Benefits of YG Technologies Ltd’s incorporation into the Via-Vox Group

February 28th, 2013 by John Kleiser, john_kleiser

Following the recent incorporation of YG Technologies Ltd into the Via-Vox Group, we wanted to inform you about some of the great new benefits and services you can now enjoy:

What are the benefits?

Well, you’ll now have access to a whole host of exciting products and services from the Via-Vox portfolio – including our Free Conference Calling Service which could save you money!

  • If you need to make free and instant conference calls then try our free, no-fuss Powwownow Conference Calling Service.
  • Add a new dimension to your existing Yuuguu screen sharing with Powwownow Engage, our one-click collaboration tool that includes HD Video Calling, Screen Sharing, Free VoIP calling and Chat, Presence and more.
  • Share a clearer vision on your web conferences with the addition of Video Conferencing, using our Powwownow HD Video Conferencing solution.

 

As a Yuuguu customer, you are also eligible for a Free One Month Trial of either Powwownow Engage or Powwownow Video Conferencing. Simply contact our team today on 0800 022 9900 or +44 (0) 20 3398 9900.

Finally, there is no action required on your part regarding the change of ownership of Yuuguu. Your services will continue as normal, although effective from 1st March 2013 the service agreement will be between your company and Via Vox Ltd.

We thank you for your custom – and look forward to serving you in the future.

Team Yuuguu

Bookmark and Share
 

7 tips for creating awesome online meeting backgrounds

April 30th, 2012 by Neil Kay-Jones, Online Support & User Experience Manager

We think of branded online meeting log-in screens as another way to push your marketing messages to a receptive audience.

Participants at your screen sharing log-in page have already committed to seeing what you have to show, so this is an ideal opportunity to promote your brand or provide tailored messages before the meeting even starts.

While the Yuuguu default online meeting background is clean and offers a range of colours, with a little additional creativity, online meeting hosts can make their meetings stand out, so here are some tips to make the most of your branded online meeting:

1. Be creative
The more original, creative and distinctive your background image is, the more likely it is to be memorable. Experiment with eye-catching, personalised illustrations, images and typography. Think about creating a meeting background image that isn’t generic and has an unusual twist. Your meeting participants will appreciate it.

2. Keep branding consistent
We all know about how important it is to have a clear and strong brand, whether you’re a freelancer or an SME. It is important to keep the consistency of your brand’s image throughout your contact with prospects, clients, suppliers and existing team members. One way to keep your branding consistent is to use your company’s colour schemes in your background.

3. Make a big deal out of your logo
Adding your logo in your online meeting background will make your meeting fit with other branded places, such as your website, offices, or social media profiles.

4. Share new information
Your background space is a great way to share a little more information about your company or presentation. This helps meeting participants to get excited about the upcoming meeting.

5. Share information in a memorable way
Arrange elements in your meeting background in a unique and memorable way, showcasing information that is important to you and your viewers.

6. Show off your personality
This is great for designers or freelancers. For instance, share your personality through a quirky image.

7. Design for all screens
Online meetings may run on PCs, Macs, Linux or ioS, so consider a design that will look good on all devices.

Bookmark and Share
 

25 useful remote working software, tools and websites

April 25th, 2012 by Neil Kay-Jones, Online Support & User Experience Manager

More and more of us are working away from the office or with distributed teams so we’ve put together a list of 25 software, tools and websites that are useful for remote workers. We’ve grouped the list to make it easier to navigate.

Between us we have used them all and they will certainly make our lives easier for major upcoming events such as the Olympics and the Jubilee as the UK deals with a major influx of tourists and it may be hard to travel.

Remote communications tools

1. Yuuguu for one-to-one or group screen sharing, web conferencing and remote desktop control. Let your colleagues, customers or prospects see your screen. No need for viewers to download an app, it’s good quality screen sharing which is fast and available in a couple of clicks. It’s cross platform on Linux, Mac and PC and offers presence, shared control, IM and chat.

2. Skype - great for calls and IM if of course the other person has Skype. Free video calling, free Skype-to-Skype calls worldwide and ability to call mobiles and landlines for a fee.

3. Powwownow for conference calling. You pay the cost of your own dial in number and receive instant conference calling, low-cost international access, free call recordings, free web conferencing and free scheduling.

4. Business VoIP (Voice Over IP) systems allow you to transfer calls even though a colleague is in a different office. Intelligent call routing means that a call is never missed. VoIP is available on many smartphones and internet devices so that users of portable mobile devices can make calls or send SMS messages over 3G or Wi-Fi.

