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Join Xtelesis for GoKart racing and a demonstration of LifeSize Videoconferencing

  
  
  

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Start your engines!

On Feb. 3, Xtelesis invites you to our 2011 Grand Prix of Video Racing and LifeSize HD Videoconferencing demo.

Have you ever considered a videoconferencing solution for your business? Are you planning a video deployment in 2011? Join us for this special event where we’ll have LifeSize on hand for you to see just how easy it is to use. LifeSize was first on the scene with high-definition video, and holds the most competitive prices in the market.

Take your turn to race your peers around the course at GoKart Racer in Burlingame for a chance to win! Top winners in each race will be awarded a special prize, but don’t sweat it, no one will leave empty-handed.

Replenish after the races with heavy hor ‘dourves, after which we’ll have a special presentation on LifeSize HD Videoconferencing. LifeSize delivers high-definition video products for businesses from desktop video to telepresence rooms at a fraction of the cost of competitors’ video solutions. Whatever your business’ video needs, LifeSize has a cost-effective solution to suit!

Ready to race? Sign up now to join us for a day of fun at the races!

Educators mix old and new technologies in the classroom

  
  
  

Untitled 1By Wes Burkett, AVTEQ

It’s test time. Not for students, but for today’s education professionals. The test that educators are facing today is that of engaging Gen Y students. Grab your freshly sharpened #2 pencils and take notes.

Students gracing the classrooms of today will never have to dust off a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica to do research before they “write” the big essay. They’ll simply do a quick Google search and get pages and pages of information so up-to-date it makes Encyclopedia Britannica look as dated as the Nuremberg bible and then they’ll type the paper and email it to you by the due date. No more “my dog ate my paper” excuses for these students.

Today’s students are accustomed to lightning fast interactions and visually engaging with the world around them and educators are learning to plan their curriculum with this in mind.

So what role does technology play in this equation?

In a recent post on ProAVMagazine.com, Pete Putnam, senior contributing editor for ProAV and former InfoComm Educator of the Year, made an interesting discovery about the classrooms of today. In response to seeing a projector in a modern-day classroom, Putnam said:

“I did a double take when I spotted that relic of the 20th century. The transparency projector is a product that's been both a staple of classrooms and the butt of industry jokes. Yet there it was, used by an enthusiastic teacher who looked like a member of Generation Y, a group that grew up hardwired to the Internet and fluent in a wide variety of handheld electronic gadgets. Where were all of the latest AV teaching tools?”

Putnam goes on in the piece to state the case for the tried and true products, like the projector, whose value has stood the test of time. This message is one that Putnam wants us to remember as we get ready for all of the new gadgetry 2011 has to offer. While CES showcased some very nifty tools this year, Putnam reminds us that “there will be some winners and losers.”

Putnam reveals that while Gen Y did grow up drastically different from previous generations, perhaps educating Gen Y doesn’t require the shiniest newest technologies, but rather a mix of old and new paired with an enthusiastic educator who engages them regardless of the tools available.

Integrating technology like video teleconferencing into education is proving to engage students on a higher level.  With the integration of these technologies, students are able to experience virtual field trips, live demonstrations and interaction with experts without ever leaving the classroom.

AVTEQ is proud to provide products that assist teachers from grade school to collegiate level as they face the challenge of educating Gen Y. What other tools, technologies and techniques are being used to engage Gen Y? Tried and true or cutting edge? Share them in the comments below.

If you're looking for an AVTEQ product for your video conferencing system give Xtelesis a call and we can help you decide which is best for you.

As seen on Best in UC. This article was originally published on the AVTEQ Blog on Jan. 12, 2011.

LifeSize Video recording increases value of videoconferencing

  
  
  

video record, stream, viewThe benefits of HD videoconferencing for business are far-reaching. But LifeSize takes things a step further with LifeSize Video Center. Released in 2010, Video Center allows users to record, publish and live-stream video straight from the conference room, home office, classroom – anywhere a LifeSize 220 system is in use.

