Is your Company ready to become a Social Business?

March 24, 2011


Is your Company ready to become a Social Business?

Are you ready to go Social? Strap on your web 2.0 seat belts because ready or not, here it comes. I attended an IBM and Information Week hosted event on Becoming a Social Business. I was impressed with the vast array of businesses that were present- Industries from Healthcare, Government, Banking, to Finance, Insurance, and Education. Many were there not only to learn more about bringing social into the work place but many seemed ready to embrace it.

There’s a whole lot of socializing going on

Social web has seen explosive growth over the past few years – Facebook has over 500 million users worldwide and Twitter over 200 million users as of its 5th year in business March 21, 2011. Now that’s a lot of socializing! The big misconception is that Web 2.0 is simply about socializing- but it is so much more.

Use of Social Media to drive business success

The new network economy is about communities, collaboration, peer production and user-generated content. It is a place where business reputations are defined by customer opinions and ratings, where the latest news is delivered in real time by bloggers, and product development is driven by customers and their feedback. Leveraging the information generated through Social Media is powerful and can drive business success. The back bone of social media is communication, collaboration, honing relationships and building communities. Not much different in what is essential in every successful business. What is the differentiator or the X factor? It often comes down to relationships and how well we maintain and nurture them.

Social Networking promoting internal continuity

Companies have been trying for years to increase collaboration, share the knowledge and improve productivity. Bringing in Social Media tools to the work place can be the solution to this. Big corporations are trying to find the “sweet spot” to figure out how to harness the benefits of increased employee participation while mitigating the risks. Clearly, policies and procedures that encourage sharing knowledge and collaborating between employees must be implemented. A company’s social media approach must integrate with its existing communications channels and goals.

If you still think Social Media is just a trend and it doesn’t apply to you, rethink again. For any new technology or new “something, something”, there is a process. It may be intimidating at first but as long as you are open and willing to learn more, you will be on the road to successful transition, acceptance and adoption. We must be adaptable and open to these changes in order to grow and thrive.

What is your Social Strategy? If you don’t have one, we can help!

Are you already a Social Business? Please share. We would like to hear from you!

Good reads:

Beginner’s Quick Start Guide and Tutorial to Using Twitter by Zappos CEO-Tony Hsieh

IBM’s Strategy to Manufacture Social Networking Surprises 


The Future of Conferencing and Collaboration

February 13, 2011

TeleSpan’s Sixth Annual Future of Conferencing Workshop
March 17 and 18, Las Vegas

“How to Profit From Conferencing & Collaboration”
TeleSpan’s In-depth Analysis of Trends & Future of the Industry. For the sixth year in a row, Elliot Gold’s opening presentation will provide in-depth data never shared before in an open forum — once again showing why TeleSpan is so widely respected as having the highest accuracy rate in the entire teleconferencing industry
Conferencing and the Communications Williwaw. Richard Dalton will give a thought-provoking report on the changes in the digital environment, outside of conferencing, that could have an effect on our field.
Skype: Video Anywhere. Jonathan Christensen, Skype’s General Manager, Audio Video/Sr Director, Skype for Business, will discuss new paradigms for the conference room, as well as the promise and reality of mobile video. He will also give a demonstration of several very innovative Skype partner implementations for the Enterprise.
Logitech: Videoconferencing for the Consumer Market. As cell phones with forward-facing cameras and TV cams in the living room become the norm, has the time finally come for consumer video calling and conferencing to go mainstream? With one in five adults already having placed a video call as of 2010, video communication is poised to become a major contender in replacing the traditional voice call. Eric Kintz, Logitech’s Vice President and General Manager, Video Business Unit, will take a look at the video communication industry’s trajectory over the last few years, the current state of the video calling space, and where he expects it to go in the coming years in light of broadband penetration, increased prevalence of HD video, the realization of Unified Communications and disruptive pricing on the product and service level.
The Users’ World. Judy Sterling and Regina Menza of Keypoint Marketing will provide an overview report from the users’ perspective: what they are facing, what they need, what’s changing in their worlds.
Panel: Consumer Crossover Videoconferencing. Jonathan Christensen and Eric Kintz will moderate a panel on a growing trend: the use of consumer videoconferencing products in business.
Social Networking: This year we will offer workshop attendees a more in-depth look at social media benefits, applications and possible partnership opportunities. Last year’s presentation focused on the basics, answering such questions as “What is social media?” and “What are the key applications and platforms?” This year, we will offer a “next step,” answering such questions as “How will social media change in the next several years and how can I prepare?” and “Who are the key players and how can I forge future relationships?”
Update on “free” conferencing: One of the most highly rated sessions last year—this year’s panel of free conference call providers will present an expanded look at how this market has grown to represent 10% of the entire North American market for conference calls. Moderated by Martin Elton and Steve Augustino.
China and India Markets: There is good reason why the international conferencing and collaboration market is growing faster than the domestic North American market: meetings have become global, just like business. TeleSpan will present two experts, Harry Walls on the Chinese conference call market and Harshad Contractor on the India videoconferencing market, who will show, in detail, how these markets are growing.
Full Industry Panels: The most popular panel at TeleSpan’s Fifth Annual Workshop was the industry panel that told it “like it is” in the industry, talking about successes as well as roadblocks. At the Sixth Annual Workshop a panel of top CSP managers moderated by Bob Wise, InterCall, will not only present on the first day, but will also wrap up the Workshop with an open discussion of what CSPs have to do to maintain their leadership position in the industry.
Technology Sandbox: Play with new products and services just emerging from industry players and startups, in a casual, no-sales environment.
For More Information go to

Virtual and still keeping it REAL..

