Get More From Your Webinars with ReadyTalk for Microsoft Dynamics

If you do webinars and use Microsoft Dynamics – we can save you a ton of time!

Increase productivity and provide visibility into key activities with ReadyTalk for Microsoft Dynamics – our fully-featured and reliable conferencing services that integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics.

Marketing: Get More From Your Webinars

You know how important it is for webinars to go off without a hitch.  You’ve invested far too much time and money in planning and promotion to let technology get in the way of your message.  With ReadyTalk, you can host flawless webinars for up to 3,000 participants with crystal-clear audio, no downloads and superior customer support.

It’s time consuming and tedious to get data from webinars into Microsoft Dynamics, you are probably also worried about data accuracy and maximizing your webinar investment by quickly creating immediate and actionable data for sales.

Highlights

MSDynamics1

  • Save time and skip the tedious manual processes of moving webinar data between ReadyTalk’s webinar platform and Microsoft Dynamics. Pre-, in- and and post-webinar data is automatically synced from ReadyTalk to Dynamics on an hourly basis.
  • Drive timely sales follow-up after the webinar for higher lead conversion and better program ROI
  • Data is actionable – connect your webinar to a campaign within Microsoft Dynamics to easily segment contacts based on various types of webinar activity
  • Personalized service and support from our Integration Support Team for setup and ongoing questions

SPEED SALES FOLLOW-UP

At the event conclusion, Microsoft Dynamics syncs with ReadyTalk to record registration and attendance status, chat Q&A data, poll and survey responses, avoiding the manual task of moving webinar data between platforms. Microsoft Dynamics queries ReadyTalk immediately after the event so the data can be used to drive post-event activities such as lead scoring, nurturing, and follow-up.

 
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Invisible interfaces and big honking headsets: SxSW 2016 wrap-up

If this year’s annual South by Southwest conference is any indication, we will develop even closer relationships with our devices. They’ll both adapt to help us to conduct our work, and allow us to be more immersed and engaged with experiences to which we wouldn’t otherwise be exposed.


Improvements in voice recognition, natural language processing and artificial intelligence are dramatically improving our ability to work with computers in a more ‘natural’ way; rather than typing on a screen to open an app and perform an action, we will be able to make natural requests that can be interpreted and acted upon. These intelligent agents will have an awareness of context to provide better responses, and then apply machine learning based on feedback to better predict your future needs and expectations, to better serve you over time. Menial or draining tasks can be automated. This will reduce our cognitive load so we can focus on more impactful, creative or enjoyable activities.


As we become more effective in our work activities, our time will shift to allow for more rich, creative experiences. Virtual reality will allow us to become more fully immersed in a world outside our immediate environment. Much more than just an evolution of the existing film medium, virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences shift how actively we engage with information that’s being presented to us. Spherical experiences (from a 360degree camera, for example) give us the opportunity to focus on what is happening all around us, and volumetric experiences allow us to even more actively move about and interact with the space around us. By engaging more than just the the 2D space in front of us, virtual reality has the capacity to hijack our senses in a profound way, which opens up the potential to actually change individuals perceptions and experiences.


SxSW is itself an overwhelming, life-changing experience. Over the course of a week, I attended sessions ranging from “Will AI Augment or Destroy Humanity?” and “Autonomous Cars Will Make Us Better Humans” to “Crowdsourcing the Hyperloop” to “New Advertising Models for Virtual Reality” and “Augmented Reality Without the Rose-Colored Glasses.” With an impressive line of speakers from SRI, Google X and Stanford University, there was plenty of excitement and expertise to tap into.

But as anyone who has attended will tell you, there is much to be learned outside of the thousands of scheduled presentations. IBM had an impressive showing outside the formal program, with their IBM Design Hive and IBM Cognitive Studio experiences. Chef Watson was the guest of honor, serving up cocktails and beer predictions via #cognitivecooking

 

beerquestions

With a few simple questions…

beer-outcome

…IBM Watson was 100% confident I’d like this oatmeal stout. He was right!

The IBM sponsored spaces were playgrounds for human creativity, which then were fed back into IBM Watson to learn from. The space also offered a virtual reality cycling experience (I was sitting next to Dave Haase as he was doing an interview on how he applied analytics to improve his cycling time!)


Oh and the virtual reality! 