(Read our introductory article to Video Center, including a video from LifeSize on the release of Video Center.)

Video Center hosts recordings on the LifeSize online portal in channels. To easily record, publish, stream or view video, all you need is a log in to Video Center. This unique tool is being used by businesses for internal corporate messaging and critical updates, product and employees training videos, class lectures or presentations streaming and recording, recorded interviews and so much more.

Videos recorded and saved on Video Center can be downloaded for editing and publishing on YouTube, Vimeo and other popular video sharing websites. BestinUC.com uses Video Center to record episodes of Best in UC TV, which are downloaded from Video Center, edited and published on the web. Users can even publish unique greeting messages for customers or potential clients that can be easily attached to email!

The Video Center solution makes important business videos easily accessible, live and on demand, all in high definition. LifeSize maintains the simplicity of its video teleconferencing products with Video Center’s intuitive user interface, with easy-to-understand functionality, quick sharing and no-wait streaming.

Never before has all of these capabilities been found in one device. LifeSize is continuing to break new ground in the video industry, and Video Center is evidence of the ingenuity and innovation we have come to expect from LifeSize.

Our goal, at Xtelesis, is to make HD videoconferencing an affordable and meaningful tool for all of our customers. For businesses that don’t have a recurring, long-term need for Video Center, or who aren’t sure if investing in a LifeSize 220 system and Video Center makes sense, we offer Video Center as a Service. Sessions can be purchased on an “as needed” or “subscription” basis, depending on need, and videos will be hosted on the Xtelesis Video Center channel.

We offer three different bundles of Video Center service, ranging from three hours of video storage to 40 hours of monthly video storage. All bundles included 24/7 access to recorded videos, unlimited viewing, password protected storage and the ability to create customized channels like an HR Training Channel, Sales Channel, Company Message Channel, etc. Our mid-range Premium bundle includes 20 hours of video storage and free video streaming & casting for up to 25 participants. Our Platinum bundle includes 40 hours of video storage and free video streaming and casting for up to 50 participants.

Click here to sign up for our free 30 day trial of Video Center.

If you would like more information on Video Center, or our Video Center Service option, call us at 888-340-9835. 

Videoconferencing caters to declines in travel

  
  
  
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I recently discovered an interesting article on SmartPlanet.com that explores the possibility that worldwide travel has peaked, and may soon see decline.

The author, John Herrman, asserts the main factors driving this decline are: congestion, parking issues, and gas prices.

I agree with Herrman. All of these components do contribute to the aversion to travel we may experience, but there’s one crucial element to this mix that Herrman overlooked: technology.

With advanced video and audio technology now becoming mainstream, (LifeSize is a prime example of this), HD videoconferencing offers a strong case for people to forgo firing up the Suburban for the trek into the office.

We are seeing a faster adoption rate of video technology overseas than in the US (65% of LifeSize revenues come from off-shore), and I believe that curve will steepen even more. Once executives and even middle management take advantage of video teleconferencing as opposed to a burdensome trip either by car or mass transit, I expect we’ll see travel declining in double-digit percentages. International travel is one of the areas where the time it takes to see a return on investment for adopting video technology is the shortest, so often the first investment corporations make is in video.

And, you can expect the travel industry to take additional hits, as Unified Communication bleeds down into the Small and Medium Business (SMB) marketplace because of its simple user-friendly applications and cost savings.  Major hotel chains are already responding to this shift by strengthening their local marketing and investing in telepresence suites to attract corporate clients to their locations, where they might not sell as many rooms, but they capture the food and beverage dollars as well as rental fee for meeting room space that comes complete with sophisticated AV systems.

All that said, I still really want to see the Taj Mahal, not a video representation of it, no matter how lifelike!

This post was originally published on the Westron Communications blog by Dave Casey, CEO, on Jan. 6, 2011.

SMBs are migrating to VoIP phone systems

  
  
  

As the recession becomes more of a nightmare in the rearview mirror, and less of a present issue for small and medium sized businesses, technology decisions that had been put on hold will be revisited in the coming months.

