Cloud Video Conferencing – a Review of Starleaf

av tech for meeting rooms 2019

StarLeaf App Free Download

TecInteractive are offering a free video conferencing app to any individuals or businesses who want to utilise video communication to stay in touch during the coronavirus pandemic. As offices close and people are asked to work from home, workers are looking for a simple way to stay in touch and maintain their day to day working.

Just download it here.

Cloud Video Conferencing – a Review of Starleaf

Video calling provides the same rapport as being face to face whilst ensuring that meetings can still go ahead. Managers find its easy to ‘just say hi’ to members of their team, helping to maintain engagement at a time when people are feeling anxious and worried. And with inbuilt screen sharing, users find they are still able to collaborate and work together, even if they cannot work in the same room or office together.

When video conferencing landed in the executive boardroom 40 years ago, it was a revelation! Senior representatives of large or international organisations could have face to face meetings without the cost and time associated with traveling across country.  But then those senior people wanted to speak to other executives in different businesses, who happened to be on a different video conferencing system. Technology was used to bridge the gap but this slowed the system and added a new level of complexity for maintenance, repairs and ultimately usability.

Today, people have video communication tools on their personal smart phones but video conferencing still hasn’t truly taken off in the workplace mainstream. Why is this? We know it can alleviate the pressures and costs of business travel, we know it can help to improve collaboration and build relationships. Video conferencing is more widely available, reliable and cost effective than ever before but there is still a hesitation, or an assumption that video conferencing is an expensive solution suitable only for big business, or that it’s too technical or unreliable to be used as a preferred method of contact.In this blog, we review the UK based company taking the video conferencing market by storm – StarLeaf, and how their cloud-based video conferencing solution can overcome many of the concerns, frustrations or shortfalls of traditional video communications.

 

Meet StarLeaf Cloud-based Video Conferencing:

StarLeaf is a cloud-based video conferencing and calling system, offering hardware, software and a network through which you can make and receive video calls. Through careful research and development, StarLeaf have addressed some of the biggest problems business people face with existing video communication with a complete offering that any business could use. Here’s how:

Cloud Video Conferencing – a Review of Starleaf

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1. A Cost Effective, Simple Solution

StarLeaf offers a series of endpoint solutions, providing codec, camera, speakers and intuitive touch screen controllers that plug into a display screen – as soon as it’s set up, you’re ready to start conferencing! Because the network is cloud based there is no other expensive hardware or servers that can cost money and space, making it particularly cost effective. The control interface is as simple to use as dialing on a phone and you can call anyone – whether they have a video calling system themselves or not. All they need is a web browser and StarLeaf will do the rest.

Cloud Video Conferencing – a Review of Starleaf

2. One Meeting Room System = Desktop Video Calling For All

Any purchase of a Starleaf endpoint with a conference licence will provide you with a licence for business-wide desktop video calling and conferencing. Any person in that business can download the StarLeaf App to provide simple video calling from their PC, laptop or tablet to any other user at any time. They can even video call someone who doesn’t have the StarLeaf App using a click-to-call link.

Cloud Video Conferencing – a Review of Starleaf

Companies that have introduced company-wide video calling as the preferred method of communication have noted a significant improvement in collaboration across departments and a boost to productivity as email conversations decrease and people get answers quicker and more efficiently.

3. Click to Call

For video calling to work, it needs to be as straightforward as dialing a number or picking up a phone. Asking people to download software before calling is fine if you’re going to be in regular contact but for off-the-cuff calling you need something without barriers. So StarLeaf have introduced Click-to-call. It’s Web-RTC based and allows anyone with access to a web browser to call another StarLeaf end point – either on a meeting room system or using the app. Offering a one click solution for face-to-face communication can become a real point of difference to customers or clients or external associates. You can even include a link on your email signature so anyone can video call you at the touch of a button.

