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West UC Blog

Conferencing & Collaboration

2017 Stevie Awards

West Video Meeting Gateway Named 2017 Stevie Awards Winner

Dennis Collins
Mon May 8, 2017
We are excited to announce that West Video Meeting Gateway (VMG) has been honored with the Bronze Stevie® Award in the Best New Software Integration Solution category in the 15th annual American... more
Comparing Meeting Types

Comparing Meeting Loyalists, Meeting Fatigued, and Meeting Critics

Dennis Collins
Mon Mar 20, 2017
Whether you love meetings or hate them, our report on the state of meeting fatigue finds workplace meetings remain the most effective way to disseminate information, despite their impact on... more
Reservationless-Plus with Dolby Voice

West Launches InterCall Reservationless-Plus with Dolby Voice

Dennis Collins
Wed Mar 1, 2017
Every knowledge worker has suffered through that conference call - the one with distracting background noise, dropped audio and participants talking at the same time. Modern businesses rely on... more
Collaborative Teams Speak for Each Other

Why Collaborative Teammates Sometimes Speak for Each Other

Dennis Collins
Tue Feb 21, 2017
“The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw away the bad ones.”- Linus Pauling, Chemist, 2-time Nobel Prize winner
His brilliance aside, Pauling’s quote leaves some unanswered... more
Transformative Teams without Borders

Why Transformative Teams Collaborate Outside their Borders

Dennis Collins
Wed Feb 15, 2017
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
- Ken Olson, President, Chairman, Founder of Digital Equipment Corp.
After reading the quote above, most of us would smile, if not... more
Avoid Collaboration Obstacles

Avoiding Obstacles that Trap Teams in Mediocre Collaboration

Dennis Collins
Thu Feb 9, 2017
Recognize and solve negative patterns or you’ll end up solving the same problems over and over.”
– Dan Rockwell, Leadershipfreak blog
In Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking... more
Collaboration Obstacles

Removing "Fatal Obstacles" that Mislead Collaboration

Dennis Collins
Wed Feb 1, 2017
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
– Albert Einstein
In his latest book, Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking, best-selling... more
Co-working Space Collaboration

4 Essential Collaboration Tools for Co-working Spaces

Dennis Collins
Thu Jan 26, 2017
Co-working spaces are notorious for housing budding entrepreneurs and tech startups, but they’re becoming an increasingly popular option for remote workers. According to our report on the mobile... more
Collaboration Flaws

7 Thinking Flaws that Lead to Collaboration Flaws

Dennis Collins
Mon Jan 16, 2017
Study after study confirms a recurring theme:
A lot of people in business believe a lot of business meetings are a waste of their time.
A recent example: A survey by OfficeTeam, a staffing services... more
Global Workforce Communication

How to Communicate Effectively with a Global Workforce

Dennis Collins
Tue Jan 10, 2017
As technology pushes us into the future, the global market is changing rapidly - and with it, the way we communicate with our new global workforce has to change.
Mobile Work is the New Norm in the... more
Transformative Thinking for Collaboration

3 Ways Transformative Thinking Demands Collaboration

Dennis Collins
Tue Dec 20, 2016
In The Elegant Solution, award-winning author Matthew E. May offers a mantra for transformative thinkers:
What appears to be the problem, isn’t.
What appears to be the solution, isn’t.
What appears... more
Mobile Workers Attention Span

5 Reasons Your Remote and Mobile Workers are Tuning Out

Dennis Collins
Mon Nov 28, 2016
Most of us in business have heard the old saw:
"Tell them what you are going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you have told them."
Executive communication coach Brett Rutledge calls this maxim... more
Use collaboration to rebound from failures

How to Use Collaboration to Rebound from Failure

Dennis Collins
Mon Nov 21, 2016

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
- Elbert Hubbard, writer, publisher and artist

In our post “How to Use Business Failures to Build Success,” we argued that “failing – even... more
Avoid burnout

