Cardiac Kids and ReadyTalk

Today's guest post is provided by Jessica Liss, ReadyTalk Technical Product Manager

ReadyTalk supports Cardiac KidsThis year ReadyTalk entered a team of five runners to compete in the Corporate Cup division of the Colfax Marathon. The Corporate Cup marathon relay aligned well with ReadyTalk’s values of health and wellness as well as giving back to the community as the top three finishers were rewarded with cash to donate to their choice of the race’s charity partners.   

The ReadyTalk runners (me, Brian Schlosser, Jason Stueve, Joel Dice, and Vaughn Dice) placed first in their division with a time of 02:50:30! We chose to donate our $2,000 prize to an organization called Cardiac Kids which helps support The Heart Institute of Children’s Hospital Colorado as well as children and families affected by Congenital Heart Defect. Approximately 1 in 125 babies are born with a heart defect which makes it the most common birth defect. We admired the organization’s mission of education and support for families impacted.

 

Introducing the ReadyTalk Interns of 2012!

With summer in full effect I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce the ReadyTalk Summer Interns of 2012! We have students representing CU Boulder, Colorado State and the Colorado School of Mines.  The interns are helping us out on the Product Marketing team, Account Management team and in Software Engineering.  Check out the projects they have been working on in addition to a quick intro from each of our interns. 

RT Interns of 2012!

Up first is Brittany Jones.  She is currently working with our Product Marketing team to help streamline our RFP (Request for Proposal) response process by building out a database of commonly asked questions/answers. Brittany is also working on a compilation and analysis of our annual customer survey responses through the Salesforce Application. And finally she is helping with the creation of various reports on our top competitors for use by our various customer-facing teams.

“Hi everyone, my name is Brittany Jones and I’m a new product marketing intern here at ReadyTalk. I’m going into my senior year of college at the University of Colorado at Boulder and have been studying Business Management. I’m originally from Northern California, where I initially found a passion for hiking and doing anything active outdoors. I consider myself a diehard sports fan, and enjoy watching CU Buffs athletic teams as well as the San Francisco Giants. I’m excited for the opportunity I’ve been given at ReadyTalk and look forward to spending my time here this summer.”

Secondly we have Sarah McCaslin who has been helping out our Account Management team. This is Sarah’s second summer with ReadyTalk! She has been managing, supporting, and servicing account related needs for clients and customers. In addition, Sarah, has been providing training and support services for current and prospective customers.

Sarah McCaslin, left & Brittany Jones, right

“I will be going into my senior year at Colorado State University this fall in Fort Collins. I am studying Communications and Business Administration. This is my second year at ReadyTalk as an Intern for the Account Management Team. I help out the team with whatever I can and I am lucky to be welcomed back by such a great group of people! I enjoy spending time outdoors and anything to do with fitness; riding horses, running, camping and spending time with my friends and family.”

Lastly we have our Engineering Interns. During the Summer of Scrum 2012, the software engineering interns of ReadyTalk are writing a custom MAME server application that will incorporate technologies such as RFID, networked video cameras and achievements published to social networks. For those who are not familiar with MAME, it stands for Multi-Arcade Machine Emulator and is a staple of geeks the world over. Users will be able to login to the MAME arcade machine using their RFID cards and their high scores will be tracked and compared against their co-workers and broadcast to our internal Yammer social network. In addition, the software written by the interns will be open-sourced and released to the community under the ReadyTalk name on Github. Be sure and check it out!