4. Interoperability between systems

Remember the first video conferencers of 40 years ago? They struggled to connect with people on different video systems but the same can still be said of video callers today. The problem is that many of the ‘legacy’ systems like Cisco and Polycom need additional bridging hardware to enable cross network calls. As we know, this slows things down, is very costly and it can create another level of complexity if there are operating issues. StarLeaf have addressed this issue by creating a ‘cloud’ that all calls go through. StarLeaf allows you to call any legacy system, Skype For Business or other systems by feeding all calls through the cloud. No time delay, no complexity, just straightforward, good quality video calling and conferencing. Watch this free webinar to find out how StarLeaf cloud-based video conferencing have created a solution for interoperability…

Cloud Video Conferencing – a Review of Starleaf

5. Skype For Business

If you’re already signed up to Skype For Business then StarLeaf Medley is a free tool that anyone can use – even if they don’t own a StarLeaf endpoint. Anyone who is scheduling a Skype meeting can use StarLeaf Medley to connect with anyone who is using a traditional video meeting room system like Cisco or Polycom or even a cloud based system like StarLeaf. If you want to use Skype For Business in a meeting room or huddle space then you can get a StarLeaf Teamline endpoint which allows you to connect with anyone, using the familiar Skype for Business / Teams interface that you are used to from your PC.

6. A Reliable Network

Of the eight years that StarLeaf has existed, the first five years were spent establishing a reliable, secure infrastructure that could facilitate global cloud-based video conferencing on a huge scale, and that is exactly what they’ve done. With end-to-end encryption to ensure a secure network at all times you can be sure your business is protected. They don’t rely on any third party to provide that infrastructure so they can be sure they and their customers are not beholden to anyone else. And unlike other video communication tools like Skype For Business, StarLeaf does not eat up your band width which will ultimately slow down the rest of your online activities.

Cloud Video Conferencing – a Review of Starleaf

7. Screen sharing

Video calling and conferencing is ultimately about collaboration. And if you’re working with someone who isn’t in the same room it helps if they can see what you’re working on. That’s when screen sharing is really beneficial. Instantly show someone who you are speaking with what you are looking at, at the touch of a button. It’s all available through your StarLeaf interface – a simple way to boost collaboration and to reduce the need to travel to all of your meetings.

Cloud Video Conferencing – a Review of Starleaf

At TecInteractive, we started using StarLeaf over five years ago and were quickly won over by this simple, practical, cost effective solution. That’s why when we were given the opportunity to be one of the few StarLeaf authorised partners in the UK, we jumped at the chance. If you like this StarLeaf review and want to see how the StarLeaf cloud works then contact us for a free demo, or sign up for a free trial of the StarLeaf App . You won’t be disappointed.

Simple Video Conferencing Technology For SME’s

Video Conferencing Systems fo any Organisation. Meeting Room, Telepresence, Desktop and Mobile.

Video conferencing has been around for decades. But what was once a low quality compromise, reserved for the company executives in the boardroom has now become the communication  of choice for millions of business people around the world. With FaceTime and Skype really taking off in people’s personal lives, and the increasing number of millennials and  Generation Z’s in the workforce, it is no wonder the average working person is becoming more comfortable with being ‘virtually’ face to face for meetings.

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A recent study by Polycom found that 96% of business decision makers believed video conferencing improves productivity , but despite this fact, many businesses are yet to provide comprehensive technology solutions that will improve video conferencing for those who want to use it. People are still using personal Skype or FaceTime, cramming round laptops or in some cases iPhones, to see their colleagues or clients in a meeting. With poor quality sound and fractured connections ,video conferencing is still not reaching its full potential for many businesses – especially SME’s. So here is a list of our favourite simple video conferencing technology for SME’s that can help you to improve collaboration and video communication.

Simple Video Conferencing Technology For SME’s

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1. Company-wide, Cloud-based Video Conferencing for SME’s

For many businesses there are two prohibiting factors when considering implementation of a company-wide video conferencing solution: cost and space. Establishing a complete video conferencing network with a provider like Cisco for example often requires a large financial investment and a space to host the physical servers, taking it off the agenda for many SME’s. But with the arrival of cloud-based video conferencing even small businesses with a modest budget can embrace company-wide video conferencing.

Simple Video Conferencing Technology For SME’s

In our business we have been using a system called StarLeaf. By purchasing a product from the range to equip your chosen meeting space, you are provided with business-wide access to the video conferencing network through the Starleaf Breeze software client. It can be downloaded to any employee’s PC or laptop, allowing everyone in the company to be contactable face-to-face at the touch of a button. And you can even use the Breeze app to connect with clients or suppliers outside the business. It’s simple and it just works. Businesses that have embraced this sort of company-wide video conferencing have reported improved efficiencies and collaboration across teams and departments plus considerable cost savings as the need for travel is negated by having frequent meetings face to face via video conferencing. Using secure encrypted connections gives peace of mind – especially for businesses where security of communications is paramount.