How Collaboration Can Help Teams Avoid Burnout

Dennis Collins
Wed Nov 9, 2016
The advice seems counterintuitive: The key to coping with potential burnout in this age of rapid-fire digital interaction is spending more time connected.
Yes. There are perils to what some pundits... more
Video Conferencing Workforce

How Video Conferencing is Reshaping the Workforce for Everyone

Monica Ellis
Tue Nov 1, 2016
According to industry analysts, video conferencing is on the rise. Several factors are fueling the growth, including a growing remote workforce. In research conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, 3... more
Action Logic and Collaboration

Refine Collaborative Leadership with Action Logic

Dennis Collins
Tue Oct 18, 2016
Today’s conferencing services and collaboration tools are a mix of digital technologies that unify all modes of business communication – voice, visual and virtual. So, managing efficient and... more
Remote Worker Career Opportunities

Are Remote Workers Missing Career Opportunities?

Dennis Collins
Wed Oct 12, 2016
By the time 2020 rolls around, roughly three-quarters of U.S. employees will be mobile workers, according to IDC estimates. Many companies are preparing by implementing remote work policies that are... more
Video Conferencing

Video Conferencing: It’s Just a Meeting

Monica Ellis
Tue Oct 11, 2016
According to the National Statistics Council, the average US employee spends 37% of their time in meetings. Sync ups, kickoffs, team updates, 1:1s – whatever you call it, it’s all about people coming... more
Collaborative Meeting Questions

5 Collaborative Questions to Ask at the End of Meetings

Dennis Collins
Mon Oct 10, 2016
A meeting – in person, by phone, online or some combination of all three – is about to conclude. The session leader asks: “Any questions?” Silence ensues. A minute or so passes, the leader says, “... more
West Video Meeting Gateway Launch

West Video Meeting Gateway (VMG) Officially Launches

Dennis Collins
Mon Oct 3, 2016

West Video Meeting Gateway is designed to enable a native video meeting experience within Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business for any endpoint.

In today’s world, business users are joining... more
EQ vs IQ Leadership

EQ vs IQ: Which is Best for Collaborative Leadership?

Dennis Collins
Thu Sep 29, 2016
In a recent column for SmartBrief, author and leadership guru Matt Paese explored a continuing debate in today’s increasingly technologized business world: Which is best, IQ or EQ? In other words,... more
Collaboration Efficient Effective

How to Make Collaboration Efficient and Effective

Dennis Collins
Thu Sep 22, 2016
In a recent column for Harvard Business Review (HBR), organizational psychologist and leadership guru Roger Schwarz shares “8 Ground Rules for Great Meetings.” Among them: “Use specific examples and... more
Freelancers Collaboration

Tips for Effective Collaboration with Freelancers

Dennis Collins
Wed Sep 21, 2016
Freelancers are no longer a minor niche of the workforce. From 2014 to 2015, 700,000 U.S. adults joined the freelance community, which today encompasses nearly 54 million Americans who freelance on a... more
Collaborative Communicators

5 Tips to be a Better Collaborative Communicator

Dennis Collins
Thu Sep 15, 2016
Collaborative leadership helps encourage teamwork and productivity. To be a collaborative leader, you need to be a collaborative communicator. Here's how you can enhance your collaborative... more
Sarcasm in Business Meetings

5 Rules of Using Sarcasm in Business Meetings

Dennis Collins
Tue Sep 6, 2016
Ever start a meeting by saying something like: “Well, I’m sure we’ll have no trouble covering these 25 agenda items in the next 20 minutes, so let’s get started!”
Did your wisecrack inspire chuckles... more
UC Deployment Tips

4 UC Deployment Tips for Cisco & Microsoft Interoperability

Dennis Collins
Wed Aug 31, 2016
Earlier this month, Mike Nessler, West’s Unified Communications Services EVP of Global Product and Marketing, sat down with Telecom Reseller to discuss Cisco’s recent offering that promises... more
Collaborative Leaders Drive Success

