Telehealth and its applications in the healthcare industry have been in existence for the last decade; and despite its obvious value and benefits, telehealth has not reached widespread adoption as was expected.
A study by Tractica, places telehealth video consultation sessions at just 19.7 million in 2014. The same study predicts that telehealth video consultation is poised for strong and stable growth based on key technology enablers such as better video conferencing technologies, increased penetration of connected devices, and broadband adoption. Telehealth video consultations are projected to grow eight-fold to 158.4 million per year by 2020 thanks to expansion in healthcare use cases, deployments, and adoption.
Simultaneously, several market factors are making telehealth more valuable, including physician shortages, rising healthcare costs, the need to serve aging populations, and the number of people living with chronic diseases. This aligns with findings from Polycom’s own survey on Healthcare Technology Innovation 2025.
Polycom’s survey of over 1,000 healthcare workers across the world found the aging population and addressing the healthcare needs of the aged, medical practitioner shortage and chronic disease to be the greatest healthcare challenges expected in the next ten years, globally.
The survey also sought to determine the barriers to healthcare delivery in 2025. These were found to be funding, access to healthcare and inadequate government support. Likewise, Tractica’s study listed initial high costs (similar to funding), reimbursement policy (similar to government support) and resistance to adoption as inhibitors.
The ability to implement and deploy telehealth with scale has never been more critical than right now. Telehealth consultations are not likely to attain their height by 2020 or even 2025, unless barriers and inhibitors are addressed.
Here are some additional observations in speaking to customers, partners and healthcare communities over the past few months:
Technology, in particular video collaboration is recognised to play a vital role in the success of telehealth by allowing healthcare professionals to keep in visual contact with patients more easily and inspect conditions from afar, as well as providing emergency access to expertise.
Because of the maturity of collaboration technology, organisations no longer consider technology per se, to be a major barrier. Instead, business-as-usual (workflow), processes, technology management and technology training are regarded as being more critical. Without integration into existing workflows which will aid adoption, telehealth consultations will likely continue to face resistance from doctors, nurses and patients. Therefore, the operation and adoption of technology is seen as more critical than the technologies themselves.
The presence of a dedicated individual such as a telehealth programme manager or telehealth coordinator contributes greatly to the success of telehealth initiatives by managing resources and bridging the gaps between practitioners, IT and patients.
Scale requirements may vary from just a few users to hundreds and even thousands of participants. Whether large or small, healthcare organisations tend to cover multiple locations, including many remote areas that may not be in top tech shape nor have access to good bandwidth. Organisations are also aware that telehealth has to be simple and cost-effective enough to scale into small clinics, group homes and even individual patient homes for home health.
Consequently, healthcare organisations are looking for a range of solutions that suit the various environments they operate in – be it home health, remote clinics, hospital or group home environments. Ideally, video conferencing solutions should be able to connect web-based, room systems, mobile devices and video phones in the same network seamlessly. And preferably be Open standards to allow healthcare professionals to communicate across any platform and any vendor.
Government support was listed as one of the greatest barriers to the adoption of new healthcare models, in the Polycom Healthcare Technology Innovation 2025 survey. Without the right incentives, both monetary & regulatory, industry behavior is unlikely to change soon or change for good.
With governments or healthcare governing bodies “holding the cards” to monetary and policy levers, it seems that telehealth could scale and grow rapidly if healthcare organisations work closely with them to develop effective models for telehealth implementation.
Funding and cost usually becomes an issue when the value to users or to the organisation, is vague. That’s why it is critical to measure the return on investment for telehealth video consultations. All aspects of telehealth from patient satisfaction and benefit, to practitioner and nurse efficiency, to medical resource allocation need to be measured in order to establish the value of investment.
Once decision makers, policy makers and consumers see the benefit, any reservations with funding and cost fade away.
Other important aspects to measure include the usage, performance and efficiency of telehealth video conferences. Solutions like Polycom RealAccess Analytics provide useful data on utilisation patterns, peak and low telehealth video traffic times, regular users, help IT leaders to measure, track and plan support for a telehealth network that should be fully functional 24/7.
