Collaboration Technology Services Archives - PGi Blog https://www.pgi.com/blog Resources for Virtual Events and Global Collaboration for Businesses Thu, 07 May 2020 19:54:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.1 Technology Isn’t a Catchphrase https://www.pgi.com/blog/2019/10/technology-isnt-a-catchphrase/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2019/10/technology-isnt-a-catchphrase/#respond Tue, 08 Oct 2019 16:17:09 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=27359 I’ve talked a lot about how organizations must evaluate technology and deploy the solutions they believe will have the most significant impact on both their businesses and on their teams. They must decide how to implement technologies to advance effective enterprise communication and drive results. Technology is Table Stakes for Staying Relevant Technology must be …

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I’ve talked a lot about how organizations must evaluate technology and deploy the solutions they believe will have the most significant impact on both their businesses and on their teams. They must decide how to implement technologies to advance effective enterprise communication and drive results.

Technology is Table Stakes for Staying Relevant

Technology must be viewed as more than a fad. Leveraged correctly, it empowers organizations to more confidently navigate an ever-expanding number of digital channels and touchpoints. All while creating relevant and enjoyable experiences for both employees and customers.

Customer Experience Currency

From the customer perspective, experiences must be authentic and tailored to their expectations. They judge organizations on their ability to meet and exceed their expectations. Since customer experience is the currency that matters, customers want communication to be immediate and contextual. They can and will judge businesses quickly on whether they meet or exceed those expectations.

Don’t Believe It?

Just consider that more than half (51%) of customers have switched companies because of a negative experience. Estimates indicate those unhappy customers cost U.S. businesses $537 billion a year, according to Vision Critical.

As the general public becomes more empowered and more knowledgeable, technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) can improve the experience for customers by using tools such as natural-language processing to understand human speech. The key is to make it personal. These tools already power “bots” to provide personalized and compelling customer experiences across channels and devices.

AI automates mundane processes and applies context and understanding to potentially complex interactions. It also ensures customers find the information they need quickly and helps employees deliver maximum value whenever and wherever they engage with customers.

Read more on Home Business Magazine about changes driven by technology from both the “work” and the “customer” perspectives.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Webcasting https://www.pgi.com/blog/2017/09/dos-donts-webcasting/ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/dos-donts-webcasting/ In today’s globalized business world, webcasting has become a strategic way to disseminate information to many external and internal stakeholders at one time. Some of the most common uses for webcasts range from hosting regional or global executive town halls with hundreds of employees, to conducting investor relations (IR) webcasts with thousands of stakeholders around …

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In today’s globalized business world, webcasting has become a strategic way to disseminate information to many external and internal stakeholders at one time. Some of the most common uses for webcasts range from hosting regional or global executive town halls with hundreds of employees, to conducting investor relations (IR) webcasts with thousands of stakeholders around the world. As useful as a webcast can be for distributing time-sensitive and valuable information, unfortunately, these virtual events are often not utilized to their full potential. This may stem from not fully understanding the scope and capabilities of webcasting options available today.

With 25 years of communication and collaboration experience, PGi knows what it takes to deliver a high-end webcasting solution that is intuitive, professional and easy to manage for the presenter while being easy to use and access for the participants. With more than 30,000 webcasts hosted worldwide, we know a thing or two about webcasting and have compiled some Do’s and Don’ts of managing a successful webcast.

Do: Make It Simple to Connect to the Webcast

This is the first step to hosting any successful webcast, but often the most overlooked. If entering the webcast is difficult and not efficient, your meeting may be delayed and potentially start off on the wrong foot. Start with a platform that has an easy to use registration and log-in page that provides added bonuses that prompt your attendees to join via email or calendar reminder.

Don’t: Waste Time

Like with any virtual event, there may be people who join later within the webcast. It’s important to be courteous to those who have joined early or on time and start your meeting promptly. Although, you may be waiting on more people to join your webcast, the quicker you get started the more you can accomplish. Time is money on large webcasts, and it is estimated that over $37 billion is lost each year on unproductive meetings. As a best practice, we recommend recording your webcasts so that you can easily send it out to participants and invitees afterwards. This will help those who were unable to join or running late, as well as anyone who wants to go back and review the information discussed.

Do: Include Branding & Professional Visuals

Appearance draws in the viewer. Research shows that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Getting your point across via engaging images, presentation slides or video may increase the speed and quality of the message delivered. Your webcast participants have a higher chance of retaining information if visuals are used. Another study about active learning, showed that only 10-20 percent of spoken word is recalled during meetings, compared to visuals, which exceeded over 50 percent of the information retained. With iMeetLive, you receive full control and flexibility of branding and visuals.

Don’t: Forget to Collect Data Pre, Live and Post Event

One of the most important keys to any successful webcast is the data and analytics you collect pre, live and post event. Collecting information can start as soon as you build a registration page for the webcast, where you can gain a better understanding of where your traffic is coming from and tailor your content to specific audience groups.

Next, collecting information during the presentation is a critical component to any webcast. A recent study showed that adding Q&A and polling increases user engagement by over 50 percent. If your current webcasting solution doesn’t have these features, then you may need to rethink which platform you’re using.

Finally, when looking for a webcasting solution, you should ensure that the data you collect post-event can seamlessly integrate with your existing CRM system, which will allow you to follow up on leads or questions asked through the presentation.

Do: Consider Leveraging a Professional Operator to Assist with Your Webcast

Operator-assisted capabilities mean that you can have a webcast event that is monitored and managed by a live operator. For large events, an operator can enhance control and productivity. Adding operator-assisted functionality will take your presentation to the next level and leave you more time to build content rather than manage logistics. These operators are specifically trained to understand your company or product and are there to bring a professional, white-glove service to your webcasts. For example, PGi leverages our network of world-class operators to ensure our guests receive that personalized event experience every time. They are professionals who are there pre, live and post event and handle anything from introductions and speaker transitions to security and fielding questions.

And last but certainly not least:

Don’t: Be Boring

An amazing presentation, with top content and visuals, can be subdued if the speaker is lethargic and boring.

In a recent Forbes article, author Nick Morgan states, “We don’t fully trust people until we’ve seen them get emotional — angry, sad, ecstatic — because these moments allow us to take the measure of their values.”

For webcasting, this means that passion you bring to your presentation gives the audience an understanding of who you are and the passion you have for your company. Be energetic and prepared to add color commentary to the points on your presentation.

 

Every year, webcasts become more and more prevalent in business communications. They are a valuable tool for engaging internal and external audiences and disseminating important company news. By following these simple Do’s and Don’ts, you’ll be well on your way to hosting an amazing webcast.  Global organizations rely on PGi to meet their unique needs with consistent global service delivery, including streamlined account management, universal pricing and billing, transcription translations, 160+ worldwide access numbers, internal toll-free service, multi-lingual operators and our first-class 24/7 global customer service and support. Learn more about iMeetLive and PGi’s webcasting services.

