Given the controvery over telework and the many opinions and meta-arguments voiced over the past few weeks, it seems important to get back to real world data.
Below are a few statistics from a European company that implemented a telework program:
Source: Presentation at Wainhouse Research UC&C Summit by Bart Martens, Telecom Manager RWE/Essent
- Productivity increase 15%
- Short illness decrease 20%
- Employee satisfaction increase 9%
- Commuter kilometers traveled decrease 30%
- Required office space decrease 50%
The clear message from this presentation was that technology alone isn't the solution. These results were realized in large part due to strong implementation support and ongoing management (and measurement) of the results.
Another interesting message is that the savings pay for a lot of nice extras. For example, the company gave employees bluetooth headsets, desks, chairs, laptops or as they called it: a "suitcase" for telework to make sure that the employee was comfortable and had the tools to be productive at home. These things were "given" to the employees (a perk for them) and in the end cheaper than the company managing inventory in thousands of additional "offices."
Want to talk about telework in your organization?
The Washington DC area is being clobbered with a massive snowstorm. Well, ok, so far it is only about 1/2" but the forecast is for up to a foot by the end of the day.
This has led the Feds to shut down. Whatever happened to "neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor dark of night..."?
You would think a Government with multi-trillion dollar annual budgets would be able to keep the doors open when something as predictable as a winter snowstorm rolls through.
Memo to BHO/POTUS: Tell OPM to expand SVC.
For those who live outside the Beltway, the above translates to:
Memo to Barack Hussein Obama/President of the United States: Tell the Office of Personnel Management to expand Secure Video Collaboration.
How hard is it to set up a telework program? (Not very) Can people be productive when they aren't in the office? (Yes, arguably MORE productive) How can you manage people when they are remote? (By using technology that allows you to have "in-person" interactions without being physically in the same place).
If you want to talk through your business continuity strategy, process and technology, give us a call
Photo borrowed from zdnet.com
Dear Ms. Mayer -
Well you certainly got everyone's attention ! A lot of opinions are flying about whether you are being "anti-green," doing a self-selecting RIF, making a sensible business decision, are out of touch with non-executive struggles, blah, blah, blah. You're no dummy (or dare I say Yahoo?) and I am sure you thought about this before making the call.
Our question is: do you have the wrong telework policy or the wrong telework technology?
A lot of companies have difficulty with telework because they have invested in complicated, expensive communication infrastructures that make it cumbersome for someone to connect to the office, give them limited functionality (e.g. save and retrieve files), low quality (choppy audio and grainy video), require a lot of people to manage the network in order to enable people to connect, or multiple combinations of the above.
But what if (remember those old HP commercials?) there were a lightweight, secure, collaboration solution that gave employees presence/status information and click-to-meet access to anyone in their group, their hallway, their division, their campus or half way around the world whether they are in the office, on the road, writing code or picking up groceries?
What if the same client worked in the same way on mobile, on desktops and in conference rooms so that it didn't matter who was where and the system did the leg work to find them?
What if it enabled audio calls, video calls, desktop sharing, application control sharing, virtual whiteboard, chat and more?
What if you could have all this TODAY without breaking the bank?
If this sounds interesting to you, click below.
Photo Credit: PC Magazine (link in photo)
Lifesize followed Polycom's lead in making a breath-taking, game-changing, unprecedented step...
away from their complicated, hardware-driven business model and
towards what VeaMea has been doing for more than a decade:
using software to provide an
video collaboration experience without a complicated remote control! Hopefully the acquisition of Mirial/ClearSea is winning hearts and minds to the idea that videoconferencing and collaboration should be about the user, and not the technology.
- "like you are there"
This move brings Lifesize one step closer to being ready for a new world of touch, tablet, mobile and room conferencing with a unified interface. At least that's what we're working on.
Congratulations and welcome to the team!
To see the Lifesize announcement video and learn more about this "low cost" ($3,000 per unit) new system, click here.
To learn more about VeaMea, try it for free...
Now that we know who won, we want to be among the first to say Congratulations !
Now the hard part begins. We won't go through all the challenges you face, we would hate to give you buyer's remorse. But once you settle into the Oval Office, there is one thing that we can say...
You will need to fill a giant budget gap. One way to help is by making workers more productive. How you might ask? Secure video collaboration.
The Federal government already spends millions (if not billions) on videoconferencing systems. But to expand the reach of video collaboration throughout the government in today's tight budget environment, you need a more cost effective solution.
With Hurricane Sandy shutting down the Eastern Seabord, you may be stuck and unable to get out of where you are, or unable to get in to where you are supposed to be.
VeaMea can help. For free.
VeaMea's secure video collaboration software allows you to connect with people you need to see, without leaving the safety and comfort of your underground bunker, hotel room, office, home, or wherever you happen to be -- using Cloud computing to defeat the destructive force of real-life clouds.
To attend your meetings, all you need is:
- Power (as in electricity)
- A relatively recent Windows PC
- An internet connection
- A webcam
- A microphone
Go to the VeaMea trial page and set up a free account, and have the people you are planning to meet with set up accounts for themselves.
Read the quickstart guide, add your colleagues to your buddy list, click & call. Its that simple.
With VeaMea you can chat, audio call, video call, share desktops, share control of desktops, and more. All with the highest level of security publicly available.
Doesn't that beat trying to get hundreds of miles through driving rain on flooded roads against 50-70 mph winds? We think so too.
"Nixon going to China" is a well-known phrase. It is short-hand for someone taking a risk, going against what everyone expects them to do and be, and dipping their toe in a different pond.
Nixon went to begin a strategic dialogue and improve relations. As a staunch "anti-communist," he was doing something unusual, but because it was so unexpected, he was trustworthy. This was not some limp, left-wing idealist hoping to make friends with China on a wing and a prayer.
