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Businesses are constantly evolving whether it is through expansion, Matrox in Price of downsizing or reorganization.  With world markets in a state of flux, many commercial and office spaces don’t have the same function as they had, maybe 18 months ago.  Different staff levels, pressures on manufacturing processes and amended working practices often result in an office space feeling disjointed and worn around the edges.

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We all want a working environment which looks and feels great, but sometimes the money isn’t available to spruce things up.  However, Pro Av Systems there might be a deeper problem that needs considering. As they look to pull out of recession, businesses could find themselves, not only with atheistically dated offices, but without premises capable of expansion or the flexibility to change.  Its no longer just enough to be doing business, they have to be able to function efficiently and without the basic structure in place, they will find it a struggle to keep up with growing demand.

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Look around.  What isn’t working?

Companies have understandably shunned investment in their commercial offices over the last few years, Residential Automation Control Systems looking to invest their available budgets in core manufacturing equipment, or making do with temporary solutions.  These years however have seen huge advances in communication technology and a dramatic reduction in the cost of data storage. This can allow a business to shed bulky filing cabinets and shelves bulging with out-of-date business directories streamlining their archival and information retrieval measures.  Encouraging the use of new technology results in better information recording that speeds up future searches presenting answers in a consistent, digestible format.

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The Commercial Refurbishment Process

If you think your company is looking forward and needs some office space planning input, then most commercial refurbishment companies will offer an initial consultation free of charge.  It’ll be best to ensure this is the case before proceeding in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

Business Video Conferencing

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The commercial space planning process will start with a study of existing practices and an examination of the future needs of the business. Plans and 3D visuals are then produced in order to finalize the design and are presented with a breakdown of costs and timescales.  Most commercial space planners will also take on any landlord liaison and deal directly with the local planning office.   All that is left for the company to do is plan for the expansion and the increased productivity the well planned office will provide.

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Video Conference System

THE ROLE OF MANAGED SERVICES FOR TELEPRESENCE

Over the last 12 months, there has been a dramatic increase in the attention that video has received in regards to inter and intra office communications. On a global scale, the introduction of telepresence is making a resounding impact and causing enterprises to change the way they communicate by incorporating video as an essential ingredient in their communications mix. And to that end, the role of the Managed Service provider in the video and telepresence space has become increasingly relevant. In many cases, it's the Managed Service that can play the key difference in the success or failure of telepresence in the organization.

Understanding Telepresence

Before one can fully appreciate the role that a service provider plays as it relates to Telepresence, it's important to understand what telepresence actually represents. Telepresence is a term coined to describe a video communication solution, where the audio, visual and physical elements of a meeting room environment are designed in a way to create an immersive experience. In addition to identical or nearly identical furniture, monitors, cameras, speakers and video devices which are installed at offices in different locations, telepresence equipped locations use an IP network for connectivity. When a video meeting is initiated, the people on either side see and hear each other in a high quality, life size image which yields the appearance that they are actually sitting in the same room. Because of this arrangement of cameras, monitors and speakers, the technology becomes part of the room and the meeting participants become immersed in the experience, focusing on the agenda of the meeting, rather than on the technology that is driving it.

Is this just video conferencing under another name?

Yes and No - Telepresence is in fact a form of video conferencing. Beyond overall adoption challenges, video conferencing has been faced with other perceived barriers including: quality of the network, non-standard room environments, and lack of widely accessible expertise / support.

Network - When initially introduced video conferencing was invariably compared to the television and telephone - both of which took many years to be perfected but have now become synonymous with reliability and quality. In a similar fashion, traditional video conferencing has been slow to evolve into a fully reliable communications method due to the limited quality and capacity of network types (such as ISDN), ease of use issues and lack of reliability. Additionally, there was limited focus and expertise focused on addressing these issues that caused an inconsistent and poor experience to the users of the technologies.

Room Environments - Traditional video conferencing equipment was often purchased and placed in conference rooms with little or no regard to the quality of lighting, the audio or the placement of the camera for optimal coverage of meeting participants. With video systems in vulnerable positions and capable of being moved out of position, there was a high potential for a poor overall experience. In fact, users often complained they could not see or hear people at other sites with the cause being more related to poor lighting, acoustics, and room layout rather than the equipment or the network.

Support / Expertise - Traditional video conferencing also suffered from a lack of overall support and "ownership", having rarely received the appropriate level of attention that other "mission critical" applications were given. The result was a perceived difficulty in using video and even worse, many employees not even being made aware that video conferencing was a communication tool available to them.

Beginning in late 2000, the transition to IP and the creation of a new breed of service provider dedicated to supporting video communications yielded significant strides in improving the overall reliability, ease of use and performance. With these improvements, video conferencing adoption began to occur in many organizations. At the same time, with greater importance being placed on "green" methods and cost reduction efforts, video was on the verge of becoming a "mission critical" application.

A new era of Video Conferencing emerges: Telepresence

Originally marketed by a company called Telesuites, telepresence has in fact been available for a number of years. Telesuites gained early traction by building and managing "telepresence-type" rooms for several organizations around the world. That said, the term telepresence did not become prevalent until some big technology companies, including HP and Cisco recognized the potential and began marketing the concept globally. There was a common objective: join the emerging video communications market, but distance the "new generation" technologies from the negative connotations associated with the term video conferencing.