4 Questions for Gauging Collaborative Leadership

Dennis Collins
Thu Aug 25, 2016
Collaboration through virtual collaboration is enabling the democratizing of data in the workplace - redefining the nature of leadership, decision making, and productivity.
Digital technology is... more
Vacation Work

5 Tips for Vacationing Without Neglecting Work

Dennis Collins
Thu Aug 18, 2016
How to Unplug on Vacation without Hurting Your Performance
Summer is here, and for some of us that means vacation time! Winding down and taking a break from work is a great way to revitalize physical... more
Virtual Meeting Takeover

5 Ways to Take Over a Virtual Meeting

Dennis Collins
Tue Aug 16, 2016
On any given day in the United States, according to a recent article in Fast Company, more than 10 million business meetings take place in various forms – in person, by phone, online or some... more
Meeting Interruptions

How Interrupting a Meeting Can Boost Productivity

Dennis Collins
Mon Aug 8, 2016
High Performance and Low Performance are Contagious in the Workplace
Here’s some good news: Recent research shows that high performance in the workplace is contagious.
And now, some bad news: The... more
Virtual Collaboration

Handle Sensitive Topics with Virtual Collaboration

Dennis Collins
Tue Aug 2, 2016
Among our running themes for this blog is digital business transformation, which analysts from the MITSloan Management Review define as “use of technology to radically improve performance or reach of... more
Talking to Yourself

How Talking to Yourself Can Boost Productivity

Dennis Collins
Tue Jul 26, 2016
Is talking to yourself a sign you’re bananas?
No. But it’s a habit that can help you find a picture of one more quickly.
People Who Talk to Themselves Found to be More Productive
In an experiment... more
Charisma is Business Meetings

How to Use Charisma as Influence in Meetings

Dennis Collins
Tue Jul 19, 2016

Charisma is an intangible asset for a business person, right?. Maybe. It may be possible to cultivate charisma and learn to use it effectively in business meetings.
cha·ris·ma
kəˈrizmə/
noun... more
Communicating Failures & Successes

How to Use Business Failures to Build Success

Dennis Collins
Thu Jul 14, 2016
Tips for Tough Talks in Meetings: Communicating Failures
Transformative business conversations can be tough – especially when all does not proceed as planned.
And in today’s rapid-fire digital... more
Transformative Leadership Books

7 Books to Hone Transformative Leadership Skills

Dennis Collins
Fri Jul 8, 2016
One of our core themes this year is “Transformative Conversations,” an appropriate topic for this space as conferencing and collaboration – i.e., people connecting, communicating and working together... more
Growth Mindset

5 Tips to Employ a Growth Mindset

Dennis Collins
Thu Jul 7, 2016
Ford. Spielberg. Winfrey. Disney.
Each of those names transformed an industry. And each of them suffered major setbacks in their business careers.
Failures Always Follow Successes
Henry Ford started... more
Realistic Leadership for Transformative Teams

Realistic Leaders Spur Transformative Interactions

Dennis Collins
Wed Jun 29, 2016
Striking a balance between optimism and pessimism plays a critical role for realistic leaders to foster transformative interactions among their teams.
Looking back on the first half of 2016, there’s... more
Meeting Leader Feedback

5 Ways Effective Leaders Ask for Feedback

Dennis Collins
Wed Jun 22, 2016
By inviting constructive feedback from their teams, successful leaders can spur innovation and growth. Here's how to create an environment conducive to feedback that will benefit your organization.... more
Curiosity in Business

Using Curiosity to Fuel Business Transformation

Dennis Collins
Mon Jun 20, 2016
Looking to Transform Your Business? Start by Stoking Your Curiosity
No matter the size, shape or focus of your company, odds are you’ve heard the term “Digital Transformation.” That’s because, for... more