So it was on Tuesday, when Polycom, long the market leader in audio and now video conferencing, with an enormous business built upon sales of communications hardware, announced that it envisions a future of anywhere to anywhere communication, on any device, all driven by software. The Wall Street Journal characterized it as a hardware company trying to become a software company.
VeaMea says: "Welcome Polycom! (seriously)" Not welcome to the club of hardware vendors seeking to become software vendors, but of communication and collaboration companies who have figured out that software is what is going to make the video revolution come to fruition and bring an end to the failed promises and hype of the past.
The hardware used to be exotic, custom and NECESSARY to make real-time communication work with a high enough level of quality. But as bandwidth, processing power, display technology, video processing, and cameras have become smaller, lighter, cheaper and more powerful at the same time, the hardware part of this equation has gotten a lot easier.
What remains, are millions of islands (video room systems), and billions of smartphones, tablets and laptops waiting to become a global communication network that is as easy to navigate as the phone system...and companies like ours, working to get us there.
VeaMea's industry leading secure video collaboration software has applied for a grant sponsored by Chase, livingsocial, and supported by the US Chamber of Commerce. The grant competition is called Mission:small business. 12 companies will be awarded 1/4 million dollar grants as part of the program.
To be considered for the grant, we need 250 people to vote for our software BY JUNE 30! That gets us in the competition to have our application read.
It doesn't cost you anything more than a couple minutes of your time to sign in and vote.
How do you do it?
1. Go to www.missionsmallbusiness.com
2.Click the "Login and Support" button
3. Log in with your Facebook account
4. Type “VeaMea” in the area that says: "business search" (We're the only VeaMea around!)
5. Click the "Vote" button
6. Share with your networks and watch our vote count grow!
If you can help, thank you. If not, thanks for reading this far.
For more on VeaMea:
VeaMea has teamed up with AVComm Solutions Inc. to offer high quality video conferencing accessories direct to VeaMea customers. AVComm Solutions offers competitive prices and exceptional service and support of leading video conferencing accessories from suppliers like
Headsets / Echo cancelling Microphones
Why are we doing this? We often receive questions from customers and prospects asking what we recommend, where they should buy it, what products work together, etc.
Through our partnership with AVComm Solutions, you can now click directly from the VeaMea website to an online store filled with outstanding products, tested to work with our software, at aggressive pricing.
You can quickly and easily place a secure order and AVComm will deliver directly to you, the accessories you need for high quality video collaboration. While we have a fairly extensive list of videoconferencing accessories here, we're starting the online store off with "just" cameras, headsets, and echo cancelling microphones since those are what we are most frequently asked about.
We'll build out the store with more accessories, just tell us what you need !
A New York Times technology article asserts that many video conferencing systems are open, and that unauthorized users can drop in undetected because the systems are on public IPs and are set to autoanswer. We should begin by pointing out that the article is wildly alarmist regarding the liklihood of a silent snooper entering your board room undetected, but it does highlight a key difference between VeaMea's model of secure collaboration and most traditional videoconferencing vendors.
The traditional model (in our admittedly biased view) includes a lot of expensive hardware, is set up on a public IP address, and is set to auto answer because few users run video calls often enough for it to become second nature. This creates a vicious cycle of less use, less experience, less desire to use...thus a dedicated person, or service, is often hired to make sure all the calls happen, with the correct participants being called.
What the Times misses is that all major vendors offer many layers of security and allow you to lock down the room, or individual parts of the system, put it behind a firewall, have a separate gatekeeper box, etc. What traditional videoconferencing vendors "miss" is that all of that adds cost and complexity that make the communication network harder to manage and harder to train users to operate. If you go beyond simple audio and video to include desktop sharing, or any other collaboration feature, there are separate "plug-in" tools that run on different hardware, with a different environment, different connections, etc. Dilbert might say that the evil videoconferencing vendors seek to profit from a "Confusopoly."
How is VeaMea's model different?
In a VeaMea environment, users (people, not IP numbers) are registered on the system. They can log in directly, or be authenticated through an organization's existing directory systems like Microsoft's Active Directory. Those people appear in a buddy list (we call it a presence window) just like Skype, AIM, MSN Messenger, etc.
When you want to call someone, you check in the presence window to see if they are online and available, click on them and press the call button. Since all users register with the server through an encrypted channel before being "present" and available to call, interlopers would need not only the server address, but login credentials.
Since calls go from registered user to registered user over standard http and https ports, firewall traversal is simple. All data flows are encrypted with AES 256 keys (a fresh key for each meeting) for security against true hacking, rather than the "prank call" methodology described in the Times article. You can also pull our server behind a firewall with a secure channel to a paired public server, so you have highly secure internal communication yet retain the ability to reach external contacts as needed.
You can dial OUT from VeaMea to a traditional videoconferencing system or a SIP phone system through a gateway, or send an email link for a one-off video meeting (the recipient downloads our software client, establishes a secure connection with our server, and the call auto-initiates).
So no one can accidentally, or purposefully, dial IN to a VeaMea system. Those in the system can pull outside destinations in when it makes sense. If they WERE able to dial in, the system rings and does not auto-answer (it can be set to do so if desired), and when it does answer there is no doubt that a call has been initiated as the operating system/desktop vanishes and our immersive conferencing environment appears complete with near-end and far end videos.
But the larger points are these:
- VeaMea is a unified interface that people use DAILY for chat, audio, video, desktop sharing, whiteboard sharing and more
- It is the same interface in the boardroom as on the desktop so users quickly get the hang of it and know what they are doing whether at their desks, running a board meeting or on the road using 3G
There have been more than a few responses from video conferencing industry vendors and professionals to the Times piece. You can read a few more here.
To see if VeaMea is the right solution for you, click below: