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Don’t make your meeting a snoozer

Are meetings a “soul sucking waste of time,” as a columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian suggests?

They could be if they’re unproductive, boring, too many of them, or all of the above. The solution may lie in technology, if used properly. “Technology is essential to innovating the conference call and boosting staff engagement,” according to a Harvard Business Review column.

Video, for instance, may enhance “connectedness between participants” and help them see reactions to one another’s ideas.3 Specific online or video conferencing features that may improve overall engagement include the ability to view multiple video feeds, screen sharing capabilities, document editing, or whiteboard tools and mobile accessibility.

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work life marathon
Work-Life Balance is a Marathon – Not a Sprint

I wake up each morning at 4:30 a.m., often hitting the pavement for a run. It’s early, but these mornings motivate me and are a great time to think. And the other day, I realized that starting my day with a workout is a critical part of achieving the work/life balance that my family and I need.

I also realized this balance is definitely not a sprint, but a daily and personal marathon that takes practice, discipline and thoughtful planning.

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See Cisco Spark Live in Action!

When it’s time to keep your teams on task and working together to achieve better outcomes, what communication tools are you relying on?

If you’re ready to see a secure, customizable ecosystem of communication tools in action, join us for our weekly live “deminar” of Cisco Spark!

During the deminar, you’ll receive an up-close look at Cisco Spark’s essential product building blocks, including unlimited workspaces that enable video calling, screen and file sharing, how to use the Cisco Spark app and more. You’ll also learn how organizations just like yours use Cisco Spark to create secure and unified experiences for individuals and teams.

Registration is open now, so be sure to sign up to join our team every Tuesday at 10 am PST.

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online meeting survival guide
The online meeting survival guide: 4 troubleshooting tips

It’s important to be prepared for any meeting — and online meetings are no exception. The value of video conferencing and webinars is well established. But online meetings have different things to consider than when meeting in-person.

Users responding to an IDG Research Services survey cited technology challenges, reliability of network connections, and participant engagement as the top obstacles that they face when collaborating online.

This survival guide will help you address issues before they arise to ensure your organization gains the full benefits of online meetings.

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Art of the follow up
The art of the follow-up: 3 ways to engage clients

Every sales professional has experienced the frustration of the follow-up to a meeting — the unanswered voice messages, wasted emails, or the “not interested” replies. Traditional follow-up techniques often fail because they don’t feel personal enough to the customer. Meanwhile, reaching out to prospects in-person isn’t always practical because on-site meeting invites may be costly or inefficient.

In a recent IDG survey, 44% of respondents cited travel delays, costs, or impact to productivity as the top hurdles they encounter when meeting with business colleagues in person.1 So how do you reach your prospects in the most costeffective way? Many companies are turning to online meeting and video conferencing tools to overcome these challenges.

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Stable Companies Gain a Competitive Edge with Online Meetings

Not everyone wants to become a business behemoth. Some small and medium businesses (SMBs) that have carved out their own niche in a competitive business scene are content with continuing on their current trajectory.

Stable businesses like these rely heavily on the strength of customer relationships and meetings are their “go-to” way to foster them. And with good reason; according to IDG Research Services, 43 percent of respondents said meetings improve customer/client service. But since face-to-face meetings pose inevitable challenges, more SMBs are leveraging online meetings to complement – or completely replace – in-person gatherings.

What challenges do SMBs face when it comes to in-person meetings and how are online meetings alleviating them? Get the answers to these questions – and other rich insights – in a new infographic from IDG Research Services.

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Online Meetings Enable Better Business Execution

For busy executives and managers tasked with overseeing business operations, in-person meetings can have many benefits, from strengthening customer relationships to increasing productivity.

But these types of meetings also have challenges. In a survey of company decision-makers with fewer than 250 employees, IDG Research Services found that 36 percent of respondents found slow decision-making was an issue in face-to-face meetings; another 44 percent cited achieving a work/life balance as another problem in regards to scheduling them.

