A free audio conferencing service with a visual interface, ÜberConference solves the most common problems faced in teleconferencing including making a conference easy to join, knowing who is participating, knowing who is speaking, and making advanced features easy to use.
We are happy to announce that UberConference is launching its packaged app in the Chrome Web Store today. The app is an upgrade to the version that was previewed at Google I/O last May in San Francisco. Google has worked closely together with UberConference to include it in this consumer preview of its Chrome Packaged App initiative.
UberConference’s packaged app provides an updated user interface and makes it easy to start, schedule, and be notified about upcoming conferences - independent of the browser. Packaged apps benefit users by delivering the performance of standalone applications; instantaneous responsiveness, ability to be always-on in the background, and the simplicity of launching from the Start menu with the ease and convenience of the Chrome Web Store.
My first job was working as a sales manager at computer giant CDW, a large computer company in Chicago, where I chatted on the phone all day with I.T. directors and helpdesk managers.
Most of my clients were I.T. guys who worked at the helpdesk and were responsible for keeping the company’s technology infrastructure up and running.
When tech support issues are straightforward, I.T. professionals resolve them with a quick phone call, instant message, or email to the customer.
When tech support issues cannot be resolved immediately, the standard protocol is to log the issue as a ticket in a helpdesk ticket tracking system like Mojo Helpdesk. From there, the ticket is assigned to an expert, or team of experts, who can most efficiently resolve the issue.
Sometimes you’ll have up to 3-4 employees getting involved to solve a support ticket. This is where the combination of a ticket tracking system like Mojo and a conference calling system like UberConference can start to aid internal efficiency.
Instead of flooding a support ticket with ton of comments and creating a confusing ticket thread that’s hard to follow, the support staff can hold a conference call to resolve the customer issue, using the helpdesk ticket as a reference during the discussion.
Very frequently, support staff can accomplish more in a 5-minute conference call than they can by exchanging 20+ emails.
Even if the conference call doesn’t fully resolve the issue, support staff can record the call, and make note of outstanding follow ups.
Those follow-ups can be added as tickets in Mojo and then assigned to the appropriate topic experts, and tracked to completion (i.e. the answer is sent to the customer). Once the ticket is solved, Mojo saves it automatically for future reference in case another customer has a similar issue.
We’re excited to invite you to UberConference’s first webinar, where we’ll be talking about business success secrets with best selling author Rohit Bhargava and giving away a free copy of his latest eBook, Always Eat Left-Handed.
Over the last 5 years, Rohit has written three of the best (and highest-selling) marketing books out there: Personality Not Included and last year’s Likeonomics, which was shortlisted for the 800CEORead 2012 Best Marketing/Sales Book Award.
In this one-hour webinar, I’m going to interview him on the 15 Surprisingly Simple Secrets of Success that he discovered, writing Always Eat Left-Handed.
To register for the webinar, and receive a free copy of Rohit Bhargava’s new eBook, Always Eat Left-Handed (a $10 value), click below.
At UberConference, I do a ton of calls - usually 1 or 2 every day. I’ve been doing conference calls since I was 21. I began my career in sales, selling hardware and software for a Fortune 500 Chicago tech company.
This was 1999, and one of the things that the company didn’t tell me, when they were recruiting me, was that I’d be spending 7 or 8 hours a day on sales calls, on the phone. (It was pretty naive of me to assume that being a corporate account manager meant something other than that, huh?). I really wish that before I’d taken that job, and before I’d started my own business, that I got a bit of sales advice about conference call outcomes.
Six weeks into the job, when I began taking my first sales phone calls, small business customers called in over what was called “the sequencer.” Essentially, it was the company’s 1-800 number; marketing then consisted of hundreds of thousands of computer hardware and software catalogs, mailed to pretty much every company in the USA with more than 5 employees.
Sometimes you got a great sales call off of the sequencer - perhaps you’d get a 5-laptop order, worth roughly $100 in commission. Sometimes it was someone cold-calling from Miami trying to order 20 laptops - those deals were nearly always fraudulent.