2016 saw the introduction of a new track to the conference, VR/AR. This was an additional three days during which the fourth floor of the Hilton became a showcase for filmmakers and vendors to show off their work. This was in addition to a dozen or more Augmented reality or virtual reality events and talks doing on during the regular programming. Just a few of the experiences:

Samsung_Galaxy_Experience

  • Samsung had a 4D roller coaster experience they produced in conjunction with Six Flags (Oculus)
  • The New York Times rented out the Easy Tiger for an entire day to promote their VR work. They gave away NYT-Branded Google Cardboard to everyone who attended.
  • Gillette got in on the game at the Trade show with some Samsung Gear VR experiences. I got the chance to teeter on a slackline in Moab, Utah, all in the name of seeing “how your body reacts under pressure.
  • Vrse.works was showing off a variety of the pieces they’d worked on (often in partnership with the New York Times). The Displaced was particularly impactful.
  • I explored the International Space Station and drove a lunar rover! NASA had developed an experience with HTC-Vive that also included a handheld controller so I could teleport myself through the station, and grab and throw objects around me.
  • Lastly, I went through the immersive #acrosstheline experience put together by Emblematic Studio for Planned Parenthood. Although I had heard Nonny de la Peña discuss the piece in a session, I wasn’t prepared for the strong internal feelings the piece stirred up as I was exposed to actual audio recordings of protesters yelling at “me”.

acrosstheline


Will Virtual Reality make it onto the product roadmap at ReadyTalk this year? Probably not. But SxSW is about exposure to what’s up-and-coming, so we can start to understand what these evolving consumer expectations and experiences mean for us and where there are opportunities that make sense.

All in all, it was another inspiring year at SxSW. I’ll continue to share my thoughts and recommendations on what it all means over the coming weeks and months.

Get More Out of Your Webinars with the ReadyTalk for Act-On Integration

If you occasionally scroll through our blog, it’s obvious that ReadyTalk places a strong emphasis on the marketer. Webinars continue to be a cost-effective way to reach new audiences, but are usually just one piece of the pie in overall lead generation strategy. More and more, our customers are turning to marketing automation platforms, like Act-On, to manage all of their lead generation and nurturing efforts, which can include email campaigns to targeted prospects, tracking activity within your website, and assigning scores to leads to gauge their interest level in your product before handing them to your sales team.

In the past, customers that conducted webinars with our software had to manually export and import registration data between ReadyTalk and Act-On to customize and brand webinar related emails.   After the event, the same manual process was required to export and import attendance data to ensure applicable and timely follow-up occurred with participants.

ReadyTalk for Act-On

That tedious and manual spreadsheet work is now a thing of the past! With ReadyTalk for Act-On, you can:

  • Market your webinars with Act-On campaigns, including landing pages and emails
  • Automatically sync registration data between Act-On and ReadyTalk,
  • Instantly capture attendance status data after the live event to begin post-event activities like lead scoring to speed sales follow-up

Have you started using the ReadyTalk for Act-On integration yet? What other integration points would you like to see between ReadyTalk and Act-On?

ReadyTalk Pi Day

Pi Day

On Monday, 3.14, the ReadyTalk engineering department held its 3rd annual Pi Day Competition.

For those of you that don’t know, Pi Day (or π Day) is a well known holiday (well known by most geeks anyway) that celebrates the mathematical constant π, and is observed each year on March 14th.

Pi Day at ReadyTalk

For the past three years, the ReadyTalk engineering department has been honoring this holiday by holding a design competition based on the Raspberry Pi microcomputer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi).  

This event started in 2014 as a way for ReadyTalk engineers to celebrate Pi Day and hack on some cool technology.  In order to encourage as much creativity and innovation as possible, we decided not to require the projects to be business related. The only stipulation was that the project be built on a Raspberry Pi.  

The Project

Participating engineers (or team of engineers) are supplied with the following:

  • a Raspberry Pi microcomputer
  • $25 per team

The individuals or teams are then tasked with coming up with a project idea, designing it, building it, and finally demo-ing the project to the rest of the company on March 14th. Although the engineers are allowed to work on their projects outside of the office all they want, they are only given the final 12 business hours before the presentations begin to finalize their projects. This means that walking around the ReadyTalk office on the days leading up to Pi Day, you may encounter any number of robots, autonomous vehicles, home automation devices, or any other piece of crazy technology that the ReadyTalk engineers can dream up.