A report from AMI-Partners forecasts the growth of VoIP in the SMB market, stating that more than 30 percent of businesses in this market expect VoIP to become a critical component of their operations. The benefits of digital communications and VoIP phone systems are not newly recognized, but many company’s have been unable to make a move on technology over the last several years.

The time is ripe for both SMBs in need of new technology, and the channel partners and integrators ready to supply those technologies.

Karen Nielson, senior consultant with AMI suggests channel partners and integrators make necessary preparations to help SMBs migrate to VOIP in the future. It will be important for integrators to be able to demonstrate the true total cost of ownership (TCO) of a VoIP solution, with reduced ongoing costs.

For cost-conscious businesses looking to migrate to VoIP, a careful analysis of all potential solutions is necessary. A few things to consider are ease of use for the end user, total cost of ownership (not just initial purchase and setup), and simplicity of system management.

There are numerous VoIP solutions that will accomplish the same task, but when it comes to simplicity and ease of use, ShoreTel stands heads above the rest. Businesses using the ShoreTel solution can’t deny the benefits both from a cost perspective and a system management perspective.

ShoreTel has received high rankings by analysts firms Gartner and Nemertes, with Nemertes ranking ShoreTel highest among leading IP telephony providers for seven consecutive years. The ShoreTel architecture reduces reliance on WANs, creating a more reliable communications solution.

Checkout the Top 10 reasons to choose ShoreTel IP phone system in our post on Dec. 7

New Vivo video product integrates with LifeSize HD Videoconferencing

  
  
  

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Vivu has announced a new product line that will allow it's browser-based videoconferencing solution to be compatible with LifeSize, Polycom and other video endpoints. This product will be compatible with the LifeSize® Desktop™ product, which is available through Xtelesis.

LifeSize Desktop is a standalone desktop client (no server required) that allows you to send and receive 720p30 video in full 16:9 format for effective collaboration at a distance. HD audio with echo cancellation delivers a rich, true-to-life experience. LifeSize Desktop also supports sharing data during a video call for improved collaboration.  LifeSize Desktop supports off-the-shelf webcams for quick, simple deployments. Remote users can easily connect and receive high quality video at any bandwidth.  Try a free trial. 

Read the article below for more about the new integration from Vivu."

This article originally appeared on BestinUC.com on Jan. 3, 2011

The future of videoconferencing and telepresence is in the ability for one video platform to easily integrate with multiple other platforms.  The long-term solution will be in standardization, but video companies are currently building software that will allow interaction across existing platforms.

Vivu has announced a partnership with AMD that we expect to be just one of many similar partnerships and new applications allowing telepresence technology to be compatible across a wide variety of platforms.

As more companies are realizing the benefits of videoconferencing and telepresence, the unified communications industry will continue to grow in 2011.  Compatibility of video-based technologies will be a key player in the growing acceptance of telepresence.

The ability for one video solution to talk to another will significantly increase the ROI in both cost-savings and usefulness of video solutions for small businesses.  If videoconferences can take place between multiple parties regardless of the platform each individual party is using, the use of videoconferencing technologies will increase.

According to the press release from Vivu, the partnership with AMD will enable Vivu to develop next-generation video software that will deliver the quality of telepresence video from laptops. What’s more is that Vivo’s product line, powered by Vivu’s own MXTP technology and AMD’s Fusion Accelerated Processing Units, will interact with other video endpoints, including Polycom,LifeSize, and even tablet PCs and DLNA-certified TVs.

Vivu produces a browser-based desktop videoconferencing and video webinar solutions. The company’s MXTP technology increases video intelligence on the desktop, allowing each endpoint to optimize video quality based on bandwidth, without affecting video quality of other endpoints. The new product line will be announced at the AMD booth (N231-N235) at CES 2011 in Las Vegas Jan 6 -9, 2011.

This article originally appeared on BestinUC.com on Jan. 3, 2011

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