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The Risks of Letting Employees Lead the IT Agenda https://www.pgi.com/blog/2017/04/the-risks-of-letting-employees-lead-the-it-agenda/ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/the-risks-of-letting-employees-lead-the-it-agenda/ We live in an era of ever-evolving technology that is changing the way we work and live. Our homes and offices are being flooded with a host of choices that will revolutionize how we work and play. But, with this deluge of technology, how does an IT team stay focused to understand the latest tools and …

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We live in an era of ever-evolving technology that is changing the way we work and live. Our homes and offices are being flooded with a host of choices that will revolutionize how we work and play. But, with this deluge of technology, how does an IT team stay focused to understand the latest tools and applications while also balancing enterprise needs to drive innovation and technology?

Corporate IT departments face a daunting task: supporting and deploying the right mix of technology while upholding strict
security measures and ensuring that said products and vendors remain the right choice for their users and for the enterprise. And while measures may be in place to avoid rogue procurement from various teams in the business, today’s market is inundated with cloud-based technologies that make it easier than ever to bypass IT to implement the product a team may need to complete a project.

In this white paper, by PGi’s SVP Global Marketing, Leo Tucker, you’ll learn how to:

  • Recognize and define the risks associated with shadow IT
  • Maintain control of the IT agenda
  • Create a proactive strategy to ensure success

Download the free white paper, The Risks of Letting Employees Lead the IT Agenda [UPDATE: This whitepaper is no longer available],  now to learn more about the risks of shadow IT and letting employees control the IT agenda.

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21 Questions to Ask Before You Implement a New Collaboration Vendor https://www.pgi.com/blog/2017/04/21-questions-ask-implement-new-collaboration-vendor/ Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/21-questions-ask-implement-new-collaboration-vendor/ Customer service is the core of our business. Over the last 25 years, we’ve learned the importance of providing support before, during and after the implementation of our software, and we’ve seen the significant impact of providing our customers with the right training and adoption programs to ensure success. In fact, 97% of our customers …

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Customer service is the core of our business. Over the last 25 years, we’ve learned the importance of providing support before, during and after the implementation of our software, and we’ve seen the significant impact of providing our customers with the right training and adoption programs to ensure success.

In fact, 97% of our customers cite training and adoption programs as key implementation success factors, and customers who leveraged PGi’s success resources saw adoption rates climb to nearly 80% compared to just 14% for typical software companies. And while the adoption, training and support programs are critical to the success of implementation, there are also other important steps along your implementation journey.

To help ensure you’re working with the right vendor, check out the 21 questions we think are most important to ask before implementing a collaboration solution. Download PGi’s free checklist, 21 Questions to Ask Before You Implement a New Collaboration Vendor

UPDATE: This checklist is no longer available.

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2017 Workplace Tech Trends https://www.pgi.com/blog/2017/02/2017-workplace-tech-trends/ Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/2017-workplace-tech-trends/ During a quick pulse survey, PGi surveyed customers and knowledge workers from across the U.S. to find out what type of technology they want to see in their offices in 2017. In order to fully understand and analyze this year’s workplace tech trends, PGi asked these front-line employees to provide honest feedback, and there were …

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During a quick pulse survey, PGi surveyed customers and knowledge workers from across the U.S. to find out what type of technology they want to see in their offices in 2017. In order to fully understand and analyze this year’s workplace tech trends, PGi asked these front-line employees to provide honest feedback, and there were a few surprises.

The most wanted piece of technology this year was smart furniture (50 percent), followed by collaboration tools (44 percent), cloud-based sharing apps (38 percent) and intelligent automation tools (27 percent). And while employees cited these pieces of tech as the most desired, they indicated that the actual implementation of new technology was the biggest issue their company would face in 2017.

Further, when it came to the hurdles their company faced with adopting new tech, 78 percent cited budget as the number one obstacle to overcome, while 55 percent reported resources and 44 percent listed resistance to change as other major hurdles.

Check out the full infographic to see the results of this year’s workplace tech trends survey and let us know what you found interesting by joining the conversation on Twitter @PGi. Note: This infographic is no longer available.

 

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eBook: UC&C for Telco Carriers: A Clear Vision for a Complex Playing Field https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/09/ebook-ucc-telco-carriersa-clear-vision-complex-playing-field/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/09/ebook-ucc-telco-carriersa-clear-vision-complex-playing-field/#respond Thu, 08 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/ebook-ucc-telco-carriersa-clear-vision-complex-playing-field/ As technology continues its rapid evolution, few industries are insulated from disruption. Old-fashioned notions of “business as usual” are being bulldozed, pushed aside for a new era of increased agility, transparency and interconnectivity. Telco Carriers and Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are no exception; if anything, it’s a category with compelling innovation and fierce, fast-moving competition. …

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As technology continues its rapid evolution, few industries are insulated from disruption. Old-fashioned notions of “business as usual” are being bulldozed, pushed aside for a new era of increased agility, transparency and interconnectivity.

Telco Carriers and Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are no exception; if anything, it’s a category with compelling innovation and fierce, fast-moving competition. Carriers are challenged by declining unit revenues as well as growing threats from changing patterns and non-traditional competitors. The stakes couldn’t be higher; leading analyst firms have even warned that this new evolution represents a make-or-break moment for communication vendors.

Developing new strategies and acquiring new core competencies are essential to guard against losing customers. This isn’t reinvention for the sake of reinvention, but rather a natural extension and evolution of the services already being offered, strengthening a Carrier’s role as a cornerstone in the Unified Communication and Collaboration (UC&C) practices of their customers.

To learn more about how important a solid UC&C strategy can be for Telco Carriers and CSPs can be, check out PGi’s newest free eBook, UC&C for Telco Carriers: A Clear Vision for a Complex Playing Field.

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Infographic: UC&C for Telco Carriers https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/09/infographic-ucc-telco-carriers/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/09/infographic-ucc-telco-carriers/#respond Wed, 07 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/infographic-ucc-telco-carriers/ Over the last few years, there has been major shifts in the unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) landscape. With new, over-the-top (OTT) brands, such as Facebook and Google, entering the communications market place as competitors, much of Telco Carriers’ traditional strategies will need to be revisited in order to protect and grow their base of …

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Over the last few years, there has been major shifts in the unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) landscape. With new, over-the-top (OTT) brands, such as Facebook and Google, entering the communications market place as competitors, much of Telco Carriers’ traditional strategies will need to be revisited in order to protect and grow their base of business.

To understand how UC&C market plays a crucial competitive role in enhancing the value of Telco Carrier offerings in the digital economy landscape, PGi has created an insightful infographic, free for download. Interested in learning more about partnerships between UC&C providers and Telco Carriers? Check out our free checklist: What to Look for in a UC&C Partner.