This event has been a good way for our engineers to test out different technologies, show off some of their skills, and have some fun with their coworkers. ReadyTalk Pi Day has turned into something that the entire company looks forward to each year. The designs continue to get more and more creative, and the level of participation continues to grow. In 2014, we had about 35% of the engineering department participate, and it has grown each year, with a little over 50% of the department participating this year.

PiDay

The Results

On Monday afternoon, ReadyTalk employees gathered in the ReadyTalk Nerd Lounge to enjoy a beer, have some pie and watch some cool demos. Once the demos were complete, the audience voted for their favorite project, and the winner was awarded the coveted ReadyTalk Pi Day Trophy (the trophy itself is a Raspberry Pi that continually calculates the value of π, and was actually a Pi Day project itself, two years ago). 

This year, the team that took home the trophy was Team Bender, with Pete Winterscheidt and Brad Beeler. They created a robotic bartender, similar to the Bartendro Kickstarter Project. However, they decided to source their own pumps and adapt the open source software for a more cost-efficient alternative. With six pumps, Bender can make about 720 different drinks. But it doesn’t stop there – the real differentiator for the robotic bartender is that it can also be voice-controlled using its Amazon Alexa integration.

How did you celebrate Pi Day this year?

What’s Next for ReadyTalk Innovation

In late 2014, ReadyTalk set out to do something that it had never done before – take a Lean approach to some homebrewed intrapreneurship. The project was UbiMeet, and we wanted to help make users more productive and make their meetings better. We focused on pre-meeting preparation and post-meeting deliverables, with particular attention on agendas and action items. The first iteration of UbiMeet went live in March 2015, just a few months after the idea was born. While we had some early interest, we found that meetings could only be improved if folks committed to putting in the work – something we were not making easy enough. UbiMeet temporarily shut its doors in June, only to be reimagined as a personal productivity tool that could be used by individuals in September 2015. Even though we had 1200 sign ups, and learned a lot in the process, we made the decision to shut down UbiMeet last month to focus on some different innovation initiatives.

UbiMeet was an incredibly valuable experience because it exposed us to a bevy of tools and techniques for launching a product under a different brand. More importantly, it was a critical step in shaping how we think about building products at ReadyTalk moving forward. Now we are going back to the drawing board to figure out what’s next. Because of UbiMeet’s focus on agendas and action items, it felt like a natural transition to learn more about how people manage their work, so that’s where we started. Staying true to Lean principles, we decided to set up a series of customer interviews with members of ReadyTalk’s Summit Club.

We wanted to learn how people were leaning on task management apps to keep track of their work and the work they have delegated out. The choice to focus on task management apps was biased by my personal reliance on them, Todoist in particular. I have stated in the past that I am a shameless Todoist evangelist and I use it both in my professional and my personal life. Todoist is my to-do list at work, my chore list at home, my grocery store list, and my weekly dinner menu. I even have my fiancee, the worst #millennial alive, using Todoist. Needless to say, I would be lost without it.

We focused on three main questions during our interviews:

  1. How are people managing their work today?
  2. How do they track work that they delegate out?
  3. How do they communicate decisions made and responsibilities to others?

As is typically the case when you try to get out of the building, we were able to glean some fascinating insights from our conversations. One thing we heard over and over again was that folks are still relying on email and in-person meetings to keep track of work they have delegated out to their direct reports. One of our interviewees indicated she had at least five meetings a week with her team, either as a group or individually, yet she is still struggling to keep track of work.

innovation

Another trend we noticed was that there was rarely ‘One System to Rule Them All,’ and most people were using a combination of different apps and analog solutions. Our interviewees listed CRMs, calendar apps, project management apps, Google Docs, email, in-person meetings, and notebooks as different tools in their productivity methodologies. We even had an interviewee who was using a tool to automate emailing out agendas and action items – a notion that felt very familiar! The same interviewee summed up this trend: “We use a lot of different systems and try to hack them together and communicate around them.”

These interviews were only the first part in our continued exploration of the problems that plague meetings and productivity. Ultimately, it feels like we are trying to solve a centuries’ old problem – how do you get people to do their best work, most efficiently? While we certainly do not have the answer yet, it feels nice to get back onto the horse of experimenting and ideating. As we ramp up our new innovation programs, be sure to keep an eye out for what comes next from ReadyTalk!

We would love to hear from you about how you are managing your work today as we continue this journey! Drop us a line at either daniel.ramos@readytalk.com or andrea.hill@readytalk.com and we will set up a time to chat.