InterCall is Hitting the Road
May 28, 2009 @ 08:32 AM | By Cambria Vaccaro

NIRI We want to understand topics that are top of mind for investor relations professionals and  continue to offer products and services designed to meet your needs. So, InterCall is attending both the National Investors Relations Institute (NIRI) and Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI) events in the month of June. 

NIRI is being held at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, FL, June 7-10.  If you are attending, please stop by and visit InterCall in booth #107.  Don’t miss your chance to win an IPod Touch! We will have fun little gifts and useful information about how our experience in hosting over 12,000 event conferences each quarter will help you execute your investor relations calls flawlessly.  There are going to be many great sessions for you to attend and we suggest you check out the “Trends in Media and Technology” session that will be happening Monday, June 8 at 4:15 PM.

In Canada? You will also able to get all of the same great information and giveaways at the CIRI event in Canada.  InterCall will be exhibiting at the Fairmont Hotel in Victoria, BC, June 14-16 at booth #13.  Make sure you go to the sessions, especially “The Evolution of Media” held on Monday, June 15 at 3:30 PM.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Cam_blog Cambria Vaccaro is the Senior Director, Marketing Communications and our “Industry News” blogger.  Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services.  She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.

Sending Email and Not Getting a Response?
May 26, 2009 @ 02:58 PM | By Cambria Vaccaro

It seems like almost any business article you pick up these days talks about doing more with less. You have fewer staff resources and budget line items keep shrinking, but the show must go on, right? You still need to complete projects, bring in new business, launch new products and make sure everyone in your company knows what’s going on.

In order to get more done, my team and I have been using a new product called GoldMail®. With GoldMail you can quickly create personal and powerful messages by recording your voice over content you copy from the web or other programs like PowerPoint®, PDF and image files. Then, you send the message as a link in your email or post online. Your message comes across loud and clear in a visual format with your voice in synch. That kind of email is sure to get a bit of attention.

GoldMail lets you:


  • Get everyone on the same page – wherever they are

  • Increase productivity

  • Ensure compliance

  • Motivate action and acknowledge effort

  • Improve morale and satisfaction

At InterCall, we’ve been using GoldMail to share new initiatives with our sales team, create conferencing product overviews for customers and communicate company announcements to our employees all over the world.

Check it out for yourself. Click the play button below to see how GoldMail can give you a new, easy way to increase productivity, ensure consistent messaging and improve retention—without breaking the bank. If you want to give it a try, you can sign up for a free trial.

You can also click here to see the GoldMail.

Cam_blog Cambria Vaccaro is the Senior Director, Marketing Communications and our “Industry News” blogger.  Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services.  She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.

Getting “Back to Basics”: Communicating Vision and Values
May 13, 2009 @ 05:00 AM | By Guest Blogger

2009-05-13-back-to-basics Last month, InterCall presented a webinar called “Networking and Building Relationships”.

Our speaker from Bates Communications taught us so much that we asked him to blog a bit about communication.


Please welcome a guest blogger, Craig Bentley.


When the economy takes one of its inevitable downturns, as we all know it has recently, have you noticed how many times a business leader will say, “It’s time to get back to the basics”? “Our company”, these leaders will say, “needs to focus on doing what we do best.”

I’m always a little puzzled when I hear these comments. Does that mean that these companies were focusing on what they DON’T do best, that they were ignoring the “basics” of their business when the economy was strong and consumer demand was dependable?

Sadly, for some this probably was the case. The relatively easy pickings in a rising economy meant that some companies stopped focusing on their own areas of expertise and competency. But others stubbed their toes because they failed to fulfill a core leadership requirement—they failed to communicate! They failed to communicate effectively with their employees, with their customers, with their bankers and suppliers, with the financial marketplace and with each other. They talked about results, margins, financial targets and how successful they wanted the company to become. But they stopped talking about what makes a company great, what inspires and motivates employees, what creates winners. They stopped talking about values. They stopped talking about who they are, what they stand for and why maintaining these core values is critical to the company’s (and, therefore, the employees’) long-term success.

Are you communicating regularly with all of your important stakeholders about the things that are really important? Are you asking the right questions?

  • Why was the company founded in the first place?
  • What were the founders and later leaders trying to achieve?
  • What is the real value that we deliver to customers?
  • What allowed us to grow and prosper in the past?
  • What are the values that define who we are and that differentiate us in the marketplace?
  • Are we being true to these core values?
  • Does everyone in the company know and live these values in their daily business?