2. Perfect Audio and Sound

The problem with conference calling is that sound is often compromised. Open speakers will pick up any kind of background noise and inevitably the person nearest the speaker will sound the loudest whilst those further away are either muffled or have to shout to be heard. The result can be frustrating, occasionally embarrassing and often hugely inefficient as comments are lost or repeated. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

There are now many speakers on the market that can eliminate these challenges. We like the Konftel range of conferencing speakers as well as the Evoko Minto. Choose between wired or wireless, portable or not. Either way you are guaranteed to have crystal clear audio and speakers that pick up what they are supposed to – not the workmen drilling on the street. Contact us to arrange a demo to see how these technology solutions can improve video conferencing for your business.

Simple Video Conferencing Technology For SME’s

3. Camera, Action!

Relying on your laptop’s integrated camera might suffice for a one-on-one but bringing other people in will just start to get messy. Of course no-one wants to invest in hi-tech HD cameras for everyone if they are only needed on a few occasions. So we recommend having the flexibility of an easy-to-use plug and play mobile camera that offers the flexibility to turn any desk or meeting room into a video conferencing facility whenever it is required. We like the Logitech range of conference cameras which can integrate with the video conferencing apps that your business already uses.  They provide a very cost-effective hardware solution for small to medium sized rooms.

Simple Video Conferencing Technology For SME’s

4. More Than Just Video Conferencing Technology for SME’s

Video conferencing is a great way to bring people together but often it’s the work they are collaborating on that needs to take the focus. Products like Starleaf offer integrated screen-sharing and video conferencing but the best way to get the most out of a video meeting is to be able to collaborate on documents together at the same time. For this, nothing quite offers the same experience as an interactive display like a SMART kapp iQ Pro or a Microsoft Surface Hub. Use the display for video conferencing whilst sharing documents and collaborating, editing and annotating on them in real time. It’s like being in the same room as your colleagues, even if they’re in another country. Solutions like these can actually save you money as many businesses have to spend less on travel expenses to get to  meetings which quickly provides a return on investment.

Simple Video Conferencing Technology For SME’s

If you would like to trial or discuss any of these simple video conferencing solutions for SME’s, why not get in touch or arrange a video conference call and we can show you what we mean!

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Create the Ultimate Huddle Room: Our Top 7 Tips!

ultimate huddle room or space

For anyone who has had the need for an ‘on-the-fly’ meeting, a ‘quick catch up’ with colleagues or the chance to share what they are working on away from the hustle of the open plan, a huddle room is often the perfect solution. Whilst not a new arrival in the workplace, huddle rooms have been growing in popularity in the last few years, as businesses place greater emphasis on collaboration, the need to get together for a ‘quick meeting’ and workspaces now being designed with less private offices or ‘cubicles’.
Today there are an estimated 30 to 50 million huddle rooms world-wide*. Whilst definitions of what exactly constitutes a huddle room are a little hazy, the most basic answer is, any small meeting space that can only accommodate a small number of people. That sounds simple enough, but we don’t want to create any huddle room. We want to create the ultimate huddle room. And we have a few ideas on what that looks like, so here are our top tips:

Create The Ultimate Huddle Room: Tip 1

Huddle Furniture

The furniture you select for your huddle space will impact how the room is used and ultimately its success. Comfy chairs may look and feel nice but will they encourage quick, productive meetings? Do you need a big table or will a small workbench suffice? Should you consider a standing height table to encourage quicker standing meetings, with optional bar-height stools for comfort when required? Furniture that is flexible and moveable is helpful as the set-up can be adjusted for the meeting in hand. We like Workszone’s range of collaboration tables, these can be both height-adjustable to accommodate sit or stand meetings and are also moveable for added flexibility.

You may also want to consider soft fabric huddle chairs and sofas that can be used in an open plan office to create a huddle space. The acoustically chosen fabrics absorb sound so there’s no need for walls and doors – just grab a booth or a sofa for a no-hassle huddle.Save

Create the Ultimate Huddle Room: Our Top 7 Tips!

