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Video Conferencing Can Fill the Gaps in Your Workflows

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Today’s companies are all about the flow of information from colleague to colleague and team to team. So when work at your organization gets stuck, lost, or forgotten, where does it usually come to a grinding halt? In email? On team collaboration boards? During meetings? If you find that work often stops until the next meeting or until a key team member gets back into town, there are faster, more efficient ways to keep work moving. One of those ways is to get on a video conference call right now.

Video Collaboration Improves the Flow of Work

Video collaboration tools are better quality and more reliable than in the past. Solutions designed for meeting spaces do more than just video. They make real-time information and content sharing easier than ever. Solutions intended specifically for small meeting rooms may include cameras and microphones designed to pick up much more than a laptop, as some employees will try to use—unsuccessfully.

Also look for features like annotation, touch screens, video capture, wireless sharing, scheduling capabilities, video recording, and easy integration with your existing systems and workflows. Companies invest in workflow technologies but overlook the collaboration aspect. Video conferencing helps fill in the gaps.

The latest video solutions improve workflows and processes by:

  • Facilitating faster decision making
  • Increasing productivity
  • Connecting employees of all kinds, including remote, mobile, and in office
  • Merging content tools with collaboration, allowing work to be completed during meetings
  • Cutting costs through preventing project delays

In high-growth companies, 73 percent of executives say that video conferencing improves communication, when compared with audio conferencing. That also means work outcomes are better because there is less miscommunication and mistakes.

Improve Work Efficiency with Video Conferencing

Video collaboration solutions improve workflows and coordination of efforts across teams. It gives you a path to bypass all the potholes, roadblocks, and dead ends in your work because it adds a faster, more accurate means of communication. And with the rise in ad hoc meeting spaces, like huddle rooms, it’s another tool to get work done in the present, without having to organize a formal meeting.

Organizations should make video collaboration available not just in these ad hoc meeting spaces though. Video conferencing capabilities should be in huddle rooms, conference rooms, and virtually any other work or gathering space.

It’s not just workspaces that are changing. The way employees work is changing to be more mobile and more flexible. Employees need the tools to accommodate that kind of agility.

Create Spaces That Make Video Collaboration Easy

The video collaboration technologies that support your workflows should:

  • Work from anywhere using any device
  • Integrate with other technologies in the room
  • Be intuitive for all users

Consumer video conferencing applications, like Skype, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime, are easy to use outside of work and have become part of routine life for many users. In fact, Apple has announced that’s it’s releasing the ability for up to 32 people to participate in a FaceTime video call. That’s a sign that video conferencing and consumer-style tools are overlapping more than ever. However, a FaceTime video call won’t be practical for many professional use cases.

An experienced audiovisual integrator can help organizations decide which tools make the most sense for their needs and goals.

Next Steps

The key to improving work is making video collaboration a part of your everyday workflows. As work becomes more collaborative and more of it is conducted in small group meeting spaces, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that those spaces are equipped with video collaboration tools.  Consider those designed for these modern spaces, like the Crestron Mercury or the Polycom Trio. Download “A Standardized Huddle Space Catalog and Guide” to learn more about equipping huddle and small meeting spaces for video collaboration.

How to Make the Case for Better Video Conferencing

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Is video conferencing at your organization up in the air and all over the place? Maybe some employees love to hop on impromptu video calls with just about anyone from anywhere—even when they’re just down the hall. On the other hand, some resist turning on the camera or using video conferencing at all. You may see different departments favoring different solutions. If there is no consistent user experience and video conferencing has become a big hassle for your IT department, you’ll want to make some changes.

You know you want to provide an easy, standardized experience in your meeting rooms, small or large. But what do you do when executives don’t make video conferencing a priority, don’t understand the benefits, and don’t want to set aside budget to solve your organizations collaboration issues?

Start by gathering user and stakeholder feedback, researching and narrowing down your options, and then presenting the information to those who will make the final decision. State your case by beginning with the “why” behind the push for video conferencing.

Why Organizations Should Invest in Video Conferencing

You already know why an easy-to-use, standardized video conferencing solutions makes sense, but it’s important to let decision makers in on the long-term, big-picture benefits.

Video collaboration:

  • Is cost-effective. Video conferencing has always been a good way to save on travel costs, but the rise of cloud and software-based solutions makes it more affordable than ever. Organizations also save on hardware, data storage, and real estate by accommodating a growing remote workforce.
  • Improves work. With video conferencing available in any room, from any device, employees are able to meet and work with more speed, efficiency, and accuracy. At a moment’s notice they can show remote colleagues an asset, a product, a presentation, or whatever they may be working on and ask advice, clarification, or help. And that’s just one use case.
  • Has more uses than ever. It used to be that video conferencing was seen as suitable for more formal staff, client, and executive meetings. However, now it’s being used to support ideation, innovation, and employee engagement among all kinds of teams. Whether planned or impromptu, formal or informal, video conferencing is being used by nearly all departments, including tech support, production, and field service.