“Hey all, my name is Terek Campbell and I'm going into my Senior year at C.U. Boulder (Go Buffs!) I am majoring in Computer Science with an emphasis in Engineering and Computational Science. I am a devout christian and am active with The Navigators student ministry group. Some of my favorite past times are poker, football, Halo, and just hanging out getting to know people. I live on a farm in Elizabeth and my family has llamas, goats, chickens, dogs, cats and fish (Oh my!). I also have 7 siblings. I was home-schooled all the way through high school. I am going into my third year as a Resident Advisor at C.U. and I love the interaction and mentor-ship that accompanies that. I absolutely love waking up each morning and looking outside to see the flat-irons (Huge perk of living in Boulder). I enjoy both the indoors and the outdoors so whether you want to go on a hike or chill and play some games, I’m all for it. I am also very active in student leadership initiatives on campus and enjoy making a difference in the world I live. Here at ReadyTalk myself and 4 other interns are working on the MAME cabinet project for engineering. Who knew I would spend the summer writing the software for a video game console? I'm having a blast though and would love to get to know all 160+ people that work here so feel free to hit me up!”

“Hi, my name is Riley Moses. I'll be a junior at Colorado School of Mines in the fall. Technically "what I'm doing here" at ReadyTalk is working on the MAME project, but my goal is to have fun and learn as much as possible. I like to unicycle and program for fun.”

From left to right: Terek Campbell, Riley Moses, Zach McGaughey, John Kelley

 “Hi, my name is Zach McGaughey. I'm a senior Computer Science major at Colorado State University. I've lived in Colorado my whole life and enjoy spending time in the mountains. I'm working with RadyTalk this summer to build an arcade game interface and game server. I've learned a lot here and loving every minute!”

 “Hi, my name is John Kelley. I am currently attending the Colorado School of Mines, intending to graduate in late 2014 with a Master's Degree in Computer Science (although I hail from Fort Collins). I am enjoying the incredibly nerdy and relaxed atmosphere here at ReadyTalk while I earn some valuable experience with Scrum and long-term (relative to schoolwork) software projects. For fun, I head CSM's Anime Club and spend more time than I should in Guild Wars and Left 4 Dead 2 (and somehow fit in some time to hang out with classmates/friends on the weekends).”

“Hi, my name is Devin Wilson. I am a junior at CSU in Fort Collins.  I have been programming since my sophomore year of high school.  At ReadyTalk, I am learning many new technologies, but more importantly, I am learning what it means to love what you do.  The other employees here are so passionate and a joy to work with.  I love to learn new things, do anything outdoors, play guitar, be a geek, volunteer/help others and experience different cultures.”

As you can see we have several awesome additions to the ReadyTalk family for the summer of 2012. If you would like to be the next please contact me directly at Catherine.harrison@readytalk.com.

A Peak into the Salesforce Admin’s World, Nebraska Style

Last week, I joined the Salesforce power users of the great state of Nebraska to discuss our ReadyTalk for Salesforce application and the benefits we could bring to their organizations and day-to-day responsibilities.  

One of the most intriguing aspects of the ReadyTalk for Salesforce application for the Nebraska Salesforce User Group was all of the points of integration between the ReadyTalk platform and Salesforce.com, which eliminate many of the manual and time-consuming processes they currently conduct to move data related to webinars and web conferences.  Their users spend the majority of their days within Salesforce, and Salesforce administrators want to make their jobs as automated as possible to maximize productivity.  

Our initial release of our Salesforce Application last summer included automatically syncing registration and attendance data from a ReadyTalk webinar into Salesforce, speeding up follow-up with prospects and customers.  In April of this year, we released new features to concentrate on the sales use case, which included the ability to start and schedule a ReadyTalk meeting directly from a Lead or Contact record. As a sneak peak to our power users, we showcased our latest release that includes the syncing of polling questions and answers, and mapping webinar registration data to existing leads and contacts.

It was a great experience getting to know some of Salesforce’s most experienced users, and we look forward to participating in more to come! We are co-hosting a happy hour this week for the Kansas City Users group, so if you are there, please say hello.

We'll also be at Dreamforce and happy to give demos. If you haven't registered for Dreamforce yet, register with code ECMRDYTLK at www.dreamforce.com.

 

The Changing Face of Collaboration: Key Takeaways from the Wainhouse Collaboration Summit

Last week, I spent two information-packed days in steamy Philadelphia. Wainhouse analysts shared their vision for the future of UC (unified communications) and collaboration and IT leaders from companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Mayo Clinic, and Depository Trust described the challenges they are facing in the real-world application of these technologies.