Create The Ultimate Huddle Room: Tip 2

Capture ideas

When heading into a huddle, you may not have time to grab a pen and paper. Perhaps more importantly, you might want to jot down ideas that everyone can see and share. Whiteboards are popular additions to many huddle spaces but we think to create the ultimate huddle room you need to go digital. For just a few hundred pounds you can furnish your huddle room with a SMART kapp digital whiteboard – it has the same simplicity and functionality of a standard whiteboard, but uses digital pens and allows you to capture and share the contents of your board at the touch of a button. As you can elect for others to see the contents of the board through their personal device in real time, you can also bring people into the meeting that aren’t physically there. Choose to have your SMART kapp wall-mounted or on a mobile trolley for additional flexibility.

Create the Ultimate Huddle Room: Our Top 7 Tips!

Create The Ultimate Huddle Room: Tip 3

Connectivity

Connectivity is key. So many huddle rooms (and other meeting rooms) fail where even the local coffee shop can succeed. When we move away from our desks, we need (and many now expect) the same level of connectivity as we do from our primary workspace. A huddle room without power or Internet is at best frustrating and at worst a detriment to our productivity. As a solution, try incorporating your technical integrations into your furniture. Some collaboration tables like the TopTec Synergy or Workszone Collaboration Table have integrated connectivity units which can be designed bespoke to suit the requirements of an individual business. By making our huddle rooms an extension of our personal workspace we can create environments where flexibility can flourish.

Create the Ultimate Huddle Room: Our Top 7 Tips!

Create The Ultimate Huddle Room: Tip 4

Displays and Video Conferencing

Whilst there is nothing to say having a flat screen display or monitor in your huddle room is a pre-requisite, if you want to create the ultimate huddle room, it is a necessity. By its very definition, the huddle room is designed for ‘huddles’. But having half a dozen people crammed round someone’s laptop may be a little too close for comfort for many people. Having a wall mounted screen that users can easily connect to will make presentations and discussions much simpler and more comfortable. Some huddle furniture can have flat screen displays built-in to them for a space-saving, technology efficient workspace.

If the space is to be used for video conferencing too, then Logitech’s Meet-Up conference cam, speaker and microphone is an all-in-one solution that works perfectly with any video app that you already use, such as Skype for Business, Zoom, Webex and many more.

Create the Ultimate Huddle Room: Our Top 7 Tips!

Create The Ultimate Huddle Room: Tip 5

Interactive Displays

Taking your display one step further, why not opt for an interactive display? These large touch-screens can offer various capabilities depending on the brand and model you choose. For example, an all-singing, all-dancing Microsoft Surface Hub, has integrated computer with full Microsoft suite, and can provide access to files, and the ability to annotate and draw over files using intuitive hand gestures and digital ink. Some also have video conferencing integrated so you can connect and collaborate with remote users. If you think an interactive display would be beneficial for your business, give us a call or arrange a demo so you can see what the different options are and how they work.

Create the Ultimate Huddle Room: Our Top 7 Tips!

Create The Ultimate Huddle Room: Tip 6

Wireless Presentation

If you have a flat screen TV and connectivity then you need to be able to connect quickly and easily to maximise your huddle time.  Wasting time with fiddly wires while you connect your device to the main display is counter-productive. In these situations, we recommend using a tool like Clickshare for ‘plug and play’ collaboration sessions. The TV display is connected to the Clickshare hardware so all you need to do is plug in a Clickshare button to your computer via the USB port and you have a wireless connection to the display. It’s as simple as that. For mobile or tablet users, you can download a Clickshare button onto your device for wireless connectivity at the touch of a button.

Create the Ultimate Huddle Room: Our Top 7 Tips!

Create The Ultimate Huddle Room: Tip 7

Accessibility

Our final tip on how to create the ultimate huddle room is about accessibility. Where are they? How many are there? There is no point in providing huddle rooms for a ‘quick meeting’ that you have to walk up three floors to get to, on the off-chance one may be free. The great thing about huddle rooms is they don’t take much space so make space for them and have enough of them. More often than not, a huddle room is not bookable, to suit on-the-fly meetings. But you might find having a room booking system like the Intevi Room Sync is beneficial, allowing you to book, unbook, and view availability from your desktop or personal device – as well as from the room itself.If you are looking to create a huddle space, then why not get in touch, so we can show you some of the great solutions available on the market. Our expertise lies in understanding the needs of your individual business and making recommendations from there, so get in touch today for a free, no obligation consultation.

