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Tips for Using Adobe Connect with Low-Bandwidth

When planning an online meeting, it is important to be concious of your own technical environment, as well as the environment of all of your meeting participants.  Adobe Connect has a diverse set of features and functionality that you may use in a meeting, but some of them are best used when your audience has a reliable internet connection.

If you believe your users may be in internet constrained enironments, like on a 3G network, at a coffee shop, or in a remote international location, here are some tips for using Adobe Connect with low-bandwidth to create the best experience for everyone:

adobe connect iphoneSeparate Audio Dial-In: if people are using their phone for audio, then it takes load off the network.  PGi, MeetingOne, and a host of other audio options are available.

Adjust Yourself: Once in a connect room, select Meeting from the menu bar, select Preferences, select Room Bandwidth, and make sure your Optimized Room Bandwidth setting is for “Modem” if you know or suspect that some attendees will be using a slow connection.

Avoid Animations: Animations are great, but for participants in a low-bandwidth environment, the animations will be jumpy.  Instead of being engaging, the animations can simply serve as a distracting reminder that learners are not in a good internet environment.

Upload Videos: If your meeting is going to use a pre-recorded video, make sure you upload it before the meeting starts.  This will allow your meeting participants to watch the video, and only have the latency of downloading from the server.

Web Cams: in a bandwidth-constrained environment, we also recommend adjusting the video stream quality in the Preferences menu.  Additionally, it’s a good idea to limit the number of cameras streaming to one at a time.  Video is a great way to humanize a presentation, but if you have multiple presenters, it’s best to limit the camera to the person speaking.

Avoid Screen Sharing: When a person in screen sharing, they are uploading their stream to a server, which is then downloaded to computers.  With a poor connection, these actions can strain, and create a poor experience.  If you can upload a presentation instead of screen sharing, do that instead.  If you DO need to screenshare, go into your room preferences, and adjust the screenshare quality.

By following these tips for using Adobe Connect with low-bandwidth, you can ensure your participants have a better meeting experience.

Stories from the Front Lines

DISA’s Defense Connect Online: Connecting Our Armed Forces from Land, Sea and Air

There wasn’t anything particularly miraculous about Lamartrus Exley watching his wife give birth to the couple’s first child—unless you count the fact that Exley was in Kyrgyzstan while his wife was in the United Kingdom. Even then, you may not be impressed. Many of us have been using Skype and other social media tools to participate in important moments from afar for years.

The difference is, Lamartrus was a US Air Force staff sergeant assigned to the Transit Center at Manas while his wife Brittney was stationed as part of the Royal Air Force in Lakenheath. Being “together” required being on a secure channel, made possible by the Defense Connect Online (DCO), a military-grade unified communications system provided to all branches of the military by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and powered by a strategic partnership between Carahsoft, Adobe, and ConnectSolutions.

With one million users, it’s believed to be the largest unified communications network in the world.

Launched just over seven years ago, DCO helps the men and women of our nation’s Armed Forces stay connected regardless of where they’re deployed, whether it be land, sea or air. The system delivers a rich, multimedia experience with VoIP audio, video conferencing, real-time chat, file sharing, whiteboarding, screen sharing, and mobile device support. Users can use the system to host training webinars, connect with bases, and deploy troops, ships and jets all over the world.

DCO has enjoyed tremendous growth as it continues to help DISA foster stronger communication and collaboration within the ranks while dramatically cutting travel and training costs. DCO’s success is a model for how other globally dispersed organizations can benefit from unified communication capabilities.

Improving both classified and unclassified communication and collaboration on such a large scale is no easy task.  Users from all over the world must be connected across a wide range of equipment, regardless of OS, browser, bandwidth limit, or device—including desktop and, increasingly, mobile. And once everything is up and running, there’s a need for continuous maintenance and timely support.