January 29, 2011

Within the last few months, I attended three Virtual/ Hybrid Events.
Comdex Virtual

The Virtual Edge Summit

TeleSpan’s 16th Annual Prediction Webinar

Although I was not physically in attendance at any of these events, I was able to interact and be a part of the discussion so much that I felt as if I was really there.
For those who frown on Virtual because it is not real or that technology is taking over the human experience, I would say, give it a chance…
My motto for the Virtual Concierge has always been

“The human-ness in technology”
I discovered that although being Virtual is only possible through the innovative use of technology, the HUMAN and our ability to still make the virtual services we provide to our clients, REAL , is what makes being Virtual captivating, compelling, and successful. We must remember that technology is a means to and not an end to. How and why we use technology gives its value- so if we strive to create virtual solutions to help our way of work, help find that ever elusive balance, and to help humankind, then that is what will keep Virtual technology thriving and real.

Virtual Anna is back!

January 20, 2011

Virtual technology has come to the fore front of business and our daily lives. I’ve been working on several projects for some time and will be telling you about them over the next few weeks.
What I created 11 years ago with the Virtual Concierge ( ) in the Hospitality Industry, is now a solution for any profession, any business, that desires to deliver their specialty-in Virtual, anytime, anywhere.
– Stay tuned!

Change is here!

May 16, 2009

I have taken a year off from blogging but behind the scenes have had a year full of exciting progress with the Virtual Concierge application. Introducing the next KILLER App……
The Virtual Expert
Reinventing the way we work, play, the way we live our lives today!

Help at the touch of a finger

Help at the touch of a finger

The Search for Search Engines

April 12, 2008


 hipo engine.JPG

Search engines have revolutionized the way we work. As a concierge, looking back a few years, I would refer to my rolodex for recommendations and information. All the information in my rolodex was either through years of contacts, knowledge and first hand experience. The rolodex was the equivalent to the little black book! Search engines have replaced the trusty rolodex with making the little black book public. It is the port to all secrets and shared knowledge, all at my finger tips.  How great is that! I just go to my favorite search engine, type in my request, and print out, fax, text, or email, all the information my guest would need. Streamlined and seamless!


My top favorite search engines and why: 

I love the candidness and on the spot reviews.

I like the ease of search and familiarity. There is a glitch however in their map feature where they have posted the wrong business name to the wrong address. This is a big glitch that I hope Yahoo would fix. If not, I may stray away to the other!

I like the accuracy of this search engine. I do wish they would simplify their Google Maps and not have as much graphics and interactive apps. I know, sounds like the opposite of what they would want to do. It just takes boat loads of bandwidth for me to download a simple map and print out to my guest standing in front of my screen, 80 miles away. The more simple, the better. By the way, I do have boat loads of bandwidth, (T1) but on the other end which is my remote computer, the bandwidth is not as robust.

This site has answers to anything and everything!

If you want to ease drop on all the nitty-gritty of the travel world this is the site to go to. You get the inside scoop of what all the frequent travelers are saying about all Hotels and Airlines. It is a true learning experience.

This site is for the real foodies out there! Their slogan is, “For Those Who Live to Eat”. Chow down!





How am I Driving?

February 28, 2008


This is a post where I am asking for Guests to share their experience with my Virtual Concierge service. Thank you in advance for your time in sharing your thoughts and feedback!!

The Virtual Concierge at your service 2008

January 4, 2008

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A concierge is no longer just found in a hotel lobby but can be seen at car dealerships, in shopping malls, at airports, in corporate buildings and even hospitals. A concierge is added service and can create loyalty to businesses and brands. It use be that offering a Concierge is something that a company can offer to differentiate themselves from the rest, but nowadays, it is just what a company needs to keep up with the Jones’. Do you take advantage of concierge services available to you through your credit cards, hotels, work? If you had to pay for Concierge service, would you use it and how much are you willing to spend?How do you feel about the Virtual Concierge and the idea of “at your service” at your point of need, anytime, anywhere?


Necessity is the Mother of Grass Roots Inventions

January 3, 2008

While ringing in the New Year, I look back at the abundant opportunities that I was blessed with within this last year and for the many years before. I have to say first and foremost how very fortunate and thankful I am! 

It was about 8 years ago January 2000, I was pregnant with my 2nd child and faced with an 80 mile commute to work every morning. I was not on the road by myself doing that daily grind but driving along side many thousands of other road warriors. I felt like I was being pulled in different directions ready to snap and yearned for that work life balance solution that many strive for.

This morning January 2008, I make my short  2 minute commute to work, my home office down the hall in my house. But I feel for the millions of others still caught in the daily grind of the commute while I read in the local paper about crude oil touching $100 a barrel.

“Necessity is the Mother of Invention”

The Virtual Concierge was my re-invention for my necessity, to be close to home with my children and at the same time be close to my guest at the Hotel. I was given a tool which was your traditional video-conferencing system and used it to create a solution for myself and possibly for many others. For 2008 I hope to create the tool for millions of others to create their own work life balance solutions. Stay tuned!

Hospitality and BlOgGinG

December 8, 2007

When I was first introduced to blogging, I was not sure how it would fit into what I do as a Concierge and the Hospitality Industry. But blogging has come a long way and has become a great resource for many industries. The first blog I use to read religiously was I would listen in on the top “road warriors” comments, feedback and advice about all hotel groups. It was like having a direct window into guest’s top concerns, thoughts, and advice about our Hotel. I compared it to people watching 101, in a crowded top notch restaurant with all the who’s who of the business travel world. With this new perspective, I was armed with insight which helped me become a better Concierge. Now Blogging has arrived and the hotel industry has rolled out the welcome mat:Tracking Tourism – Thoughts from the first ever travel industry bloggers summit,     found in eHotelier