Friday, April 11th, 2014 .

Last week, we began our analysis of the eleven types of people who can ruin a perfectly good teleconference.  We looked at the Repeating Everything Everyone Else Already Said Guy and the Irrelevant Topic Gal.  These are about two of eleven types Conference Call Ruiners have identified in my academic research.  (Please note my credentials: I am ABD (all but dissertation) at the University of Duluth (France) in Human Behavior, so I think I can confidently state I AM an expert.

Today we’re going to look at the Completely Unrelated Anecdote Guy and the Hello? Is This Thing Working? Gal.

First up: the Completely Unrelated Anecdote Guy. At first, this type can be charming.  He’s got a million great stories: his life on the high seas as a crab fisherman, the years he spent in minor league hockey, cutthroat tales on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  Oh, I could go on and on.  And so could he.

Here’s how this thing sort of plays out:

CALLER 1: Now as far as the language in Hold Harmless sections here.

CALLER 2: It’s fairly standard language.

CALLER 1: And that’s our problem –

COMPLETELY UNRELATED ANECDOTE GUY: Did I ever tell you guys about the wrestling match I was in in the Phillipines back in 1979?

CALLER 1: What?!  What does that have to do with what we’re talking about?

COMPLETELY UNRELATED ANECDOTE GUY: Well, we’re talking about holds here, right?  Let me tell you, I was working the professional circuit in those days.  Very popular character: Uncle Sam the Hammer.  Patriotic type.  Striped pants.  Red, white and blue outfit.  Top hat.  Although in the Phillipines, the Uncle Sam the Hammer character was a villain.  Anyway, one particularly steamy night in Manila –

CALLER 2: Excuse me, but what does this have to do with the Hold Harmless language?

COMPLETELY UNRELATED ANECDOTE GUY: I’m talking about a hold that wasn’t harmless.  In fact, I’ve problems with regular urination since then.

CALLER 1: Eeeeww!  Get out you.  Hang up on him.

COMPLETELY UNRELATED ANECDOTE GUY: I was at a hanging once.

The Completely Unrelated Anecdote basically is a narcissist. They are staring into every situation and seeing themselves. In the Greek myth of Narcissus, Narcissus was so enamoured of themselves as he stared into his reflection in a pond and then fell in and drown.

Similarly, the best way to manage this person on a conference call is to let them know two things:

1. If they tell one more anecdote, they will be hung up on.
2. You’re not kidding.

They will respond thusly: “Sorry. You know, I worked in the merchant marine once with a guy who had a million stories.”

Once this happens, you will hang up on the person. When they call back in, remind them you weren’t kidding. And that you have one finger on the hangup button on their line.

We now come to the Hello? Is Thing Working? Hello? Gal.

The answer is: Yes. Yes, it’s working. Stop asking that question. We all know you can hear us. Stop pretending. It goes like this:

CALLER 1: Okay, as far as Thursday’s agenda,

HELLO GAL: Hello? Hello?

CALLER 2: Yeah, Denise. We hear you.

HELLO GAL: Is this thing working?

CALLER 1: Yes, it’s working. Now, as far as Thursday–

HELLO GAL: Can you all hear me?

CALLER 2: Yes, we can hear you.

HELLO GAL: I can hear you guys. But can you hear me? Hello?

CALLER 1: YES!  WE CAN HEAR YOU!

HELLO GAL: Gosh, Bob, you don’t have to yell.

CALLER 1: Good. Thursday’s agenda will have–

HELLO GAL: Hello? I think I just lost the connection. Are you all there?

At this point, things are about to turn ugly. What all of you could do is start yelling at her. But what does that get you? Nothing, my friends. Here’s what you all do. Sit perfectly still for a minute, all of you. Nobody moves or makes a sound.

She’ll keep asking if you’re and when you don’t respond, she’ll think she’s lost the call. She’ll hang up and you’re in the clear. You can finish the call without her.

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 .

