Written on May 18, 2018 at 4:03 pm, by ClearOne
Huddle rooms are no longer a new concept. The dominance of this type of meeting space is well established. The marketplace is full of solutions designed to equip huddle rooms for collaboration. Yet challenges remain not only for end users but also for those who sell and integrate the solutions. There are many factors that contribute to these challenges, but this much is clear—there is still an opportunity to improve upon huddle room technology.
Why Huddle Rooms Remain Challenging
Collaboration is a broad category regardless of whether you’re equipping a huddle room or a conference room. Indeed, having such a wide range of choices can make it hard to determine which option will best meet your customer’s unique requirements. Commercial Integrator also finds that user demographic differences—which include technology preferences and work styles—add a layer of complexity that makes it difficult for one solution to meet every need.
For many organizations, the expectations for huddle room functionality far exceed simple audio conferencing. Wainhouse Research finds that typical expectations for huddle room use include audio conferencing, presentation capabilities, and video conferencing. While Wainhouse doesn’t emphasize the need for performance or flexibility, other analysts find that huddle rooms are now being used for serious collaboration, which means they need professional-grade audio and video and the ability to integrate with third-party applications such as Skype for Business, WebEx®, GoToMeeting™, and Spontania®.
But, as noted in a recent ComputerWorld article, today’s huddle room solutions often come with a trade-off or compromise. High-quality audio and video solutions tend to be expensive and more difficult to set up, while an inexpensive solution can cost you in user experience and ease of use. Wainhouse Research suggests the criteria for huddle room solutions be “low cost, ease of installation, ease of use, and availability.”
Why Huddle Rooms Mean Opportunity
Thanks to the shift to activity-based workspaces and the influx of millennial workers, the trend toward multi-use huddle rooms shows no sign of slowing down. This presents new opportunity to design huddle room environments that meet customers’ ever-increasing expectations for versatility, professional quality audio and video, third-party app integration, and ease of use. The key, however, to capitalizing on the opportunity will be delivering on these requirements at a price point that fits their budget.
To date, a huddle room solution that lines up where all these requirements converge has proved elusive. But that’s all about to change.
Making connections with ClearOne has never been easier or more affordable. Sign up for our press releases to be the first to know. Then be the first to see at InfoComm Booth N1628.
Written on January 16, 2018 at 12:23 pm, by Brad
The 2018 ClearOne Connections Tour has begun. We’ll be touring the Western U.S. visiting 18 cities from January through May 2018 in our 36-foot ClearOne Tour Bus that’s stocked full with our complete line of conferencing, collaboration and streaming solutions directly to you, our commercial AV practitioners and your customers.
Here’s What You’ll Experience!
- See live demos of our latest products.
- Watch full product set-ups and configurations.
- Meet with a ClearOne rep about new product features and benefits.
- Get a hands on approach and interact with the products and see how they’ll fit into your next project.
The 2018 ClearOne Connections Tour has been created to make it easy and convenient for systems integrators and end-users across the country who can’t always get to larger trade shows and conferences to experience first hand our entire line of diverse AV communications solutions.
Here’s What’s Installed
- CONVERGE Pro 2
- Beamforming Microphone Array 2
- WS800 Wireless Microphone System
- DIALOG 20 Wireless Microphone System
- Ceiling Microphone Array
- Touch Panel Controller for CP2
- USB Expander for CP2
- GPIO Expander for CP2
- COLLABORATE Pro 900
- COLLABORATE Pro 300
- COLLABORATE Versa 150
- COLLABORATE Share
- UNITE Cameras
- VIEW Pro Encoders
- VIEW Pro Decoders
- INTERACT AT
- MAX IP
- MAX EX
- CHAT 150
- CHAT 50
The tour will include presentations, trainings, question and answer sessions, networking opportunities, and product demonstrations of ClearOne’s solutions in video conferencing and collaboration, pro audio and network media streaming.
