Tag Archives: cloud-based videoconferencing

Microsoft Surface Hub

How it Works: Microsoft Surface Hub

 

Based on a Harvard Business Review study of meetings with remote participants, it takes an average of 12 minutes to get any session started. For people with busy schedules who already tend to view meetings as one of the least productive parts of their week, that 12 minutes can feel like an eternity of wasted time.

Finding ways to solve connectivity and content sharing issues for remote meeting participants, and figuring out how to make meetings engaging and productive became a major motivation for Microsoft in the development of its brand new Surface Hub solution. Read more about the basics of Surface Hub in our previous blog.

This post focuses on the details of how the Microsoft Surface Hub solution works to harness the power of the group, whether participants are in the room, or across the globe.

Easy Connectivity

Rather than spending valuable minutes figuring out how to connect, the Microsoft Surface Hub allows remote meeting participants to easily access any meeting from any Internet-connected device via Skype for Business. For those in the physical meeting space, connecting is as simple as a touch. The Surface Hub can also start and end meetings automatically for the ultimate ease of connectivity.

Content Sharing and Real Collaboration

Without the right collaboration technology, the flow of discussion can be interrupted when someone tries to share content or bring in external data, and faces unexpected technical delays. Most other meeting technologies have not been true content-sharing solutions. Too often, the presenter or those in the meeting room are the only participants who can share and modify content.
The Surface Hub solves this issue by allowing easy content sharing via Skype for remote participants, wireless connectivity to share content in the room from any device, and real time collaboration via touch screen technology.

Businesses have advanced their design, manufacturing and engineering processes and technology, but there is surprisingly still a demand for a tool in that delivers an effective way of accomplishing and advancing group communication goals.

100 Points of Touch

Microsoft acquired industry leading interactive display technology firm Perceptive Pixel in 2012, and has since advanced its own touch glass displays beyond any other offering on the market. The Microsoft Surface Hub includes an “infinite whiteboard” that allows for a fluid ink experience on an 84-inch interactive display. It’s a clever mix of technology and practical use that is designed to give educators and business professionals confidence expressing their thoughts immediately, and can be easily shared with participants electronically.

Runs Windows Natively

Powered by Windows 10, one of Surface Hub’s primary functions is to run Windows applications natively, eliminating the need for customization. Similar to how a smartphone operates, applications like Word, PowerPoint and Excel simultaneously run in their own windows. This means a remote user can present his/her screen via Skype for Business, and the people in the meeting room can still use the infinite whiteboard, web browser, or any other application. They can even clip the content from the presenter and interact with it on the whiteboard while the discussion is still happening.
When the meeting is finished, the Surface Hub can email everyone in the meeting with a OneNote and PDF file so the meeting is saved, meaningful, and actionable.

The Surface Hub is a powerful Windows computer mixed with a world class large, interactive display. It allows the end user to be as creative with their ideas as they can imagine, and harnesses the power of the group to create together!

Integrate with Professional AV Environments

The Surface Hub on its own is an excellent solution for huddle spaces and small conference rooms. Its connection ports are designed to integrate with a professional audio visual system. For a larger conference room or lecture hall, it can be complemented with an external audio, mic and camera systems to create a unified communication environment. Look out for our upcoming post on how to integrate MS Hub with your existing professional AV.

Unlocking the Power of the Group

The Surface Hub effortlessly harnesses the collective knowledge and skills of any group anywhere. It was designed as the best-in-class interactive display, a powerful team collaboration device that advances the way people work together naturally. We believe the Surface Hub can be as transformative to group productivity as the PC was for individuals.

To see the Surface Hub in action, connect with us for your demo today.

Microsoft Surface Hub

Microsoft Surface Hub Transforms Collaboration

 

From healthcare to education, legal, government, manufacturing, to construction and every industry in between, the Microsoft Surface Hub updates offices and other workspaces to inspire and engage employees and collaborators. Anyone who has training rooms, huddle spaces, conference rooms, classrooms or any other indoor collaboration space can benefit from Microsoft’s brand new technology that helps workers everywhere to “unlock the power of the group.”

As Forrester Research puts it, “Many enterprises struggle with gaps in their workplace collaboration technology, environments that are not built for collaboration, and cultures that do not fully support teams to achieve better outcomes. The result is teams that are not as effective as they could be.”
The brand new Microsoft Surface Hub addresses this problem with technology that transforms collaboration.

The Microsoft Surface Hub Encourages Productive Meetings

  • Surface Hub can detect when you’re in front of it and will start the meeting automatically as its admin.
  • Everything needed to present and capture information during a meeting is within the Hub, including an infinite whiteboard, presentation platforms like MS PowerPoint, video/audio playback, file sharing and much more.
  • Meeting invites can be sent from the Hub during a meeting as the conversation evolves.
  • The 84” Surface Hub plays video in 4k for stunning presentation of creative assets.