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Big Data: The Key to Collaboration-Centric Business https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/05/big-data-key-collaboration-centric-business/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/05/big-data-key-collaboration-centric-business/#respond Wed, 11 May 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/big-data-key-collaboration-centric-business/ Recently I participated in a webinar panel with IT and marketing leaders on building alignment between the CIO and CMO, and surprisingly every speaker agreed: most of us are there or well on our way. The next frontier is building a collaboration-centric culture across the company, and data is the place you start. Just about …

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Recently I participated in a webinar panel with IT and marketing leaders on building alignment between the CIO and CMO, and surprisingly every speaker agreed: most of us are there or well on our way. The next frontier is building a collaboration-centric culture across the company, and data is the place you start.

Just about every business function now needs to collect, connect and visualize data in order to better measure outcomes and prove results. Now one of the defining factors to sustaining a competitive advantage, data is also the most promising area your company can focus on to build bridges, dissolve siloes and see better business results.

Data Waste Is the Common Enemy

Nothing unites disconnected teams like a common enemy, and data waste is a common challenge across the organization. Everyone’s trying to find the best ways to capture, filter or seamlessly integrate data in order to turn the deluge of information into strategic business insights.

It’s in undefined areas of business like data that cross-functional partnerships will flourish. Systems, processes and ownership of data are still in development, and this uncharted territory creates fresh opportunities for every department to collaborate and create them together.

Data Binds Departments Together

One of the most important things you need for alignment between any set of departments is a shared goal, but at the end of the day, every department is accountable for completely different quotas, objectives, budgets and responsibilities. What does stay constant across most lines of business is the pressure to innovate—to do the job faster or with better results—and that’s why data is now the key element that binds us together.

Data is the deciding factor on whether our ideas and technologies we test are good or whether we need to keep searching. No one can effectively make that determination without a data analysis and that information often lies beyond the walls of your own department.

Data Implants IT into Every Conversation

Customer-centric, data-driven companies (which, let’s face it, most of us either are or are trying to be) increasingly rely on data to predict, plan, execute, analyze and support everything. This transforms one of the historically most siloed teams—IT—into frontline collaborators.

IT isn’t just a gatekeeper or mediator of data but is now an expert consultant to departments on how to best leverage data. IT no longer simply provides access to data but explains the possibilities, which evolves the perception of IT from a technology enabler to a truly valued collaborator in departmental strategies.

Companies that solve their Big Data challenges will be the leaders in building collaboration-centric cultures, but data is just one of many changing business collaboration trends that could leave your business vulnerable to digital disruption.

For more technology trends impacting the workplace, download our free eBook “The Future of Business Collaboration: 2016 Edition” today.

This post originally appeared on CIO.com’s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi.

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At the Corner of Create and Collaborate: A CMO’s Guide to Managing Marketing’s Newest, Busy Intersection in the Enterprise https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/04/corner-create-collaborate-cmos-guide-managing-marketings-newest-busy-intersection-enterprise/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/04/corner-create-collaborate-cmos-guide-managing-marketings-newest-busy-intersection-enterprise/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/corner-create-collaborate-cmos-guide-managing-marketings-newest-busy-intersection-enterprise/ Say “goodbye” to the marketing silo. Gone are the days when the marketing team solely focused on ad campaigns and only worked with their agencies. While Marketing has always owned the brand, today owning the brand has evolved into a much broader role of owning the sum of the customer experience – requiring marketers to …

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Say “goodbye” to the marketing silo. Gone are the days when the marketing team solely focused on ad campaigns and only worked with their agencies.

While Marketing has always owned the brand, today owning the brand has evolved into a much broader role of owning the sum of the customer experience – requiring marketers to work with a larger group of stakeholders including: Sales, Customer Service, Product, IT AND their agency partners.

The challenge marketer’s face in effectively collaborating is perpetuated by changes in the workforce, with more disparate workers and mobile workers. According to a Frost & Sullivan survey 84% of companies employ remote workforces and nearly 25% have more than half of employees working outside their offices.

So how well is your marketing organization collaborating with these key stakeholders?

A survey from Appleseed Partners reported that 7 hours per week per employee was wasted due to ineffective collaboration because the primary tools used are: email, spreadsheets and phone calls. This adds up to 350 hours or nearly nine weeks a year!!

Collaboration is an integral part of marketing. In order to stay ahead of the curve, marketers must continuously adapt to the changing landscape of collaboration solutions in the market. Marketing collaboration tools are ultimately a necessity to effectively support all of an organization’s strategies, initiatives and objectives. There are a wide variety of tools available today, and sometimes the choices can be overwhelming. Whatever the solution or platform may be, leveraging these tools to their full potential is key to enhancing productivity and innovation across the marketing organization.

Improvements to meetings and project management are two initiatives that can immediately begin to yield better collaboration results. PGi offers a variety of marketing collaboration solutions that will transform the way marketing teams operate and achieve success.  Here are a few tech tips for marketers to improve their meeting efficiency and make project management easier:

Meeting Efficiency

Meeting efficiency is crucial for marketers who spend most of their time juggling the many deliverables and projects that successful marketing operations require. When you have efficient, productive meetings, you help to eliminate those boring, unproductive meetings that we so desperately try to avoid. Choosing an all-in-one tool, such as  iMeet®, will provide users unlimited potential to conduct the most efficient meeting possible. iMeet gives you a more engaging conferencing and collaboration solution for team meetings, brainstorming and presentations. Here are a few tips to increase your meeting efficiency:

Go virtual with easy access – Host an online meeting when you can’t be there in person or have a dispersed team. Employ a solution that doesn’t require passwords or complex sign-on processes, where guests can join with just one-click access so the meeting can begin right away.

Video meetings – Real-time video can help you communicate your ideas immediately and also allow users to see and understand the presenter clearly in HD quality. This is a great way to present concepts and read the nonverbal ques of your attendees. In addition video provides for a more personal connection particularly if you have remote teams.

Screen Share and File Share – Creative teams often work with large files and with iMeet you have the choice to share your screen to present creative concepts or to host in a central file repository that your guests can access directly without having to deal with sending large files via email and having to deal with firewall issues.

Record Meetings iMeet allows you to record meetings for those who can’t attend. When launching a new program or campaign, Marketing can use iMeet to present virtually and then record for anyone that cannot attend the meeting. A link to the recording can be sent to anyone following the meeting to keep all stakeholders informed.

