Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Four Reasons to brand online meetings

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

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.

Clearer faster screen sharing – what our customers say

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

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.”

Cheap rail travel tips for commuters

Friday, March 9th, 2012

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.

Helping the Homepreneur

Friday, May 27th, 2011

with thanks http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1164833Just came across this post homemade millionaires It’s well worth a read through.

We find that Yuuguu gets all sorts of different users and uses. We have larger corporate clients, who use it as a logical extension of an internal phone network. Instead of looking up ‘Barry from Accounts’ in the directory and talking to him on x3647, you simply click on ‘Barry from Accounts’ in your contact list and you are instant messaging and screen sharing. Very useful.

But I find the possibilities for startups all the more exciting. We know there is still a global economic downturn on. We know that major governments are making cuts. At least – if they haven’t already gone broke. We know – sadly – this means job losses.

The good news is that broadband is commonplace, the mobile web is here to stay, and new devices like the iPad are blurring the lines between computer, television, print and voice. At the same time, the promised information economy is actually here. People can – and do – pay for information-led products and services on the web these days.

I personally think the likes of eBay and Amazon – the early ‘buy products online’ pioneers broke that one. They were the first commonly known sites where you would put credit card details on the web. Nervous early users found – to their surprise and delight – their orders arrived. I recall back in 1995 when none of us thought that would ever work, people trusting the web with their money.

All this makes it a great time to think about starting your own internet business.

Where tools like Yuuguu come into their own is in enabling the ‘homepreneur’ to work with other people easily. When you start a business around a passion, you quickly learn that you whilst you are great at doing ‘your thing’, your business needs ‘other things’ to succeed. Unless you can create content and products, design and run websites, market, sell and account, you will be able to use some help. And by placing practical help just one click away – anytime, anywhere, anyone – tools like Yuuguu are a great fit for your ‘backroom startup’.

If you are a budding ‘homepreneur’ – what do you have to lose? Get started! As soon as you need to work with others, you know where to come.

Remote Pair Programming with Yuuguu

Friday, February 25th, 2011

One of the topics that frequently crops up on my TweetDeck is ‘can anyone recommend a good tool for Remote Pair Programming’. Turns out I can! There are no prizes for guessing which one (Yuuguu, just so you know). I decided to chat about our experiences in doing this for five minutes in this video.

The ways we use Yuuguu inside the company

I started work here as a software guy, working on our server implementation. There’s quite a lot going on there. It’s got bits of Java, SQL, various HTTP and XML bindings to it, all the usual buzz word stuff for a modern server development. Our website coding is PHP – again, talking to servers via XML, XMPP and HTTP. Plenty to code, plenty of diverse technologies.

One way we handle the diversity is to use Pair Programming – the technique first brought to light in ‘Agile Methods’. It’s where two programmers sit at the same keyboard and computer screen, and both work on a piece of code. Sounds wasteful – until you try it. The benefits are real. At the very least, one guy can be typing away at the low level stuff – making it work – whilst the other can think about high level issues. The benefits are more compelling still when you pair up people with radically different – but overlapping – skillsets.

We found it particularly useful during a recent major upgrade – rewriting our screen sharing software, to make it faster, and with better looking pictures. Pairing a low-level bit twiddling expert with someone with video codec expertise proved to be a significant help in getting the job done. You find that the real-time, fully-engaged nature of pairing means that problems get found and worked on much faster. Typically, with one programmer, once they are stuck, they can spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out solutions on their own. And their colleague might well be able to solve it in seconds, due to their different background.

Finally, a shout-out with thanks to @dorkitude for asking the question about how strict we are in our application of ‘pair programming’. Cheers!

Til next time,
Have a great week –
Al.

Like a wheel within a wheel

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Just a quick link today, but to a truly impressive sight: Yuuguu running in Second Life


Follow the link, then scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the great image!



Yuuguu goes mobile on Android tablets

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Yuuguu’s gone all mobile!

Yuuguu Web Viewer on an Android powered Tablet


A great picture sent in to us of the Yuuguu Web Viewer running on an Android tablet.

We’ve been somewhat pained by Apple’s decision to not use Flash technology on their iPad and iPhone products, as this means our web browser based screen sharing doesn’t work. And the whole point of us picking Flash in the first place is that 98% of all browsers at the time already had it installed. So for most people, this meant no downloads to use our web viewer. A big win for sales calls, where any obstacles beyond those of getting you and your offerings in front of a potential customer are just not needed.

But this photo cheered me back up again. If you have an Android based tablet device, you now can truly collaborate with anyone, anywhere in the world – from anywhere in the world!

New screen sharing – better, faster!

Friday, January 21st, 2011

If you’ve used Yuuguu to share your screen, you’ll know that an image like this nice one I took this evening would give you a dilemma: Use our fast mode – but get posterised colours – or use our slow mode, if you wanted to see the image correctly. And who wants to be slow?