The Microsoft Surface Hub Manages Follow Up Automatically

  • Any information captured in a meeting can be sent automatically when a meeting ends.
  • Leaders can select specific individuals to send to, including those who weren’t able to attend the meeting.

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration

The modern workplace is fast-paced, mobile, creative and collaborative. Smart people working together to solve complex problems in business need technology than can unlock the power of their group. Too often, people view meetings as a time sucking journey away from productivity. The dreaded meeting reminder doesn’t have to be so dreaded anymore with Microsoft’s brand new Surface Hub technology, which assures meeting start and end on time, and provides the perfect tools to capture real time collaboration that moves the business forward.

Surface Hub is the Most Effective Touchscreen Ever Built

Microsoft created Surface Hub to work natively with Windows 10. As a result, it is the most effective version of any touchscreen platform ever created. The built-in computer eliminates the need to toggle through inputs when using third party apps. It’s familiar, it’s fast, and it’s backed by the trusted and relied upon Microsoft platform.

 

Microsoft Surface Hub

Unlock the Power of the Group with Microsoft Surface Hub

 

Microsoft Surface Hub is a brand new presentation and conferencing technology that will transform the way we work in groups. As you know, some of the most productive work happens when you make the most of the collective knowledge and skills of a group. However, effective collaboration can sometimes be hard, especially when some members of the team work remotely, or when a company has several physical locations, all with smart people who should be involved with creating the best work possible.

Microsoft Surface Hub is like an infinite whiteboard that helps unlock the power of the group.

From designers, to manufacturers, trainers, finance directors, marketers, product developers and so many others are singing the praises of the Microsoft Surface Hub.

Microsoft Surface Hub Brings Versatility On Demand

The 55″and 84″ Microsoft Surface Hub both create a true ‘wow’ factor in a room, but collaboration isn’t limited to meetings. A brainstorm can happen anywhere, anytime…and with a single tap on any device. It’s a unique technology that harnesses the power of collaboration through multi-touch, inking, voice commands, even communication capabilities like storing past iterations of ideas, and automatically sending meeting notes to participants.

Harness the Power of the Hub

Spinitar is pleased to host a special event on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 where you can experience this amazing new technology for yourself. Join us at our La Mirada offices, and find out how you can harness the power of the Microsoft Surface Hub.

VaaS-Video-as-a-Service-AV-for-IT

Video as a Service (VaaS) and Prioritizing Security in the Cloud

TechTarget.com defines VaaS or Video as a Service to be “the delivery of muliparty or point-to-point video conferencing capabilities over an IP network by a managed service provider”.

Avoiding the worries of multiple users on various networks using various devices, many organizations are using VaaS solution to support “employee collaboration and customer-facing services”. Is this the right answer for organizations looking into invest in full video-conferencing and collaboration solution? What are the security risks?

Most companies today have taken at least part of their business operations to the cloud, and the adoption numbers continue to rise. This observation holds true for businesses both big and small—in fact, 64 percent of SMBs utilize an average of three cloud-based apps today, and 78 percent plan to purchase cloud solutions in the next 2 to 3 years. For larger companies, Gartner predicts worldwide enterprise application software will become a $201 billion dollar market by 2019, citing a significant acceleration in cloud adoption as the driver of new software sales.

One significant growth area for cloud comes in the form of video-as-a-service (VaaS) or video-conferencing-as-a-service (VCaaS)—call it whichever, as long as you call it the future of cloud-based communication. And analysts agree, projecting the cloud video conferencing market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of just over 39 percent by 2019.

We know from the numbers that VaaS is on the rise, but two questions stand out: Just what precisely makes VaaS so attractive to companies, and what are the security risks associated with the service? Let’s explore.

The Benefits of VaaS

VaaS brings those who are remotely located together using real time audio and video. It’s done using cloud-based servers that store and manage the data. The benefits of a strategy that embraces VaaS, listed below, are numerous:

  • Because VaaS relies on the cloud, it decreases the need for companies to make expensive infrastructure and hardware investments.
  • Video meetings can facilitate deeper communication than that provided by phone calls or emails, as body language and facial expressions are on display.
  • Because of the universal accessibility of cloud technologies, video conferencing is made available to more professionals regardless of location—meaning video calls can be made from intensive care units in medical facilities to global classrooms in educational settings.
  • The use of VaaS decreases travel time and expense while often increasing meeting productivity and efficiency.
  • Some VaaS solutions come with mobile capabilities, which only boost the portability and convenience of the service (especially in this BYOD age).

