Turn any room into a conference room – part 1

During my day I use Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync) quite a lot – it is our actual phone system at Paradyne so it’s something we can’t live without.

Normally I would use my Microsoft LifeChat LX-6000 headphones for most calls, however from time to time I need to either move around the room or involve others who are physically present.

Historically I have used either the microphone & speakers built into my Surface Pro 3, or if docked at the office I have a Microsoft LifeCam Cinema and external speakers. The problem with both of these setups is that as good as the microphone tries to be it still picks up a lot of background noise as well as almost requires you to talk directly at the microphone. While this isn’t always the case I’ve found more often than not people struggle to hear multiple people in the room unless they are all close and talking directly at the microphone.

Enter the Jabra Speak 510 for PC.

One of my staff suggested I get this device for our office, so at a price tag of only $150 I thought it couldn’t hurt.

In a nutshell: the quality was so clear that when I used the device the people on the remote end thought I was still using a headset.

The device is compact and comes with a carry case for easy transport – so you could easily carry it around in your device bag. It can be connected to your PC using either the integrated cable or the supplied Bluetooth dongle. Installation takes only a few seconds for drivers to load, and it charges via USB so no need to carry any additional power packs with you. The website claims a talk time of up to 15 hours which means you don’t have to worry about charging it often.

The 510 has physical buttons for easy mute, pick up, hang up, and volume control – the necessary basics. Additional benefits are that you can pair your phone to the unit and stream music as well.

Due to its compact size I will be carrying the 510 with me when I travel as well as my Bluetooth headset as between the two I have the freedom to have calls only I can hear, or include others.

In the next two blog posts I’ll cover the other two pieces I use / carry to turn any room into a conference room.

Life/Work balance – BitTitan case study video

While living in Seattle last year with my family the team at BitTitan created a video case study about myself and Paradyne to showcase how easy their technologies allow you to migrate to the cloud from wherever you are – and ultimately work from wherever you are.

On a personal note I am thrilled that this video was created as it gave me a platform to share my views on living a life/work balance and how cloud can enable us to wrap our work around our family lives (not the other way around).

You can see the video here