ConnectSolutions is very proud of the role we’ve had in teaming with Carahsoft, Adobe, and DISA on DCO to ensure seamless integration of Adobe Connect and Jabber, while providing ongoing support that protects the system’s uptime and high performance across networks. And we’re humbled by the trust that’s been placed in our team, and how it has helped our Armed Forces globally respond to everything from care of refugees to natural disasters.

Two years ago, the Navy used DCO to help a civilian woman in labor with breech twins get specialized medical assistance on a ship in the middle of the sea. While DCO helped one man witness a birth, it helped others protect a birth.

That’s the power of connection.

ConnectSolutions and Enabling Technologies Partner for Cloud Hosting of Microsoft Lync

Enabling Technologies to be ConnectSolutions reseller partner

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — ConnectSolutions, the trusted private-cloud solutions provider for Adobe® Connect™ and Microsoft® Lync™, and Enabling Technologies the leading systems integrator of Microsoft Unified Communications systems today announced a strategic partnership for Enabling Technologies to resell the CoSo Meeting Cloud for Microsoft Lync

CoSo MeetingCloud for Microsoft Lync, is a trusted purpose-built managed private-cloud service offering for collaborative communications coupled with domain specific knowledge and expertise. CoSo MeetingCloud™ private managed service offerings are favored by organizations that require their collaboration systems be trusted to meet the stringent security, reliability, and scalability demands of mission-critical communications. CoSo customers understand that implementing complex collaboration systems is not in their core competency and prefer best-in-class services to ensure success.

A three-time Microsoft Worldwide UC Partner of the year, Enabling Technologies Corp. has successfully implemented nearly 1,000 unified communications projects within industries such as education, government, oil and gas, and healthcare. By working with ConnectSolutions, the company can now provide customers the option of a private cloud, managed hosted deployment for Microsoft Lync, with full voice capability and the ability to customize the solution to create additional value for customers.

Organizations will be able to purchased CoSo MeetingCloud for Microsoft Lync directly from Enabling Technologies beginning today.

About ConnectSolutions:

ConnectSolutions (CoSo) is the trusted private-cloud solutions provider for Adobe® Connect™ and Microsoft® Lync™.

With over 7 billion minutes of cloud collaboration delivered, CoSo products, services, and unrivaled expertise are relied upon by mid-market businesses, global enterprises and government agencies to deliver a superior customer experience in the deployment and ongoing management of mission-critical collaboration systems.

CoSo MeetingCloud™ private managed service offerings exceed the security, reliability and quality requirements of typical collaboration systems and are favored by organizations that need to trust the implementation and ongoing operations of mission-critical communications.

About Enabling Technologies:

Enabling Technologies is the leading systems integrator of Microsoft Unified Communications systems. Enabling has 20 years of messaging and real-time communications experience and over 600 deployments of Microsoft Lync/OCS, Exchange and Exchange Unified Messaging. Enabling’s tried-and-true processes have helped customers minimize risk, maximize existing investments, and optimize the end-user UC experience. Enabling takes an all-inclusive approach to projects, mastering the technical components while also optimizing the people and process side to technology rollouts. Having Enabling design, implement, and proactively monitor your Exchange and Lync systems is the first step to changing the way your workforce thinks about communications, for the better.

Media Contact: Debra Schleicher, ConnectSolutions, 415-343-7600

Gartner Places Microsoft Lync in Magic Quadrant

Gartner has placed Microsoft Lync in their Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications.

Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications. Gartner writes “UC offers the ability to significantly improve how individuals, groups and companies interact and perform.” The report identifies five UC characteristics that will impact the success of a product and the satisfaction of users, including the user experience, mobility, interoperability, cloud and hybrid and broad solution appeal.

