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ConnectSolutions Blog

Art of Collaboration

Creating Your Enterprise Collaboration Strategy

Before the telephone, if you wanted to talk to someone, you had to be in the same room with them. But by 1880—just two years after the first telephone line was constructed—nearly 50,000 telephones were in use. By 1900, that number grew to 600,000 phones. It was a boon for businesses. A practical, cost-effective method of communication that some say paved the way for skyscrapers.

Fast forward to 2015, and the phone is just one of many tools that allow people to communicate regardless of the distance between them. Email, instant messaging, mobile texting, web conferencing, collaboration software—these are just a few of the tools that are readily and often freely available.

But sometimes, these tools can get in the way of their own intended purpose, especially in the workplace where employees must grapple with the proper application and varying forms of etiquette for each tool. Is it okay to send your co-worker a text message at 11:30 p.m. to inform them of a meeting change? Are other co-workers uncomfortable with video calls on Skype? Given all the open lines of siloed communications, is real work getting accomplished? Is it aligned with the original objectives? Can these messages be easily found when needed later? Are off-site employees truly in tune with on-site teams? Are globally-dispersed organizations truly moving as one?

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Stories from the Front Lines

Why Replication and Persistence in UC Matters

Why is replication and persistence in today’s UC systems important? Consider Defense Connect Online (DCO).

DCO is a military-grade unified communications system set up, powered and maintained by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Adobe, and ConnectSolutions. With one million users, it’s by far 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.

ConnectSolutions developed the proprietary software that allows our nation’s military to have multiple sites replicating data in real time. In the event of any kind of outage or failure, the system automatically switches to the back-up site.

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Tips for Using Adobe Connect with Low-Bandwidth

adobe connect iphone 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:

Separate 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.

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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.
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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
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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: Read More »

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.
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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.
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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.
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