Proactive Monitoring - 24/365 proactive monitoring of the conferencing equipment and connections should be included to ensure that all equipment is functional and operable on a minute-by-minute basis. A combination of advanced infrastructure technology and experienced personnel should be deployed at all times with escalation and notification procedures in place.

Scheduling and Management - a dedicated toll-free number, a concierge service, and web portal scheduling tools for the user communities should be included. Automation and advanced tools such as integrated outlook and lotus notes capabilities with its confirmation notifications provided to requesters and participants of meetings.

Call Launching and Monitoring - can be handled by an engineer, who manages the successful launch of the call and connection of all sites in the telepresence meeting, including point-to-point and multi-point calls. The VNOC should be able to digitally monitor connectivity levels during sessions and should always be available to ensure a high-quality experience, every time.

Help Desk Support - users should have a single point of technical support for telepresence solutions to ensure a high-quality, uninterrupted experience for every call. Your provider should be able to interface and coordinate with hardware vendors, network providers, and integrators to repair or replace any component parts, network degradation, or resolve room integration issues.

Performance Reporting - provides key metrics on a monthly basis to identify areas of success, as well as areas in need of improvement. The reporting should include the telepresence room, the network, and supporting service levels. Your reporting should be detailed, such that it includes network and room service levels and availability, number of conferences held, total hours of usage, mean time to respond and repair any technical issues, along with a root-cause analysis and corrective action plan, where applicable.

Training - required for ensuring the successful use and adoption of telepresence systems.

It is not only important for users to feel comfortable using the technology, but to also understand the value the technology brings to day-to-day business activities. Using telepresence systems helps improve communications, enhance productivity, and have access to subject matter experts when and where they are needed.

Interoperability Testing and Support - to ensure telepresence systems can connect with other video conferencing rooms and businesses outside of your private network. Make sure the VNOC service provider is experienced in evaluating and testing video communication equipment for reliability and interoperability across manufacturers and access to exchange services for communication with private and public environments in a secure fashion.

A Final Thought

The future for telepresence appears robust. Environmental and economic issues necessitate finding more effective ways to communicate, be more productive and creative, and telepresence is rapidly becoming a "mission critical" application in the communication mix.

While providing a superior experience, today's Telepresence technologies are complex and demanding on your network and human resources. Advancements in technology may very well reduce the complexity over time, but the technology should always be secondary to the reason for using it. It is important to address entire picture - the technology, the service and the support - to ensure success with video programs.

As with any communications tool, Telepresence is best supported when an experienced service provider hides the complexity and simply makes it work, allowing the users to leverage the experience as part of their everyday life.

We are embarking on a visual society that is endless. Whether it means communicating with business executives on the other side of the world on important tasks, providing complex guidance to surgeons in an operating room in a different state or country, or extending your most talented and specialized resources across borders to interact with your most valuable clients, the new era of video communications is here and is no longer just a "nice to have".

The final and most critical decision is to choose the right overall solution for your needs by partnering with the right service to ensure it works anywhere, anytime, for any application.

Video Conferencing Expands Educational Horizons

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To achieve successful business video conferencing, reliable and quality video conferencing system and systems are a must. Having quality systems and equipment will ensure that there will be faster, more efficient, and hassle free communications with the parties involved during business video conferencing. Most of the vendors in the industry today offer systems and equipment for business video conferencing that has a lot of different features. In fact, majority of them doesn’t even require software for installment and other hardware for purchasing. Most of the providers offer equipment and system that are easy to use that enables the administrator to start business video conferencing anytime and share documents as well as presentations to as many people possible. The benefits of business video conferencing Modern technology has brought people two major benefits—money and energy conservation. Due to easier access to technology and communications using various inventions such as video conferencing—people in almost all fields—has been evolving and continue to expand on their respective industries. Today, people—especially those who are on the business side—are lucky enough to take advantage of the benefits instigated by the web as well as the multiparty video technology such as business video conferencing. In fact, utilizing the rewards of technology such as business video conferencing is much easier because more and more providers offer various products with different features and price brackets. Now, majority of the provider of business video conferencing offer new generations IP-based software that are more efficient, effective, and cheaper compared to the older generations that use hardware-based systems in video conferencing. These IP-based business video and web conferencing can now be maintained by just using off-the-shelf and cheap video and audio systems that can literally purchased wherever you are. Though these IP-based business video conferencing, the reach can be broadened and there are more alternatives or options that enable administrators and people to connect to anyone globally for as long as they have a personal computer or handheld devices that are integrated with a web cam as well as of fast connection online. Through the business video conferencing, manager and business executives can even cover and explore all the possibilities of their businesses without having to worry about expenses and safety. Basically, the major benefit of business video conferencing is saving up on money because people who have business meetings and presentations won't have to travel to places in order to meet clients. Aside from that, business video conferencing could lead to: - more interactive and better communication without worrying about the time for travel; - decreased cost for traveling and long trips specially for those that have regular sales presentations, training and business meetings; - decreased operational costs through the elimination of IDD or charges for long distance calling as well as local calls for meetings and other business purposes, - faster meeting with the many customers less the monetary expense; - increased reach to as many resellers, agents, and costumers as possible; - improved customer retention that will lead to productivity; - can boost the employee's morale because his or her work is easier due to high tech means of communication; - lesser life risks upon travel both by the agent or the business executive; - closer telecommuters that are in separate offices and braches; and - improved productivity among employees despite natural calamities and other natural phenomenon. Just make sure that you have conducted a research first before choosing systems and pieces of equipment for business video conferencing.

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