Gartner and Microsoft Lync

Gartner lists these three key Microsoft Lync strengths:

  • Microsoft Lync continues to make significant gains in the market and is attractive to a broad range of enterprises. In many cases, it is initially deployed for its IM, presence and Web conferencing functionalities, with gradual incremental deployments of telephony and video added as follow-on phased deployments for specifically targeted groups or regions.
  • The vendor has significantly improved its go-to-market strategy for Lync during the last year, positioning itself to more adequately address the real-time communications requirements of enterprises over the next several years.
  • Microsoft has added video capabilities, including support for Lync room-based video systems and interoperability of standards-based video endpoints.
  • Customers report that Lync functions can be readily integrated into business processes and applications, providing new, different and effective ways to perform tasks. Often, these new functions are achieved by deploying Lync enhancements from a growing list of ecosystem partners.

Click here for more IT analyst reports on Microsoft products.
Click here for the full Gartner Unified Communications report.

Adobe Connect Add-In for Microsoft Outlook

There is now an Adobe Connect add-in for Microsoft Outlook, that will allow you to easily add your Connect room information to your calendar invites.  Instead of manually using a copy-and-paste function to add virtual meeting information, you can simply use your Outlook client.  Even better, Adobe has created a video to explain how to install the Adobe Connect add-in for Microsoft Outlook.  Watch it here:

By using this add-in, there will be a new Outlook tab dedicated to Adobe Connect, that will give you several options for easily adding Adobe Connect room information into your calendar events. The best part is that you can use a default room for your meetings, or create a new Connect room while you are scheduling. This is an especially useful feature for recurring meetings.

For more information from Adobe, please click here.

Record Lync Voicemail Greeting

Overview

This tutorial will help you record a personalized greeting for you callers prior to leaving a voice message. (Note: it is usually a good idea to write down a script of what you would like to say in your greeting ahead of time.)

Perequisites

You should have a TeamUP Enterpise Lync account with the Lync software installed and functional.

Calling Voice Mail

1. Log in to the Lync client and click the telephone icon.

2. Click the Voicemail options icon to the lower right of the dial pad.

3. Click the Change Greeting option.

Recording Your Greeting

The system will first play any greeting that you have already recorded. It will then ask if you would like to record a greeting.

  • Press 2 to change your greeting.
  • After the tone record your greeting. When you have completed your greeting, press the # key
  • Press 1 to accept your greeting.

What’s Next

After you have successfully recorded your greeting your callers will hear a personalized message from you. You can re-record your greeting as often as you like or the need arises.

Connect 9.3 Tutorials Available

New Adobe Connect 9.3 Tutorials are Avaiable from the Connect User Community.  These tutorials will help introduce you to new features and functionality available in Adobe Connect 9.3.

Here are the tutorials:

Using the Screen Sharing Control Panel: With the release of Adobe Connect 9.3, a new screen sharing control panel will automatically be launched whenever a user shares his or her screen. The control panel – which is never seen by anyone other than the person doing the screensharing – gives you the ability to see exactly what is being shared by showing you a preview.  In addition to the preview, the new screen sharing control panel also enables you to interact with the rest of the meeting. You’ve got access to the video pod, audio controls, attendees, chat, and notifications.  This video walks through some of the new features of the Adobe Connect screen sharing control panel.

Integration with Salesforce.com: Many marketers use Adobe Connect to produce webinars that generate leads. With Adobe Connect 9.3, we wanted to make it easy to invite your leads and contacts from Salesforce.com to your Adobe Connect events – but also to take the registrants from your Adobe Connect events and import them into Salesforce.com.  This integration make is easy to not only import and export lead, but it enables you to see how an individual answered registration questions and poll questions during an event to help qualify that lead.  This short video covers the integration between Adobe Connect and Salesforce.com.

Social Media Share Buttons: The Adobe Connect events module creates a beautiful microsite for each event you add. The purpose of the microsite is to inform and register users for your event. In short – it’s used to help you promote your event.  We’ve recently added a new feature to Adobe Connect which can help you spread the word even more quickly. Now, a prospective attendee who is looking at your microsite can share it with their followers on social media with the click of a button.   Twitter and Facebook buttons can now easily be added to your event templates and customized so that you can suggest text to share and event recommend accounts to follow. This video walks through the process of adding social media share buttons to your event template.

