Thursday, August 18, 2016

Case Study: Arizona State University

IDSolutions and Arizona State University (ASU) have enjoyed a six-year partnership that started with a traditional, on premise video conferencing infrastructure and endpoints in various areas of the University. Over time, the video industry has evolved, and as ASU is a top research University, it is essential to stay on the cutting edge of just about everything. In keeping with this tradition, ASU has transitioned its existing solution to a video service in the cloud.

Read more about how ASU made the transition to the cloud...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bringing Emory into the telecommunications playing field:

After some hard work put in behind the scenes, we have a client up and running with IDSFlame. I thought I'd take some time, while the details are still fresh, to interview a man behind the scenes.


Can you tell me a bit about Emory?
Emory is a small higher education university joining IDSFlame. 

Tell me a bit about IDSFlame:
IDSFlame emulates our IDVideoPhone service platform, but using internet 2 as a backbone. Internet 2 is a separate internet from the internet you might be familiar with. It’s mostly used by higher education like universities, museums, CERN, etc. 

What kind of benefits does it offer:
It’s a cloud hosted Vidyo service that exists within internet 2. But it allows users from the regular internet and internet 2 to interact with one another. 

How is it different from internet 1:
There’s only a finite number of IPs and it’s much faster. 

On the internal side of things, what sort of challenges did you encounter in the implementation of IDSFlame for Emory:
We had to wait for Shibboleth (what allows mobile devices to securely log in with SAML). SAML is an active directory service which has become a preferred active directory that Vidyo now works with. But now that these are both activated it was a matter of setting up their tenant in order for them to interact with Shibboleth and SAML.  

How did overcoming those challenges lead you to have a better understanding of the platform:
It’s not so much that I have a better understanding of the platform, but I do have a better knowledge of how to set up and use Shibboleth and SAML. It’s a feature that more universities are asking for. 

What kind of support does IDS offer to ensure the health of Emory:
IDSFlame clients are a managed service. So we’re taking care of their hardware as opposed to them taking care of it themselves as well as helpdesk support. 

What do you find the most exciting about the implementation of this service
For me, it was the first time seeing SAML in action and seeing it work. It’s very much rewarding for me to make it as easy of a transition as possible. That there are as few heartaches as possible. That’s the important part of what I do, to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Case Study: California State Council of Service Employees

See how the California State Council of Service Employees worked with members of the IDSolutions Sacramento team to implement new video conferencing services and AV integration in their new conference rooms.  


Thursday, June 30, 2016

How Technology is Changing the Financial Service Industry

I read an interesting article recently published in the Credit Union Journal entitled “How Technology is Shrinking Branch Size”. John Hyche, Senior VP and Principle with LEVEL5 said the importance of technology is increasing. "Technology has both a dynamic and dramatic impact on financial institutions," he said. "Technology changes at a rapid pace, and technology in the branch seems to morph every couple of years."

He then cited two key examples that financial tech credit unions should be aware of including the importance of digital signage and two-way video within branches. 

Digital signage is a way to bring awareness to members in a cost effective delivery model. It also allows messages to be tailored to specific audiences while accurately delivering and streamlining information. In the financial world, where there’s time-sensitive information constantly updating, a digital platform is essential to keeping that information flowing. Digital signage can also transform the personal banking experience by reducing a perceived wait time while entertaining and informing. 

Two-Way video within branches can connect members to subject matter experts at different locations. Oftentimes there is a need to visit a branch in person where a face to face interaction is necessary. Video banking allows members to have that personal touch when it comes to banking.  Financial service Industries are integrating video banking services initially within branches and expanding that technology into mobile and online call centers. 

It’s clear that financial service industries are always looking for creative ways to provide a unique, beneficial and personable service to all of its members.

Coffee Accomplished – A little morning pick me up

Only after you go without something do you realize how important it is. No, this won’t be a really serious post about love or something grandiose, just coffee. 

Our coffee machine in the office has been on the fritz lately. Some mornings it works just fine, maybe a little slow. Other mornings next to nothing comes out, or there are ants in the water tank. Even worse, sometimes it comes out with residual vinegar from the latest cleaning attempt providing a nice curdling effect for the half and half.

By nature I am a bit of a troubleshooter so I, as well as several others in the office, have become repair baristas with the Keurig.  Disassembling pieces, poking, prodding, cleaning, breaking warranties, “caution sharp needles” be damned.

We can usually get it working again, but sometimes it can take well over a half hour for drinkable coffee. Needless to say, the coffee situation recently has been quite a disturbance. Time wasted, productivity lost, caffeine-less co-workers…

Strolling into work, grabbing my coffee and then getting down to business has been my routine for a couple of years now. I started drinking coffee in the last few years, pretty much because of the convenience of having a machine that makes decent quality coffee in the office with little effort. While it is a very simple routine, when coffee throws a fork in it, it seems to impact me significantly. For the record, I don’t believe I am addicted to coffee or caffeine, I rarely have more than 2 cups a day and always before noon.

But what I have found with the recent coffee situation was not at all what I expected. No, there haven’t been riots or people running for the door, although someone did break out the old traditional coffee machine [gasps.] And it hasn’t all been entirely negative. What has played out, for me at least, is that fixing the coffee machine in the morning tends to give me a boost, a little momentum for my day.

Provided the fix is easy and I am not troubleshooting the machine for an hour without coffee, that will make anyone grumpy. Instead, fixing the machine in the morning can be a nice easy win that seems to provide me energy or a little spark to take on real work and larger problems.  

This experience probably goes against most common productivity and prioritization advice, typically solve the biggest, most important problems first. But I find this with many things, that sometimes I just need an easy win, a little momentum to work up to those big ugly frogs.

Perhaps it is just the caffeine jolt when coffee is finally accomplished, but I like to think it is that little spark of positive feedback that reminds me I can fix just about anything. What’s next?