With a more dispersed workforce and having to rise to the challenge of meeting employee demand for better collaboration methods, leaders are relying more on online meetings and videoconferencing solutions. But just how do these types of meetings enable more collaboration and efficiently foster better communication?

In a new data-rich infographic, IDG Research Services and Cisco WebEx invite you to take a closer look – and gain a deeper understanding – of how online meetings can enable business execution.

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executive presentations
WEBINAR: Connect with Executives through Story

When you have the opportunity to present your next big idea to an influential executive, the thought of the meeting itself can be nerve-wracking enough. But when you factor in the limited time these decision-makers have, sharing your ideas in a quick, informative and engaging manner becomes even more critical.

Are you ready?

Take your presentation skills to the next level by joining Janine Kurnoff for an enlightening webinar, “Connect with Executives through Story”. Founder of The Presentation Company, Janine is the go-to expert when it comes to training professionals to communicate their ideas, visually and virtually.

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Better Business Opportunities through Online Meetings

Meetings are a necessity of business. They provide employees a platform to enhance relationships achieve goals, improve productivity and more. But if your team isn’t equipped with the right tools to meet remotely, those meetings can mean missed opportunities. The right online meeting and video conferencing solutions can mean better outcomes for employees and the organization as a whole.

Today’s work environment creates a new set of challenges for the professionals responsible for choosing the tools that keep a business running. Online meeting tools need to be easy to manage, but also fit the pressures of a mobile workforce, rising demands on productivity and the need to keep to costs down.

Work/life balance also plays a role. A recent survey from IDG Research Services and Cisco WebEx revealed that 44% of those responsible for delivering resources to their co-workers mentioned achieving a healthy work/life balance as a top challenge to holding in-person meetings.

When employees are enabled to do their jobs better, businesses can overcome obstacles like poor productivity and slow-decision making. And the most agile companies can use these surface-level benefits to propel their business forward to new opportunities, more revenue and higher levels of achievement.

In a newly released white paper, “Enabling Business Opportunities with Online Meetings and Video Conferencing,” takes a deeper dive into the minds of professionals who hold key resource positions within their teams, the challenges in-person meetings present them, and the endless possibilities online meetings and video conferencing platforms enable.

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WEBINAR: Enabling the Changing Workforce: New Ways to Work Smarter
WEBINAR: Enabling the Changing Workforce: New Ways to Work Smarter

We’ve long known that effective collaboration is key to success for every business – and SMBs are no exception. But a perfect storm of influences is quickly changing the workplace and how we collaborate. From shifting demographics, expectations and attitudes around how to get work done to a dizzying array of new tools and technologies, some business owners are stumped over how to make collaboration work for their business.

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Scale and Reliability Make Online Meetings Work
Scale and Reliability Make Online Meetings Work

Everyone loves binge watching their favorite Netflix shows or catching up on viral YouTube videos. And few things are more annoying than the disruption of a video feed buffering. But after the stream is back, your show has usually only been delayed for a few seconds and picks up where you left off. But when it comes to real-time content shared in an online meeting, a one- or two-second delay could mean missing a key point, relevant remark, or even your cue to chime.

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Web conferencing fires up Ignyte’s consulting business
Web Conferencing Fires Up Ignyte’s Consulting Business

In the fast-paced, deadline-driven world of marketing, helping clients achieve their business goals is how marketing organizations like California-based Ignyte Marketing Group build their reputation.

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Case Study: Global Team Connections minus IT Headaches
Case Study: Global Team Connections Minus IT Headaches

As the sole IT administrator for thousands of users across a network of eight offices, the last thing Mike Conway needed was unreliable video conferencing. Especially in the fast-paced marketing industry – where teams are mobile, deadlines are crucial and communication is critical.

Mike Conway, Area Technical Manager, is constantly on the move during the day at Golin, a global communications, media and digital marketing firm. With so many users dispersed across so many offices, Mike and his team needed a solution that was not only easy to manage, but also one that was scalable to the unique needs of individual offices.

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