Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 .

Brian Peterson is VP of Product Engineering and co-founder at Switch Communications, specializing in web development, cloud services and databases. Before Switch Communications, Brian was at Google for eight years, where he spent most of his time working on the Google Voice team and leading the transition of GrandCentral’s technology onto Google’s infrastructure.  

Brian Peterson and John Rector, co-founders of Switch Communications

We built both UberConference and Switch.co on Google Cloud Platform using WebRTC. Our goal from the beginning was to bring innovation to some of the obvious problems with conference calls and business phone systems, making them relevant and useful again. We wanted to develop our products for the way we work today — faster, more mobile, and across multiple platforms and devices. WebRTC helped us do that.

WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers (right now, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera) with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities.

Why is that cool?

It’s cool because it’s a way to get very high-quality, secure VoIP to your browser (for free), without having to install any extra plug-in.

WebRTC uses the Opus Codec, which offers the best audio experience out there. Not only does it give your Switch.co and UberConference calls HD audio, but it also handles dynamic network conditions by adjusting to the available bandwith wherever you are.

UberConference was one of the earliest WebRTC adopters, launching at Google I/O in 2013 – just one week after Google released it. With WebRTC implemented into UberConference, our users can connect to their calls in real-time without having to leave their browsers and make international calls through the browser at no cost.

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For similar reasons, Switch.co uses WebRTC for voice communication through your desktop. It’s available without any extra software across Windows, Mac, Chromebooks, and even Linux, and because of its cross-platform capabilities, WebRTC allowed us to deploy the Switch.co native app instantaneously across all platforms, instead of having to build separately for each one. It allows for a more streamlined experience for developers, but also lets us roll out the app faster for users on any platform.

Because Switch.co is a Chrome web app, WebRTC is already built in and users only need to have Chrome to use it. Just like with UberConference, it gives Switch.co users HD audio and lets them call internationally for free when making and answering calls from the desktop.

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WebRTC is game changing, and it’s paving the way for whole new types of web applications like Switch.co and UberConference. We do our best to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to advancing the quality and accessibility of our products, and as the WebRTC standard becomes available in more browsers, we plan to build accordingly.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 .

We do our best to listen to feedback from our customers, and we’ve been hearing quite a few requests to give UberConference organizers the ability to choose who receives the summary emails sent after each conference call.

We originally implemented this feature to give meetings more context. The summary emails contain links to any shared documents or recordings, correlating with meeting notes for reference. They also include interesting stats, like who was there and who talked the most and the least.

If UberConference Pro and Business organizers would rather not have the email summaries sent to every participant after the conference ends, they now have the ability to manage that in their settings.

To specify who should receive the conference summaries, go to uberconference.com/settings (when logged in), and scroll all the way down to the “Notification Preferences” section. Under “Call Summary,” you will see the option to disable or enable the conference call summary for participants or for yourself. Don’t forget to click on the “Save Changes” button on the bottom of the page.

 

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We’re continuously trying to make Business features more robust for our customers, and disabling call summary emails is just one of the many ways you can customize your conference calls with UberConference Business. Business users also get advanced features like custom hold music, up to 100 callers, dial out to add guests to call, local conference phone numbers, and more.

UberConference Free users still maintain control over the summary emails for themselves.

Follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop on all things UberConference! @uberconference

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 .

UberConference and Enplug: using visual displays to connect in a new way.

Enplug digital signage is one of the youngest and fastest growing startups in Silicon Beach. They were founded in 2012 and are currently in over 100 cities with around 35 employees. They are in over 400 venues with clients including Audi, Porsche, Marriott, Supperclub, WeWork and Amoeba music.

Enplug’s Plug and Play mini device turns any TV or digital display into an interactive and real-time marketing tool for businesses. After plugging the device into a TV, businesses choose from a wide-array of apps to display including live social media walls, live weather, live news and more.

Their most popular app is the Live Social Wall, which allows businesses to display a real-time feed of any hashtag or username from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Foursquare, and Yelp.

Businesses can control their Enplug displays from the ‘Enplug Control’ app, available on any smartphone, tablet, or desktop.

Their company, with employees all over the world traveling to onboard new systems, is constantly on the go. They needed a solution that would help them maintain efficiency and was in tune with their focus on design.

“One of the coolest things we do is turn our Enplug displays around the office — which we have about 30 of — into UberConference displays for sales, marketing, engineering, and operations meetings,” said Ryan Gushue, Director of Marketing at Enplug. “We attach a camera to them so people calling in can feel like they are here, in the meeting. With Enplug displays on every major continent, and only 35 employees, the ability to effectively communicate regardless of distance is essential for our growth.”

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 .

Telecom technology review company Software Advice, recently put together a list of key findings regarding the way that employees utilize video and teleconferencing in the modern workplace. They spoke to over 389 workers on how they do remote meetings and what features and services they prefer.

Let’s break down the three key findings from the report:

 

1) Most employees surveyed used both audio and videoconferencing, with 39 percent relying “mostly” on audio conferencing and 31 percent using both equally.

frequency-of-usage-audio-vs-video-conferencing

While videoconferencing is growing in popularity, we at UberConference believe that sharing can be done in a mutlitude of ways. While facial features and body language are an important component of video conferences, having a clear audio connection is the only way they can truly work.

 

2) Employees preferred videoconferencing for training and customer support contexts, and preferred audio conferencing for internal communications.

Our very own Hugo Romano, product manager for UberConference, was featured in the article explaining: “If you’re meeting a person for the first time, you need to see body language to understand how she or he communicates.” This is especially true when trying to walk someone through a product demonstration or support inquiry.

 

3) Employees liked the ease of setup that audio conferencing provides, while they liked the ability to read body language through videoconferencing.

Both features have their strengths and we believe UberConference, with screen sharing and document sharing capabilities can provide a rich end user experience.

Read the full report here.

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 .

We want to thank <re/code> for recently reviewing UberConference and making a great video highlighting how our product eliminates frustrations around conference calls. After walking through a play on our design, the team shared how UberConference can help make meetings run more efficiently.

“My favorite thing about UberConference is that it lets you see a visual representation of everyone on the call via its Web page or app. People are represented by tiles with names and images of themselves. This means you won’t have to ask things like, ‘Is Jessica still on the call, or did she hang up earlier?’” -Katherine Boheret