Project Management

In a typical marketing organization, there are multiple projects going on at a time to support a wide variety of objectives and activities, usually involving many different stakeholders and team members. Project management solutions should make it easier for project managers, allowing greater collaboration between team members and increased output. When marketing collaboration is fully realized with a solution such as iMeet® Central, great things start to happen – project efficiency, streamlined workflow and team collaboration. Consider these tips to make managing projects easier: 

Assign deliverables and due dates – Project Managers can easily create a project plan and assign tasks and deliverables and house that within the team workspace within iMeet Central so all stakeholders and team members can stay abreast of the progress. You can also set auto reminders for deadlines and deliverables.

File version control – all reviews and edits can be made in the cloud and you never have to worry about whether you are reviewing the latest version of the document. This provides a huge productivity and efficiency benefit when you have numerous reviewers and tight deadlines.

Telecommuting –With a centralized workspace in the cloud team members can work more creatively and freely when not confined to their desks. In addition, iMeet Central is integrated with iMeet so if you have to hold an impromptu virtual meeting to discuss edits or comments to a document, you can do so on the fly!

Tired of managing projects through email and spreadsheets? Try iMeet® Central for Marketers for free, today.

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How All-in-One Collaboration is Powering the Digital Workplace https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/04/all-in-one-collaboration-is-powering-the-digital-workplace/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/04/all-in-one-collaboration-is-powering-the-digital-workplace/#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/all-in-one-collaboration-is-powering-the-digital-workplace/ Today’s hyper-connected workplace is moving faster than ever before. It is truly a digital workplace, where the speed of information—and how that information gets shared across an organization—is paramount to that organization’s success. Businesses are constantly looking to optimize communication and collaboration. And today, we’re seeing an increasing trend towards streamlining collaboration by turning to …

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Today’s hyper-connected workplace is moving faster than ever before. It is truly a digital workplace, where the speed of information—and how that information gets shared across an organization—is paramount to that organization’s success.

Businesses are constantly looking to optimize communication and collaboration. And today, we’re seeing an increasing trend towards streamlining collaboration by turning to all-in-one tools, combining traditionally disparate functionality like audio, video and web conferencing into one single, unified experience. Rather than forcing employees to constantly shift between different communication mediums, all-in-one collaboration centralizes the experience and gives them the freedom to meet when, where and—most importantly—how they want.

Let’s take a look at why all-in-one collaboration is quickly becoming the go-to solution for IT departments supporting the new digital workplace:

Cost Savings: All-in-one collaboration comes with considerable cost savings, and I’m not just talking about line items on your budget. While it’s true that bundling all of these solutions together can ultimately lead to lower conferencing costs, there’s also significant time and productivity savings that can be easy to overlook.

For starters, dealing with a single vendor rather than multiple ones saves your IT department valuable time, both when interacting with the vendor itself and also lowering the time dedicated to support and maintenance. With a single contact for support needs, IT can spend more time fixing problems and less time wrangling external contacts. It’s also much quicker to deploy and ramp up a single tool rather than multiple ones.

And finally, all-in-one collaboration allows your employees to focus less on the technology itself and more on the value that the technology creates. Instead of juggling multiple tools, they can focus on a single user experience, getting into meetings faster and with less technical difficulties.

While it may seem small to save a few minutes here and there, multiply that by the number of employees and the number of meetings those employees are having, and you’ll soon see an exponential reduction in wasted time which ultimately translates to wasted cost.

Smaller Learning Curve: One of the reasons why only 14% of software deployments are considered by IT leaders to be successful is that workers are hesitant to adopt new tools. They have established workflows, a workplace inertia of sorts that any new software has to overcome by offering compelling, easy-to-understand value.

It’s vital that the learning curve for any new software is minimized in order to drive adoption. And by reducing the number of tools an employee has to learn through all-in-collaboration, you can instantly improve employee productivity and drive those ever-important adoption numbers, allowing your organization to reap the benefits of improved collaboration while also improving ROI.

Versatility and Flexibility: In a recent survey, PGi found that 79% of knowledge worker respondents had the ability to work remotely at least one day a week. Flexible work is much more than a trend; it’s the future of the digital workplace where employees have the freedom to work where and how they choose.

All-in-one collaboration tools empower this remote work generation, giving them the freedom to meet however works best for them. Every employee has different preferences when it comes to collaborating. Some always turn their webcams on, some prefer to forgo the camera for an audio-only experience while still others aren’t comfortable without a slide deck to share via the web.

By combining all of these experiences into one tool, you can streamline workflows while simultaneously empowering your employees with improved freedom, flexibility and productivity.

Collaboration is the cornerstone of the digital workplace. By providing more efficient, intuitive tools, the IT department can provide tangible value across each and every department in their organization, driving business results and ultimately, business growth.

For more information on buying, deploying and nurturing collaboration within your organization, download our free buyer’s guide today.

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Ensuring Business Success With UC&C https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/01/ensuring-business-success-with-ucc/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/01/ensuring-business-success-with-ucc/#respond Thu, 21 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/ensuring-business-success-with-ucc/ Implementing Unified Communications (UC) solution is nothing like your typical IT project or deployment. If successful, you are literally changing the way the business works and communicates. It’s hard to name another IT project requires as much strategic planning and business engagement. Unified Communications is a journey, not a single product or project you buy …

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Implementing Unified Communications (UC) solution is nothing like your typical IT project or deployment. If successful, you are literally changing the way the business works and communicates. It’s hard to name another IT project requires as much strategic planning and business engagement.

Unified Communications is a journey, not a single product or project you buy and deploy. The first step is understanding the “why” behind UC for your business. If you can’t define the why, you can’t build your business case and measure success

  • Can your business explain why you’re even starting the UC journey?
  • What are you expecting to achieve?
  • On what timelines?
  • How will you measure success?

Only once you define your goals and business case, can you move into looking at solutions. The journey to UC is riddled with complex considerations and potential blind spots. You will encounter complex technical challenges such as compliance, security and integration with other applications or systems, such as existing phone systems and networks. Equally you will have to manage the business impact and changes in business process and user experience. All these challenges and complexities can be overcome with the right planning and engagement. Here are 5 tips to help ensure your success.

