A Trip Down Conferencing Lane
September 30, 2011 @ 12:46 PM | By Jill Huselton

We’re celebrating InterCall’s success over the last 20 years with a trip down memory lane, sharing the experiences of some of those who have been with us from the very beginning. Thinking back on how InterCall started got the memories flowing for some of our employees who have been here the longest—from InterCall’s humble beginning as a small, one room company in the Memory_lane basement of a telephone company to now a global, billion dollar company.

Mandy Cochran, rate and contracts manager, literally grew up with InterCall, starting when she was just 16 years old! She actually shared a desk with Bob Montgomery, who was president at the time and gave her some valuable words of wisdom: “My name is Bob, not President. Your job is as important to me as mine. If someone wasn’t doing what you do, how would we send out the invoices to get paid? Everyone has to do their part and if it is done with greatness, InterCall will thrive.”

Over the course of 20 years with that same goal in mind, InterCall upgraded from a basement with just four bridges to a building right across from railroad tracks. Oh and by the way, the move also took place in the middle of the night. This building had one step leading to another area of the building. Traci Crosby, Reservationless Plus support manager, remembers the running joke of referring to it as “the upstairs”, as in "I’m running upstairs and will be back in a minute.”

From writing down each and every participant’s name to keying in all usage data in time for billing at month’s end and cancelling and completing all calls manually, managing and mastering the “domino effect” certainly paved the way for continuous innovative communication. Amazingly what still resonates deeply with the “1992 Babies” (as they call themselves) is the sense of being a part of the InterCall family and the love they have for this business. Tracy Brumfield, senior scheduling manager, summed it up well. “I am truly very fortunate to work for InterCall. You never have to worry about my dedication and loyalty to this company. I feel as if this is my company, that I own it, and I take pride in it.”

Molly Fulghum, who has the honor of being recognized as InterCall’s longest tenured employee, humorously shared how she initially applied with the phone company who passed her resume on to InterCall and brought her on as an operator right out of college. She candidly described the somewhat chaotic process of taking each reservation, actually executing the call and then typing up on plastic wallet cards customer marketing materials. This all took place in one room of course, the basement. Fast forward 20 years and the now senior director of customer care explained, “While it was at times excruciatingly painful because of how fast InterCall grew, it’s also been such an exciting time to be a part of, too.”

As we continue to forge ahead in the industry today, Kathy Coker, call execution manager, shared another profound Bob Montgomery saying: “Change is good, it builds character.” A true testament to the InterCall vision and our commitment to leading the way with conferencing services for another 20 plus years, all while doing it with forward thinking employees who embody knowledge, experience and dedication.

Jill HuseltonJill Huselton is a senior marketing manager at InterCall. She's been in the conferencing industry for nearly 15 years, working in operations, account management and marketing, mainly based in Colorado. Before leaving the Mile-High City, she hiked a 14er, one of her top accomplishments. Now she's traded the mountains for the beach and works from a home office in North Carolina.

See You in Orlando
September 29, 2011 @ 11:23 AM | By Sara Steele

Next week, InterCall is headed to Orlando for the Fall 2011 COMPTEL PLUS Convention and Expo, October 2-5. If you’re not familiar, COMPTEL PLUS is the premier networking event for innovative communications companies—providing attendees the opportunity to learn about new products, services and industry trends to help them in their sales initiatives.

InterCall’s channel team will be in attendance showcasing our industry-leading channel program. Through a partnership with InterCall, you can leverage the experience of a proven leader in the conferencing and collaboration space to expand your product portfolio and grow your revenue. InterCall’s program for resellers offers:

  • Innovative products and services
  • Flexible billing solutions and competitive buy rates
  • Dedicated sales and integrated back office support

WIN AN IPAD! Meet with InterCall while at the show and be entered to win an Apple iPad. To schedule time, please contact your channel manager or email us at wsinfo@intercall.com.

To learn more about InterCall’s channel program, visit us at www.intercall.com/wholesale.

Hope to see you there!

