Author Archives: Lisa Avvocato

Preparing for a Successful Video Interview

January 28th, 2013 | Posted by Lisa Avvocato in Video Conferencing - (0 Comments)

Recruiting is a high-stakes industry with everyone vying for the best and brightest candidates. Efficiency is crucial for recruiters; quickly sifting through applications and screening applicants can often make the difference between finding and missing the perfect candidate. As a result, more organizations are turning to video interviews to help qualify applicants faster and lower travel expenses.

This can be quite the change for both seasoned veterans and those entering the workplace for the first time. Seasoned veterans may have a difficult time figuring out how to work the technology while first time applicants might have a difficult time with the professionalism required for an interview.

Here are a few tips should to help make the process smoother should you find yourself accepting a video interview:

Pick an Appropriate Location
While you can hide your bedroom or messy office over the phone, you cannot over video. Prior to joining a video interview, ensure that your surroundings are tidy and professional. The background of your video call says as much, if not more, about you than your responses to the questions. For example, a messy office can convey an unorganized and haphazard candidate while a tidy office can convey a detail oriented candidate. Additionally, be mindful of any pets or additional distractions. Having your roommate in the background or a cat climbing over your computer is not professional either.

Test the Connection
Approximately an hour before the interview log into your computer and connect to a video conference with a friend or family member. This will help ensure your video software is set up properly; for example your camera and microphone are properly configured so the interviewer can hear you and the speakers are working so you can clearly hear the interviewer. This will also ensure your network has enough bandwidth to support a video call. Remember, failing to show up for a video interview is just as detrimental as failing to show up for a physical interview.

Dress Appropriately
Planning the perfect outfit is just as important for a video interview. Stick with solid colors and avoid busy patterns and bright colors (even a striped shirt can be distracting over video). Most importantly, do not wear casual bottoms with a professional top. The last thing you want is the interviewer to see your jeans or pajama bottoms if you have to stand up or shift in your seat for any reason.

Look at the Camera, Not the Screen
Eye contact is critical for any interview; therefore ensure the webcam is set up to maximize eye contact. When answering questions look directly at the camera frequently instead of staring at the screen. This may take some practice as it is counterintuitive not to look at your interviewers but it adds a nice touch.

Just like an in person interview, preparations must be made in order to ensure the most successful meeting possible. In addition to the suggestions above, make sure you understand the company you are interviewing with, their offerings and any important news surround the organization. The more informed you are, the more attractive of a candidate you will be.

The Future of Telehealth (and Your Couch)

January 23rd, 2013 | Posted by Lisa Avvocato in Healthcare | Video Conferencing - (0 Comments)

Significant advancements in video conferencing technology have allowed for greater accessibility and interoperability. As a result, video is becoming more integrated into consumers’ professional and personal lives. This opens significant opportunity in business-to-consumer video which can have a dramatic impact on the way we view and receive healthcare.

Picture yourself sitting in a waiting room with several other patients who all seem to be spreading their contagious ailments through coughing and sneezing. It’s not very appealing, so perhaps you decide to “wait out” your symptoms or Google them for a self-diagnosis. Unfortunately, the internet can easily turn a simple upset stomach into appendicitis and send you rushing to the emergency room in a panic.

Now picture yourself sitting on the couch or even at your desk between meetings and connecting to a doctor, nurse or other medical professional via video. You can list your symptoms, ask questions and receive medical advice without driving to the doctor’s office. The medical professional can then let you know if you most likely have an upset stomach (take some Pepto and if you don’t feel better in a couple of days make an appointment) or appendicitis (go to the emergency room right away).

Advancements in video technology are making this possible; which is not only great for patients but for medical facilities as well. Waiting rooms will be less crowded because patients will only go to the office when a physical visit is required. Post-operational follow ups or other routine visits can also be conducted over video at a central location while rural hospitals can have access to medical specialists creating numerous efficiencies and revolutionizing the healthcare industry!

Check out this quick video from American Telemedicine Association (ATA) that demonstrates the future of telehealth.

 

VGo Telepresence Robot Roams Free

January 15th, 2013 | Posted by Lisa Avvocato in Education | Healthcare | Video Conferencing - (0 Comments)

Video conferencing on mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, is no longer a new concept. Neither are telepresence robots which allows remote participants to not only see, hear and talk; but also move around. However, the latest version of the VGO Telepresence Robot is now equipped with Verizon LTE giving the solution an even wider range.

Previous models could only connect via WiFi and, unfortunately, a WiFi connection isn’t always available. The value of robotic telepresence is the ability to move around and converse with classmates or colleagues freely; not trying to stay within reach of WiFi signal. With Verizon LTE built into the device, VGo users no longer have to worry whether or not they can access the internet.Remote manager can easily check in with teams or troubleshoot issues on the manufacturing line and healthcare organizations can monitor patients and increase expert availability.