The ClearOne Connections Tour Schedule:
|Salt Lake City, UT||January 4 – January 5|
|Sacramento, CA||January 15 – January 16|
|Northern CA||January 18 – January 24|
|LA Metro CA||January 29 – January 31|
|Orange County CA||February 1 – February 5|
|San Diego, CA||February 6 – February 9|
|Las Vegas, NV||February 12 – February 15|
|Phoenix, AZ||February 19 – February 23|
|Albuquerque, NM||February 26 – March 2|
|Oklahoma City, OK||March 5 – March 9|
|Dallas, TX||March 12 – March 16|
|Austin, TX||March 19 – March 23|
|Houston, TX||March 26 – March 30|
|New Orleans, LA||April 2 – April 6|
|Memphis, TN||April 9 – April 13|
|St. Louis, MO||April 16 – April 20|
|Kansas City, MO||April 23 – April 27|
|Denver, CO||April 30 – May 4|
Eastern U.S. dates coming soon…
Visit the dedicated ClearOne Connections Tour web page where you can stay on top of where we are and where we’re going next..
Come Experience the Fun and We’ll See You There!
Written on November 16, 2017 at 3:20 pm, by Jim Mergens
After more than 37 years of eating out of every bowl of dog food in the equation (End-User, AV Integrator and Manufacturer), I have watched presentations and the technology used evolve from tin can & string to NASA technology.
By no fault of anyone involved, 8 out of 10 primary “presenters” in fact have drawn the short straw and are as nervous as cats when they walk up to the podium. And, for all the advancements and money we spend to outfit a conference room with the best ClearOne equipment money can buy, it will only work as good as the person speaking and how prepared they are.
So, this is the first installment of just a few of the best practices and common sense tips I’ve picked up from hundreds of articles and real world experience along the ways to improve your presentation:
- Realize 90% of Nervousness Doesn’t Show: The audience usually can’t see the butterflies, or shaky hands, or sweaty palms. The problem occurs when we start thinking about these symptoms rather than focusing on the audience and our topic. By human nature, most people are focused on themselves not on you. Focus on them and two things will happen: 1) they will like you more, and 2) much of the nervousness that you feel will go away.
- Butterflies are Normal: At this point, as you practice, you might start to feel butterflies in your stomach or other symptoms of public speaking fear. Don’t worry. This is normal. However, as you practice once or twice, the nervousness should drop pretty dramatically.
- Learn from Mistakes: When you or your team has challenges, tell the story about the challenge or mistake, and then add the moral at the end to show how you learned from it. A lot of times, this can add some self-deprecating humor as well.
- Lose Train of Thought?If you lose your train of thought and feel some panic, then one of a couple of things might be happening. You likely have a bunch of bullet points that are difficult to remember. If so, go back through the earlier tips and design your speech differently. If you are feeling light headed and confused, though…
- Energy and Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is the absolute most important public speaking secret. If you have energy and enthusiasm, your audience will love you. Be excited about your topic, and your audience will be excited about your presentation.
- Talk with Your Hands: We all naturally speak with our hands, but for some reason, when we stand up to speak, we tend lock up our body language and lose a lot of our natural energy. Drop your hands when you start a speech, then use them to explain you points. (By the way, if you tell a lot of stories, this will happen naturally.)
- Make Your Gestures Bigger than Your Body: Small gestures below the shoulders and close to your body make you look weak and timid. The higher and wider your gestures are, the more confident you appear. When we get nervous, we want a barrier between us and the threat, so the small gestures show the audience that you are threatened by them. Make the gestures bigger.
- Breathe: When we get nervous, we tend to breathe more shallowly. When this happens, the speaker will not have enough oxygen which makes the panic even greater… Which alters the breathing even more. When you feel this happening, just stop, and take a deep breath from the diaphragm. To keep this from happening, take a nice deep breath before you say your first sentence.
- Props can Add Showmanship: When legislators were trying to get people upset about the healthcare legislation in 2009, they just printed out the thousands of documents that made up the bill. The piles and piles of unreadable pages was pretty overwhelming and made a valid point. When I was starting out teaching leadership classes, I found a toy that was a tiny shipping box that, when I pushed a button, shook and said, “Let me out of here!” I used it as a prop when I talked about self-confidence saying, “we all have that confident person inside of us who is struggling to get out and be seen.”
- Have a Contest: Divide the audience into small groups and have a contest of some kind. This could be a test to see what they remember from the speeches from previous presenters or it could be a contest to see who can come up with the most creative solution to a challenge or problem that you are experiencing. Get creative, because people learn more when they are having fun
The Seven Deadly Sins of Presenting
- Thou Shan’t Not Go Overtime without Consent
- To “uh” is Human, but Too Many is Annoying
- Thou Shall Not Speak Monotone
- Thou Shall Not Use Shop-Talk
- Thou Shall Not Speak Whilst the Audience Reads Thy Slide
- Thou Shall Not Read Endless Excerpts to Thine Audience
- Thou Shall Not Dump Endless Data Upon Thine Audience
The good news is that if you follow the prior tips, you will never violate any of these deadly sins!
