Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 .

“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ” –Aristotle, “The Politics”

When you sit down and think about it, many of the greatest accomplishments of the human race are collaborative efforts. The cathedrals of medieval France. MGM musicals like “Singing in the Rain” or “Royal Wedding”. Democracy. The Renaissance. A double double cheeseburger with fries from In ‘N Out Burger.

These are things that could only have been created by a group effort – human beings working together.

Why?  Because we are, as Aristotle observed more than 2,300 years ago, social animals. We live a common life together.

So if we live a common life together and are, at heart, social animals; why do so many teleconferences not work? What, exactly, causes them to be disappointing? I think I can confidently state that it is not because we are either beasts nor gods.

What causes many teleconferences to fail is a combination of inefficient technology and basic human politeness. These are what I call “the pain points of teleconferencing.” And they are solvable problems.

1. Set an agenda. Stick to it.

Unless the teleconference is between NFL owners, nobody gets to talk about the Super Bowl.

Before your next teleconference, send out an agenda to everyone. These are the items we will be discussing, and this is the order in which we’ll be discussing them. People are busy, and while your teleconference may in fact be the most important part of their work day, it is not the only part of their work day. Nothing kills a teleconference quicker than desultory talk about the weather, the latest flu outbreak or last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. We all have other things to do today besides chit-chat right now. Stay on point, stick to the agenda, finish the call.

2. People are going to arrive late. Deal with it.

It’s just going to happen: people are going to show up late. They’ll have a million good reasons. We don’t need to hear them. We also don’t need to recap what’s been discussed already.

Think of it this way: somebody shows up late to Mass. The priest doesn’t stop the proceedings, introduce everyone, and then recap what’s happened so far. No. If you show up late, you check where in the liturgy (agenda) we are, listen in and catch up on your own.

There’s no reason a teleconference can’t operate that way either.

3. Use technology that works.

Teleconferencing technology should do the following:

— allow automatic sharing of documents during the call

— visual identification of who is speaking and participating

— late entrants can join without interrupting — or stopping — the call

If your teleconferencing system can’t do these things, your calls are going to be less effective, more painful for the callers, and, ultimately less collaborative.

We’re human beings. We’re social animals. We’re working on a problem together. Any technology you are using that disrupts collaborative work is anti-social and goes counter to who we are in our essence.

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 .

Now you can share files from your computer within an UberConference call thanks to the new Box View, even if you don’t have a Box account.

Take any PDF or Microsoft Office file from your computer, click “share file,” choose “computer” and it will appear right in your UberConference window. The files are also sent out at the end of the call in the UberConference call summaries for easy reference.

So simple.

Box View does the hard work of transforming popular office documents and other files into HTML, so they can be displayed in a browser for UberConference users to share and discuss during their meetings. The Box View API powers the fastest, most elegant content viewing experience on the web and on mobile.

The UberConference team is at the first annual BoxDev Conference in San Francisco today to support the Box platform and their Box View API announcement. We were highlighted during the Opening Box keynote by Ryan Damico, Director of Platform at Box, as “a really interesting use case that shows how you’re taking an already great service and adding even more value on top of it.”

Over 1,000 developers and entrepreneurs attend BoxDev for exciting platform product launches, deep-dive technical sessions and thought-leadership sessions on building for the enterprise.

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Friday, October 12th, 2012 .

One of the great things about ÜberConference is that you can see who’s on the conference call and who’s talking at any given moment. For instance, the person speaking during your call shows up at the top. Being able to see both who is invited and who has already joined helps kick off the call smoothly by avoiding extra rounds of “Who’s here?” and “Who are we waiting for?” You don’t have to wonder who said what.

We’ve had this unique visual dimension since our launch. Starting today you can also get your own permanent conference URL. When you log into ÜberConference you will see your ÜberConference URL on your dashboard.  It will be a number by default, but you can customize it to be your name or whatever you like. This way it’s easier to remember and share.

 

Just click the “Customize your URL” link and add the text you’d like to have at the end of the link, like uberconference.com/u/myname

Click here to login and get your own unique URL now! 

Thursday, September 5th, 2013 .

As you may have seen in PC World, we’ve been leveraging Chrome’s newest technology to create an always-on, installable version of UberConference.  I’m excited to announce that as of today, the app is available for anyone using Windows or the Chrome OS!  Learn more.

The Chrome App is a totally redesigned experience and offers the benefits of a regular native application:

  • No browser required to launch or run the app
  • Always running in the background, so you’ll never miss a call
  • Launchable with a single click by using the Chrome Launcher, creating a shortcut or pinning the app to your taskbar

If you’re already a Chrome user, install the UberConference app heredirectly from the Chrome Web Store.  If you’re not a Chrome user or want to learn more click here.

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 .

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UberConference is excited to accept TMC’s 2014 Internet Telephony Excellence Award. This is the third year UberConference has won this award and we are honored to be recognized as an innovator in the telephony industry. The award came after a successful week at the ITEXPO West event where our CEO, Craig Walker, was a featured guest on the OTT and UC: The Future of the Telephone Number panel.

Walker also had the opportunity to sit down with Erik Linask, the Group Editorial Director of TMC to discuss UberConference’s role in disrupting the traditional conferencing space. “The funny thing is the things that are frustrating to users haven’t changed in 30 years. It’s dialing some ridiculous access code to get into your call and not knowing who’s in the room when you’re on the call,” said Walker.

“A lot of conference call providers used to give you a wallet card to remember their features. The truth is nobody used these features because nobody remembered to pull out the card. At UberConference, we wanted to change all that. No PINs. No access codes. You just dial a number and you’re on the call. We give you a web address where you can see who’s on the call.”

Another important topic of discussion was catering to the remote workforce with more robust telephony tools. UberConference’s audio heavy interface addresses that challenge with great ease. “Even though conference calling has been around forever, 80% of conference minutes are audio only. If you’re going to have more and more remote people doing it, it’s got to be easier for the remote worker.”