5. Webmail or web-based email allows email access via a web browser. Many Internet service providers provide a webmail service, but we like Google. Its main advantage is the ability to send and receive email anywhere from a web browser.

6. For secure connections with the office, virtual private networks (VPNs) with random-number-generating key tokens to provide login passwords are preferred by IT departments.

7. Call handling service – a phone answering service or outsourced call centre that will take phone messages when the telephone line is busy or you are unable to take calls.

8. Webcam – a video camera that feeds images into a computer or network, allowing video links and permitting computers to act as videophones.

9. Mobile device – whether it’s an iPad, netbook or a smart phone, ensure that you can grab your email from it, update your Twitter on it, store your documents and basically have your office with you wherever you go.

Remote task management/coordination tools

10. Basecamp – great online project management software. Easy to use with schedules and easy addition of projects.

11. ApolloHQ is similar to Basecamp but cheaper and not as good looking. Has a useful timer to keep a track on time spent on a job.

12. Trello (new but making a lot of noise in the software development world). It is a collaboration tool that organises your projects into boards, allowing you to see what’s being worked on, who’s working on what and where something’s in process all in one glance.

13. Timeanddate.com – if you are working with people in other countries, an international meeting planner enables you to chose time zones and multiple locations of your choice to set up meetings.

Storage and file sharing tools

14. Dropbox – share files and folders. They give some space for free but for regular sharing and if you have lots of documents, you can upgrade.

15. Google docs – create and share your work online and access your documents from anywhere. Manage documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc for free.

16. insync (like Dropbox but uses Google dox). Insync syncs your Google docs to all your devices and vice versa. It works on Windows and Mac and is free.

17. Box – collaboration tool, simplifying online file storage and sharing, allowing you to access, manage and share it from anywhere. Integrates with Google Apps and Salesforce and can be accessed on mobile devices.

Finding remote workers

Working remotely potentially opens up your company to a whole new pool of experts who may not be in the same town or city. These sites tend to be free to employers or freelancers with a small fee charged to the other party.

18. Freelancer.com – outsourcing marketplace allowing employers to hire freelancers via their website in areas such as software, writing, data entry and design through to engineering, sciences, sales and marketing and accounting and legal services

19. Elance.com – similar to freelancer – allows you to hire expert programmers, designers, writers, translators, marketers, researchers and admin contractors with tested skills.

20. Odesk – global marketplace to help businesses hire, manage and pay remote working freelancers or teams.

21. Peopleperhour – marketplace connecting small businesses and freelancers all over the world where they can buy and sell services to each other.

Creative thinking tools

22. Mindmeister is an online mind mapping software that allows users to visualise their thinking. You can share any creation by email or by secure link. Once shared you can start a thinking session and collaborate in real time.

23. Evernote – a free family of products that help you remember and act upon ideas, projects and experiences across all computers, phones and tablets.

Internet connectivity

This may seem obvious, but if you haven’t worked remotely before, you may want to consider ramping up your internet provision and having mobile internet capability too.

24. High speed broadband – high data rate access to the Internet. Broadband provides continuous connection with no dial up and frees up your phone line. Standard broadband technologies in most areas are ADSL and cable internet.

25. 3g dongle – 3g dongle is a portable device that attaches to a USB port to enable a PC to connect to WiMAX or 3G networks. A useful back-up if there are problems with your fixed line broadband.

Bookmark and Share
 

Four Reasons to brand online meetings

April 23rd, 2012 by Neil Kay-Jones, Online Support & User Experience Manager

We recently launched our branded screen sharing service and some of the reasons our customers use the service are:

1. All meetings should be used as branding opportunities

No matter where you conduct a meeting or how long or short a meeting is, it’s important to promote your brand. If someone is meeting you in your office, your reception area may host your logo, use your colours or display pictures of your customers’ logos or products.

So why wouldn’t you brand your online meetings? Consider how many people participate in your online meetings – maybe 10s or 1,000s, it doesn’t matter. An online meeting log-in page should be treated as a welcome to your business. If you don’t have your own unique meeting log-in background, you should! It’s free branding that will be seen anyone who shares a screen with you.

2. Leave an impression

Not only do bespoke online meeting log-in pages, give us creative insight (great for designers!) into your business, but they are also another cool way to get your branding or messages across and set yourself apart from your competitors. While they may reflect the look and feel of your website and reinforce your brand, you can also create a wow effect by showcasing the creative you are using for your latest sales campaign or creating a personalised greeting to really impress. With a generic screen sharing page, there is no real wow factor.