Create the Ultimate Huddle Room: Our Top 7 Tips!

*References: http://www.raconteur.net/enterprise-mobility-and-collaboration

To find out more about any of the solutions listed above, why not get in touch?

6 Alternative Presentation Tools Better Than PowerPoint

How to remove marker pen from a SMART interactive display in 5 steps

Microsoft PowerPoint is still the go-to software when creating presentations. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Powerpoint is a good presentation tool and has some great functionality – if you know how to use it! But there are alternative presentation tools that are even better – and that offer a more intuitive way to create engaging presentations. And that is ultimately the aim of the game. In our smart-phone, touch-screen, dual-screen, multi-media worlds we are used to being challenged visually and aesthetically by the media that we see. So, if you really want to capture your audience’s attention, interest them and excite them, you need to think about using software and hardware that encourages that.  If you want a simpler and more intuitive way to present to an audience then these handy tools can help:

1. Visme

Visme is a cloud-based drag and drop software that’s easy to use and offers a vast library of images, icons and templates, as well as the opportunity to create cool infographics, data visualizations, reports and product demos. Add animation or interactivity to any element including surveys, quizzes, videos or ‘Call to Actions’ and view anywhere online via the URL or save as a PDF or HTML5 to view offline. With 900+ layouts and millions of images, this is a slick, professional option, but it might take some time to master all the functionalities.

6 Alternative Presentation Tools Better Than PowerPoint

2. Slides.com

Slides allows you to edit and access presentations online from any device, and also present offline. It’s a user-friendly alternative to PowerPoint , where you can use the simple editor to create a variety of designs and themes plus arrange main slides horizontally, with additional slides running vertically. It’s free to use, with additional paid-for features if you like it.

6 Alternative Presentation Tools Better Than PowerPoint

3. Emaze

Emaze is a simple to use presentation creation tool, allowing you to turn a flat presentation into a visually stimulating story using cool special effects. It uses HTML5 and so it works well on any browser or device including tablets and Chromebooks. With Emaze you can easily create a presentation in minutes with professionally designed 2D or 3D templates.  Just be aware it won’t work with older devices and takes up a lot of memory.

6 Alternative Presentation Tools Better Than PowerPoint

4. Prezi

Prezi lets you create engaging presentations that pan and zoom from page to page, rather than moving back and forth from slide to slide. Proven by Harvard researchers to be more engaging, persuasive and effective than PowerPoint, Prezi allows you to create non-linear presentations with ease but you can only create non-linear presentations. You can view the presentations that you have created online, and also download them in a Flash player format to play offline. There’s also a Prezi app for iPad.

6 Alternative Presentation Tools Better Than PowerPoint

  1. Google Slides

If you use Google’s G-Suite of applications then you may already be aware that Google Slides is a pretty useful presentation tool. You can create a presentation from scratch or upload and convert an existing PowerPoint. It’s simple to use, has lots of useful functionality and integrates seamlessly with your other Google applications including Drive, Sheets, Docs, etc. Like your other G-Suite applications, many users can collaborate together on a single presentation:

6 Alternative Presentation Tools Better Than PowerPoint

  1. Moovly

Moovly is a free online tool that lets you create animated videos and video presentations to engage and inspire your audience. With over 750,000 templates to use, or make your own from scratch, use the drag and drop and animation features to easily create videos that you can share in meetings or online. The site is free to register with and use, with more advanced features and options being available for an annual fee.

6 Alternative Presentation Tools Better Than PowerPoint

The Best Tool for Presentations

Once your presentation is complete, how can you display your presentation for maximum impact? Having an Interactive Display rather than a standard display screen can really bring a presentation to life. Not only do 4K HD screens bring a sharpness and quality to the images and videos you are presenting, the reach out and touch technology engages audiences to be a part of the discussion. Zoom-in or highlight parts of your presentation to draw attention to key elements. Or you can even invite participants to view and make their own notes on the presentation from their personal device. Used in the classroom for many years now, increasingly businesses are seeing how this touchscreen technology can engage and excite their audiences in a way that presentations on a static screen cannot match. With prices starting from just £166 a month, is it time your presentations got the 5 star treatment?At TecInteractive we are dedicated to making your meetings and presentations better using technology.