3 Productivity Myths Debunked and Revised

Dennis Collins
Tue Jun 7, 2016
As contributors to a blog featuring advice for increasing productivity, we have a confession to make: We know no one possibly could implement every tip or meet every standard of business behavior... more
Followers in Business Meeting

How Good Followers Make Meetings More Productive

Dennis Collins
Tue May 31, 2016
American business culture is a bit obsessed with leadership. If confirmation of this passion is necessary, consider that, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Amazon.com lists 362 books... more
Video Conferencing Storytelling

The Secret to Storytelling with Video Conferencing

Dennis Collins
Thu May 26, 2016
According to a recent Visual Networking Index produced by our partner Cisco, video already represents 64 percent of all Internet traffic, a proportion that will swell to 80 percent by 2019.
Of course... more
Mental Toughness in Business Meetings

5 Ways Mental Toughness Improves Productivity

Dennis Collins
Mon May 23, 2016
Say the words “mental toughness” to a room full of business people and most likely they wouldn’t visualize themselves.
Some may picture sports figures, such as ace pitchers, marathon runners or... more
Listening in Meetings

3 Ways to Improve Listening Skills During Meetings

Christina Todisco
Fri May 20, 2016
Listen Up: most likely you don’t listen as well as you could. A common thread weaved throughout this blog over the past year has been the findings of a study by the staffing firm Robert Half.... more
Work Meeting Introverts v Extroverts

Extroverts vs Introverts: Work Meeting Differences

Christina Todisco
Fri May 13, 2016
Maybe the rise of social networking is the cause. Or perhaps mobile devices with their array of immediate communication capabilities—such as texting, instant messaging and streaming video—are the... more
Presentation Conversation

5 Ways to Turn Presentations into Conversations

Dennis Collins
Tue May 10, 2016
Presentations in the business world can make or break a sale, partnership or relationship. But experienced professionals turn the odds by turning presentations into conversations.
In his regular post... more
Video Conferencing Comfort

4 Ways to Improve Video Conferencing Comfort Level

Dennis Collins
Mon May 9, 2016
Video conferencing is shifting from a workplace rarity to an essential collaboration tool. But while many of us use FaceTime, Skype and other video conferencing tools in our personal lives without... more
Cisco Spark Hybrid

Maximizing Cisco Spark with a Hybrid Approach

Dennis Collins
Fri May 6, 2016
Effective collaboration is a hallmark of a successful workplace. With today’s teams collaborating via messaging, meeting and calling, it’s up to companies to provide cutting-edge tools for these... more
State of the Modern Meeting

'State of the Modern Meeting' Report by BlueJeans

Dennis Collins
Mon Apr 25, 2016
Every year one of our partners, video conferencing specialist BlueJeans, publishes research into the “State of the Modern Meeting.” For this third edition of the study, BlueJeans analyzed more than... more
Pains Potential Video Conferencing

The Top Pains and Potential of Video Conferencing

Dennis Collins
Wed Mar 16, 2016
Video conferencing is shifting from a workplace novelty to a collaboration essential, but social barriers and a lack of training have left many workers still preferring audio calls. Even as video... more
Video to Become Preferred Enterprise Communication

Video to Become Preferred Enterprise Communication

Dennis Collins
Tue Dec 15, 2015
Today’s enterprise workforce is more geographically diverse and technology-centric than ever before. A growing number of employees and clients are located remotely, working from all over the globe.... more
Story Telling Effective Meetings

Good Storytelling Leads to Effective Meetings

Sarah Murphy
Mon Dec 7, 2015
Some striking statistics from a recent infographic “2015: The year of video marketing” inspired me to connect a few dots.
In the infographic, a review of the latest research revealed experts believe... more
InterCall On-Demand Conferencing