Written on November 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm, by Ron Lynch
Day 1, Let there be light. I know, that’s not the Genesis order of creation, but it sounds good and it leads me to my real Day 1 scenario. Day 1…let there be a friend.
Did you remember starting something new and exciting but having a lot of fear too because of all the unknowns? Going to a summer swim camp at age 6 and staying away from home for 5 days. Leaving home to move to Gainesville for my first day at University of Florida. My first day on the new job after 27 years at the old one.
What was so scary about these experiences? I didn’t know anyone. I was there alone, not knowing a single friendly face. That can be traumatic. Looking back, maybe I shouldn’t have been so on edge, but even writing about it now takes me back to those feelings and it isn’t pleasant.
I now have the solution, and I just used it to hopefully help another poor soul avoid some of the unnecessary angst. It’s called Video Conferencing. Yes, who knew it could be such a useful tool to get rid of the Day 1 jitters.
It is my, or our department’s task, to on-board new employees. It is normally a week of training at the home office which, since many of our employees are remote ones, is not their home city. I, become the first person to really meet our new comrade-in-arms, and consequently, I have the opportunity to start this new relationship off well…or not so well.
Before it starts for them with a flight to a new city, a new hotel, a new office, I choose to start it with a Spontania video conference call. Looking and sounding normal, like I am right there in front of him or her, is important to building openness and starting to build a relationship. All I needed was their phone number. I call, introduce myself, and verify that they have access to a computer. I send them a link to join me in my virtual conference room. I just did this again yesterday.
In 5 minutes time, we were face to face in each other’s home office. We got to know each other quickly and became more than a name or position. Just as important, I was able to talk him through his first 24 hours on the job. He knows his entire schedule from walking down the jet way, to getting his luggage and a shuttle to the hotel; where to eat; how to find the office the next morning; AND who to ask for when he shows up on Day 1… me, a friendly face he already knows.
With Spontania on my computer and my Chat 50 at my side for amazing audio, I made a difference. This is just one example of the power of quality video conferencing. Spontania gives easy access to meetings for people in and out of your organization. For smaller meetings, just add a Chat microphone to your computer and go for it. For larger meetings, you can add multiple video cameras, up to 4, and Converge Pro 2 to meet the audio demands of larger rooms so that everyone can be heard in a natural and normal conversation. Invite up to 25 people to join remotely from inside or outside your organization. They can even use their smart phone to join with a free app. You can share media, spreadsheets, pictures, or just show live video to all.
The applications will vary as much as you who are reading this vary. Job interviews, on-the-job training, project management, weekly meetings, just to name a few that I use all the time. I am the remote employee that doesn’t feel remote. And, I can help remove the Day 1 trauma for others. Welcome to our new reality.
Written on June 12, 2017 at 4:05 pm, by Brad
We know that you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting in anticipation for the announcement of the winner of the ‘MEDIA COLLABORATION KIT’.
Ladies and gentleman with out further ado, we give you the winner, Colby Cox!!!!
All of these awesome prizes are yours! You’re now the talk of town and super famous.
Thank you to all who entered our Facebook Contest. It was really fun and was a raving success.
Be on the look our for the next contest with even more great prizes to give away and you too can be cast into the limelight of the Pro AV industry.
Written on February 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm, by Ana Pena
Below is a bit more information on the ClearOne Spain office and their “Thanks Portal,” which is a concrete way they are encouraging office happiness:
The “Thanks Portal,” initiative at the ClearOne Spain office, combines the overall happiness strategy, gamification, and social relationships to cultivate a positive mindset among employees in a simple way, without changing daily work routines and without losing time.
The basic premise of the Thanks Portal is to express gratitude and focus on positive experiences and random acts of kindness. These simple acts all change peoples’ outlooks, the very way in which your brain views “work,” to create and sustain a positive and engaged workforce.