Today we announced that UberConference will showcase its packaged app in the Google I/O Developer Sandbox on May 16 & 17. Google I/Ois 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 allowUberConference to run smoothly on Chromebooks, Windows and Mac, requiring code only to be written once.imageOur 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.

image

Monday, August 18th, 2014 .

UberConference has been nominated as a Best Business App in the Evernote Platform Awards. Vote for UberConference now through August 31, 2014.

The Evernote Platform Awards recognize the tools that help us become “more productive in [y]our daily work life”. Apps are judged on the following criteria: design, development, utility, and originality in how they integrate to the Evernote experience.

UberConference for Evernote allows users to create and manage conference calls more effectively. To understand the integration, here’s how UberConference and Evernote work together:

Evernote UberConference
Create a meeting agenda Schedule a call and add it to your calendar
Take notes in Evernote Record the call
Agenda + notes + call recording + summary organized in your Evernote account Call recording + summary in your UberConference account


evernote&UC

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 .

hero_weather_channel

With about 1,300 employees globally and headquarters located in Atlanta, Georgia, The Weather Company is perhaps best known for its American television staple, The Weather Channel. Owned as a joint venture between NBCUniversal and investment firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, the channel not only broadcasts weather forecasts and weather related news, but also features documentaries and entertainment programming related to weather. In addition to its programming on the cable channel, TWC also provides forecasts for terrestrial and satellite radio stations, newspapers, websites, and professional weather services. It also maintains an extensive online presence at weather.com and wunderground.com and through a set of mobile smartphone and tablet computer applications.

As of August 2013, The Weather Channel was received by approximately 99,926,000 pay television households (87.50% of households with a television) in the United States, making it the most common cable channel in the country.

TWC faced a business challenge that included providing a platform capable of holding the amount of people they needed on a conference bridge at a cost point that could actually scale with the business. As Nick Gardner, Senior Director of Internal Systems reflects, “We needed to be able to provide that solution to the number of employees that needs this ability on a daily basis. The amount of people in the company that need large conference bridges is very high because of different business units.”

When new employees join The Weather Company, the company holds IT training sessions to get everyone on board and show how easily their employees can go into Google Apps and UberConference to sign up for their free line. They also use Google Chromebox for meetings, where they use the UberConference integration with Google Hangouts.

“We rely heavily on Google Apps and UberConference for our day-to-day business,” Gardner said. “UberConference is one of the key pieces in our employee toolkit because it fits so nicely with Google, and it’s part of our forward-thinking technology plan.”

“UberConference usage and Google Hangouts usage across the company in general is very high,” Gardner said. “Drive and Hangouts are critical collaboration tools for us.”

The integration with Google was not the only benefit. After switching from their previous conference calling service, The Weather Company saved about 70%-75% of the cost with UberConference.

Employees are able to schedule their weekly meetings easily, and join them from anywhere. The mobile app adoption rate has been huge; it’s so much easier to get on calls on mobile devices because there isn’t a PIN number. “I request that anyone I ever have a conference call with uses my UberConference line,” Gardner said. “I’m on the road a lot, and don’t want to have to enter my PIN or punch in a bunch of random codes.”

Gardner also likes how easy UberConference is to use.

“The ease of use is also great,” he said. “Everyone gets into their calls a lot quicker

out the conferencing client. Speaking of saving time, I can set somebody up with a new conference bridge in a matter of minutes, instead of having to wait 48 hours (or sometimes more) with other services. The deployment process runs a lot more smoothly. That is a big deal to us as a fast-paced company. UberConference fills a huge gap for us and makes everyone more productive.” 

Monday, November 18th, 2013 .

UberConference was proud to be a host for the second annual OpenCo festival in San Francisco.  OpenCo, an innovation themed open house hosted in four major cities, allows community members to get a peek into how local companies are breaking new ground.  Craig got a great reception as he shared how our corporate culture fosters creativity.

“OpenCo is a great opportunity to showcase how culture, collaboration and hard work play together in building a successful, thriving environment of creative thought and innovation,” said Craig Walker.