The goal of these early calls was “sell something on every call.” What I didn’t realize, at the time, was that the goal of every sales call is definitely not “to sell something.” It’s to help the buyer make a yes-or-no decision that they feel really good about.
One thing I’ve learned in sales, especially from reading Skip Miller’s books, Proactive Selling and Proactive Sales Management, is that the sales process involves getting agreement from the buyer (and everyone that works with the buyer) on a series of intricate yes-or-no decisions. Yeses are great. No’s are pretty darn good, too. It’s the “maybes”, says Miller, that will kill you.
When a sales meeting results in a “no,” it means that the seller has encountered what’s called a “basic objection.” Usually, it’s one of 4 problems: buyer has no need, buyer has no budget, buyer has no authority, or buyer has no urgency. Most of the last three are linked to the first one - the fact that the buyer either has no genuine need, or the seller did a lousy job helping the buyer figure out if he had any need.
If the meeting doesn’t end in a “yes” or a “no” on the next buying action, then the meeting was not a successful meeting. The fancy name for maybes, in sales, are “continuances.” What they really are is a failure to accomplish anything substantial in the sales meeting.
When you’re planning a sales meeting, meeting objectives is much easier, if you think of everything from the buyer’s perspective, and the buyer’s objective. Here are four questions to ask yourself when doing your sales meeting prep:
What qualifies as an advance to the next stage in the buying process on this call? How will I know when my buyer has advanced to that next stage?
What critical yes/no decisions would my buyer need to make in this meeting?
Have I communicated the meeting’s agenda to my buyer in advance, and adequately prepared the buyer for the meeting?
Do I have validation from the buyer that the meeting’s agendas meet his buying objectives, business pain and need?
One other thing that I do after my calls - immediately after the end of the call - is allow an extra 10 minutes on my calendar to do a wrap-up. This is where I enter the necessary info into my CRM system (Salesforce), and plan what decisions I’d need to help my customer make on the next call. Give that a shot the next time you finish a sales UberConference - I think you’ll be pretty surprised by the results.
by Brian Peterson, co-founder and VP of Front-End Engineering
Today we announced that UberConference will showcase its packaged app in the Google I/O Developer Sandbox on May 16 & 17. Google I/O is an annual developer conference featuring highly technical, in-depth sessions, and showcasing the latest from Google’s product teams and partners. The UberConference team has been invited to demonstrate its implementation of WebRTC in packaged apps and connect with I/O attendees developer-to-developer to answer questions and exchange ideas. Packaged apps’ cross platform capabilities will allow UberConference to run smoothly on Chromebooks, Windows and Mac, requiring code only to be written once.
Our implementation of WebRTC in packaged apps delivers a more seamless and powerful WebRTC experience to our users. Once installed, the user never has to click ‘allow’ again to enable a WebRTC connection to UberConference. Another benefit stems from packaged apps’ native-app-like capabilities. As an example, if you have a conference call starting, we can notify you on your desktop whether or not you have the browser open, and you can see or join the conference directly from the app.
If you are going to be at Google I/O, make sure to stop by and see us.
So, what is Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC), anyway? The idea isn’t new but people who use voice and video conferencing are beginning to hear it every day. At UberConference we use it to make it easy to join conference calls over the Internet from anywhere.
WebRTC allows real-time voice, video, and data to stream between two people using a web browser. There’s no need for plugins or third-party software, only the latest Chrome or Firefox.
Until recently, web browsers were where you did pretty much everything except conferencing - web surfing, email, watching videos. However, the biggest disadvantage of the web browser was that it was lousy at two-way voice and video calls.
That kind of real-time communication had been challenging for companies for many years because the voice and video compression-decompression algorithms (called codecs) were really expensive. Only a few companies owned them, and they charged pricey licensing fees. In addition, browsers could only request data or send it upon request, not send and receive it in real time, as video chat requires.