Find out more about using interactive displays or interactive whiteboards to create engaging presentations and meetings here.

Or if you’d like to have a chat, why not give us a call on 0800 6122 803 or drop us an email on info@tecinteractive.co.uk to arrange a visit to one of our nationwide showrooms.

5 Common Business Meeting Problems and How to Resolve Them

7 common business meeting problems and how to resolve them

A report by the Office of Human Resource Development at the University of Wisconsin has proved something we are all aware of: business meetings don’t always go to plan.

We’ve all sat in meetings that have gone on a tangent, gone over the allocated time or just not happened at all.

Using the University’s careful research, here’s 5 of the most common business meeting problems and how to resolve them:

Finishing the meeting on time

Whether people are late to attend, there are problems with technology or there is too much planned for the allocated time, meetings often run over. But there are different strategies you can try to help your meetings to run to time:

  • Try a stand-up meeting – get rid of the ‘lazy chair’ and get people up on their feet; keep them literally on their toes. People will feel more energised and be ready to move on to the next thing rather than slumping in their chair.
  •  Set an agenda for the meeting so everyone knows what is to be discussed, and how long you have to discuss each item.
  • Allocate a timekeeper to watch the clock during the meeting, and ensure everyone sticks to schedule, moving things on when necessary.
  • Ensure everyone attends the meeting on time, by scheduling in peoples calendars with alert notifications five or ten minutes before the designated start time.
  • Place topics that require more discussion at the beginning of the agenda which will allow you and your colleagues to rattle through the smaller decisions faster.
  • If relying on technology, like connecting your laptop to a big screen, practise first to make sure you have the right cables for the connection. Even better, use a solution like Clickshare that allows you to connect the contents of your personal device to the main screen wirelessly, by simply plugging the Clickshare button into your laptop via a USB.

5 Common Business Meeting Problems and How to Resolve Them
Find out more about Wireless Presentation Systems

No decisions made

Some meetings can drag on as when colleagues fail to agree on a certain situations. Although goals and outcomes are required from the meeting, often these are not documented beforehand, thus the target of the meeting is not met. Here are some strategies you can try to overcome this:

  • Set out expectations and goals in the meeting agenda for colleagues to work towards.
  • If colleagues fail to agree, the meeting chair or timekeeper can come back to the question that kick-started the discussion.
  • Ask people to provide supporting data for their argument to help sway the majority one way or the other based on facts rather than opinions.
  • Be prepared to walk away. If your discussions have reached a stale mate then pausing the discussion to allow time to reflect could help a decision to be made whilst ensuring the meeting runs to time.

5 Common Business Meeting Problems and How to Resolve Them
Contact TecInteractive to find out about our meeting room technology consultancy service

Dominators and silent participants

In any meeting there will be more dominant characters and quieter participants. The problem with this is that the louder participants don’t necessarily have the best ideas, although they will be the only ones that are heard. The result can be reduced collaboration, inefficient problem solving and stifled creativity. Try these solutions to readdress the balance:

  • Rather than have a ‘brainstorming’ session where people come up with ideas all together, ask people to do a silent brainstorm on their own either prior to or during the meeting. Then ask everyone to discuss their answers, one at a time. This avoids ‘groupthink’ where everyone latches on to one idea (often from the most dominant character) without investigating or challenging alternatives.
  • If you have senior members of the team who like to dominate meetings, try offering training and consultation on techniques and strategies associated with leadership – sometimes having the right feedback can be enough to help people work more effectively with others.
  • Using a digital idea capture system like a Nureva Span allows people to capture ideas in a meeting, but because those ideas are saved in a cloud you can revisit those notes after the meeting. If someone hasn’t participated in the discussion you could encourage them to add their own ‘sticky notes’ to the musings after the meeting.
  • For groups that may not be familiar with eachother, a simple strategy like asking everyone to make ‘name tent’ can create the familiarity and confidence for people to speak up.
5 Common Business Meeting Problems and How to Resolve Them
Find out more about the Nueva Span Ideation system