A Communication Strategy 

Do you have a communication plan in place to be sure that your message is reaching your most important audiences? Is everyone on the same page regarding the messages you want communicated to your employees and customers? Are all members of your team on board or are they sending mixed messages that can confuse and demoralize staff and confuse and alienate customers?
Today, there are so many ways to communicate that it’s a real tragedy when it doesn’t happen often and isn’t done well. Email allows us to quickly reach people all over the world, and video conferencing gives us the opportunity to add more of a personal touch. Even a simple conference call can help leaders keep their teams informed. Learn how to use these tools effectively!


Keep it Simple

Sometimes… no … most of the time…, simplicity is best. I remember when, years ago, I was working for a commercial bank in the Midwest. The first page of the training manual for new hires caught my attention. The page was bright pink! There were only four words on that page…”Honesty and Fair Dealing”. That simple phrase captured the values of the company, the principles on which the business had been established and had built its franchise. And it was a clear directive as to how we were to conduct ourselves in all that we did with customers and with each other.

You want to be successful? Talk about what really matters, talk about vision and values, talk about greatness and possibilities and you too will help move the world.

Craigbentley Craig Bentley is a sought-after business consultant, financial expert and speaker.His thirty years of experience in domestic and international financial markets, banking, business development and strategic planning provide his clients with a diverse, strategic perspective to leadership communications

How to Make the Most of Your Conferencing Service
May 11, 2009 @ 07:00 AM | By Guest Blogger

2009-05-12conferencing-adop In order to make meetings most productive, you need a tool that allows you to easily engage people and help them retain all of the important information you are delivering.

Conferencing is that tool and it helps all of us work smarter, not harder. But like any tool, it has to be used in the right way in order to maximize its potential.

A good conferencing solution is the key to getting more done in your office. Here are a few tips that any organization can use to make the most out of their conferencing services:

1.    Executives Set the Example

The best way to reach everyone in the company, no matter where you are, is through conferencing. It’s quick, easy and cost effective. The next time your company needs to make an important announcement, why not use video conferencing to get the job done? It’s both a personal and professional solution because you can make eye contact with the speaker and recognize their body language. Sites that don’t have video conferencing equipment can join an audio conference and an operator can facilitate Q&A.

2.    Set Travel Policies

We realize some travel is unavoidable, but according to a recent Wainhouse Research study, more than 64% of users replace in-person meetings through conferencing. And because of the economy and other current factors, this number is very likely to grow. Many companies have already cut costs substantially by traveling less and conferencing more. Test the numbers with our travel calculator—you may be pleasantly surprised how much you can save by extending your conferencing use.

3.    Training Is the Key


Would you want someone working on your car who had no prior training? The same goes for meetings. It’s important to learn the conferencing basics so that meetings are effective. Attendees and leaders will appreciate everyone having a conferencing etiquette refresher. InterCall offers free training on a daily basis for all of our conferencing solutions. In about an hour, you can be fully trained and running meetings with your colleagues.

This brings me to my final tip.

4.    Peer Pressure


Corporate policy is important, as I stated above, but your employees are just as likely to ask their co-workers how they conduct business. So, arm your best collaborators and motivators with the tools they need to evangelize the conferencing solutions you have chosen. As an InterCall customer, you can extend the benefits of conferencing to colleagues through our new referral program. It’s quick and easy and can put some extra dollars in your pocket as well. Any employee within your company who currently does not have an account with us is eligible as a referral.

This is certainly not the end-all-be-all list of tips for a more productive conferencing environment, but it gives any company just getting their feet wet a solid start. If you have any tips or suggestions on how your company uses conferencing to the fullest, feel free to share in the comment box below!

Danc Daniel Carroll, is an Associate Marketing Manager and the company's resident competitive intel and market trends research guru. He earned a BBA in Marketing at Temple University. In his spare time he likes to swim, rollerblade and sample fine Italian cuisine.

Heavy Duty Web Collaboration, Lightweight Tool
May 6, 2009 @ 08:31 AM | By Cambria Vaccaro

Lotuslivescreen Are you looking for a web conferencing service that has simple pricing, easy installation and an intuitive user interface?

Then IBM LotusLive: Meetings is for you!

Most people want an easy-to-use conferencing service but demand that it be delivered from a well known software provider. With LotusLive: Meetings offered by InterCall, that’s precisely what you get. There are three easy reasons to choose LotusLive.



 


It’s easy to buy.