How to Present the Case for Video Conferencing

Let stakeholders know you’ve done your homework, and ask those who already support video conferencing to help others get on board.

  • Identify stakeholders. Determine who will need to approve the video conferencing purchase. Learn what kinds of details they need before making a decision.
  • Explain the problem and solution. Share the user feedback, usage reports, and request for features you gathered early on. This way, you can explain to stakeholders how the problems will be solved with a new solution.
  • Document your research. Track which vendors or solutions you have researched, noting which features align with your requirements. Highlight your recommendations and write an explanation of your decision to share with stakeholders.
  • Justify the investment. In addition to outlining the benefits mentioned above, you will want to include a cost/benefit analysis in your business case that also includes tangible costs and benefits. With this analysis, you should include all one-time and recurring expenses. A qualified AV integrator can also help determine the expected ROI which can help with making that final decision.

Next Steps

Not all video conferencing tools are designed for all spaces. If you’re looking for ways to implement video collaboration in small meeting rooms, consider tools like the Crestron Mercury or the Polycom Trio. Both feature webcams and content sharing capabilities. Check out “A Standardized Huddle Space Catalog and Guide

Minimize meeting problems and collaborate with CoreTouch

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Have you ever had those meetings when you would bring your laptop or tablet but couldn’t connect it to a projector, monitor, or any other kind of peripheral? With a presentation ready to go, you wasted so much time trying to figure out how to make the technology work. It can either transform a meeting into a complete frustration or really make it valuable.

Some of the most common meeting problems companies have are trouble with starting and finishing a meeting on time. Factors like failing technology, silent participants and collaboration dominators often result in a conducted meeting with no decisions made. The results of this survey show that 45% of participants most of the time leave a meeting without a clear understanding of their responsibilities. Also, 47% of workers react stressfully to tech malfunction. With Layer Logic’s CoreTouch, Today, we have a device that’s both easy to use and simplifies collaboration and sharing.

Improved Collaboration

CoreTouch is an appliance that enables collaboration to displays of all kinds from a user’s preferred device. One centralized appliance provides up to four connections for users, each device sending its share of data to the display in real-time. When a meeting starts on time, you get so much work done, and everyone present manages to participate and present their information. You will walk out with an overwhelming sense of productivity. This is rarely the case in small and mid-sized organizations.

Share Like You Had Never Shared Before

Regardless of the type of device or its operating system, CoreTouch provides quick connectivity without any security or software updates to address. Cables connected to a smart device or laptop and to the display provide a wired connection that is more secure than a wireless one, addressing several common security concerns.

Intuitive Touchscreen Display

Because there is no need to install software or configure it, CoreTouch can be controlled in several ways. When all the devices are plugged in, you can jump from full- to quad-screen with simple swipe gestures using a smartphone as a device or an interactive touch screen as your display. You can actively participate in a quadrant, sharing your data through a wireless presentation system. Also, you can use a tablet or smartphone to choose which device is displayed on the screen at a given moment, thus controlling the presenters.

CoreTouch can be mounted on any monitor or HID capable touch device. Layer Logic’s certification process has tested touchscreen displays and certified the following ones to work with CoreTouch: BenQ, LG, Phillips, Samsung, Vivitek, Sharp NEC, Cleartouch, and Christie.

In the past, you used to hassle with all kinds of tech equipment and worried whether you would be able to play a simple 2-minute video. Now, you just throw your laptop in the bag and go on with your day without any worries that a failure to connect will happen again. Smooth and coherent integration can be complicated to achieve. The result of using CoreTouch can be simply getting more work done during meetings and collaborating more quickly and effectively.

If you’re interested in CoreTouch and want to see how it works, contact us to book a demo!

Level 3 AV is now a North American Reseller of Montage

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DisplayNote Technologies and Level 3 Audiovisual combine to deliver increased productivity and efficiency into meeting rooms.

DisplayNote Technologies today announced that Level 3 Audiovisual have just been appointed a reseller in Ben for Montage, the company’s new wireless presentation system.