Not to mention students, like Lyndon Baty, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend school because of medical conditions now have the opportunity to interact with classmates. The Verizon Foundation supports projects that apply technology to improve education and is delivering VGos to 15 institutions nationwide.

 

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2012

December 27th, 2012 | Posted by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration | Unified Communications | Video Conferencing - (0 Comments)

As another year comes to an end it’s time to reflect on the previous year and create new goals for the coming year. Video conferencing has become ever present, cloud services are continuing to grow and collaboration technology is becoming even cooler.  Here is a look at some of the top blog posts from 2012. We hope you enjoyed reading them as much as we enjoyed writing them!

Have a wonderful and safe New Year and we’ll see you in 2013!

Top Blog Posts of 2012:

IT Conundrum: Do It Yourself or Embrace the Cloud?
The prevalence of cloud services has sparked a debate among IT professionals about whether to handle all IT components in-house or to outsource components to cloud service providers.

Video Conferencing Adoption – The Time Has Come!
An integrated approach to video conferencing adoption must be implemented because the impact of new technology reaches beyond the equipment and affects the people and the process within an organization.

The Exponential Power of Video Conferencing
Understanding the Collaboration Curve, and how casual interactions among colleagues and business partners spark creativity, can help organizations drive innovation within their organization.

Video Conferencing and Fighting for Freedom
A patriotic (and personal) look at how communication has changed and video conferencing has helped military members stationed overseas stay in touch with friends and family.

Stop Being Such a Video-phobe!
Getting over the hurdle of being afraid or making excuses not to be on video can be challenging; but in the end the advantages of using it far outweigh any negative feelings you may have.

Using Collaboration to Increase Customer Lifetime Value
The more companies converse with customers and the stronger the relationship is; the more apt customers are to provide honest feedback which can help drive innovation.

Telemedicine Reimbursement – The Time is Now!
Health care organizations throughout the world continue to implement telemedicine; however a major challenge has been the lack of parity from insurance organizations.

The Promise of Unified Communications and the Cloud
A look at some of the roadblocks that prevent true ubiquity of UC solutions throughout enterprise organizations and how cloud service can help overcome some of these challenges.

The New Science of Building Great Teams
An interesting take on building effective teams and achieving a high level of cohesion among team members. How we communicate is actually more important than what we communication.

The Essential Role of Human Resources
HR departments can utilize video conferencing solutions in a variety of different ways to increase communication and expedite many of the functions within the department.

Collaboration Trends for 2013

December 13th, 2012 | Posted by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration | Industry News - (0 Comments)

When you think about collaboration what comes to mind? Perhaps you see a bunch of colleagues sitting around a table talking about different ideas or topics. Maybe you see a presentation or document displayed while meeting participants make comments and take notes. On the other hand, you might see a person standing by the whiteboard writing down ideas for new products, positioning strategy, or other key business decisions that need to be made. Participants are generally confined to their chairs; especially if they’re meeting over video and need to stay within view of the camera.

However, collaboration and the creativity that results in innovation is much messier – for lack of a better word. Not only do participants need to get up and walk around, they frequently jump from one topic or document to another topic or document. Ideas need to be voiced, and more importantly, written down as quickly as possible before their train of thought has vanished.

A new set of collaboration tools and technologies are being developed to help enhance the interactive aspect of collaboration. Participants will be able to work together effortlessly, whether they’re located in the same room or across the globe. The future of collaboration will be more dynamic and intuitive; the tools will help organize the mess without removing the freedom needed to inspire creativity.

Here is a look at some of the new technologies that will help shape the future of collaboration by making it more interactive and engaging.

  • SMART Freestorm solutions are a combination of interactive whiteboards and displays that allow participants to display documents, videos or websites then write over them with digital ink. Multiple participants can work on the same content simultaneously and annotate each other’s documents regardless of location. All ideas and notes can then be saved and emailed to anyone that needs them eliminating the need for someone taking notes separately on the computer, or worse, having to take a picture of the whiteboard each time you need to erase it for more space.
  • Cisco’s Active Collaboration Room adds another layer of interactivity by freeing remote participants from the confines of a chair. The room fosters an engaging environment by allowing participants to stand up and move around the room all while being captured by video. Additionally, enhancements to Cisco WebEx allow participants to create and annotate documents in real time through interactive whiteboards while still maintaining the highest level of audio and video quality.
  • Cyviz Bizwall takes collaboration to the next level by providing a high resolution, wide display that allows meeting participants to add and switch between different sources of content. Multiple sources can be displayed simultaneously; plus the system can be enabled for stereo 3D and rotated systems. Participants can not only see granular details in product quality but also view “the big picture” for product renderings or building plans.

All three of these solutions offer unique value and help transform collaboration for both local and remote participants. Collaboration becomes more dynamic as the technology eliminates inefficiencies like multiple working documents or having a designated note taker. These solutions also allow remote teams to work together in a more realistic way by combining the visual aspect of video conferencing with the interactivity needed for content creation.