Optimizing InterCall On-Demand Conferencing Part 3

Christina Todisco
Mon Dec 7, 2015
As we uncovered in our 2014 research, employees’ growing dependence on mobile technology—in their personal and professional lives—is transforming how, when and where workplace communication happens.... more
Avoid Conference Call Mistakes

5 Annoying Conference Call Mistakes to Avoid

Christina Todisco
Mon Nov 16, 2015
One of the most common questions I get from training colleagues outside of the conferencing industry is “How do you train over a conference call?  There are way too many distractions!”  While I can... more
Conference Call in Real Life

Solving "A Conference Call in Real Life" Problems

Dennis Collins
Sun Nov 15, 2015
Anyone who has spent time on a conference call can attest to the fact that there are a multitude of awkward situations that can arise and ruin the overall experience.
These situations were pointed... more
Negative Feedback Loops in Meetings

How to Handle Negative Feedback Loops in Meetings

Jill Huselton
Wed Nov 11, 2015
Not long ago this blog shared techniques for dealing with “discord, discontent & disappointment” in meetings. My leading argument was, because studies show that many U.S. workers feel a lot of... more
Things people do while on conference calls

Top 10 Things People Do While on a Conference Call

Jill Huselton
Thu Nov 5, 2015
West released a study that looked at mobile conferencing statistics and surveyed 500 professionals about their experiences with mobile conferencing. Read our overview of the study and view the... more
Unified Messaging

A Complete Guide to Unified Messaging

Melissa Coen
Tue Nov 3, 2015
Unified Messaging: An Overview
By now most people have at least heard of Unified Messaging, whether or not they have experienced and utilized its features.  Unified Messaging (UM) is defined as the... more
Happy Leaders Effective Meetings

7 Ways Happy Leaders Run More Effective Meetings

Christina Todisco
Thu Oct 8, 2015
When faced with leading a meeting—whether in person, online or some digitally-assisted mixture of both—most of us reach for the extrovert switch and turn on the charismatic side of our personalities... more
Meeting Ear-to-Ear & Face-to-Face

The Case for Meeting Ear-to-Ear & Face-to-Face

Jill Huselton
Thu Sep 24, 2015
Communication via text will save time on meetings, right?
The tools certainly are available—smartphones, tablets, e-readers, etc. And the process would give back to workers some of the time so many... more
Build Rapport Like a Superhero

How to Build Rapport Like a Superhero

Sarah Murphy
Wed Sep 16, 2015
Superhero movies make meetings look so easy. Consider the blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the opening sequence, Tony Stark—a.k.a., the Invincible Iron Man—zips around a battlefield conducting... more
Internal Conference Calls

4 Tips for Making Internal Conference Calls Matter

Sarah Murphy
Thu Sep 10, 2015
Conference calls are a standard part of the workweek for most full-time employees, but not all calls get the same respect. Our recent study about workers’ dial-in habits uncovered that, while most... more
Body Language Matters

Body Language Matters Even, Over the Phone

Jill Huselton
Tue Sep 1, 2015
Many business people have an intuitive sense their bodies can speak for them. But how many appreciate that their bodies also can speak to them?
Body language is more powerful than we thought, can... more
On Hold Conference Call Habits

Survey Reveals Conference Call On-Hold Habits

Dennis Collins
Mon Aug 17, 2015
They say that details like taste in music or reaction to being stuck in traffic say a lot about a person. At InterCall, we believe that conference call dial-in and on-hold habits are just as telling... more
Conferencing Provider Questions

8 Questions to Ask About Conferencing Providers

Christina Todisco
Wed Aug 12, 2015
In a previous post we looked at five smart questions to ask in order to find the best Unified Communications (UC) provider for your business. Finding the best conferencing provider for your... more
Encourage Telling the Truth in Meetings

5 Ways to Encourage Telling the Truth in Meetings

Sarah Murphy
Tue Aug 4, 2015
Who among us hasn’t felt a tremor or two, a little extra moisture in the palms or shifted this way and that in our seats during a meeting in anticipation of our turn to talk? Not because we fear... more
Misused Words in Meetings