Sara SteeleSara Steele is an associate marketing manager at InterCall responsible for various corporate communication initiatives; including social media and channel marketing efforts. Sara began working with InterCall after graduating from the University of Colorado in 2006. In her free time, she enjoys running, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.

InterCall Is 20!
September 28, 2011 @ 03:09 PM | By Scott Etzer

This month, InterCall marks our 20th year of offering the best conferencing and collaboration services in the industry.

We’ve come a long way over the last two decades, from a small team scheduling and connecting operator assisted calls through what was at the time a novel idea of toll-free numbers to thousands of worldwide employees offering reservationless audio calls, web meetings and video conferences and virtual events, not to mention the new frontier of unified communications.

Ic-20yearGraphic-Small

In the early 1990s, we had a plan, but we never imagined that we would grow to a global company that provides businesses of all sizes with critical communication tools. InterCall launched in 1991 and provided services to facilitate conference calls for sales managers with their direct reports. Since then, we’ve grown into an industry leader, serving organizations in 179 countries.

Just look at what we accomplished in 2010:

  • Executed over 20B minutes
  • Generated over $1.2B in revenue
  • Supported more than 75,000 organizations and over 1.7M unique conference leaders
  • Hosted 115M conferences globally

All of this could not have happened without our outstanding teams and valued customers. So as we celebrate this occasion, we humbly thank everyone who has been a part of InterCall over the last 20 years. We also look forward to our next decade of service and offering customers access to the most innovative and broadest product set available.

Scott EtzlerScott was recruited to the president and COO role of InterCall in 1998 when the company’s revenues were $48 million. Prior to joining InterCall, Scott held executive positions in the voice and data communications industry, with companies such as AT&T, Decision Industries and U.S. Sprint. Scott serves on the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Dean's Advisory Council, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management Advisory Board, and on the Board of Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. He is also a member of the Economic Club, Big Shoulders Foundation and the Executives Club of Chicago. Etzler holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Scott and his wife Becki reside in Winnetka, Illinois, and have 2 children - Erin and Andrew.

Too Much to Remember?
September 21, 2011 @ 08:01 PM | By Sandra Di Giacomo

It seems like everywhere I go or new service I sign up for, I get another password or PIN number to remember.

These days, our brains are crammed with password and number combinations for every part of our lives, from corporate network logins, social networking sites and email accounts to bank accounts and credit card PINs.

If you are like me, then you often feel as though you can’t possibly remember everything you are supposed to. Studies have been conducted to examine our collective ‘external memory’, which is the Internet. With a few keystrokes on your computer or smartphone, you can get a phone number, address or birthday. Having a GPS means you don’t have to remember how to get somewhere. Even the art of memorizing poems, like my grandmother did, is going by the wayside.

As the need for online security grows, so will our logins and the challenge of keeping them all straight. Even if you store information in a safe place, it’s usually so safe that you can’t remember where it is when you need it. We almost have no choice but to embrace the tools available on the Internet and use them to help you. There are loads of password management software you can use to store it all, like RoboForm and LastPass.

When it comes to audio conference calls, how many of us can actually remember a phone number without having it stored in our phones, let alone our conference code and leader PIN? Ever found you need to join a conference call, and out of the office, without a laptop, you are stumbling around for a pen and a bit of paper to scribble the details down?

InterCall’s free Mobile Assistant works just like the password management software. You can access your reservationless conference call with a single click of a button or tap of the screen—all from your smartphone. There’s no need to remember long numbers and codes anymore, freeing up your brain capacity for other important things, like remembering to get your phone, bring your GPS or buy that birthday card.

Sandra Di GiacomoSandra Di Giacomo is the Asia Pacific marketing manager at InterCall. Originally starting out as an account manager in InterCall’s Sydney office, she also lived in Tokyo for two years before making her way to Singapore where she is now based. When not working, she enjoys travelling, photography and cooking.

