Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 .

Since we are showcasing our product at LegalTech in New York this week (Booth #2507), we decided to put together a list of our top legal features.

Teleconferencing is one of the single most important aspects of your profession. When we were designing and building the UberConference teleconferencing system, we included a series of features that are specifically useful and valuable for attorneys. These features address issues that often uniquely apply to legal teleconferences.

1. You know who is on the call.
UberConference allows you to see who, exactly, is on this call. We’re not a video conferencing system, but each participant is identified on the screen while the call is going on. These are private, important issues you’re dealing with. You need to know who is on the call, and whether they belong there. All too often confidential calls are interrupted by an audible ‘beep’ followed by, “Who’s there?” only to be met with silence. UberConference provides full transparency and ensures every caller on the line is allowed to listen and participate.

2. You know exactly how long the call lasted.
You’ve set up a 30-minute teleconference on your calendar for a Monday. Guess what? It ended up lasting three hours. That’s fine. Fair enough. It needed to go that long. With UberConference call tracking, you have a record of how long the call actually lasted no matter which phone you used to dial into the call. Lots of firms have ways to track hours on conference calls, but those solutions are limited to your desk phone or require you to enter a useless PIN number for each call. Only UberConference does this automatically every time. That information is invaluable, especially if the client’s calendar only shows a 30-minute call on their schedule from that day. UberConference provides the proof you need to justify your billing, no questions asked.

3. You can “lock” the call.
Once you’ve started an UberConference, we show you every person who has dialed into your call. There is never the possibility of somebody lurking on the line and just listening to your privileged conversion. With UberConference, we let you lock in (and more importantly — lock out) participants. This locking feature keeps callers from slipping into a call who do not belong there. Once you have the right people on the call, just hit the lock icon (or press ** from your phone) and nobody else can join your conversation.

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 .

Google_Guru_250x250

 

UberConference is a proud sponsor of this year’s Admin Training Week. Join Vincent Paquet, VP Product, on Thursday, June 19 @ 11AM ET to discuss “Leveraging Google+ and Hangouts”. Vincent will cover how you can best make use of Google Apps with UberConference. Topics will include all our integrations with Google Apps including:

Google Hangouts: connect by phone with an UberConference phone number
Google Apps Marketplace: Receive meeting reminders from your desktop
Google Drive: share and edit files in UberConference
Google Chrome: start instant calls from anywhere in your browser

Last year’s Admin Training Week brought in an audience of 3,000 admins, and that number is expected to double for the Summer ’14 event. Visit the Google Gooru Admin Training Week website for more information on the agenda, presenters and more.

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 .

We are happy to announce that we have been named a recipient of the 2013 INTERNET TELEPHONY Excellence Award by TMC for the second year in a row. The award is presented by INTERNET TELEPHONY Magazine and honors companies that deliver exceptional IP communication solutions.

“On behalf of TMC and the editors of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine, we are honored to grant UberConference with this award for its innovation in IP Communications,” said Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director, TMC. “UberConference has demonstrated exceptional quality and proved itself worthy of this honor by improving business for its clients.”

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 .

We do our best to listen to feedback from our customers, and we’ve been hearing quite a few requests to give UberConference organizers the ability to choose who receives the summary emails sent after each conference call.

We originally implemented this feature to give meetings more context. The summary emails contain links to any shared documents or recordings, correlating with meeting notes for reference. They also include interesting stats, like who was there and who talked the most and the least.

If UberConference Pro and Business organizers would rather not have the email summaries sent to every participant after the conference ends, they now have the ability to manage that in their settings.

To specify who should receive the conference summaries, go to uberconference.com/settings (when logged in), and scroll all the way down to the “Notification Preferences” section. Under “Call Summary,” you will see the option to disable or enable the conference call summary for participants or for yourself. Don’t forget to click on the “Save Changes” button on the bottom of the page.

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.59.14 PM

 

We’re continuously trying to make Business features more robust for our customers, and disabling call summary emails is just one of the many ways you can customize your conference calls with UberConference Business. Business users also get advanced features like custom hold music, up to 100 callers, dial out to add guests to call, local conference phone numbers, and more.

UberConference Free users still maintain control over the summary emails for themselves.

Follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop on all things UberConference! @uberconference

Friday, March 14th, 2014 .

Have you ever been in an unproductive meeting?

Putting together a unproductive meeting is pretty simple.   The most basic rule is this: invite me, David Raether, to the meeting.  That will solve about 95% of your problems right there in making sure the meeting is unproductive, ineffective, and amusing.  Believe me, I’m a nightmare.