Did not attend

Whether there are problems on the commute, children are sick at home or simply other work commitments, there are often times when people cannot attend meetings. This causes delay, impacts productivity and prevents decisions being made. But there are steps you can take to overcome this…

  • Set up video conferencing so people can still be a part of the meeting wherever they are in the world. You can now get cloud-based video conferencing for a fraction of the cost of traditional legacy systems with a connection that is secure, reliable and high quality.
  • Digital whiteboards are a great way to record ideas and notes from meetings, but a two-way whiteboard like the SMART kapp iQ allows remote participants to both see and annotate on the notes in real time so you can still collaborate if someone has not been able to make it into the office.
  • Good quality cameras and speakers are now really affordable so you can chat on video or on a conference call and be sure that everyone can be seen and heard.
5 Common Business Meeting Problems and How to Resolve Them
Find out more about the StarLeaf video conferencing system

Technology

Failing technology is an ongoing business meeting problem for many workers. Poor wi-fi connections, fiddly wires, stilted conference calls – the list goes on. It seems strange that having great technology at home or at your desk is expected but meeting rooms often fail to deliver even the most basic requirements. The fact is that technology should make us more efficient but poor technology, or an absence of it, can waste time and reduce productivity. Try these solutions to help you work smarter, not harder:

5 Common Business Meeting Problems and How to Resolve Them
Find out more about tables with integrated technology

Better meetings

Putting these top tips into practice will allow your meetings to flow easier than ever before. And if in doubt, good coffee and a nice biscuit or two will never go amiss!

At Tecinteractive we are passionate about helping people to have better meetings. We know that choosing the right technology to make your meetings more productive and more effective, isn’t always an easy decision. That’s why we offer a free consultation service, where we can find out more about your business, and make recommendations based on your specific needs.

Find out more about our technology consultancy service here.

If you’re ready to speak to someone, why not give us a call on 0800 6122 803, drop us an email at info@tecinteractive.co.uk or use our Contact Us form below.

Contact the TecInteractive Team

Image credits:

http://www.militaryaerospace.com/articles/2012/10/navy-gps-protection.html
http://betakit.com/ask-startupcfo-how-to-avoid-the-oh-shit-

board-meeting/

5 reasons to add Video Conferencing to your business

5 reasons to add Video Conferencing to your business

It’s too expensive, it’s difficult to use, it’s difficult to deploy, it’s difficult manage are some of the common reasons people don’t add video conferencing to their business.

But with a dispensed workforce and demanding schedule we need to be able to bring teams together at a moment’s notice, share ideas and connect with clients across the supply chain, reaching customers and provide that little bit of extra TLC. Thankfully video conferencing is now much more accessible than in once was and with new solutions on the market now is the time to think about what is the best solution for your business. Here’s why:

 1. No more guess work on decisions

Naturally, video conferencing brings people into sharp focus, allowing you to see the impact of your ideas. You can get even more engagement and involvement when you can share screens among video conference participants. This makes collaboration a breeze and allows you to quickly develop and refine ideas, content, design and pretty much anything else you and your team need to accomplish. A solution that integrates both video conferencing and screen sharing will enable you to vastly reduce decision making time across your business.

2. Stay in-touch with anyone

If done right, it means that you can instantly reach any of your colleagues or business associates no matter what system they use. So make sure your system is standards based. Only then can you be sure that you have a future proof communications environment.

3. Save money and time

Using planes, trains and automobiles is an expensive business. Allowing teams to meet in a virtual environment cuts costs and saves time. It really is a no brainer. But make sure that your chosen video conferencing solution offers both a formal scheduled meeting set-up as well as the ability to jump on a multi-party meeting instantly. Productivity is not just the time but also the set-up which is why we prefer one touch video conferencing systems.

4. Spread the love

Video conferencing should not just be for the high and mighty.  There will be times when essential employees are out of the office, working from home, on-site or needed out-of-hours. This massive flexibility can be a life saver. You also need the ability to be able to invite outside people inside your video world at no extra charge!

5. Like anything, it’s about quality

There is no shortage of free video conferencing applications however, most of these are reliant on a good internet connections. You need a system that simply just works, no need for the best internet connection, no difficult hardware to set-up, no software that looks like the Starship Enterprise… just simple…one touch video conferencing.