As the Healthcare industry evolves to meet the challenges of an aging population, medical practitioner shortage and a rise in chronic diseases, telehealth will have to overcome existing barriers, in order to enable care teams reach people and patients wherever they are located most of the time – be it at work or home – for better health outcomes in the future.
I recently read with interest about a top school in Australia banning laptops in classrooms, citing the reason that technology was distracting and diverts from old-school methods and quality teaching. Although I can understand where this line of thinking stems from and hesitate to completely dismiss this notion, I believe it’s also vital that we understand the purpose and absolute relevance of technology in education. So let’s consider both sides of the argument.
Developing familiarity with various programs, learning typing skills and putting thoughts into a digital medium are
just the basics when it comes to the use of a laptop. Conversely, unless access to the internet, gaming programs and other distractions are removed, students may not be able to resist temptation to play around and get easily distracted during lessons. However, I believe that it’s not so much the use but the presence of the laptop or tablet in the classroom that may present a distraction, particularly when students are anxious for breaks or the next lesson. Here’s an interesting way to think about it: Imagine that you were in a meeting and your mobile phone is on silent. You receive a call or a message mid-meeting, how much effort does it take to ignore peeking at the caller info or message preview? If you struggle with this distraction as an adult, it’s going to be pretty challenging to expect that of school-age children albeit with less impulse control!
Should we go back to basics?
When we refer to technology in the classroom, it is most certainly not limited to laptops. It can be any tool which promotes collaboration and learning – be it a tablet device, video conferencing, or digital whiteboarding. These tools and applications may have once (and perhaps still!) been considered distractions in the traditional sense, but are now opportunities to foster learning among new generations.
With the proliferation of technology throughout our lives, many are suggesting that schools need to go ‘back to basics’. To make best use of technology in education, it’s really important to determine its purpose in a classroom and consider several objectives. Is it meant to be a teaching aid aimed to enrich content and engagement of presentations? Is it meant to provide access to more information at a student’s fingertips? Can you engage with subject-matter experts and peer groups to enhance your lessons? Are you encouraging students to collaborate more freely with online study groups and other schools?
The fact that technology is so prevalent in our daily lives should not be the reason why we go back to basics. If the reliance on technology in classrooms was to change, it has to be for the right reasons – mainly that its use and presence is not meeting its purpose or goals, or is adversely affecting learning outcomes.
Perhaps the “basics” that we should be returning are the fundamentals of lesson design and learning outcomes. If schools are attempting to deliver lessons and educate students using the same or similar methods with the addition of technology, it is unlikely to be the most effective model. Which is why at Polycom, our approach to applying technology in education begins first with offering familiarisation and lesson design to our education customers. It isn’t sufficient enough to just deploy technology such as video and content collaboration in a classroom; educators and administrators need to evolve teaching styles to complement technology – and truly embrace and believe in it – to create even more impact with students.
Technology brings positive change in the classroom
A broad spectrum of education institutions – from schools to higher education colleges and universities – are actively investing in technology, to the point of it being a competitive differentiator. The walls of the traditional classroom are crumbling and making way towards a more collaborative and equitable approach to education through MOOCs, flipped and blended learning, and distance education programs, made possible through the availability of technology such as streaming and recorded video lectures, online collaboration tools, and real-time instant messaging access to lecturers and tutors.
Educators are constantly bombarded with a plethora of technology and new apps. For teachers and administrators, knowing what to choose and when to apply these in the classroom can be confusing. It can also be easy to get caught up in the “shiny object syndrome” with new technology.
The use of technology should be driven by what will make teaching and learning better and what will give students the applied skills they will need in the workplace. As an example, Gippsland Trade Training Centres has wonderfully integrated technology to enable the delivery of education equality over vast distances. Video collaboration solutions were integrated into classrooms and practical workshops within the participating educational facilities. By incorporating video collaboration solutions in classrooms and practical workshops, students can remotely connect with vocational teachers who may be on a farm or in a commercial kitchen, hundreds, if not thousands of kilometres away. Often the instructor wears a mobile, on-person camera, so the students are able to see exactly what the instructor is demonstrating, and programs can be delivered across the two Gippsland regions using video connected classrooms.