What happens if I — or someone very much like me — am in your next meeting and you want the meeting to be productive?  How do you handle this sort of situation?

You can overcome this by following these simple rules and your meetings will go great.   I am writing this as a guide to myself because I am certain virtually nobody else behaves like this in a meeting.  Any similarities between myself and anyone else in a meeting who exhibits these behaviors is impossible because I’m pretty unique in my ability to turn a meeting into an ADHD festival of fun that accomplishes nothing.  So this is a cautionary tale for those working with me.  Or someone like me.

1. Have an agenda or plan for the meeting. Figure out what topics will be discussed and who will lead those discussions.  One thing that’s really difficult for me to remember — and a reason why I often have been such a disaster in a meeting — is it’s okay for me to shut the hell up and just listen.  Let’s say Agenda Item 1 is “Product development feedback from customer survey”.  Remind me that what I might consider doing, since I had nothing to do with this whole area, is just quietly listen to the persons involved make their presentation.

But what if I have a pertinent question? Say the following to me: ‘No, David, the question you just asked that started with: ‘Before we go any further, is it supposed to rain tonight?’ is not a pertinent question.’  If I start to ask a question about what we’re doing for lunch, how to solve a problem I’m having with my health insurance, or if any of you saw ‘The Daily Show’ last night, cut me off and let me know that I, in fact, do not have a pertinent question.  Remember the basic rule: Any question that starts with ‘Before we go any further…’ Or: ‘Hey, did anyone see…’ is not pertinent.   And you can be rude to me about it.

You know what else? I don’t have an anecdote that’s relevant either.  Any sentence that starts with me saying, “You know, that reminds me..” is bad news.  I may think I have a great anecdote about my days as a newspaper editor that could really make this area seem more interesting.  If I start on one of those, stop me immediately with these words: “No, David, in fact you do not have an illuminating anecdote.  I’m certain it will be a funny and people will be laughing and amused, but it will have NOTHING TO DO with the topic under discussion.  So shut the hell up, David, and just listen.  Don’t chime in.  Thank you.”

You are fortunate indeed if you get to work for a company that doesn’t have me asking non-pertinent questions or regaling your group with irrelevant but amusing tales of my life as a comedy writer.  But on the off-chance you have someone who is like me, remember to keep the meeting strictly focused on the agenda you set.

2. Set a time limit to the meeting. A good time limit is 30 minutes.  It ensures that everyone knows the meeting has an ending in sight, and keeps everyone focused on the agenda.

If I’m there and start yammering away and get things distracted with amusing or heartbreaking tales from my life and then I start asking you about your health or your mother or how things are going with your partner or what do you think about Tom Cruise movies (and do not get me going on Tom Cruise movies), stop me or you’re doomed.  If you don’t, this meeting is going to go well into the afternoon and then adjourn to an adjacent saloon where there’ll be drinking and crying and singing along with Merle Haggard songs until suddenly the bartender is closing the place down and you’re all looking for cabs in the middle of the night.  And that’s not even counting the people in the group who are headed to the emergency room for possible hospitalization for severe situational depression.

Announce up front that the meeting is going to last 30 minutes, that we’re covering these topics, and that we need to get this accomplished in 30 minutes or less.  If you stick to that time limit, the meeting is going to be productive.  And if you hear me say anything about Tom Cruise or ask anyone about their mother, tell me to pack up my stuff and get out of the room right now.

Obviously, your company doesn’t have me or a person like me, so these problems won’t arise.  Everyone who works with you is keenly focussed and sensible. k But should your company, by some enormous mistake in judgement,  hire me, or a person like me, just remember: this phrase: “The clock is ticking.”  And then shoot me an angry glare.

3. Avoid counterproductive phrases that lead to unnecessary disputes or distractions. As with any group activity, certain phrases can be provocative and lead to almost immediate disputes or distractions.  As the meeting leader, your job is to caution the participants that while disagreements are a natural part of any meeting, you will not tolerate using the phrase “the company’s mission…” as an opportunity to go off on how the engagement party scene at the beginning of the first  “Mission Impossible” was an embarrassment and then getting everyone in the meeting to start arguing about whether Tom Cruise is an irritating, overacting weird guy with a complex about how short he is or not. Which he is.

So there you have it.  Three simples rules to keep your meetings productive:

  1. Set and agenda and keep to it.

  2. Limit the time for the meeting to 30 minutes.

  3. Avoid inflammatory phrases that naturally lead to distracting disputes.

Follow these simple rules, and your next meeting will be productive, focused and successful.  Oh, and keep me out.