3. Push your messages across before, during and after a meeting

As part of a specific marketing or sales campaign, branded online meetings can already push your message before the meeting even starts and then drive participants to a particular web page or offer afterwards.

4. It’s so simple, so why wouldn’t I?

Unique online meeting backgrounds can be created easily – Yuuguu offers embed code and templates to enable the quick and easy creation of bespoke log-in pages, which can be embedded and hosted on a meeting host’s website, blog or intranet. Most companies can customise these templates with their own logos, styles and backgrounds. For companies with multiple brands or departments, different skins can be created to promote specific marketing messages.

Bookmark and Share
 

Update: Yuuguu introduces branded screen sharing

April 17th, 2012 by Neil Kay-Jones, Online Support & User Experience Manager

We’ve made customised online meetings really easy. Now meeting hosts can maximise branding investment and keep participants on their own website or blog.

Our new branded screen sharing service enables the quick and easy creation of bespoke log-in pages, which can be embedded and hosted on a meeting host’s website, blog or intranet.

Users can customise screen sharing with logos, styles and backgrounds. For companies with multiple brands or departments, different skins can be created to promote specific marketing messages.
This controlled environment is useful for regular or ad-hoc users, supporting outbound sales calls, training or inbound support queries. Customised screen sharing benefits a wide range of hosts including:

Sales people – drive prospects directly to a branded meeting page. The page can provide the key messages a sales person needs to support sales, a product’s USPs, or even a personal message for a prospect.
Marketers – launch webinars directly from a company’s own web site, giving marketers the ability to reinforce campaign messages before a meeting starts, and steer participants to particular landing pages on completion of the session.
Bloggers – increase blog traffic by running live discussion and debate sessions using embedded screen sharing and Yuuguu’s free audio conferencing service. At the end of the session return attendees to another page on a blog to encourage more engagement.
Remote support technicians – create a page which tells customers how to get support, in language that is easy to understand. Customers can start the support session direct from that page.

Branded embedded Yuuguu is available to all customers at no additional cost.

For more information or a free trial, please visit: http://www.yuuguu.com/features/create-yuuguu-widget.

Bookmark and Share
 

Video – embed and customise a screen sharing log-in page

April 17th, 2012 by Neil Kay-Jones, Online Support & User Experience Manager

See how easy it is to create a customised screen sharing experience by embedding Yuuguu into a website or in this case a WordPress blog.

To learn more about embedded screen sharing visit our Branding page https://www.yuuguu.com/s/create-yuuguu-widget

Bookmark and Share
 

Clearer faster screen sharing – what our customers say

March 29th, 2012 by Neil Kay-Jones, Online Support & User Experience Manager

For individual or group screen sharing making the right first impression is really important. Whether you are trying to sell a product or service, share a brand new visual concept or help your new customer or employee to use an application or software critical to your business, quality and speed count.

That’s why we recently announced:

• High quality screen sharing – unrivalled colour depth (16 million colors) for crisp and clear images.
• Faster screen sharing – along with instant screen share, we want to banish lag. Network speed detection ensures that you don’t have to ask, “can you see that yet?” This coupled with remote desktop sharing really works to speed up remote team working.

Holiday home companies, architects, developers and design agencies whose audiences demand clear images and uninterrupted screen sharing are already benefitting, so we asked a few of our customers what they think of the faster and clearer Yuuguu.

A happy customer for Yuuguu

Fresh Media use Yuuguu

“We’ve noticed a real difference in both speed and quality of screen sharing – which has helped top get our innovative design ideas across better. Also being able to show people concepts when they are away from their desk can save days of wasted time, especially when people are under pressure to do more with less.”

