various PBX technologies can do for organizations working in the education space.

Aastra’s system is a unified communications solution for organizations that want to merge all their communications channels into one. One of Aastra’s most popular products, which was on display at the EDUCAUSE conference, is Internet2 Hosted PBX, which is run on Aastra’s Clearspan technology. Besides being a remote phone switchboard for managing all of a company’s phone communications, Internet2 Hosted PBX includes unified messaging, fixed-mobile convergence, interactive voice response, conferencing, collaboration, and call center applications. Its call-making capacity works on any device that employees may choose, which allows them the flexibility to work with ease from the office, their homes, or the road. And of course all that is accomplished while using the same sets of phone numbers, the same voice mailboxes, and without loss of features or functionality when switching from one device to the next.


Aastra also demonstrated a product known as the Clearspan Communicator. The Communicator merges contacts across mobile and desktop computer platforms, and across personal and business directories, and then gives employees the power to make phone calls using all the contacts held on any of their devices. It greatly reduces the time needed to manage a lengthy book of contacts, allowing users to simply throw a new number into any of their devices, and then know that it will be available whenever and wherever they may need it.

Additionally, Aastra puts out OnDemand, which is their web collaboration tool that allows colleagues and business partners to meet face to face via the internet. Besides transmitting video from all the collaborators’ locations, OnDemand boasts a host of valuable features, like a virtual whiteboard, group and private chats, polls, widgets for webinars and trainings, and the list goes on.

Aastra also produces the BluStar Ecosystem, which is a full unified communications environment that works across PC, Mac, iPad, and iPhone platforms. It allows users to tap into their companies’  communication systems using their own devices when necessary, and it encourages seamless and effortless collaboration between teammates. Customers appreciated the unified look of the BluStar Ecosystem, which makes using Aastra’s communications technology easy, no matter what device they may be using. Users never have to be out of touch, as long as they’re plugged into the BluStar Ecosystem.

Avaya Makes Way for the Rollout of Their New Radvision Video Products

Recently, Avaya made the announcement that Avaya Connect partners will now be authorized to sell Radvision Scopia video with their line of united communication deployments.


In its recent, highly-anticipated move, Avaya spent $230 million to acquire Radvision in the middle of 2012. However, the company insisted that the initial introduction of their video products rolled out through the Avaya Channel would happen at a steady pace, due to the margin opportunities and markets specialties involved.


As part of the initial introduction, Avaya has stated it will put all Connect partners on a fast track. Those that have existing video experience with the authorization process of Radvision would be the first selected. To date, well over 50 Avaya – a mixture of VARs and video integrators – are already chosen for the program.


The essential Avaya partners that have already acquired advanced video capabilities or show a strong interest to leverage video for the company’s consumers are selected, due to their drive to provide an optimal customer experience. Many of these individuals are positioned to begin supporting and selling video solutions from Scopia to satisfy the growing market.


Additionally, Radvision partners that are already participating and connected to Radvision’s Eye to Eye partner program before the business was acquired, can remain in the program with no immediate changes to their benefits. By the end of the year, the partners are to be invited to join the Avaya Connect program.


Part of Avaya’s requirements for their partners includes essential training and an investment in demo equipment along with the need to complete a full services assessment. To be considered for Avaya authorizations, the Avaya partners will need to build their team with two Avaya certified support specialists, two Avaya professional sales specialists and one Avaya professional design specialist that are specific to Scopia.


Avaya has combined their video network operating center with their managed services, to eliminate the requirements for service providers and multiple communications technologies.

Looking into the Five Myths about Hosted Phone Systems

Many people like the idea of VoIP, or voice over Internet protocol, but they don’t really understand what it means or what VoIP can do for their business phone system. Over the last few years though, a number of myths have started to envelop the service. Understanding and debunking some of those myths, such as latency and jitter, is vital for those who want to consider using the system for their business phone system. The following are five of the biggest myths that surround the Hosted Phone System.

Myth #1 – All of the Calls are Free

Even though calls that are intra office might be free this is not the case with calls that you place outside of the company. Your service provider, or you depending on the type of plan that you have, will still have to pay for those calls.

Myth #2 – VoIP is Unreliable and Suffers from Latency and Jitter

VoIP is not new. For more than two decades, companies have been using this type of service, and that means that the technology keeps getting better. Latency, jitter, and lost calls are not really as much of a problem today as they might have been in the past. Better implementation can take the latency and jitter problems down even further.

Myth #3 – When the Internet is Down the Phones Will Not Work

One of the nice things about the VoIP service is that you have the ability to have your calls forwarded just in case there is an outage that would normally cause an issue with your business phone system. A good idea is to have the calls forwarded right to your cell phone, so you don’t have to worry about missing any calls. This is the best option for those who want a truly reliable business phone system.

Myth #4 – You Can Use Any Internet Connection

It might be possible to use different types of connections, but one will find that some are going to work better than the others will. You need to have a high quality connections if you want to have the best service. This is something one should always consider when choosing a VoIP service.

Myth #5 – The Old Lines Will Remain in Place

You might believe that the old T1 lines and analog lines are going to stay in place. However, those solutions aren’t going to be around forever, and the ones that are around are not working as well as you might hope. Most of the VoIP solutions today need higher quality connections.