Here are the nuggets that stood out for me …

Make it Work Together, Damn It!

One loud-and-clear message was that interoperability between technologies is absolutely crucial. It’s no surprise that different users have different needs: a team of developers on Linux boxes and using Campfire as their team workspace may want to work quite differently than a sales executive who lives in Salesforce and conducts online demos with Fortune 500 prospects. IT leaders don’t want to cram a one-size-fits-all solution down their throats. Yet, they certainly don’t have time to waste getting best-of-breed solutions from different vendors to ‘play nice’ together and with other business-critical applications. For companies to realize the true potential of collaboration technologies, vendors need to invest in integration and interoperability. ReadyTalk couldn’t agree more. That’s why we’ve already built an open API and integrations with applications like Outlook, Salesforce, and Eloqua and while we’ll continue to invest in interoperability in the future.

Deploying Unified Communications is a Challenge

Many organizations are deploying Microsoft Lync and other UC solutions and most are rolling out the IM and presence piece of the puzzle first. While this is a great start, IT leaders are running into challenges as they move to the next stage in their UC journey. Michael Obiedzinski, VP Network Technology at Depository Trust talked about his users’ reluctance to adopt soft phones (what if my computer crashes?!?) and the problem of tying Lync video conferencing into his in-room video systems. Wainhouse analyst Bill Haskins discussed how companies he has consulted with are struggling with the question of what to do with audio and web conferencing to create a seamless UC experience for participants within and outside of the organization. On another front, Christopher Morrish, a technologist from Facebook, questioned the value of subscribing to one single brand versus selecting the mix of best-of-breed tools that will make employees most efficient. And, in the end, isn’t that what’s it all about?

Transform the Way People Work

Years ago, the argument for audio and web conferencing was all about travel cost savings. Today, collaboration technologies have the potential to fundamentally change the way people work and live. Folks can call wherever they want home (while still earning a living). They can collaborate with peers in far-flung locations – when they want, how they want, with minimal boundaries, and without interrupting their thought process – to innovate and make better decisions. Companies benefit from a happier workforce plus an expanded talent pool. No longer limited to the local market, they can hire the exact right person for the job without regard for geography.

In line with this vision of what could be, Wainhouse analyst Andy Nilssen painted a picture of what he called the Web-Enabled Team Process 2.0:

The next-generation of conferencing and collaboration

He also identified three advancements in audio and web conferencing technology that will help make this way of working a reality:

  • High-quality desktop video and VoIP audio
  • Richer team workspace capabilities
  • Next-generation mobile clients

ReadyTalk is on board; check out our slick iPad client; and stay tuned for more exciting enhancements later this year.

What’s your vision for the future of collaboration? What can ReadyTalk do to help you get there?

Introducing More Enhancements for ReadyTalk for Salesforce

ReadyTalk for SalesforceIt's hard to believe it’s been almost a year since ReadyTalk launched our application for Salesforce, and what a year it has been!

We continue to align with our varying customer base so that our application serves several different use cases, including marketing and training professionals that run webinars as well as salespeople that conduct online product demos to their prospects.

So what have we added now?

Polling Responses

If you use the polling feature during webinars to gather additional information about your audience, ReadyTalk for Salesforce automatically pulls in polling questions and answers matched to each participants name, allowing you to qualify, segment, and follow-up with attendees accurately, and efficiently.

Field Mapping to Existing Lead and Contact Records

If a participant registers for a webinar that already exists as a prospect or customer in your Salesforce setup, we give you the flexibility to integrate any new registration data directly into the existing lead or contact record. These settings and permissions are available to your Salesforce Administrator.

What's up next on the ReadyTalk for Salesforce roadmap?

As our ReadyTalk team prepares for Dreamforce 2012 in late September, we are already working on a few new features to present to the Salesforce users of the world…check back soon to hear about our next release! Oh, and if you're attending Dreamforce, use registration code ECMRDYTLK and get $100 off.