Bookmark and Share
 

Group screen sharing – fast, high quality web conferencing

March 26th, 2012 by Neil Kay-Jones, Online Support & User Experience Manager

Yuuguu update – better quality and higher performance screen sharing

We announced today that Yuuguu has a range of new features designed to make online meetings faster with improved image quality:

  • Faster screen sharing – even on slow broadband connections, Yuuguu users see faster updates on their screens. This enhancement is a result of the Yuuguu software intelligently sending only the changed portion of the screen so reducing the load on the network, which enables more intelligent screen grabbing and is especially useful when the presenter is scrolling rapidly
  • Higher quality screen sharing – Yuuguu now provides more colour depth and resolution, which is important when high quality screen sharing is necessary (e.g. for designers, architects drawings)
  • Improved experience for large groups – with some larger group screen sharing systems, participants on slow connections can affect the quality experienced by other participants. Yuuguu’s updated software now manages connections so that participants with slower internet connections do not affect the entire group’s experience
  • Enhanced presentation mode – Yuuguu meeting controls are now positioned off screen, giving users maximum real estate to share screens
  • Simplified interface – new easier to use interface makes using Yuuguu a breeze for both host and attendee – the flow from the website to the client is now just two buttons – share/join and share now/schedule
  • iPhone and iPad screen viewers – allow attendees to join meetings from their iOS mobile device quickly and easily

 

Yuuguu is available for screen sharing with up to 30 participants and requires no installation for online meeting attendees who can participate via web browser. Yuuguu can be used on Linux, Mac and PC.

From £15 per month or £69 per year per user, Yuuguu’s pricing is highly competitive for the feature set. Yuuguu is free for viewers and not covered in adverts.

For a free trial, visit: https://www.yuuguu.com/

To buy Yuuguu, visit: http://www.yuuguu.com/pricing/web-conferencing.

Bookmark and Share
 

Cheap rail travel tips for commuters

March 9th, 2012 by Neil Kay-Jones, Online Support & User Experience Manager

How can a business traveller keep the cost of rail travel down while still journeying at a reasonable time of day? This question is even more pertinent since today’s headlines include news of inflation busting fare increases, as the government plans to cut £3.5bn from the railway industry running costs. Ultimately, it means higher fares!

While the majority of our customer, partner and supplier conversations are via web conferencing, even we have to travel sometimes, so the news hits us just as hard as other commuters.

Our most regular journeys are from Manchester to London or Birmingham to London and back. We’ve found a number of ways to keep journey costs down, and are pretty sure that these tips can be applied all over the UK, and want to share them with you:

  1. Book your ticket in advance – it’s not as flexible, and if you miss the train you could end up forking out for a single fare home but if you know meeting times, this is a great option. Seats become available twelve weeks before travel for the cheapest fares….great if you are doing regular journeys. Many train companies also allow you to book till midnight of the day before travel.
  2. Buy two singles – sometimes it can be cheaper than a return, since you may travel one leg of your journey peak and the other leg off-peak.
  3. Know your peak, off-peak and super off-peak travel times. Most train companies will have similar bands, but if you make a regular journey, commit these times to memory, so that you can benefit from cheaper travel and arrange your business meetings accordingly.
  4. Try to conduct your meetings at off-peak periods – trains arriving in London after 10.00 and leaving by 3.30 are cheaper.
  5. Compare train companies’ prices – Virgin, Chiltern and London Midland all run from Birmingham to London while if you are travelling from Newcastle to London, East Coast Trains, CrossCountry, Grand Central and Transpennine run the route. They’ll have different deals and promotions, so for maybe a little less luxury, you’ll save some pounds.
  6. Get a railcard – for £28 you can save 1/3 off rail travel. For business travellers, the network railcard is good if you are travelling around London and the SouthEast. The Two Together Railcard is being trialled at the moment for Midlands residents and offers discounts for two adults travelling together, so if you and a colleague make regular business trips, this could save some money.
  7. Choose a slower train – more train lines are introducing free wi-fi on journeys; this coupled with a table mean that you can work on your journey, so does an extra 20 minutes on your journey make that much difference for a saving?
  8. Split your ticket – travel the longest distance on the cheapest fare especially if your journey straddles off-peak and peak times, eg you buy a ticket from Penzance to Bristol and from Bristol to Leeds. It’s worth ringing National Rail Enquiries to see if this is possible for your journey, if you haven’t done this before, because you may hold up the queues at your station otherwise.
  9. Travel in a group – GroupSave offers discounts for small groups travelling together. Usually groups from three to ten people are eligible.
  10. Stay in the office and conduct your meeting virtually with Yuuguu – our web conferencing software offers cost effective, easy to set up and use web and audio conferencing and even integrates instant messaging and chat, so you feel like the person you are meeting with it right next to you. For the cost of one or two business train trips, users can have Yuuguu for a whole year.

We’d love to hear from you on: how train fare increases are affecting the way you conduct business meetings, and any further tips on how to save money when travelling on the train for business.

