All posts in Technology

Category for blog postings regarding technology as it relates to office space and/or productivity.

Be There Without Being There

With air travel and hotel costs on the rise, not to mention all of the time wasted standing in line to pass security, savvy businesses are taking advantage of video conferencing. Many times the benefits in travel savings outweigh the benefits of traditional in-person meetings. And organizations become more efficient and productive by replacing conference calls with video conferences.

Video conferencing connects individuals in real time through audio and video communication over broadband networks.

Here’s some areas where video conferencing excels:

  1. Significant Travel Savings

The constant climb of air travel prices barely seems like news anymore, and smart organizations are finding alternatives.  Not only is video conferencing a direct replacement for many in-person business trips, but because there is virtually no cost to add additional key employees to a virtual meeting, you can easily bring the right team together.

  1. Improved Communication

Video conferencing restores many visual cues necessary in long distance communication. Social psychologists demonstrated several years ago that non-verbal communication constitutes about two-thirds of the communication between people. That’s one reason in-person meetings are so effective. For example, eye contact enables us to ‘get’ a message from a speaker that voice communication alone may not successfully convey. Video conferencing lets each party see those non-verbal cues and body language.

  1. Increased Productivity

If you have been in business long enough you have experienced the classic, never ending “conference call from hell,” and video conferencing all but eliminates those problems, even from large group calls.  Important meetings are shorter and more effective.  Many video conferencing users report saving a minimum of two hours a week with the technology.

In summation, Video conferencing saves travel time and money. Participants can see and hear all other participants and communicate both verbally and visually, creating a face-to-face experience.. People downtime is reduced and productivity gains are achieved by removing the logistics of flight preparations, airport delays, hotel stays, and all the other inconveniences of business travel. In distance education or training, video conferencing provides quality access to students who could not travel to or could afford to relocate to a traditional campus. Video conferences are also used in legal depositions and employee recruitment.

People use video conferencing when:

A live conversation is needed;

Visual information is an important component of the conversation;

The parties of the conversation can’t physically come to the same location;

The expense or time of travel is a consideration.

Video conferencing lets you be there without being there. You can meet with someone from Tokyo in the morning, someone else from London later in the day and someone else in Dallas before the end of the day and still be home on time for dinner with your family.

Experience the ease, savings and increase in your personal productivity by using the professional video conferencing services of Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch.

Why Videoconferencing Is For You

In many different situations a live video conference is much more effective than a phone call or web conference. For example, you may need to visually demo a new product with a sales team that is spread out over many states or even countries. Or maybe you need to troubleshoot an issue with a client which requires sharing information visually. Literally seeing what you are discussing is far more effective and meaningful than other methods short of actually being there. Listed below are the some of the top benefits of video conferencing.

Reduced Travel Costs

The ability to be in several places at once without leaving an office is a proven driver of business productivity. Though face-to-face interactions with your customers, partners and colleagues are always important the huge leaps in quality, availability, and ease-of-use make videoconferencing the next best thing. When you calculate the number of trips taken annually and determine the associated costs (transportation to and from the airport, the cost of plane tickets, meals, time lost in travel, etc.) it is clear why videoconferencing is such an attractive alternative.

Increased Productivity among your Customers and Teams

Today it’s not unusual to have satellite offices across the country, or even the world. Most methods of communication will be limited to phone calls, email, or instant messages. The lack of face-to-face communication can cause misunderstandings within your teams. When video is implemented, participants are more likely to stay alert and focused on what is being discussed. As a result, projects are completed faster, productivity increases, and participants feel more in synch with each other and the message you want to convey.

Improves Communication & Reinforce Relationships

During a videoconference you can see the facial expressions and body language of conference participants, leading to faster and more effective collaboration. You can actually discern how your message is being received. These are both important aspects of communication that are lost with a basic telephone call.

Competitive Advantage

There is no benefit for being second in bringing new products or ideas to market, and video communication creates and maintains competitive advantage for your business. Teams that communicate through video, will share knowledge faster and will be more informed, which reduces the time required to bring a new product or service to market. Support departments using videoconferencing can establish more personal relationships with their customers, which encourages a much deeper loyalty than just speaking on a phone. You can accomplish in less than an hour, what it takes your competition to do in a week via shipping the product for review.

Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch is your preeminent provider of videoconference service in the Sarasota/Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch area. Be there without the hassles or expense of actually being there. For more information contact us today!

The Exciting Benefits of VOIP Technology

Today many small businesses and organizations are making the switch from their current analog phone service to VoIP business phone systems. There are numerous advantages to using such a service, including standard services such as voicemail (really enhanced via VOIP technology), call waiting, toll free numbers, call forwarding, and remote operation, and there are a host of other features that really makes this technology shine and really increases the productivity of the user.

More than two persons

On a standard phone line, only two persons can speak at a time. With VoIP, you can setup a conference with a whole team communicating in real time.

Abundant, Interesting and Useful Features

Using VoIP also means benefitting from its abundant feature sets which can make your VoIP experience very rich and sophisticated. One can, for example, make calls anywhere in the world to any destination in the world with a VoIP account. Domestic long distance calls are free and International calls are made at greatly reduced rates. Other features include Caller ID, Contact Lists, Voicemail, extra-virtual numbers etc. Here are some enhanced features of this technology:

Find me/follow me call routing

Mobile workers appreciate this feature. Find me/follow me call routing allows you to create a list of numbers where you can be found before the call gets pushed to voicemail. So, for example, you might have your office phone ring twice, but on the third ring, your cell phone starts to ring, and then on the fifth, your home phone. If the list is exhausted, the caller gets sent to voicemail.

Voicemail to email carbon and transcription

Voicemail to email carbon means that an email is sent to you with a wav file attachment containing the voicemail message. Voicemail to email transcription transcribes your voicemail messages to text and sends them to your email address. Read them in your email at your leisure. This also allows you to file, organize, delete, and search all your voicemails in a way that would otherwise be impossible.

Music and/or video on hold

If your company often has to put callers on hold, this feature is a necessity. You can customize your music or on-hold message.

Call screening

Call screening is a handy feature of this technology. It allows you to look at a number on the caller ID and choose how to treat it. For example, if your spouse is calling, you can choose to pick it up whereas if it’s an annoying sales person you wish to avoid you can disregard the call.

Auto attendant

An auto attendant is one of the hidden gems of premium VoIP services. This feature allows callers to interact with a menu to choose an appropriate extension or phone, even after-hours. It’s like having an electronic receptionist!

Do not disturb
This feature does exactly what its name implies: leaves you undisturbed. You can turn it on to temporarily stop incoming calls to your phone. This becomes especially useful during conferences, lunches, and meetings. Best of all, you can program it so that it does not just ignore callers, but directs them toward voicemail or another destination of your choice.

All of these services, and more, are available with the VOIP technology phone service offered by Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch. We even include live answer before transfer, call logs if you want them and more! Contact us at 941-373-1400 to learn more about how this exciting technology can enhance your business and operations.