 

As meeting room technology experts, we know a lot about video conferencing solutions, but one of our favourite products is the new cloud-based StarLeaf range. Their high-quality, low-cost solutions offer video conferencing on a business-wide scale, allowing anyone to connect with colleagues and clients with minimal set-up and hardware. For more information on this or any other meeting room technology solutions please get in touch:

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Make your Presentations more Engaging with our Top 5 Tips

Make your Presentations more Engaging with our Top 5 Tips

A presentation is the process of presenting a topic to an audience…according to Wikipedia. For us at TecInteractive it’s much more… informative…engaging…interesting….and open to everyone’s input. Here is how we make our presentations more engaging.

1. Pick a Topic

We can easily get side tracked with having too much to say and end up not actually saying anything useful at all. So, pick a topic or key phrase that you want to get across and stick with it. If people know what your message is from the start of the meeting, they are more likely to engage, therefore making the presentation more engaging.

2. Be Confident and Comfortable

 We can all talk about certain topics until the cows come home, like a TV show, a hobby or ourselves. This is because we know it inside out, If the topic you are presenting is not one of these, it doesn’t matter it’s all about being confident, speak slowly,  and ask questions, as long as you have the engagement of your audience it will make presenting the content much more fun and enjoyable.

 3. Start as you mean to go on

Start your presentation with an ice breaker, something that makes your presentation more engaging. Dropping a controversial statement or telling an interesting and relevant anecdote. People engage more with people who are human not someone who just reads from a presentation or has no personality.

 4. Short and Sweet

Having sat through a PowerPoint presentation that was 50 slides long I can assure you this is one of the top 5 to take note of. To engage people it’s not about the content on the board it’s about interaction and engagement of the people in the room.  If you don’t have time to fit it all in, schedule a follow up meeting.

 5. Next steps

When people leave a presentation they like to feel empowered and have a sense of achievement. This can be gained by having a next step. Whether it be a task to complete or to add something into their daily routine. These should always be discussed at the end of the meeting and agreed. A follow up should also be planned to ensure that people have done or are doing what they have said they will.

If you follow the TecInteractive simple but crucial steps, not only will this make your presentations more engaging for others but it will also make it more enjoyable for you.

 At TecInteractive we understand how engagement can be difficult to achieve which is why we offer a free consultation on meeting room technology. Contact our friendly team today on 0800 6122 803.

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5 ways to build flexibility into your office design

5 ways to build flexibility into your office design:

With five generations entering the workforce by 2020, the key to successful office design of the future will be flexibility. The ability for your space to flex depending on what your staff require will differentiate the successful companies of the future. But what can we do now to help our staff get the most out of their space?

1. Double Up

The cost of real estate is increasing all the time so companies need to be creative with their use of space. Having dual function areas like a ping pong table which becomes an informal meeting table, or a reception area that doubles as an entertainment space will realise the value of your square meterage whilst appealing to multiple generations.

2. Remote Working

A varied workforce needs to be able to interact seamlessly to capitalise on their diversity but the rise of remote working requires a greater focus on collaborative technology. Using a solution like SMART Bridgit software you can connect with colleagues wherever they are – just create an online meeting and email an invitation to interact with the ease and efficiency of a face to face meeting

3. Experimentation

Try new ways of using your space, for example take the chairs out of a meeting room and see how much faster decisions get made. You could also give each department a budget to buy their own furniture and finishes – people are more productive when they are able to create their own flexible office design.

4. Mobility

Yes we all have mobile technology now but even BIG technology can get mobile. As technology gets SMARTER you no longer have to restrict your best bit of technology to the Board Room, as even a product as impressive as the SMART 8084i can be used as a mobile system around your workplace

5. Each to his own

Not everyone wants to work at a desk – sofas, bean bags, benches – whether you need quiet seclusion or the buzz of a busy café, everyone has their own perfect space for productivity, and the best office design provides flexibility for everyone.

In summary …
Whether you’re a baby boomer or a millennial, the knowledge workers of tomorrow need a range of workplace settings that can enhance multi-generational interactions, and building flexibility into your office design can help to achieve that. For more detail about how technology can be a part of that, why not have a chat with one of our friendly team on 0800 6122 803 or click below.

Contact the TecInteractive Team

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