What Would Don Draper Do with Web Conferencing?
September 20, 2011 @ 02:37 PM | By Jill Huselton

As I was sitting in an online meeting yesterday, my co-workers and I were killing time while we waited for the last participant to join. Our conversation hit on the weather, then we talked about what Two and a Half Men would be like without Charlie, which led us to the Emmy awards. That got us to Mad Men and how we, as marketing professionals, love the show, particularly the advertising aspect.

I started watching Mad Men this summer, once it came out through Netflix streaming, and I have to say, I’m hooked. It’s slow, but you can’t help but be drawn in to life in the 60s. And I’m fascinated with the culture that’s depicted: men wearing fedoras, everyone smoking cigarettes, kids not riding in car seats and a single black and white TV sitting in the center of the living room. I’m also shocked at the Sterling Cooper scene, where ‘the girls’ (aka executive assistants) serve drinks, take hats and coats and type memos on their typewriters, all while fending off the advances of their bosses.

Mad_men

During our pre-meeting chatter yesterday, we asked, What would Don Draper do if he sat at his desk to pitch a new concept using a web conferencing service or walked into his board room and found a telepresence video conferencing system ready to broadcast his image halfway around the world? I bet he would miss the martinis and shrimp cocktail that he and his team have at the conference room table each time a major client comes into town to review a new campaign. He’d not take as many business trips, which for Don, would probably be a good thing. And he could stop giving those admonishing glares to his creative team for cracking jokes and looking ‘the girls’ up and down every time one of them interrupts a meeting because they would all be at their computers reviewing a new slogan instead of sitting in Don’s office having happy hour at 11 AM.

I’m intrigued by the show and during each episode, I try to picture myself living in the 60s and am constantly comparing what I see to how things are today. It makes me appreciate how life, and work, have changed: equal rights, computers, seat belts, microwaves, phone systems, the list goes on. While I enjoy shrimp cocktail, I think I’ll take my web conference any day.

What about you? What would be the best thing about living/working in the Mad Men era? Would you stick with life in the 21st century?

Jill HuseltonJill Huselton is a senior marketing manager at InterCall. She's been in the conferencing industry for nearly 15 years, working in operations, account management and marketing, mainly based in Colorado. Before leaving the Mile-High City, she hiked a 14er, one of her top accomplishments. Now she's traded the mountains for the beach and works from a home office in North Carolina.

Best Practices in Leveraging Virtual Environments for Learning
September 15, 2011 @ 09:43 AM | By Eric Vidal

If you’re thinking about conducting virtual training for your company as a way to reach more people while saving money, you’ll definitely not want to miss this upcoming webinar.

Join us at Thursday, September 22, 2011, at 1:00 PM Eastern, to hear how ACS (a Xerox company) is being more cost effective and engaging by leveraging virtual environments. You’ll find out how they effectively aligned with corporate initiatives to drive business forward by enabling instant access to content, subject matter experts and peers. You’ll also learn how ACS was able to leverage virtual environments to provide an array of opportunities to facilitate formal, informal and social learning and give attendees control. Thanks to interactivity, the ACS attendees learn real, applied examples—not just theories.

During this interactive session you will learn:

  • A six step process in launching a virtual learning environment
  • How to track more than just attendance and tests, but actual learners' behavior
  • How learning occurs in synchronous and asynchronous modes inside virtual environments
  • Challenges and successes with launching a virtual learning environment

Speakers:
Caroline Avey, director of strategic learning, ACS (a Xerox Company)
Eric Vidal, director of product marketing, InterCall
Moderated by CLO Magazine

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011, at 10:00 AM Pacific/1:00 PM Eastern

Register now>>

Eric VidalEric Vidal is considered a leading voice and expert in virtual business, which expands from marketing to collaboration to learning. He has more than 15 years experience in developing, implementing and optimizing strategies in these areas for numerous organizations and Global 2000 companies. As the director of product marketing for InterCall’s event services, Eric manages the strategy and initiatives for the virtual technologies that include virtual environments, streaming, event management services and operator assisted services. Previously from WebEx, Eric managed the virtual classroom product, as well as brand advertising and new media. Over the last several years, Eric has held management positions at Cisco, WebEx, IBM, BBDO Worldwide and Macromedia.

