Technologies

The Technologies we deploy include:

WebEx

Google Hangouts, including Hangouts On Air

Digital Story Telling: Sway from Microsoft

Social Media in your Enterprise: Yammer

Audio Conference Platforms

Skype for Business

SharePoint

Skype

WebEx

LTA uses WebEx as our primary web conferencing platform. WebEx is an intuitive platform providing a combination of power and user-friendly features out of the box.

Features include:

  • Integrated computer audio & phone audio
  • Uploaded documents & annotation
  • Screen sharing & application sharing
  • Video conferencing
  • Collaborative Whiteboard
  • Robust recordings
  • Easy accessibility for Macs, Windows PCs, smart phones and tablets

We provide WebEx support across our clients for a diverse range of meeting types including working groups, rounds of interviews, all staff presentations, workshop series and Cross Organization Conversations.

In 2012, LTA initiated the switch to WebEx at the American Friends Service Committee and have worked closely with the IT team to execute a comprehensive multi-stage roll out. Now, most meeting that benefit from virtual connections are held on WebEx.

Staff satisfaction is high, frustration is low.

We provide ongoing support but WebEx has also increasingly allowed staff to become more independent, many are scheduling and running their own meetings, with support on an as-needed basis

Hangouts on Air

Google Hangouts offer an online environment where a group of up to 10 locations can connect and interact with video, audio, shared content and fun special effects.

Google Hangouts On Air extend the power of Hangouts by letting the producer connect the session to a designated YouTube channel where the presentation is  both broadcast and archived.

On Air meetings that are topical, well thought through, planned, prepared for, and executed can deliver premium content and provide a TV-like effect at a fraction of the cost.

Sessions are both broadcast to and archived on your YouTube channel, building a rich record of your work over time.

Why Hangouts on Air

The infrastructure, Google’s On Air platform, is reliable and free. Your audience is virtually unlimited, anyone who can connect to YouTube can join.  The audience can see and hear the discussion and any content that is shared; and you can supplement the experience with chat, Twitter, even a dial in number where questions can be taken and relayed to the participants.

Broadcasting On Air provides a live, interactive experience for your audience. This allows you to open a vivid, engaging, affordable channel that helps tells the story of your work, and its impact. It’s a great way to get your story out and your community involved.

Over time your channel becomes a rich archive of your work, and the history of your organization.

Google Hangouts is a flexible platform that can be deployed in a variety of formats that can include:

  • The in-depth discussion / presentation, where a work group reports back at milestones in their project, or to discuss breaking events
  • The branded online magazine with your host, reporters and guests from around the world
  • Live broadcast that can be branded as “Hangout with Us @…” – for example, @ at the SXSW Conference
  • The performance, presentation, reading, discussion – you name it

We can make this work for you.

Sway, a Digital Storytelling App and Platform from Microsoft

Most recently LTA has launched a pilot project that will introduce Sway as one tool that all staff can use to tell the story of their work in vivid ways. We will start by working with the 2016 class of nine AFSC interns, who will be working in locations across the US and around the world.

Microsoft has developed Sway as their digital storytelling tool. The concept is simple: let user’s create presentations for the Web using text, pictures and videos, regardless of what device they are using (phones, tablets, laptops, PCs and so on).

A key advantage of Sway is that you don’t need to know much about design. You provide the ideas and raw content and Sway’s intelligent design engine creates a polished layout that helps everything flow together. 

Sway, released in August 2015, is the first application to be added to the Office Suite in over a decade.

Here is the vision, get ready to “reimagine how your ideas come to life”

Yammer: Social Media in your Enterprise

Yammer is a private social network that helps you and your company stay connected. The experience is a lot like Facebook, except that all of the posts come from members of your community.

This has really taken off at the AFSC with a steady stream of posts. Sharing can be with All Company, or within departments, or work or interest groups. The Communications Department has taken a lead role in making sure the community is up to date with the highlights, even with posts re the history of the AFSC. And posts of the work come right from the field.

We’re excited and are recommending it. Done right, it can definitely have a positive impact on the workplace!

Skype for Business (S4B)

First there was Skype, the ubiquitous computer based telephony app that transformed international communications – purchased by Microsoft in 2011. Then Lync.

In 2015 Microsoft has launched Skype for Business. S4B delivers instant messaging, voice over IP (VOIP), and video conferencing within a single client – and is integrated with Office.

Messaging, meetings, and screen sharing all in one app that works with Office

Meetings and calls with anyone

Meet with up to 250 people—even if they’re not on Skype for Business

Powerful productivity with Office

See your contacts’ online statuses, schedule meetings in Outlook, and start conversations from apps like Word and PowerPoint

Security and control

Conversations are protected by strong authentication and encryption, and you manage employee accounts and features

We use it day in and day out, and can help you use it too.

A fully featured S4B for the Mac is on the roadmap for 2016. Meanwhile, Mac users can  use the Lync client for the Mac to join in S4B meetings.

Audio Conferencing

A reliable audio connection is the foundation for meeting – if you can talk, you can have a successful meeting.
Audio conferencing is a reliable and easy-to-use way to hold a conversation at a distance. Connecting is easy for both hosts and participants and audio conferences can be simple to set up and affordable.
Audio conference platforms also generally provide an easy to use way to record your session – often including simple editing tools. The MP3 format makes it easy for users to play back a meeting back in their own time and on their own devices.
LTA supports both stand-alone audio conferences, and audio conferencing in tandem with web conferencing, video conferencing, or aspects of both.
ReadyTalk is our go-to platform, but our team has experience with a variety of platforms and is happy to work with your preferred platform and/ or in-house system.

SharePoint

LTA staff have been ‘under the hood’ with SharePoint since 2006, both at the AFSC and the National Aquarium. We have developed insight and skills relating to the issues around Audience and Permissions – one key to a well-ordered SP site. We have helped to design, develop and/or implement the navigational structures – Top Links, Room Guides, Quick Launch, Room Navigation, and Audience Banners –  that provide users with easy to understand cues to get to their destination.

We have built forms with InfoPath and linked them to Lists and Calendars.

We have worked extensively with the Workflow feature in SharePoint, building Program Lists, Compliance Lists and Complex Process Dashboards.

We use PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint to dynamically retrieve up-to-date data from multiple sources and display that data in both reports and graphical displays.

We also use Visio to provide easy to follow flowcharts for complex processes.

Skype

Skype has increasingly become an essential tool in international communications. Many of us who have a loved one overseas already use Skype regularly to stay in touch, and we have found that many international staff members in the organizations we work with have embraced the service.  Skype provides chat, calls, video calls and screen sharing and many of its services are free. We can help staff members set up Skype accounts, train staff who are not familiar with Skype on the basics, and provide guidance to staff who wish to learn about Skype premium services, which for a monthly fee provides both group video calling and unlimited calling in the US and Canada.

Skype is the swiss army knife of meeting technologies.

Skype has proven to be a popular and extremely useful platform for personal communications. Although it has more of a personal than organizational root and orientation (you are working from your list of Contacts, that you have built up over time). Skype is being used, will be used, should be used by your staff in the field. We can help you and your staff use Skype judiciously and appropriately as part of your toolbox.