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.

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Thursday, June 13th, 2013 .

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.

Thursday, December 20th, 2012 .

Just in time for Christmas. The brand new UberConference Android app has hit the Google Play store. We’ve created this and the brand new iPhone app with some great features.

First, the app finds the contacts already in your Android and adds them into your conference call for you.
You just click on the person’s name to add them to the call.

Notice you can add several of your contacts to the call at once. You can also instantly dial out to everyone who should be on the conference call with you.

UberConference will dial all numbers associated with the person you select.

Make an Instant Conference Call
Creating calls is lightening fast! Just choose who you want to invite and click “Start a New UberConference”. That’s it! The system will automatically call participants to join the call right then. At the end of each call you’ll receive a summary with interesting stats.

Just Sign In or Sign Up
Signing in is super easy. If you have already signed up through the website you can just sign in with the same email and password (or your social media profile of choice) to the Android app. Signing up on the app is easy to do, too. Never used UberConference before? Just put in the email and password you want and then choose the social networks you’d like to connect with.

Connect Multiple Accounts Inside the App
UberConference is integrated with all of the major social networks. Just click on any participant on the call and bring up their information from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

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While on an UberConference call, you have access to an array of in-call controls. As the conference creator you can mute, hang up, block or “earmuff” selected participants at any time during the call. You can also start and stop call recordings.

Download now!

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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, April 23rd, 2013 .

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.

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Spencer Ante, Andrea Roesch, Craig Walker