Organizations have been leveraging human resource services for several years, and now some leading organizations are taking virtual HR to another level.

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 1:00 PM Eastern where we will explore some of these new creative solutions and how complex HR functions are now going virtual. We will hear how organizations like KPMG and ACS (a Xerox company) leveraged virtual environments to recruit, on-board, train and help truly change the way their organizations manage strategic HR functions. You will also be able to hear first hand from an industry leader at CareerBuilder.com about how they have leveraged virtual environments in order to help customers and partners better recruit and reduce the time to hire by 60%, lower the cost per hire by 70% and more.

In this interactive webcast you will:

  • Learn how to engage with a global audience to recruit, on-board and train 24/7/365
  • Find out how to reduce costs and do more with less
  • Hear about the challenges and successes in virtual recruiting from an industry expert at CareerBuilder.com
  • Receive a free whitepaper that provides details and case studies on virtual recruiting, on-boarding and training

Speakers:
James Gilliam, virtual HR expert, CareerBuilder.com
Eric Vidal, director of product marketing, InterCall
Moderatored by HR.com

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 10:00 AM Pacific/1:00 PM Eastern

Register now>>

Eric VidalEric Vidal is considered a leading voice and expert in virtual business, which expands from marketing to collaboration to learning. He has more than 15 years experience in developing, implementing and optimizing strategies in these areas for numerous organizations and Global 2000 companies. As the director of product marketing for InterCall’s event services, Eric manages the strategy and initiatives for the virtual technologies that include virtual environments, streaming, event management services and operator assisted services. Previously from WebEx, Eric managed the virtual classroom product, as well as brand advertising and new media. Over the last several years, Eric has held management positions at Cisco, WebEx, IBM, BBDO Worldwide and Macromedia.

The Leadership Advantages of Embracing Anxiety and Lack of Control
September 13, 2011 @ 12:18 PM | By Tonya Hottmann

As managers, we have been taught that we should be able to plan ahead and control outcomes as a result of our well thought-out actions. However, in today's business environment, there are too many variables for this to continue to work. Because the fear of not being in control is difficult for many of us to manage, we often resort to external tools that try to restore control—causing us to feel like we've failed. Learning to live with not being in control may be the new reality.

Join us for our free webinar, The Leadership Advantages of Embracing Anxiety and Lack of Control, on Wednesday, September 21 at 1:00 PM Eastern hosted by Katherine Curran, Ph.D., to learn how to recognize when and how lack of control occurs and how to embrace and thrive in it.

This seminar offers managers:

  • Opportunities to identify issues they can and cannot control
  • Models, mindsets and tools to help them lead their way through this complexity
  • How to tap into the creativity and engagement within their team to make decisions during times of uncertainty

Register now>>

About Our Speaker
Katherine M. Curran, Ph.D., is president of Resources for Creative Change, Inc., a strategic organization change firm in St. Paul, MN. Dr. Curran coaches and consults with organizational clients on ways to understand, increase and ethically leverage their use of power and political savvy on behalf of personal and organizational effectiveness, especially with women. An organization change consultant and coach since 1992, she assists leaders in successfully integrating business strategy with human and organizational systems change efforts so they obtain desired results. She holds a Ph.D. and an evidence-based coaching certificate from Fielding Graduate University, and a Two Year Post Graduate Certificate in Organization Development from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.

Tonya Hottmann imageTonya Hottmann is the director of marketing at InterCall, responsible for direct response marketing programs. Before joining InterCall, Tonya ran a boutique marketing consulting firm for 10 years. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, exercising and spending summer days at the beach.

The New Epidemic: Post Vacation Syndrome
September 9, 2011 @ 06:27 AM | By Jill Huselton

As I was watching the news and struggling to get up this morning, I caught a brief story about a very serious condition that is affecting many Americans: post vacation syndrome or PVS. The reporter said that while this isn’t a medically recognized affliction, psychologists are seeing it more and more. The signs include depression, lethargy and over-eating. It typically hits this time of year, after Labor Day, when we mark the end of summer.