To understand this, consider that browsers have been evolving ever since their creation to allow us to do more and more on the web. Plugins were introduced in the mid-late ’90s, which allowed developers to play videos with flash, facilitating a move toward the beginning of video communication. Then, in 2004, the browser language HTML5 developed the <audio> and <video> tags to allow this multimedia content to live in your browser without the need of a plugin. However, real time communication (RTC) remained a challenge because browsers lacked a method to send and receive data in real time, and often the stumbling block were the expensive codecs used to interpret the media communications between users.
For WebRTC to be truly effective, everyone needed access to the high quality codecs. In 2010 Google took on the challenge and purchased two companies: GIPS and On2. This turned the VoIP market on its head.
Here’s why: GIPS was a leading provider of VoIP codecs, On2 had a video codec that rivaled the H.26 standard. And Google open sourced them both, giving the RTC industry a giant push forward.
That’s why WebRTC has been a big deal for UberConference and for all Internet users. It lets them conference in real-time without having to mess around with applications or phones or leave their web browser.
This is a huge benefit for emerging companies, who, ten years ago, would have paid significantly higher costs for hardware and services to set everything up. They can now build their companies with a much lighter - and cheaper- footprint. Now that’s something to call your CEO about.
It’s always a pleasure to speak at local events hosted by prestigious organizations such as Silicon Valley Bank, so we were pleased when Craig was invited to present at their 2013 CEO Summit on the topic: BE BOLD. Craig’s own experiences at Dialpad, Yahoo, GrandCentral and Google certainly informed his presentation but he reached further back in history to examples that resonate with us today from the likes of Helen Keller and Teddy Roosevelt.
Demoing your startup’s new product without PowerPoint is tough. Competing for an award judged by two very experienced CEOs and a highly respected VC is even tougher.
Hosted by former TechCrunch co-editor (now current DEMO Conference Exec Producer) Erick Schoenfeld, the inaugural DEMO Mobile in San Francisco had UberConference CEO Craig Walker sitting with Garrett Camp, Founder & Chairman of Uber and StumbleUpon and Chi-Hua Chien, General Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. (Yes, the UberConference team are Über users - we get asked that one a lot.)
This year’s mobile-and-productivity class included FieldLens, Tylr Mobile, TouchMail, and Altia Systems, who walked away with a DEMOGod award. UberConference CEO Craig Walker actually launched his previous company GrandCentral (today known as Google Voice) at the Demo Conference in 2006.
We’re pretty big fans of mobile here at Firespotter - so far we’ve released 4 mobile apps in the last 18 months. So, when a great mobile conference like the sold-out D:Dive Into Mobile comes up, we had to be there. Where else can you get a line on where mobile technologies are going and hear from all of the movers and shakers in mobile in a jam-packed 2 days?
Hosted by Bay Area journalists Ina Fried and Liz Gannes, in collaboration with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, D: Dive Into Mobile gave a bird’s-eye view of many of the emergent issues in the mobile space. Here are five big ones that stood out at the conference.
Facebook’s new CTO Mike Schroepfer spoke to Facebook’s biggest mobile challenge - following the migration of his company’s billion-plus users from the Web to mobile.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt gave the low-down Google’s wide-ranging mobile efforts - from Android to Chrome, Admob to YouTube. In a separate talk, Google’s Jason Spero and Millennial Media’s Mollie Spilman went over the importance of tracking user behavior for mobile ads. Spero noted that mobile refers more to a specific context, rather than a use case.
Waze CEO Noam Bardin talked about his company’s subtle advantage over Google - they’ve got 44 million users and 70,000 volunteer map editors. So far, they’ve validated a billion and a half kilometers (about 932 million miles) of roads. Note: One of Craig’s favorite apps!
Intel’s Mike Bell and Microsoft’s Terry Myerson - two brands not known for robust mobile presence - gave separate talks to argue why their company shouldn’t be counted out in the transition to the golden age of mobile strategies.
Movile CEO Fabricio Bloisi Rocha explained how the lower penetration of smartphones into Latin America market will be turned around in coming years by an increase Wi-Fi connections and cheaper prices.
Thanks again to D: All Things Digital founders Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher for hosting such an awesome conference. To stay on top of all of their mobile coverage, go here, and here’s the coverage of the entire conference.