5 Ways to Ensure Your UC Implementation Succeeds

  1. You need a strategy. The UC journey starts long before any hint of technology is implemented and is a journey which should be constantly refined. It starts with evaluating the business need and justification case, before moving into design and planning phases which should involve business leads and users to ensure that the aspects such as business processes, training, governance, policy and culture are all considered. And it doesn’t stop there. UC is about creating an agile and responsive collaborative environment which can continually evolve with the changing needs of the business. Attitudes about work and technology are constantly evolving, and the workplace remains in a state of transformation. In order to maximize investment and adoption throughout the ongoing journey, you must continuously plan, evaluate, measure and adapt to keep up momentum and maximum business value.
  1. You need to assess and measure the business value. UC offers a long list of benefits, but the business value will be specific to your organization. For example, your company may be focused on creating a shorter sales cycle or a better customer experience instead of simply driving communications costs down. Knowing what your corporate business objectives are will help you design and tailor a solution that brings real value throughout the enterprise. It is important to know what the measure of success is even if it changes over time
  1. You must address the cultural impact. The ultimate goal of UC is to create a more communicative and collaborative culture. However, if you don’t assess your company’s culture beforehand, how can you effectively measure UC’s impact? How can you identify specific pain points in order to make strategic plans to resolve them with UC? Think about how you support the cultural change which is likely to be through a mix of elements from governance and policy to training and motivational initiatives. People’s propensity towards change differs, so there is unlikely to be a ‘one-size fits all’ approach, but it is a vital factor in achieving the desired business value and an engaged workforce.
  1. You need business buy in. UC is not a merely a communications tool; it’s a strategic solution to improve business efficiency. It touches all aspects of the business. That means to realize its true value, success depends upon the integration of your business’s key objectives. Your UC journey needs an executive sponsor to throw their weight behind it, assuring that your UC project is given the momentum and priority it needs to be successful.
  1. Don’t underestimate the importance of user training and adoption. Adoption is one of the biggest threats to the success of your UC implementation. When users aren’t engaged in the UC journey early on, don’t understand the value to their specific work flow or don’t receive proper training, they are less likely to adopt your UC solution. Without high user adoption, cultural and operational transformation cannot happen, which means the business value cannot be achieved.

UC Is Not About Technology

UC is much more than just technology. In fact, if deployed right the technology should almost be invisible to users who will consume it intuitively as a regular part of their working practice. For them, UC is about enabling a more productive way of working, improving business processes, reducing costs and enabling business transformation. If your decisions only involve technical considerations, the end solution will not deliver business value or return on investment.

Without fully understanding what the business expects and needs your UC solution to accomplish, your UC deployment is unlikely to be successful. If you work closely with the business, Unified Communications is one of the rare IT projects that can have a measurable positive business impact, allowing for faster and more efficient communications and collaboration and supporting the business in its goals.

For additional technology trends like UC that are shaping the future of collaboration, download our free eBook “The Future of Business Collaboration: 2015 Edition” today.

This post originally appeared on CIO.com’s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi. 

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A Changing View of Collaboration https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/01/a-changing-view-of-collaboration/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/01/a-changing-view-of-collaboration/#respond Tue, 19 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/a-changing-view-of-collaboration/ Workplace collaboration has evolved, and now includes a variety of technologies that allow employees to collaborate, engage and work together. The audio conference of yesteryear is being replaced with many different unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) tools that are increasingly shaping the workplace by creating efficient and effective communications solutions for global employees. Having the …

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Workplace collaboration has evolved, and now includes a variety of technologies that allow employees to collaborate, engage and work together. The audio conference of yesteryear is being replaced with many different unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) tools that are increasingly shaping the workplace by creating efficient and effective communications solutions for global employees.

Having the ability to effectively collaborate in the office is a must for employees, and employers play a large part in making that possible. An increasing amount of knowledge workers are working remote and telecommuting  (a recent survey found 79 percent of working from home at least one day a week) which means that a variety of communications options must exist to foster creative collaboration. Within offices, employees should be presented with options such as audio conferencing, project management tools, video, IM and team workspaces to help foster collaboration.

So forget the now-outdated image of a bunch of people sitting in a room loudly talking to a phone and struggling to hear what’s being said on the other end. Today’s collaboration looks completely different.

Bringing Different Tools Together

UC&C is changing the modern office by not only improving teamwork but also by bringing together employees that may be separated by thousands of miles into what is essentially the same room. The technologies that make up UC&C allow teams—both remote and in-house—to collaborate in the ways that work best for them. As collaboration tools continue to grow to meet the unique needs of the modern employee, their reach will further expand to include an increasing variety of devices and communication methods.

For example, with the practical ubiquity of easy-to-use video conferencing, employees now have the choice to always see each other face-to-face. Collaboration-centric project management tools allow employees to work together on documents, incorporate edits and suggestions and track comments and changes without needing to physically be present. Employees can chat with each other via IM, saving time and leading to quick solutions for pressing questions.

Collaboration in the workplace is becoming more and more vital. As a result, employees that are adopting unified messaging, video conferencing and mobile solutions are becoming increasingly productive and effective.

The Virtual Conference Room

However, the advancement of UC&C doesn’t mean that the conference room experience is going away entirely. Those still enamored with the conference call can find themselves at home in virtual conference rooms, where technologies like video, audio, chat and more come together in an online environment that simulates sitting around a table together.

In other words, in spite of being enabled by a variety of complex technologies, the ultimate goal for UC&C should be for the technology to get out of the way, allowing teams to collaborate and communicate exactly how they would if they were together physically:

  • On a web conference, everyone sits in the same “room” to go through presentations, discuss projects and brainstorm new ideas.
  • An IM represents the “drive-by” at a desk for a quick answer or clarification.
  • The online team workspace is the digital whiteboard, allowing a centralized location for brainstorms and important ideas.

As complex as modern business collaboration can seem, the end goal is unchanged: helping employees come together more effectively. And for now, that future is being driven by the flexibility and versatility of UC&C.

For more insights on changing trends in business collaboration, download the free eBook “The Future of Business Collaboration: 2015 Edition” today!

 This post originally appeared on CIO.com’s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi. 

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2 Huge Mistakes Businesses Make Buying Collaboration Software https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/01/2-huge-mistakes-businesses-make-buying-collaboration-software/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/01/2-huge-mistakes-businesses-make-buying-collaboration-software/#respond Thu, 07 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/2-huge-mistakes-businesses-make-buying-collaboration-software/ Email may have pioneered virtual communications, but now, there’s a better way to manage projects, share files, send updates, centralize information, archive conversations and connect teams. Collaboration software, online project management and team workspaces are not only helping evolve teamwork but also solving our biggest problem with email: noise. Back-and-forth conversations and long email threads …

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Email may have pioneered virtual communications, but now, there’s a better way to manage projects, share files, send updates, centralize information, archive conversations and connect teams. Collaboration software, online project management and team workspaces are not only helping evolve teamwork but also solving our biggest problem with email: noise.

Back-and-forth conversations and long email threads no longer permeate employees’ inboxes. Now, instead of seeking an “Inbox Zero” utopia, workers are rerouting teamwork and communication to these new alternatives, and some teams are using them to abandon email altogether.

As revolutionary as collaboration software is, I see businesses making two huge mistakes when buying these solutions.

Mistake #1: Replacing Everything With Collaboration Software

Online collaboration solutions and team workspaces like these have helped my IT team at PGi commit to agile, have discussions they can’t in real time, seek out feedback and create a repository of documents and sprint retrospectives. The one we use is so simple and customizable, we even built an entire database of projects in hours that I can send in response to status inquiries. Even with that robust functionality, our application is not a magic bullet that replaces every other type of asynchronous and synchronous collaborative activity.

