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.

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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Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 .

We’ve just upgraded UberConference to High Definition (HD) audio.  Anyone who joins a conference call from their computer now sounds absolutely fantastic.  As if our visual interface wasn’t enough, now you’ll really want to connect to calls through your computer.

Call into your next conference call on Chrome to experience the difference. Schedule your call now!

For now, Google Chrome is required to enjoy Audio HD. We’re working on adding support for Firefox.  As more browsers support WebRTC, we’ll add them too.

Wednesday, February 12th, 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 failures?  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 insufficient technology and basic human politeness.  There 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 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, December 18th, 2013 .

UberConference is shortlisted for the second year in the row at The Cloud Awards! This year UberConference is being considered for Most Promising Start-Up and Web Services Excellence.

Identifying and celebrating excellence in the field of cloud computing, the cloud computing awards program encourages entries from across the entire globe – the US, Canada, Australasia and EMEA regions. UberConference is proud to be considered a global leader in the telecommunications industry and start-up community.

Winners will be chosen and announced on January 28, 2014. We would like to extend the best of luck to all nominated!