Blues11

The psychologist who was interviewed recommended that if you experience this, you should try exercising, scheduling breaks like movie or game nights or even taking a few days off. (Or, in my opinion, you could move to Europe or Australia and enjoy annual leaves like my colleagues.)

I can sympathize with anyone who experiences post vacation syndrome, especially because I just from a long weekend at the ocean. It is never easy getting back into the swing of things, like school, managing things around the house, going to work— all those day-in and day-out activities.

So take care of yourself—end the day a little early or have another day off. And remember, if you need to ease back into your work life, audio conference calls work just fine from the beach or your bed.

Jill HuseltonJill Huselton is a senior marketing manager at InterCall. She's been in the conferencing industry for nearly 15 years, working in operations, account management and marketing, mainly based in Colorado. Before leaving the Mile-High City, she hiked a 14er, one of her top accomplishments. Now she's traded the mountains for the beach and works from a home office in North Carolina.

Virtual Environments Case Study: Interactive Recruiting
September 8, 2011 @ 08:05 AM | By Eric Vidal

We frequently get questions about virtual environments: What are they? How can they help my organization? What is the ROI for them? After working with customers over the last several years, I’ve seen customers in several verticals use them in a variety of ways. No matter the customer or their application, the one thing they have in common is they quickly realize the benefits of virtual environments: cost savings, increased reach and a more engaged audience.

Below is an example of how RAPS, the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, built upon the success of their online Regulatory Career Connections, which allows members to search, post and review job listings at their convenience. They turned to virtual environments to provide their members with a more interactive and robust alternative.

Brad Pierson, manager of integrated product sales, quickly recognized the opportunity to expand RAPS' services by adopting virtual technology. In the spring of 2008, RAPS launched its first virtual career fair using the InterCall platform. With 13 major pharmaceutical and biotech (booth) sponsors, over 750 registrants and a fully customized environment, this virtual fair proved to be RAPS’ turning point for its job search solution. Job seekers had direct access to the hiring company, HR and regulatory experts with a click of a mouse. Because of the positive feedback from sponsors and members alike, RAPS added two additional virtual fairs that year. The virtual fair allowed Brad to reach more of his constituents, extend the RAPS brand and create a level of engagement between its members like never before. The virtual fairs also proved cost-effective and engaging and delivered highly qualified candidates to sponsors which, in turn, dramatically decreased the hiring cycle. Recently, in April 2011, RAPS Virtual Career Fair garnered:

  • A whopping 83% attendee rate
  • 755 applications received
  • Average visitor time of 70 minutes inside the event

Building upon this success, Brad took another step toward RAPS virtual strategy by adopting the VEC (Virtual Event Center) model. The RAPS VEC allows members 24-hour access, 365 days a year to a virtual environment rich in content, up-to-date information and hiring companies’ resources. By producing just 1-2 major virtual job fairs a year, the VEC gives RAPS another way to keep the organization “top of mind” even during the period between events. The VEC underscores a continuous and sustainable model which RAPS has strategically leveraged for the benefit of its more than 11,000 members.

From the eight virtual career fairs RAPS has implemented since 2008, they delivered highly qualified candidates, resulting in a shorter hiring cycle for sponsors, developed RAPS Virtual Event Center to support member career initiatives and achieved greater brand awareness and reach.

Have you used virtual events and seen similar success? If not, what are your obstacles? Have you tried other alternatives?

Eric VidalEric Vidal is considered a leading voice and expert in virtual business, which expands from marketing to collaboration to learning. He has more than 15 years experience in developing, implementing and optimizing strategies in these areas for numerous organizations and Global 2000 companies. As the director of product marketing for InterCall’s event services, Eric manages the strategy and initiatives for the virtual technologies that include virtual environments, streaming, event management services and operator assisted services. Previously from WebEx, Eric managed the virtual classroom product, as well as brand advertising and new media. Over the last several years, Eric has held management positions at Cisco, WebEx, IBM, BBDO Worldwide and Macromedia.

« August 2011 | Main | October 2011 »