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Below is our recent interview with Mike Sharp, Vice President of Product, UCC at LogMeIn and Co-Founder of Jive:

Q: How does unified communications and collaboration play into the future of meetings?

A: Meetings need the breadth and depth of interactions that UCC provides. As the number and popularity of applications and devices grows, so does the need for high-volume and high-quality call sharing, messaging, presentation, video, whiteboard and meeting capabilities. Voice and email aren’t going anywhere and remain crucial communication channels, but as savvy customers look to use the best tool for the job at hand, we will continue to see increasing adoption of video and messaging-based UCC.

Whether you find yourself in large corporate meeting rooms, huddle rooms, or virtual meetings, business users require real-time collaboration, and expect efficiency and ease. UCC is making — and will continue to make — it possible to integrate seamlessly with current collaboration and communication applications, helping to transform meetings into more productive and hands-on events thanks to automation and centralized tech.

Q: What makes an effective/valuable meeting?

A: Believe that the best meetings are those that operate smoothly, have a clear agenda, and result in actionable to-do lists for all members in attendance.

This means that if someone doesn’t have anything to contribute to a meeting, they shouldn’t be there (or they should be in listen-only mode). To capitalize on your time, you should keep meetings as small as reasonable, and have a clear agenda. Focus on items where collaboration and discussion is genuinely needed – don’t waste your participants time by unidirectional status updates that could more effectively be communicated through email or messaging.

In addition, have a clear meeting leader. Everyone should have a voice, but it should be clear who is steering the ship. A leader is especially helpful for those who struggle to share their opinions. A leader can help facilitate the conversation and make sure all voices are heard.

Lastly, in today’s mobile climate you can’t have a successful meeting without the proper collaboration tools. Ensure that everyone understands the video conferencing tool they are using prior to the call and that audio and video are both running smoothly.

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Q: How are Jive and LogMeIn disrupting the UCC market?

A: In our lifetimes, we’ve seen rapid consolidation of services and capabilities in the Communications space. Gone are the days where consumers would pay $5 per month for VM or Call Waiting, where business paid through the nose for basic Call Recording, or where Call Center cost hundreds of dollars per agent. In this next wave, we’ll see increasing convergence of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC), bring together tools and capabilities that allow customers to collaborate effectively across a wide variety of devices and technologies, from anywhere in the world. Jive and LogMeIn are uniquely positioned to drive these types of experiences.

The combination of Jive’s award-winning voice, video, contact center and mobile applications combined with LogMeIn’s leading collaboration products – GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining, OpenVoice, Grasshopper, and more – creates one of the best and most comprehensive portfolios in the market. The result is a company that is providing our customers and our partners with new ways to unlock the potential of their businesses while setting a new standard in the UCC market.
With LogMeIn’s acquisition of Jive, we’ve expanded our scale, resources, and market insight and are already seeing accelerated innovation.

Q: Is Hosted VoIP a suitable fit for any company or are there certain requirements that need to be met?

A: Any business in need of a new telephony or communications platform should look at a modern Hosted VOIP solution – the value proposition is just so incredibly compelling for organizations of all shapes and sizes. A Unified Communications and Collaboration goes even further, delivery a service that is easier, more affordable, and always up-to-date with the latest technology.

The minimum “requirements” are increasingly common place – you need a high quality internet connection, and a modern network (firewall, router, switches, etc). Most providers can help assess your network readiness, and the best provide diagnostic tools that you download and run at your leisure.

Q: How secure are my communications and sensitive business information in the Cloud?

A: I’ve heard this question asked a lot. There are still those that believe that cloud computing is less secure than traditional approaches because your data is stored on servers and systems that you don’t have full control of. However, because many security breaches are internal, having everything stored in the Cloud — being managed and carefully monitored every day by a service provider with specially designed systems to protect identity and to manage access — is generally much more secure.

Jive has always taken security seriously. Jive operates through 11 SSAE certified datacenters, all complete with 24/7/365 monitoring and has dedicated NOC staff. In addition, we recently released Jive Secure to protect your conversations with audio encryption — ensuring unwanted listeners can’t hack into your calls. Security has always been a top priority for Jive and LogMeIn.

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Q: What are LogMeIn’s predictions for the future of UCC?

A: There is so much innovation happening in the UCC market right now. I believe that we will continue to see the rise and adoption of hybrid solutions, intelligent networks, new UC solutions such as IoT, IT, social, and vertical and contact center, mobile solutions support, and the continued integration of UCC with office productivity software. We also believe that we will see video continue to climb in importance in the UCC space — especially with the growing remote workforce.

Q: What are your B2B customers most excited about right now?

A: Right now everyone is particularly excited about our recently released Connect Pro Bundle. With this bundle, LogMeIn has made it possible for customers to receive a GoToMeeting PRO license with every Jive seat purchased. This means that every member of your organization not only receives over 80 of Jive’s great VoIP features, but high-quality face-to-face meetings with anyone, anywhere, from any device. And at a phenomenal price.

The bundle is designed to simplify and extend customers’ UCC solutions by combining GoToMeeting’s cloud-based video conferencing solutions with Jive’s virtual phone systems to offer more value, savings, and — most importantly — more valuable connections.

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