Think about the way we meet in person at the office. We don’t book a conference room every time we need to collaborate, but we’re also not going to show up at our co-workers’ desks unannounced every time we have an update. Likewise, we need a variety of virtual places to meet and collaborate to better serve the variety of conversations and personalities involved.

Buying collaboration software shouldn’t simply be a matter of assessing what it replaces. Instead, businesses need to also understand how it enhances and complements other virtual communication and how seamlessly users can initiate and integrate collaboration solutions such as online meetings, conference calls and, yes, even email.

Email was not the be-all and end-all for collaboration, but neither are these new alternatives. The way businesses have used email for every type of communication is all wrong, and companies are just repeating that mistake by approaching collaboration software with the same mentality.

Mistake #2: Not Factoring Email Into the Buying Decision

As an “email alternative,” collaboration software appears to be a replacement instead of supplemental product to first-time buyers. In reality, most workers still and will continue to use email for sending and receiving official communication, overseeing collaborative activity, privately communicating with people outside the company and even to verify other accounts.

When businesses don’t consider how collaboration software will impact inboxes in the buying decision, they’re doing employees a disservice. Email alternatives let workers bypass email initially, but sooner or later, all of that activity boomerangs back to inboxes.

When someone updates the status of a task, users get an email. When someone changes a deadline, users get an email. When someone comments on a file, users get an email.

Users are notified of direct messages missed, when someone moves a document, of new assignments and when deadlines get close. Over time, users accumulate hundreds of emails from asynchronous applications, and eventually workers have to filter everything out because they, too, are now noise.

To ensure email alternatives doesn’t cause even more inbox chaos, businesses need to better assess the notification features. For example, are immediate notifications the default, or do workers have to opt in?

One of the key functionalities within our application is the daily digest. Instead of flooding my inbox with immediate email notifications for all new activity, our application drops one email. It sends a single, aggregated, daily notification in the morning with a synopsis of all new activity across my workspaces and groups.

In addition, for every activity and space within the application, I have an option to receive emails and notify subscribers. If I were to be automatically notified of everything, I’d have trouble determining what coming out of that application really matters. This way, I get to decide what’s important for me.

Asynchronous collaboration solutions will increasingly be the new way we all work, and businesses need to figure out now how all of our tools should work together before remote teams multiply.

Learn how to better prepare for the future of work by downloading our free eBook, “The Future of Business Collaboration: 2015 Edition,” today.

This post originally appeared on CIO.com’s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi. 

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Webcasting vs. Web Conferencing: Do You Know the Difference? https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/11/webcasting-vs-web-conferencing-know-difference/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/11/webcasting-vs-web-conferencing-know-difference/#respond Tue, 04 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/webcasting-vs-web-conferencing-know-difference/ Webcasting and web conferencing: tomayto, tomahto, right? Both technologies transmit audio and video online for download-free presentations and interactive meetings, so you can communicate with anyone from miles away. Actually, webcasting and web conferencing are not synonymous terms. But between their overlapping features and their widespread, interchangeable use, we know it gets confusing. So, let’s clear …

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Webcasting and web conferencing: tomayto, tomahto, right? Both technologies transmit audio and video online for download-free presentations and interactive meetings, so you can communicate with anyone from miles away.

Actually, webcasting and web conferencing are not synonymous terms. But between their overlapping features and their widespread, interchangeable use, we know it gets confusing.

So, let’s clear the air. Before you purchase your presentation solution, take a look at what you can really expect from webcasting and web conferencing tools.

Broadcast Yourself With Webcasting

When you need a solution for investor relations presentations, e-learning or seminars, look for webcasting tools. Webcasts enable “one-to-many” broadcasting—putting your face or voice in front of not just hundreds, but thousands with custom branding all around you.

If you have Hollywood dreams for your business presentation, you can create a high-quality, sophisticated broadcast through a standard Internet browser and your existing audio and video technology. Attendee interaction is limited and carefully moderated, because hey, this is all about you (or a small group of presenters).

And even after you take your bow, even more fans (or employees) can view the spectacle with editing and publishing features—and you can even remix that flubbed line.

Collaborate With Web Conferencing

If you manage a virtual team, give presentations to the regional office or collaborate with other departments, you need web conferencing. With “many-to-many,” multipoint communication, everyone gets screen time.

Web conferencing enables greater sharing. Instead of just a poll or Q&A session, web conferencing attendees can swap files, share their screens and record group notes together. In fact, you and your guests can upload and download files in the cloud right from your web conferencing room with tools like GlobalMeet®.

Buyer Beware: Know Your Tech Terms

As a buyer, you need to be confident and knowledgeable about your needs and the type of collaboration solution that will ultimately meet them. Webcasting and web conferencing, while sharing similarities, offer unique benefits for different functions.

Webcasting is an optimal choice for global, large-scale presentations, and web conferencing typically better suits smaller, regional audiences. Webcasts also offer on-demand options, whereas web conferencing is live (with recording capabilities for information archiving).

Knowing the difference, you’ll have the technical support necessary to give your best virtual events and business presentations. Productive, flawless events come easy when you can select the perfect option for your audience size, collaboration needs and presentation purpose, whether it’s reaching more ears or teamwork.

Learn more about the business applications for webcasts and how to reinvent your productivity with web conferencing at PGi.

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Making the Case for Flexible Work https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/08/making-case-flexible-work/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/08/making-case-flexible-work/#respond Tue, 05 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/making-case-flexible-work/ Generally, the traditional work week runs from Monday to Friday, from about 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. This traditional schedule doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Because of your personal responsibilities you may  be able to perform better with a flexible work schedule. Unlike the traditional schedule, flexible work allows a variety of different work patters. …

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Generally, the traditional work week runs from Monday to Friday, from about 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. This traditional schedule doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Because of your personal responsibilities you may  be able to perform better with a flexible work schedule.

Unlike the traditional schedule, flexible work allows a variety of different work patters. Here are just a few of the most popular types of flexible work arrangements:

    • Part-time

Working a shorter week with fixed hours

    • Flexi time

Working 40 hours a week, but you have the freedom to decide when you work them.

    • Work from home

You may work from home every day or just a couple of days a week.

    • Shorter work week

By starting earlier and leaving later, you are able to compress your hours into fewer days.

While some companies may already have a flexible work policy in place, others may not. Don’t let the lack of policy stop you from asking for a flexible work arrangement.

If you are thinking about asking for a flexible work arrangement, make sure to take note of the following guidelines to help ensure you get approved.

1.      Research

It’s important to be prepared for the conversation that you will be having with your supervisor. Do as much research as you can. A quick search on the web will bring up countless articles about flexible work arrangements. Make sure you take notes of some of the statistics that highlight the positive effects it has on both employees and employers.