The portal allows fellow employees to post “stars/positive points” about encounters with other employees; the intrinsic reward being simply to receive more and more of these positive comments. The social relationship between employees is well-documented as the greatest predictor of happiness during periods of high stress, and a positive social relationship creates positive habits. It can have favorable outcomes both on employees (e.g., job satisfaction, increased well-being) and the organization (e.g., commitment, collaboration and productivity).
We know we’ll see nothing but increased creativity and efficiency from the Spain office, as they continue this unique and fun way to add happiness to the office!
Let us know what you’ve done in your workplace, or what you’ve seen in other areas that help everyone to be more positive and more fulfilled.
Here’s to your Happy Office!
Written on January 11, 2017 at 10:10 am, by Ana Pena
In PART I, we looked at the overall state of happiness in the workplace. Now, we look at the ways in which to exploit your capacity for happiness…
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, (The How of Happiness) indicates that 50% of individual differences in happiness are governed by genes, 10 percent by life circumstances. This leaves a startling, and startlingly underdeveloped, 40% of our capacity for happiness within our power to change.
She explores 12 ways to exploit that 40 percent:
- Counting your blessings: Expressing gratitude for what you have (either privately – through contemplation or journaling – or to a close other) or conveying your appreciation to one or more individuals whom you’ve never properly thanked.
- Cultivating optimism: Keeping a journal in which you imagine and write about the best possible future for yourself, or practicing to look at the bright side of every situation.
- Avoiding overthinking and social comparison: Using strategies (such as distraction) to cut down on how often you dwell on your problems and compare yourself to others.
- Practicing acts of kindness: Doing good things for others, whether friends or strangers, either directly or anonymously, either spontaneously or planned.
- Nurturing relationships: Picking a relationship in need of strengthening, and investing time and energy in healing, cultivating, affirming, and enjoying it.
- Doing more activities that truly engage you: Increasing the number of experiences at home and work in which you “lose” yourself, which are challenging and absorbing.
- Replaying and savoring life’s joys: Paying close attention, taking delight, and going over life’s momentary pleasures and wonders – through thinking, writing, drawing, or sharing with another.
- Committing to your goals: Picking one, two, or three significant goals that are meaningful to you and devoting time and effort to pursuing them.
- Developing strategies for coping: Practicing ways to endure or surmount a recent stress, hardship, or trauma.
- Learning to forgive: Keeping a journal or writing a letter in which you work on letting go of anger and resentment towards one or more individuals who have hurt or wronged you.
- Practicing religion and spirituality: Becoming more involved in your church, temple, or mosque, or reading and pondering spiritually-themed books.
- Taking care of your body: Engaging in physical activity, meditating, and smiling and laughing.
Based on this strategy list, the ClearOne Spain office has implemented a happiness strategy, what we call the “Thanks Portal.”
Stay tuned for more exploration on the ongoing uses of the “Thanks Portal” and the value of employee recognition.
Written on December 16, 2016 at 11:58 am, by Ana Pena
Here at ClearOne, we strive for an environment that supports happy employees in a team atmosphere…the way we come together to produce exceptional products. Our Spain office has taken some great steps implementing fun concepts to further this goal that we’d like to share with you in this multi-part series.
The “happiness at work” concept is not new. If someone searches Google for “happiness at work,” there are at least one-hundred thousand references. So, this topic has been analyzed in detail, the main hurdle is actually applying it. The main problem is the association between happiness and the meaning of work.
Many people change from one job to another, looking for happiness as the “right” work and the “right” company. But it is an incorrect assumption to assume 100% of the motivation should be the company’s responsibility. It’s also incorrect to assume that a corporation can set their employee roles exactly as projects and tasks are fluid and change based on needs.
In general, with the current economic situation, where human forces and constant movements are not required, corporations need innovation and creativity. This is achieved with motivated and optimistic employees.
Luis Rojas Marcos, a professor of Psychiatry, said that one major factor of happiness is the work itself. Some people consider that work can identify them as an individual socially. It does not matter if an employee is a director or a cleaning person. If one agrees with what he/she does, devotes effort, values what the job means, and has money to do whatever he/she wants without sacrificing, happiness is achieved. A happy worker is profitable both intrinsically, and for the company.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, (The How of Happiness ) indicates that 50% of individual differences in happiness are governed by genes and 10 percent by life circumstances. This leaves a startling, and underdeveloped 40% of our capacity for happiness within our power to change.
TUNE IN FOR PART II, in which we’ll talk about the 12 ways to exploit your 40% capacity for happiness!