No more!

Launched today, we have an entirely new screen sharing technology. It’s an optimised codec that is optimised for speed, mouse movement and picture quality. A codec (coder/decoder), for those less geeky than our development team, is the piece of software which squashes your picture down the internet to make it get there faster, then unsquashes it at the other end. Our previous one was generally good – and fantastic for sharp text – but … well. We thought we should do even better. So we have!


Better Mouse Movement

The first thing we’ve done is to give you the mouse pointer. We used to show a ‘laser pointer’ red dot during a screen share to show where the ‘other’ mouse was – the mouse on the host’s computer. Quite a few people have told us they wanted to see a mouse pointer, not a red dot, so we changed that.

More importantly, the mouse updates much faster. As your host moves their mouse, you will see it on your screen share in near real time. It is *much* faster than we had before, due to a fundamentally different – and rather clever – way of handling the mouse movement.


Better Images

Our new codec squashes pictures differently. It is much better at dealing with lots of different colours than our old one for any given speed of screen sharing. The images look much more ‘photographic’ at any of our quality levels.


Faster Start Up

My personal favourite new feature – when you click ‘share my screen’, the time delay before your viewers can see the first screen has been massively reduced. It’s just much slicker for those important presentations.


Better Default Quality

We now have three settings for colour/speed. The new default is ‘medium’ which shares the screen at about the same speed as we used to, but with much better quality and many more colours. There is both a ‘more colours’ and ‘less colours’ setting. My favourite personally is to go into the settings panel, and set the default to ‘fastest’. I find that gives me all the colours and quality I need, but the sharing is really much quicker than it used to be.




This new technology is available now to everybody who tries or buys Yuuguu from our website. With our seven day free trial, it really does make sense to check this out.



Until next week -

Happy Improved Sharing!


Al.

Sorry to hear of DimDim’s demise, welcome new Yuuguu customers!

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Bad news

Interesting industry news this week has been that Salesforce.com has acquired DimDim. Apparently existing contracts will be honoured, but no new DimDim customers will be taken.

On a personal note, if this means job losses (I don’t know) then my sincere condolences. That’s never easy on the people and families involved. We always thought DimDim were pretty worthy competitors in the overall scheme of things.

If you’ve followed Yuuguu on twitter for any length of time, you’ll know that we don’t do that awful trick of trying to persuade our competitor’s customers to use our service instead. We’re pretty happy about standing on our own two feet.


All the ‘screen sharing’ service providers – when you get into details – actually target different customers. Yuuguu is particularly good at Business Collaboration, and, increasingly, Unified Communications. Some of our work – like how we integrate one-click, browser-based group screen sharing into Skype is pretty innovative, as well as being useful. I digress. So you will never have seen the statement ‘DimDim people come to Yuuguu’ … errr, until you just read it then. Not our style, thank you very much.

Good news

But equally, it has been a pleasure for me personally to talk to a lot of new Yuuguu customers this week. Certainly, it seems that for a good deal of people, changing to Yuuguu has resulted in considerable cost saving (just £59/$79 for a full year!). Many people also like our simple, easy to use, just-works-without-complicated-setup ethos as well.

So my personal thanks for your time and trust in checking us out.

Even better news!

And you couldn’t have picked a better time. We’re close to a fairly major new release which will definitely delight our existing customers (definitely…) as well as our latest users. Our roadmap for 2011, following our own acquistion by Conference Calling company Powwownow is pretty exciting. Can’t say too much, but definite moves towards better integrated Unified Communications to come.

Should be a good year.

Do keep in touch …

To all our new found friends, we like to keep in touch, so make sure you:



And always remember we’re here to build the best collaboration/conferencing product there is, so all your feedback is most warmly welcomed.


Oh yes. And don’t forget to subscribe to this blog ;-)

Until next time
A warmest welcome from Al Mellor

Happy New Year! Here’s to better meetings in 2011

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Greetings.

Turns out there is one meeting you absolutely, definitely, positively cannot use Yuuguu for: Christmas Day with friends, family and children opening presents!

Our family had a great time over the break, and whilst we did send the odd Instant Message to each other (really!) it has to be said that even Yuuguu can’t make a Turkey taste good remotely.

But anyway. A very Happy New Year from me (Al) for 2011. All of us here at Yuuguu wish you every success, and hope that we can help in some way with our great-value web conferencing and collaboration tools.

We’ve certainly got a really busy roadmap this year, and if all plans work out, Yuuguu will have some extremely compelling new capabilities by the time I say Happy New Year again for 2012.

Upcoming new release

We have a new release coming out shortly – which will appear on your automatic Yuuguu upgrades, without you having to do anything – and I’ll let you know here and on twitter when it finally escapes QA into the real world. As always, we would love your feedback on it then.