2.      Prepare for any objections

Although there are several reasons why flex work can help improve the work of employees, there is still some negativity about it as well. As you are conducting your research, look for any objections that your supervisor might come up with. Be prepared to overcome these objections.

3.      Create a professional presentation

Take your time and create a professional presentation. This will help show your supervisor that you are serious and have put some thought into this. Incorporate some fun, presentation ideas to make an even bigger impact.

4.      Review your presentation

Make sure that your argument makes sense and you are actually willing to live with the changes you have suggested. Although your plan may work with your current lifestyle, make sure that you are willing to live with it even if your lifestyle were to suddenly change.

Once you feel that you found all the stats you need and you’re prepared for any potential objections, it’s time to approach your supervisor.

To learn more about the pros and cons of flex work, download our free eBook: The Yin + Yang of Telecommuting.

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3 Problems with Large Meetings How to Solve Them https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/08/3-problems-large-meetings-solve/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/08/3-problems-large-meetings-solve/#respond Tue, 05 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/3-problems-large-meetings-solve/ Large meetings can sometimes be overwhelming and complicated. Whether it’s an investor relations call, HR training or other large-scale operator-assisted conference, with potentially several thousand people in the same meeting at once, it can be tough to manage logistics and interact fluidly and efficiently. Before your large meeting begins, you should prepare and organize what …

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Large meetings can sometimes be overwhelming and complicated. Whether it’s an investor relations call, HR training or other large-scale operator-assisted conference, with potentially several thousand people in the same meeting at once, it can be tough to manage logistics and interact fluidly and efficiently.

Before your large meeting begins, you should prepare and organize what you are going to say, how you are going to say it and how the information will be best presented. Being straightforward and to the point is key when trying to engage a large audience and to get your message across properly.

Here are three problems with large meetings and some ways in which they can be solved:

Rehearse and Prerecord

Don’t ever go into any meeting unprepared, especially a large scale conference call. Your operator-assisted conference provider should work with you on rehearsing your event and providing advice on timing, meeting flow, engagement techniques and other best practices specific to large-scale conference calls.

Also, consider pre-recording important audio pieces of your meeting to ensure that you’re not leaving anything up to chance.

Verifying and Connecting Attendees

When connecting hundreds or thousands of attendees to a conference call, you can’t afford connection delays or confusion. Particularly if you’re presenting to investors or other stakeholders who you’re trying to impress, you want a seamless connection experience.

Ensure that connections are as simple as possible for your guests, requiring a simple passcode entry that’s easy to find or well-publicized before your meeting. And for your most important events, utilize operator-assisted connections, where operators will verify and connect each attendee individually for you, taking all of the guess-work out of the equation.

Partner with Event Specialists

Large meetings, can become very stressful if you aren’t sure you can rely on your provider. You need to partner with events specialists with years of experience providing high-quality conferencing and events services to businesses of all sizes.

And most importantly of all, you need to be sure that your operator-assisted conference provider will work with you from preparation all the way through follow-up to ensure you’re getting the most out of your large meeting investment.

Looking to plan a large-scale conference call? Contact PGi’s Event Team today!

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Debunking 3 Common Web Conferencing Myths https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/07/debunking-3-common-web-conferencing-myths/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/07/debunking-3-common-web-conferencing-myths/#respond Tue, 15 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/debunking-3-common-web-conferencing-myths/ An effective web conferencing software is very difficult to find nowadays. After having one negative experience, many people begin to think all conferencing tools are the same. This is not the case. Although some software may be extremely challenging to navigate and use, some are more user friendly. With tools such as iMeet and GlobalMeet, …

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An effective web conferencing software is very difficult to find nowadays. After having one negative experience, many people begin to think all conferencing tools are the same. This is not the case. Although some software may be extremely challenging to navigate and use, some are more user friendly. With tools such as iMeet and GlobalMeet, web conferencing will never be the same again. 

Do you have negative feelings towards web conferencing software? We’ve debunked three common web conferencing myths:

Can’t make it personal

iMeet creates an atmosphere in which you feel like you are in the same room with those you are connecting with. State of the art HD video makes it possible for you to connect and collaborate in a more engaging way with up to 125 people. You can also customize your iMeet room to make it more personal. Create a unique URL, change your background, upload a picture and even write your own bio. iMeet comes equipped with several tools that will help you make it your own.

It’s too complicated

Many software products are overly complicated. Our products were designed to make your virtual meeting experience as simple as possible. A sleek, intuitive interface allows you to focus more on the meeting and not the product itself. You’re able to schedule meetings right from Outlook that will instantly pre-populate with all of your meeting details. No downloads required for guests and you can enter your meetings with the click of a button. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

It’s Not Reliable

Whether you’re in the office or on-the-go, our products work wherever you are. You can receive the same full-featured experience no matter what device you are using. Whether you’re on your computer, smartphone or tablet, you can still host or attend meetings. iMeet makes it possible for you to pass control of your presentation to any meeting participant on any device.

Web conferencing can be much more than just a virtual meeting experience. Both iMeet and GlobalMeet give you the tools to communicate and collaborate more effectively. You can make calls, take notes, chat, share documents and much more.

Can your web conferencing tool do all this? Take one look at PGi’s products and it will change the way you think about web conferencing. Take a free trial of iMeet or GlobalMeet today and see why smart professionals are choosing our products.

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Better Customer Service Through Video Conferencing https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/07/better-customer-service-video-conferencing/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/07/better-customer-service-video-conferencing/#respond Tue, 01 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/better-customer-service-video-conferencing/ Responsive and good quality customer service is essential to running and maintaining a successful business. People expect their customer service experience to be as quick as possible, but they also want to connect on a personal level. I don’t know about you, but I get impatient and very irritated when I am forced to speak …

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Responsive and good quality customer service is essential to running and maintaining a successful business. People expect their customer service experience to be as quick as possible, but they also want to connect on a personal level.

I don’t know about you, but I get impatient and very irritated when I am forced to speak with an automated robot or I’m placed on hold for an hour listening to Beethoven. I want my experience to be pleasant and enjoyable.

As expectations for customer service continue to evolve, video conferencing can serve as an additional channel to establish more personal connections with customers.

Leave a lasting impression on your customers and clients by using a state-of-the-art collaboration tool, such as iMeet. iMeet makes it possible for you to be more than just a voice on the other end of the phone.  It has several features that can help you improve your customer service.

  • Easy-to-use interface

Instead of dealing with overly complicated tools, iMeet’s intuitive interface makes it easy for new users to operate. Since it’s cloud-based, there is no need to waste precious time downloading or installing complex software.

  • Video feature

The HD video capability helps create a deeper connection by allowing customers to see who they are speaking with.