Bookmark and Share
 

Yuuguu now more user-friendly than ever

July 1st, 2011 by Alan Mellor, almellor

Here at “Yuuguu HQ” – the collection of home offices that we work from – we’ve just finished probably our biggest product usability upgrade ever. We’ve redesigned the user experience for Yuuguu from the ground up, based on what we’ve learned about what real people want.

I thought I’d show off some of the touches we’ve added – and explain some of the thinking behind them.

All in one main window

If you’ve never used Yuuguu before, this is probably not a big deal. Most applications involving people these days do ‘People on the Left, Stuff on the Right’.  It’s the familiar feel of Facebook, Google+, new Twitter and many, many other apps.

If you are an earlier Yuuguu user (thanks, by the way! We hope you like these changes) you will see that the multiple windows are gone, the tabs are gone, in fact pretty much everything has been replaced.

We moved to this approach precisely because it is so familiar if you are joining us for the first time. Also, we now have a much larger space in the right hand pane in which we can do ‘stuff’ with ‘people’ And we have a lot of ‘stuff’ planned for the next couple of releases which will need (1) more action buttons, and (2) more screen real estate.

Pictures of People

The biggest change by far for me personally – we added picture support for your contacts. Not only does everyone get a chance to upload their mug shot, but we added in gravatar support as well. If you choose not to upload a picture, we provide a nicely pastel-coloured image based on your name.

To set your picture, click the (new) settings icon on the top right (the little cog thing) to open settings:

Then click ‘Change Picture’ to get to our Picture wizard

More Choices on the Start button

The Start button dropdown is where most people head at first, so we added all the useful tasks under there. Just clicking the button will start a Web Conference, which is our most popular usage. By clicking the little dropdown arrow, the options you see above are presented.

We put find contacts here as it seemed quite logical – and out of the way at the same time.

New Starter Wizard

We have totally revamped the wizard that you get when you log in as a new user. Our old one consisted of large buttons that looked like they would do something – but then took you to help pages. Not brilliant, really.

The new wizard is pretty much what you would expect. We have taken the three most common tasks that new users do, and made clickable blocks that get you started doing them.

Search Contacts

After a while, you can build up a pretty large network of contacts. You can now find them much faster with our search box. Type in any part of the contact name you remember, and the contact list shrinks to show only the possible matches. It’s a lot less wear and tear on your mouse scroll wheel for sure!

Favourite Contacts

I like this feature a lot. By hovering your mouse cursor over a contact in the contact list, you get some extra options appearing:

You can see above that ‘Unfavorite / Edit’ has appeared. The small blue star in the top left of the photo indicates that the contact is one of your ‘favourites’. Favourites get placed at the top of your contact list for ease of use.

Simpler Timestamps

We have moved from our old system of saying a message was sent at – for example – ’11:02′, making absolutely everyone check their watch just to see if it is an old or a new message. We’ve gone over to the more popular system of giving an indication of how long ago the message was sent:

Right Pane Actions

This seems really obvious to us know. Select a contact from your contact list, on the left of the screen. The right hand screen animates in things you have done, and things you can now do to that contact. Under the ‘Screen Share’ button, we include (on windows) the share-a-single-application button. We also have the ‘Ask to See’ option. This is really useful for remote support, as it turns our screen sharing ‘backwards’ – ie you ask the remote user to see their screen, and they hit ‘Accept’ on a popup that they will get.

Simplified Groups

We’ve thrown out our old system of control clicking in the contacts list. It was hard to explain. We’ve added a simple ‘Add more people’ link in the right hand pane now. If you need to add up to 30 more people into your session, click ‘Add more people’. There. I found that *much* easier to explain!

Behind the scenes

We’ve also increased our support for Internet Proxies. If you are unsure what one of these is, then a good description would be ‘something that actively blocks you from using Yuuguu, sometimes’. That’s not what they are there for, of course, but they are a piece of useful IT hardware that can get in the way. We already auto-detect some kinds, and ‘do the right thing’ to make Yuuguu work with them. Now, we can also do certain kinds which rely on the IT department setting them up with ‘pac’ files.

The upshot is, Yuuguu now works in a few places right out of the box where it didn’t before.

What do you think?

So, over to you! What do you think? Let us know on twitter @Yuuguu

I think it is a lot more modern, simpler and just – well, ‘slicker’ – if that’s a real word. Our goal is to make it easier for new users to do the job they downloaded Yuuguu for. Do let us know if you think we’ve got it right.

All the Best -

Al from the Dev Team.

Bookmark and Share