Montage is all about making meeting spaces as productive and effective as possible”, said Paul Brown, CEO of DisplayNote Technologies. “It’s about allowing meeting attendees, whether they’re across the room or across the world, to simultaneously stream what’s on their device to the main meeting room screen, and communicate at the same time via video and voice. Together with Level 3 Audiovisual we believe we can give organisations a solution that really maximises productivity in the meeting room.

“Level 3 Audiovisual is excited about our partnership with DisplayNote Technologies, and their new Montage solution. We are always striving to design and integrate innovative and effective solutions for our customers. We were thrilled to see that Montage truly is a two-way collaborative and interactive solution. DisplayNote recognized a need, and really hit the mark with Montage. By giving the users the ability to control, share content and annotate whether they are presenting from a large multi-touch display, a tablet in a conference room, or attending remotely on their laptop or Smartphone is a real “win-win” for Level 3 Audiovisual, and more importantly, our customers.”

To address the growing need of making meeting and huddle spaces more collaborative, productive and inclusive, DisplayNote Technologies & Level 3 Audiovisual will work together to create awareness around Montage’s unique feature set and to provide the solution to enterprise and higher education customers in North America.

Montage allows multiple attendees, whether they’re in the room or remote, to simultaneously stream what’s on their device to the main meeting room screen.

Once on the main display, attendee screens can be reordered and rearranged so teams can easily view, compare and analyse information from multiple sources.

Montage lets remote attendees communicate at the same time as sharing content using their device’s webcam and microphone.

Other features include 2-way annotation, file-sharing and remote PC control.

DisplayNote Technologies build products that reshape collaboration and make it easier to share information and ideas. Currently there are solutions for collaborative white-boarding, real-time document editing, team messaging and wireless presentation. The company work with and partner with some of the world’s largest display manufacturers and have channel partners across the world.

Founded in 1996 Level 3 Audiovisual is a full-service audio-visual provider, specializing in the design, sale, service and installation of professional audio-visual and video-conferencing systems. In addition to providing high-level technology solutions corporate boardrooms, training facilities and command-and-control centers, the company design, engineer and integrate solutions in Healthcare and Education.

New Tech for Classroom Collaboration

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We, at Level 3 Audiovisual have the opportunity to work with some world class educators in various pedagogical disciplines in our pursuit to provide next generation technology solutions for higher education organizations. In 2015, several of these organizations are leading the learning technology evolution and changing the way they approach classroom technology configurations.

“Flipped Classrooms” are breaking away from the traditional teacher centric layout and shifting instruction to a learner-centered model in which class time is dedicated to exploring topics in greater depth and creating meaningful learning opportunities. With the ability to easily capture and stream live instructional content, today’s higher education leaders are depending on delivering much, and sometimes all, of their curriculum online. No longer is it just an option to take an online class, it is built into the everyday coursework and is often preferred by the next generation of college students.

Learning spaces are changing to accommodate the needs by creating a digital collaboration experience that enable teams with technology for presenting, sharing, capturing, and annotating as small teams or as one large group. Instead of a teaching station or lectern at the front of the room with several rows of front facing chairs, you may find several team huddle tables seating between 4-8 people with a shared interactive flat panel display at the end. Each huddle group is able to present and share content at their respective table/flat panel among themselves when working as teams. If the instructor wants to share content from one table to another or all others, just a few clicks of a button is all that is required.

I know that we have been talking about this BYOD thing for a while, but the game has changed again with wireless network based presentation devices and software. These gateways enable instructors, students, guests, and any device connected to the network to present audiovisual information on a shared screen. Laptops, smart phones, tablets, and pc’s can all be wirelessly connected and sharing content simultaneously in a presentation that, when coupled with an interactive touch surface – like a video wall, creates a truly collaborative experience. These systems redefine what it means to “Cut the Cord”.

Speaking of video walls, this is another new area of excitement and growth in higher education. Replacing projectors in large group rooms, digital signage, and interactive touch collaboration systems are just a few of the applications for video wall technology in higher education. Looking at one image is great, but the new norm is multiple sources of content displayed simultaneously with the ability to annotate, re-size, and interact with content with multiple peers. Lower total cost of ownership is driving these technologies into the hands of today’s educators and we will continue to see a major rise in this area.

Video conferencing continues to play a role in distance learning applications, but now the ways of connecting, streaming, recording, and reaching remote interactive audiences has simplified even further. Desktop conferencing and remote learning software allow instructors to provide video collaboration, capture, and instant publishing to online content delivery platforms for later viewing in case you could not make it live. Most modern classrooms are equipped with a dedicated PC that can be used to turn a classroom into a learning studio with global reach.

As you can see, the future of education enhancing technology is bright and continues to enable learners to consume content from anywhere at any time.

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