  • Personal meeting space

Make your customers feel at home. iMeet makes it possible to create  a unique URL, change your background, upload a profile picture and even write an exclusive bio about yourself or your company.

iMeet lets business users connect, collaborate and share ideas and information from their desktop, tablet or smartphone, enabling greater productivity in the office or on the go. At PGi, we like to say that we give people and the companies they work for a “Collaborative Advantage”. Because we know that better collaboration leads to better results.

Collaboration, along with a culture that harps on providing the quickest and best customer service possible is destined to achieve great things. The sky is the limit for those that focus on excellent customer service.

Are you looking for a video conferencing tool that will help you reach out to your customers in a more effective way? Look no more. Sign up for a free-trial of iMeet today.

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5 Awesome Virtual Team Building Activities https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/06/5-awesome-virtual-team-building-activities/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/06/5-awesome-virtual-team-building-activities/#respond Thu, 26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/5-awesome-virtual-team-building-activities/ To create a successful and efficient virtual team, everyone must work together as a whole in spite of distance. Each person on the team or in the business will have their differences, but those that look past each other’s differences and focus on the accomplishments of the entire group will thrive. Using quality virtual meeting …

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To create a successful and efficient virtual team, everyone must work together as a whole in spite of distance. Each person on the team or in the business will have their differences, but those that look past each other’s differences and focus on the accomplishments of the entire group will thrive. Using quality virtual meeting software enables each employee or team member to collaborate fluidly and effectively. Team building is essential when trying to establish effective collaboration.

Check out these 5 awesome virtual team building activities that could be extremely important and useful for any business.

1. Social Networking

Each employee in your business should be trying to fully adapt to this new era of technology because social networking is becoming not just necessary, but vital in today’s generation. I’m not saying you have to add all of your coworkers on Facebook, but interacting over business professional networking sites is quite beneficial (and who couldn’t benefit from a virtual happy hour?).

Team members or fellow employees can interact through private LinkedIn groups or Jive. Social collaboration platforms like Jive bring the social benefits of Facebook into the workplace. Jive and LinkedIn are very effective communication tools that are used efficiently and globally.

2. Virtual Happy Hour or Lunch Break

As a team, all employees need time throughout their day to bond with each other outside of their work roles and environment. Having a Virtual “Happy Hour” or Lunch Break is a great way for this interaction to take place. This is a designated time where team members can connect via chat, conference call, or online meeting tool to discuss personal and/or professional topics in a more relaxed environment. It’s a specific time to connect on more of a personal level. Have fun and get to know each other better! Building relationships is crucial for a strong team and the overall success of your company.

3. Rotational Leadership

Most members of high performance teams are fully capable of leading themselves and the group, but unfortunately they just never get the chance. Rotational leadership allows each team member to lead the team—whether it’s simply heading up the weekly virtual meeting, planning a monthly team building activity, organizing an educational event, or just scheduling an early morning coffee.  Having a new leader every once in a while allows each coworker to demonstrate their own leaderships skills and how they personally can impact the company.

4. Break the Ice

You can learn so much about people through powerful, selective questions. Their answers tell a lot about their personality, work style, values and beliefs.

Try asking one of these questions to start your next meeting:

  1. If money was no issue, where would you go on vacation?
  2. If you could have any meal in world, what would it be?
  3. What is your greatest weakness?

This type of collaboration activity is a perfect way to break the ice and make the workplace a little more comfortable. Activities like these are quality opportunities for coworkers to brainstorm and communicate as a virtual group.

5. Good for the Soul

Remote coworkers don’t always have a chance to bump into each other at the coffee maker. But, it’s that kind of personal “what’d you do this weekend” sharing that helps employees find common ground. It would be a great idea to spend a few minutes at the start of each meeting to get those personal updates. Also, try to establish a habit of sharing acknowledgements to boost morale. This is vital for the total success of the company. Everyone always wants to feel accomplished and wanted. Employee satisfaction is constantly a factor that strongly contributes to the culture of an office.

These five modern team building activities for virtual meetings are all great ways of collaborating professionally and efficiently. Using quality virtual meeting software, like GlobalMeet, in the process gives your team members the upper hand when it comes to effective communication. Work together and always strive for success!

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How to Make the Most of Your Conference Call Solution https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/06/make-conference-call-solution/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/06/make-conference-call-solution/#respond Tue, 10 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/make-conference-call-solution/ Gone are the days when everyone you needed to talk to was just down the hall. Now, teams and clients may be located all over the country. Conference calls act as great tools for collaborating with others, no matter their location. Conference calls should be just as effective as an in-person meeting. They should start …

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Gone are the days when everyone you needed to talk to was just down the hall. Now, teams and clients may be located all over the country. Conference calls act as great tools for collaborating with others, no matter their location.

Conference calls should be just as effective as an in-person meeting. They should start and end on time, be concise and get everyone on the same page. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Poor sound quality, confusion and other technical difficulties can ruin a conference call almost instantly.

To help combat some of these common issues, PGi’s GlobalMeet Audio combines the highest quality audio with an easy-to-use visual interface that works across your computer, tablet and smartphone.

The following are just a few of GlobalMeet Audio’s state-of-the-art features that can help ensure your next conference call is effective.

  • Instantly connect to meetings

Sometimes a lot of information is required to enter a conference call. You’re probably going to need to know the phone number, dial-in and passcode. Many meeting attendees may arrive late because they wasted a lot of time searching for all of these numbers.

GlobalMeet Audio eliminates the need to remember this information. Meeting guests can instantly join meetings through the link provided in the invitation or their mobile app. This will help everyone join quickly so more meetings can start on time.

  • Superior audio quality

Poor audio quality can completely ruin a conference call. If you can’t hear what anyone is saying or they can’t hear you, the conference call will be a complete disaster. PGi’s global IP network is optimized for audio collaboration so you can rest assure that every conference call will have the best possible audio quality.

  • Mobile apps

Because of busy schedules, we are not always at our desks when we need to join a call. Thanks to innovative mobile apps, you are able to join a conference call from anywhere. Using your smartphone or tablet, you’ll be able to actively participate in meetings while on the go.

  • Know who is speaking

Have you ever been on a call when you spent more time wondering who was speaking instead of focusing on what they’re actually saying? Not knowing who owns the voice on the other end of the line can be confusing and potentially waste precious time. GlobalMeet Audio has a visual interface that clearly highlights individuals as they speak.

Are you getting a lot of feedback from someone’s line? Maybe it’s a dog barking or static. The interface will immediately tell you which line is responsible and with the click of a button, the host can mute the individual line to remove the distracting noise.

Would you like to see GlobalMeet audio in action? Take a minute and watch this video.

GlobalMeet Audio can help make your conference calls more productive.

 

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