Conferencing with ReadyTalk

ReadyTalk

OIT offers a versatile teleconferencing solution, ReadyTalk, to faculty and staff.   ReadyTalk is much more than a telephone conference service.  Some of the ways you can use ReadyTalk are described below.

Quick Launcher – Enables conference leaders to initiate an audio conference or a web conference with just 2 mouse clicks. More information and a link to the download are located here http://www.readytalk.com/products-services/integrations/productivity/quick-launcher.

Outlook Scheduler – Meeting organizers can add their ReadyTalk conference login to an Outlook meeting request with a single mouse click.  This is convenient for organizers and the invitation makes it convenient for participants to join a meeting.  Participants can choose to dial into the conference or they can click on a ‘Call Me’ link and have ReadyTalk call and connect them to their meeting. Check out more information and a link to the download here http://www.readytalk.com/products-services/integrations/productivity/outlook-scheduler.

ReadyTalk for Google – Meeting organizers can add their ReadyTalk conference login to Google Calendar meeting request with a single mouse click.  You can download the Google Scheduler here http://www.readytalk.com/products-services/integrations/productivity/google-calendar.

ReadyTalk for Lync – ReadyTalk’s integration with Lync makes it easy to connect with individuals directly from your active directory of contacts.  Right click on any contact to send them a link to join an instant meeting.  For more information: http://www.readytalk.com/products-services/integrations/productivity/microsoft-lync.

Other features of ReadyTalk include:

  • Chairperson dial me:  Conference leaders can choose to dial their conference phone number, access code and passcode in order to access their conference call OR they can choose to have the bridge call out to their phone and connect them to their meeting.  Chairperson dial me is available through the Quick Launcher and within the web conference interface so that you can choose the entry point that is most convenient for you when you host your meetings.
  • Video Conferencing:  Build stronger connections with the individuals you meet with by using ReadyTalk’s video conferencing service for your meetings.  The video conferencing service is offered as a complement to web conferences where attendees need the ability to see each other.  Up to 25 people can attend and see the video streams of up to 4 attendees at any one time. The  video streams can be swapped out so that you can share the video of different individuals throughout your meeting. The service is designed to help IT organizations manage bandwidth utilization across their organization where our service is concerned and to provide adequate real estate for the individuals to review a slide desk, document and other visual content during a meeting.
  • VoIP: In addition to accessing a conference call via telephone, ReadyTalk now offers the option for hosts and attendees to join a conference call via VoIP (using their computer).  Meetings may have a blend of access methods across the spectrum of attendees.  Some individuals may call in by phone and others may use VoIP for the same call.  The chairperson opens a web conference in order to make VoIP available and then individuals can select the access method that is appropriate for themselves. A headset is recommended for our service to ensure the best audio quality experience.

Questions about ReadyTalk can be directed to ReadyTalk Customer Care.

More Features for ReadyTalk

ReadyTalk

ReadyTalk is a telephone/web conference service used throughout the UC system.  All UCI campus departments are eligible to sign up for service. ReadyTalk adds new features as they become available.  In the last few months, the following capabilities have been added.

ReadyTalk for the iPad
Conference participants can access a web conference via their iPad.

iReach integration
Users can easily create and distribute a press release about an upcoming webinar.

Surveys
ReadyTalk enables users to email a custom survey to participants after a webinar.

Video Clip Playback
With video clip playback you can easily upload and stream short video clips to your entire audience providing a rich web conferencing experience.

Guides on how to use these new features can be found on the ReadyTalk web site.

Conference Calls with UCI Phones

<br /> Cisco IP Phone

Conference calls make a cost-effective alternative to traveling to meetings.  UCI’s phone system supports conference calls for 3 to 8 people, including up to 6 off-campus participants.  For larger groups, commercial options such as QWEST are available.

For faculty and staff with a Cisco IP phone, even more flexibility is available with “meet me” conference calling.  This kind of conference call can support up to 16 users, any number of which can be off campus.  Once one or more parties have joined the call, the originator can leave the conference without disruption.  However, since this requires a special-purpose extension to be reserved for the conference, please call Telephone Customer Service (x4-5123) at least a day in advance.

Phone conferences can be enhanced with tools that allow on-line sharing of documents and desktops.  A systemwide agreement has recently been concluded with ReadyTalk, and other products are on the way.

Network-Based Conferencing

Network-based Conferencing, also called videoconferencing or videoteleconferencing, facilitates collaboration with colleagues who may be far from your location. This technology also presents an opportunity to reduce travel costs when conducting University research and business.

Conferencing tools may include the sharing of audio, video, computer desktops, electronic whiteboards and other electronic media. Your collaboration may range from a small group of people using desktop tools to larger groups in specially-equipped rooms with advanced audiovisual equipment.

There is no single piece of hardware or software which serves all videoconferencing needs. If you are working with a smaller group, you might use desktop software such as Skype or iChat with inexpensive cameras and microphones. Larger groups with more demanding sharing needs may opt for a commercial service such as WebEx or GoToMeeting. These services require accounts to be set up with usage fees. You or your department may also have more advanced equipment set up in a special room, or use one of the scheduled campus teleconferencing facilities such as those operated by the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center .

NACS provides some general information on this technology, including resources distributed around campus.   We’ve also collected specific comments on desktop hardware and software options .  UCOP Strategic Sourcing is developing RFPs for different types of conferencing as a cost-saving alternative to face-to-face meetings.  (An RFP – Request for Proposal – is a method for choosing from which vendor to purchase products or services.)  Technologies being examined include telephone conferencing with sharing of the computer screen of the conference leader, as well as videoconferencing.

We suggest you begin exploring this technology before an actual business need arises, so that you are familiar with it and have been able to confirm the quality of your audio and video. Please contact NACS if we can be of any assistance in this area.