The Importance of VaaS Security in the Cloud

Adopting a cloud strategy that includes a VaaS element is a smart move, but it’s also important for companies to prioritize the security of the platform. Cloud solutions of any type have inherent security risks—examples include a lack of protection within the network connection or data loss resulting from malware attacks. However, prospective businesses should note that it is imperative for cloud service providers to bolster their security measures as much as possible. Especially in this relationship-driven technological economy where reputation and reliability matter almost as much as products and services, doing so is the most basic form of self-preservation.

Regardless, it’s virtually impossible to create a cloud-based platform entirely free from security threats. There are steps businesses can take, however, to mitigate those risks that accompany cloud-based VaaS:

  • Thoroughly vet potential VaaS providers—this includes asking about detailed security policies, any past instances involving breaches and any guarantees they make that warranty their service against intrusions.
  • Regularly check network connections for anything unexpected, like spikes in traffic or unfamiliar logins.
  • If using mobile VaaS, create and enforce a BYOD program that is heavy in security features yet still user-friendly for team members.
  • When conducting a videoconference, always check the guest list against the actual log-ins to make sure there are no uninvited or anonymous participants.
  • Ensure important videoconferences are gated using one-time access codes to avoid eavesdroppers.

The Takeaway

Video as a service is a handy tool for businesses of all sizes, improving efficiency and workflow. Like any cloud application, though, it comes with its own set of security considerations to which companies should pay attention, even in circumstances where the hiring of an MSP mitigates the bulk of the risk.

Video has become a conventional approach to collaboration for clients of all sizes. Learn your options when it comes to video conferencing technology solutions, speak to Spinitar today about how to find the best system for you and your organization. Contact Natalie Barker at (562) 335-7287 or sales@spinitar.com 

Key Factors Driving Rapid Videoconferencing Market Growth

The videoconferencing market is gaining momentum swiftly.

In fact, a 2014 report from Transparency Market Research valued the global videoconferencing market at $3.69 billion. Add to that the anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5 percent from 2015 to 2023, and global videoconferencing is set to be a multi-market, $7.85 billion powerhouse by 2023.

Why such projected growth? Let’s break down the key factors fueling the surge.

Business is becoming more global. Many companies operate multi-nationally, and for good reason. A survey of over 750 senior executives from top-ranking companies found that 61 percent of the fiscally successful respondents saw globalization as one of the top three “megatrends” affecting their strategic workforce planning. “Technology convergence” and “digitization” were the other key players.

What’s that mean? Just because businesses branch out geographically doesn’t mean their communicative or operational efficiencies should suffer, and videoconferencing—specifically cloud based videoconferencing—presents a scalable, accessible, and cost-effective way to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Healthcare is going digital. Videoconferencing capabilities (both cloud-based and privately managed solutions) have increased the overall reach of healthcare services today. For example, some in-person visits have been replaced by what are popularly known as tele-consultations. Physicians can also communicate with and monitor patients remotely, reducing wait times without sacrificing visual contact or all-important “bedside manner.” 

Education as we know it is changing. The last time the National Center for Education Statistics (part of the US Department of Education) released data on off-site collegiate enrollment was 2012—even then, the popularity of online education, much of that fueled through video learning, was evident. Their data showed almost 50 percent of degree-seeking students at private, for-profit schools were enrolled in online classes (whether entirely or partially).

Because of videoconferencing and other technological advancements, educational institutions can offer education or training to students located down the street or across the globe. Clearly (and in large numbers), they’re taking advantage of it. 

Companies see the collaborative value in face-to-face communication, even if it’s on a screen. Face-to-face conversation and handshakes are ideal in the business world. They strengthen trust, bolster credibility, and offer unparalleled potential for connection. When they’re not practical, though—when the distance is too far to cover, the cost is too high for travel or it wouldn’t be the best use of time to bring all the parties in—videoconferencing is a phenomenal stand-in.

Much of communication is nonverbal (like gestures, body language, and facial expressions), so face-to-face interaction with colleagues over video can ensure messages aren’t misinterpreted or emails aren’t misread. It can also keep personal connections strong despite distance, a factor especially important in professional relationships based on mentorship and trust (teacher/student or doctor/patient).

Money talks. Budget is a factor for every company, whether enterprise-level or SMB. Lowering operational costs without lowering operational efficiencies is an ideal arrangement, and it’s one uniquely provided by videoconferencing. From healthcare facilities to universities to boardrooms around the world, people are logging in remotely to maintain face-to-face contact without the costs and hassle associated with physical travel. 

As a whole, technology has redefined how we live, learn and work. Videoconferencing, specifically, has proven to be vital for keeping connections and collaboration alive, and the growth forecast shows it’s not expected to stop any time soon.