Last Friday, Milton our fearless CEO, was the guest speaker for the hour-long VoIP Users Conference (VUC). If you’ve never been to a Milton talk, he’s really good at inspiring you to try out VSee, and I, personally, always end up learn something new from him. Besides highlighting how VSee’s design philosophy makes it more collaborative than other products, he also answered a lot of great questions you may also have had about VSee, such as
How is VSee different from Google+ video chat?
Does VSee plan to have WebRTC integration for those without the VSee client?
What makes VSee more secure than H.323/SIP videoconferencing?
If you want to hear some of the answers and get a more in-depth look at VSee, you can listen to a recording of Milton’s talk here or share the talk with a friend.
Btw, VUC is a weekly program that holds fairly technical live discussions with a guest speaker about “VoIP, SIP, Asterisk and all kinds of telephony-related topics,” which means that you’ve got a shot at getting your more difficult questions answered The discussion is held live each Friday at 9 AM PST or 12 noon EST, and they’ve got it going by phone, Skype, SIP, and Google+ Hangouts. There is also an IRC (chatroom) you want to hop on so you can make side talk and ask questions without being disruptive. Listeners from all over the world call in, and they record all their shows in case you have to miss it. If you want to pop in on a talk sometime, you may want to check out their schedule of upcoming speakers.
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The urge to catch the videoconferencing wave is irresistible. Last month, VCON was purchased by ClearOne which specializes in voice conferencing. Last Thursday, Avaya, a giant in the VoIP market, providing an variety of equipment and services for unified communications, contact centers, and related services, confirmed rumors that it will be acquiring longtime video conferencing provider Radvision for approximately $230 million. This gives Avaya a little more oomph as it tries to keep its lead over Cisco in the VoIP market, further adding to their Aura Unified Communications offerings. Meanwhile Radvision is bolstered by joining a name brand with global presence.
We’ve all been there. Someone sends you an email asking you a question. You respond and ask for some clarification. Three days of back-and-forth emails later, you get fed up with how slow the discussion is going and call the other person. Three minutes later, you both have all the answers you wanted, and now sit there wondering why it took three days to conclude a three minute conversation.
There’s unfortunately not a lot of hard evidence out there for how best to leverage our varying communication and collaborative tools. I can find studies that show video is nearly identical with face-to-face for gaining trust, but I’ve found little that shows which tool is best to use when. I hope we can open that dialogue here.
Before the tips, lets look at the mediums we usually communicate through: Video (with Audio), Audio only (phone/VOIP), email, and instant messaging (IM/chat/SMS).
We call the first two (Video and Audio) synchronous because there is an immediate dialogue; points are conveyed and responded to immediately. The latter two are asynchronous because each time content is conveyed there may be a significant amount of time before it is received and responded to. Each step in an asynchronous dialogue can take from seconds to days (or longer) to be conveyed. In sychronous communication, all parties are working simultaneously (synchronously) on the discussion, whereas in asynchronous communication, parties are working on different parts of the discussion at different times (asynchronously).
Now that we know the landscape, when is the best time to use each tool?