Avoid These Commonly Misused Words in Meetings

Christina Todisco
Wed Jul 29, 2015
So, did you read our post about the controversy surrounding the increasing use of the word “so” in business discussions?
Without stealing thunder from that piece, here’s the gist: Argument over the... more
Courtesy Makes Meetings More Productive

3 Ways Courtesy Makes Meetings More Productive

Christina Todisco
Thu Jul 16, 2015
Google the term “networking etiquette” and you will receive pages of links to articles elaborating the ways a little bit of courtesy will carry you a long way in business. Makes sense, because when... more
Navigating Conflict, Argument & Debate in Meetings

Navigating Conflict, Argument & Debate in Meetings

Jill Huselton
Thu Jul 2, 2015
“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.”— Margaret Heffernan, Author, Entrepreneur, Documentarian, Speaker
As CEO of five businesses, no doubt... more
Misused Words in Meetings

So, Do You Choose Words Carefully in Meetings?

Christina Todisco
Tue Jun 23, 2015
So, have you heard of the recent controversy surrounding the increasing use of the word “so” in business discussions?
Well, as far as this blogger can tell, the hubbub started more than a year ago... more
 Email Can Make Meetings More Productive

3 Ways Email Can Make Meetings More Productive

Sarah Murphy
Wed Jun 17, 2015
Is there any aspect of modern business that is the subject of more complaining than meetings? (See my recent post “Use Meeting Complaints to Make Better Meetings”) Well, if there is any contender, it... more
Business Meeting Discord

3 Ways to Deal with Business Meeting Discord

Jill Huselton
Thu May 14, 2015
A recent post, “10 Ways Business Leaders Can Optimize Meeting Time,” cites a study by staffing firm Robert Half Management Resources that revealed many U.S. workers feel about a quarter of the time... more
Optimize Meeting Time

10 Ways Business Leaders Can Optimize Meeting Time

Sarah Murphy
Fri Apr 24, 2015
No amount of convenience that software tools and cloud services lend to arranging and joining meetings—in person, online or otherwise—seems to alleviate the frustrations of business people... more
Meeting Complaints to Make Better Meetings

Use Meeting Complaints to Make Better Meetings

Jill Huselton
Wed Mar 25, 2015
Anyone involved in business knows there’s no shortage of complaining about meetings.
Here’s a top-of-my-head litany:
Meetings are too long
Meetings are too boring
Meetings are too disorganized... more
2015 Resolution: 5 Tactics for Better Meetings

2015 Resolution: 5 Tactics for Better Meetings

Jill Huselton
Tue Feb 3, 2015
For many of us, meetings are often considered a necessary work-life evil, but there’s no reason for a business (or its employees) to subject themselves to another year of unproductive conferencing.... more
Bad Weather Working

Survey: Bad Weather No Longer Excuse to Miss Work

Dennis Collins
Tue Jan 27, 2015
Every year, severe winter weather hits most of the United States resulting in school cancellations, impacting commute times and preventing (or at least hindering) millions of Americans from getting... more
Mobile Conferencing is Changing How We Work

Mobile Conferencing is Changing How We Work

Dennis Collins
Tue Aug 19, 2014
Mobile Conferencing Connects Employees to Work from Everywhere
As the workplace has changed thanks to new conferencing and collaboration tools, so has the way employees communicate with their co-... more
Better Conference Calls

Five Tips for Better Conference Calls

Christina Todisco
Fri Aug 23, 2013
Conference calls are one of the most efficient and cost effective strategies for reaching a business decision. When used properly, they can save thousands of dollars and several days that would... more
More Effective Meetings

10 Tips for More Effective Meetings

Jill Huselton
Wed Nov 16, 2011
West Unified Communications' employees are located all over the world and meetings are held online instead of in a conference room much of the time. While online meetings are the next best thing to... more