Too many pricing options and additional charges for each little add-on can sometimes confuse everyone and slow down the decision making process. How many licenses do I need? Which tier is the best for my organization? Is there a set up fee? What if I go over my pricing package agreement? Are there overage charges detailed in my contract? Lotus Live: Meetings offers simple and affordable pricing packages. It’s named user pricing, but it’s unlike any other. It works like this: “Price x Units” That’s it. It really is that simple. 

It’s easy to launch.

Lotus Live: Meetings is a lightweight browser-based offering, so all you need is the browser on your computer and you are ready to connect instantly—whether you are meeting with one person or 999. No required downloads for participants means fewer meeting delays. There is no custom site creation or building branded pages, which allows you and your participants to always access LotusLive: Meetings through one centralized login page. And, forget about ever having to search for conference codes before you join every call. Now you only have one permanent conference code for your LotusLive: Meetings account.


It’s easy to use.

Surveys show that 98% of web conferencing users use two features: presentation and application sharing. Most users are looking for a lightweight tool that meets those needs and is easy enough to start using without hours of tutorials or training classes.

Take a look at some of the features included in LotusLive: Meetings:

Sharing and Remote Control - Share select applications or your entire desktop and pass control

Recording - Record audio and web content as offline media or produce self-contained Flash formatted presentations

Hand raising - Ask questions and tally results based on animated raised hand images, controlled by the attendees

Videocasting - Share presenter webcam video up to 125 participants

Chat - Chat with individuals or send broadcast messages to all attendees

Multiple presenters - Facilitate collaborative working sessions by clicking an attendee name and passing control

Summary report - Receive a summary email at the end of each web conference for reporting of participants’ join/exit times and polling results

Lotuslivetoolbar

The nice thing about LotusLive: Meetings is the basic, intuitive interface and toolbar.  You can take charge of your meeting content without needing someone else to run the show.

We’re proud to offer InterCall customers and IBM fans a conferencing solution that defines easy. Take a minute to check out LotusLive: Meetings. Just like buying, launching and using it, choosing Lotus Live: Meetings is easy too. See a demo here.

Cam_blog Cambria Vaccaro is the Senior Director, Marketing Communications and our “Industry News” blogger.  Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services.  She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.

6 Ways to Make Online Learning Interactive
May 4, 2009 @ 05:00 AM | By Nicole Scheel

2009-05-04-interactive-onli In my last post, we talked about how to help students retain information when they are in a virtual classroom. Today, I wanted to go over a few ways to make online learning more interactive. When you get in your groove, it is very easy to forget you’ve got people on the line and that you aren’t just talking to yourself. If you keep the class is interactive and engage your students, they have a better chance at processing and retaining the information.

 

Tips for Increasing Interaction

  1. Virtual Whiteboards
    Allow students to use the whiteboard function through you web conferencing provider. They can brainstorm together during a meeting. Writing down ideas will keep them focused and allows them to work with you during the meeting.

  2. Polling Feature
    Use the polling feature to ask multiple choice questions during your session. You can test students on the information that you just taught and get instant feedback on whether or not they are actually “getting it”.

  3. Application Sharing
    Some web conferencing products allow you to pass control of your application to a student. Call on individuals and give them control of your document via application sharing so that they are in control and can try it on their own. It lets students show you what they have learned and keeps everyone on their toes.
     

  4. Web Tour
    This is a great way to allow attendees to surf the web and research topics that you may have just discussed. During a web tour you can “drop” participants on a certain web site and let them click around. When the tour is over, all participants are returned to the meeting.

  5. Feedback Indicators
    Colored boxes or emoticons that allow participants to show feedback will let you know if someone has a question of if you should speed up or slow down, etc.

  6. Talk
    Remember to talk to your virtual students. I realize this may seem like a strange one, however I’ve caught myself many times just going through the motions of presenting in an online class. All of the sudden, I realize I haven’t stopped for questions, asked for feedback or checked for retention. If you are using a slide presentation, put in markers in the notes area to remind yourself it’s time to stop and relate to your audience.

The practices that we would use in a traditional classroom are the same practices that we should use online: be engaging, check for questions, take breaks, engage students every five minutes, test for knowledge, role play, etc. With today’s technology, all of these are possible even when using a virtual classroom.

 Nichole_blog 

Nicole Scheel is the Director of Training, and the “Tips & Training Blogger”. Nicole has been in training with InterCall for nine years and currently manages our internal and customer training departments, also known as InterCall University. When she's not training someone, you can find Nicole volunteering in her community or finishing her Masters in Training & Development at Roosevelt University.

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