The Collaboration challenge Part One
By Pierre Rodríguez Thursday, August 9 2012
Polycom Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean Region (CALA)
VIDEO technology has changed the way we communicate. Ten years ago when I went to sell the idea about video conferencing to customers, they thought that the technology was better suited to doctors since they were the ones that used to join “conferences” as even the terminology was not really well understood back in those days.
Also some people were uncomfortable “talking to a monitor” because they thought it made them look crazy.
In the last several years, with the help of web services like YouTube and devices like video ipods, video as a media has become more natural for users. Everywhere you go there are cameras — on the street, in elevators, virtually everywhere. You sit in a room and we all know that we are surrounded by cameras, being a security camera at the corner of the ceiling, or a video camera from our smart phones in our pockets.
At Polycom we believe in making video collaboration ubiquitous. It is all about making video and voice collaboration simple to use and available to everyone through open, standards-based software—delivered on-premises or from the cloud—that connects people securely across any network, protocol, application or device they want to use. This is what will really allow people to work together at a distance through video, anywhere, with any device.
Let’s face it, more than a seventh of the human population is either remote or mobile and distance costs companies their productivity. We have multiple examples of applications in several vertical markets where collaboration has a extreme direct impact on the efficiency and productivity of the company. One example that illustrates the richness of the application is how Polycom’s video collaboration was used in Tinseltown to connect the director and production team in real time, on the Lord of the Rings trilogy set. The director communicated with the crew and site directors to view sets, lighting, and camera angles and was able to make real-time changes prior to shooting. The solution has also been used by script writing teams based in LA and New York to brainstorm, write, edit and modify scripts, again in real time.
Another interesting example of the application of video is how Polycom’s solutions for healthcare improved patient care and extended access, supported prevention and wellness programmes for decreased health costs and generally improved hospital work flow and operational efficiencies.
Philip Wolford, coordinator of Saint Vincent’s Regional Telemedicine Network in Erie, Pennsylvania, described Polycom’s video collaboration has patient-centred care in the purest form. “(It) has literally changed the way we practice medicine. Doctors all over the region can provide life-saving services to any cardiac patient in any of our facilities.” Through our recently launched RealPresence Mobile, Polycom enables mobile devices with professional video collaboration capabilities. The free-to-download software solution extends the enterprise-grade video collaboration capabilities of the Polycom RealPresence Platform beyond the conference room, office and firewall to mobile devices such as iPads, iPhone, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy and many other table devices.
Mobility is one trend that would expand usage of video conferencing in the market in a very significant way. The Cloud is another mechanism used to drive this solution and goes hand in hand with mobility. It offers customers the opportunity to engage in video conferencing without having to integrate and support the infrastructure on their premises. Small and Medium Enterprises benefit from Cloud as they no longer need to worry with CAPEX investments that sometimes are not feasible for a SME company.
Another trend that supports the video conferencing solution is social media, which is not as strong in the Caribbean and Latin America as it is in other parts of the world; but it is getting there. Social media users all have a synchronous mentality. If you sent an e-mail to a 15-year-old, you’d have to wait two days for a response; if you posted the same information to his Facebook , he’d respond in a matter of minutes. When these same tech savvy users get into the workplace they are not going to sit and sort through 250 pieces of e-mail, like I do on a daily basis. They would be given a tool and on it they expect to find enterprise social software that would allow them to connect to their professional network and the networks of colleagues. There is a race going on right now with companies that are developing the enterprise social software. IBM’s Connections, Microsoft’s Sharepoint and new companies in Silicon Valley like Jive are currently developing these social layers. We know that those applications would require video but since we don’t know which is better, because they are now starting, we have developed a technology would allow video on any device without the need to install software.
With those three trends, mobility, cloud and social media, we believe we would put video in the hands of the masses. TSTT is moving in the same direction of mobility and cloud. What Polycom offers to TSTT and to the rest of the world is a strategy for seamlessly connecting communications for the consumer, mobility, SME’s and businesses, regardless of the platform or network being used.