New Whiteboard Tools:  Adobe has an incredible legacy of creating some of the best drawing tools on the planet for both desktop and mobile apps. We’re now leveraging that technology to make our own tools for drawing and annotating in an Adobe Connect room.   We’ve created a consistent experience between desktop and mobile and we’ve designed the interface to work well whether you’re using your finger, stylus, or mouse. The whiteboard has a new toolbar that opens to the left. In addition to some new drawing tools, you’ll notice a new color picker that enables you to specify hue, saturation and birghtness values to select exactly the color you want.

 

 

Quick Tip: how to Transfer a Lync Call to Voicemail

Overview
This article quickly outlines how to forward an incoming call to a voicemail using your Lync client.

Process

  1. After answering a call, simply click the transfer button (the swooping arrow) in the Lync call window, click transfer to another person.
  2. Hover over the person in the list to whom you wish to transfer the call, click the arrow on the call button and click voicemail.

ConnectSolutions on List of Most Promising Microsoft Solution Providers

Microsoft Most Promising Solution ProvidersCIO Review has named ConnectSolutions to the list of the Most Promising Microsoft Solution Providers.

CIO Review writes that Microsoft has created software that is the backbone of virtually every organization, however navigating the landscape can difficult without a solution partner. ConnectSolutions work hosting Microsoft Lync with full Enterprise Voice features and functionality helped earn a place on the list.

Here’s an except from the article:

ConnectSolutions is a Microsoft solution provider offering a full array of communication and collaboration solutions. The company help its clients effectively communicate across the globe using Lync. Hosting Lync along with all the functions the clients require, like Enterprise Voice, ConnectSolutions manages the communication process on its client’s behalf, optimizing its cost effectiveness. The service billing is based upon the minute usage of the communication platform.

 

“Our customers get the advantages of an onpremise Lync Server deployment without dedicating resources to manage it,” says Michael Fitzpatrick Jr., a real-time web communication technology specialist and CEO & co-founder of ConnectSolutions.

 

The firm also integrates with Microsoft’s Office 365 offering unified messaging and auto-attendant facility as an add-on to the client’s Lync deployment. ConnectSolutions stays ahead of the crowd through its services that helps the clients manage their account with a self-service portal allowing them to provision new users, and easily generate new phone numbers.

 

“With our CoSoTeamUP, anyone can go to our website and deploy Microsoft Lync with full Enterprise Voice in just a few minutes, with a free 30-day trial so you can run a pilot, or deploy your whole organization. It’s the only Microsoft Lync solution that allows this instant-on experience,” says Fitzpatrick.

To read a full article here.

Adobe Connect 9.3 Upgrades Start September 29

Adobe Connect 9.3 Upgrades are coming!  Adobe will begin upgrading the Connect accounts they are hosting begining on September 29.  This is for all accounts that are hosted by Adobe.  You will receive an email directly from Adobe 30-days before your scheduled upgrade.

To find out when your account is scheduled to be upgraded, CLICK HERE and input your URL into the box in the collumn on the right.

 

Adobe Connect 9.3 Upgrade

 

The upgrade to Adobe Connect 9.3 includes improvements to the white board pod, and a number of other exciting features.  To learn more about Connect 9.3, including new features and functionality, please visit our post HERE.

Adobe has also created great tutorials that can help you prepare for the upgrade, or use to train your team once your upgrade occurs.  You can access them through the Adobe Connect User Community.

If you use Connect as a part of ConnectSolutions managed services, there will be no automatic upgrade to 9.3 or any other version of Connect.  The upgrade happens only after consultation with your Enablement team member.  To discuss Adobe Connect 9.3 upgrades or any other issues, please contant your Enablement Representative.