Bring Your Own Balance (BYOB)
Much like education models across the world are becoming increasingly personalised to the learner, the curriculum, management and style of instruction amongst institutions within a country or even a state can be very unique.
Perhaps the top institution’s ban on laptops was the right thing to do for their specific profile of students and educators. It does not (and should not) mean that a ban is the right move for every school. A CompTIA study revealed that 9 out of 10 students indicated that the use of technology in the classroom will be important to help them prepare for a digital economy. Clearly, there also is goodness to be harnessed from integrating technology in the classroom.
There is a role for everyone, in preventing classroom technology from becoming a distraction. Administrators and IT departments can restrict access to the internet at the appropriate times, teachers and lecturers can better integrate technology into the learning process and parents can monitor school-related app and device usage at home.
Technology as a whole – laptops and devices, collaboration tools and learning applications - should be assessed as enablers which help promote and improve learning, keeping the students of today more engaged.Having a thorough strategy to plan, assess and manage these technologies based on the current and future needs of your school or organisation, is probably the best way to ensure a balance of technology immersion and the right learning outcomes.
If you’ve seen one of the more recent videos from Polycom, entitled The Secret, you would have had a glimpse into the slick, seamless world of a high-powered executive as he powers through meetings in New York, Paris and Sao Paulo, all within the same day, yet managing to leave the office before dark. What you see in the video is a demonstration that executives can indeed “have it all”.
Of course, it’s a video created by Marketing, highlighting the benefits of video collaboration for the busy C-suite executive. But the fact that it’s a marketing video doesn’t make it any less true. The benefits are very real: forward-looking executives have been relying on video collaboration solutions like Polycom’s for years.
Polycom’s customers know this well. Collaboration doesn’t just support the needs and day-to-day operations of the C-suite. The real secret is having video collaboration permeate every team and every single employee’s daily life; and only by making it a digital work habit throughout the organisation can CEOs (and shareholders) truly reap the benefits of collaboration. Gone is the hierarchical model of old, where video conferencing solutions were only for the Board, the CEO or MDs. It’s about ‘power to the people’ now; effective and efficient collaboration allows organisations to fully realise the value of its human capital, regardless of geography.
There are different types of collaboration, namely informative, evaluative and generative collaboration. Informative collaboration is as the term suggests – individuals working together to share information or updates. This could be project management meetings, or from a CEO’s perspective, town hall or all-hands meetings. Evaluative collaboration is also an appropriate moniker where individuals work together, potentially exchanging information but primarily in order for a judgment or a decision to be made. And lastly generative collaboration, where individuals work in tandem to create something; could be an idea, a blueprint, a new innovation and so on.
Technological innovations such as HD video quality, bandwidth compression, video encryption and advanced content-sharing capabilities, have progressed to enable the different types of collaboration to occur naturally. For instance, annotating on a whiteboard during a brainstorm session can take place between participants in Mumbai, New York and London as easily as if they were in the same room (without the physical scuffle for the marker!). These innovations also address engagement concerns in video collaboration meetings. Now, voice triangulation algorithms can detect the location of an active speaker within a room and zoom in on him or her as the central speaker, whereas before, teams had to settle for listening to an anonymous voice emerging from a large meeting room.
More and more CEOs are leveraging video collaboration for themselves and their organisations to remove boundaries amongst employees and enable natural, easy collaboration to occur. By equipping employees with collaboration technology, physical teams in the workplace can connect with virtual members - distributed teams, remote workers and even contract or freelance employees in an instant, to share information, solve problems and generate ideas. This unleashes tangible value from within your business by empowering the most vital asset within the organisation – its people.
For more on how CEOs can elevate their organisations by leveraging collaboration technology, check out:
This blog is part of a series of 25 blogs that take a look at how Polycom has transformed industries and business functions.
These blogs are a variety of retrospective, current and visionary perspectives with the common thread of unleashing the power of human collaboration. Follow the hashtag #Polycom25 on Twitter for tweets about this significant anniversary in our history.
We live in the most interconnected time in human history; a world of wifi/4G-connected, video-enabled devices that allow for rich connectivity for visual content and real-time, face-to-face interaction. It is a world that is more virtual than ever before, allowing people to connect and collaborate from any location or device. All this rapid innovation is changing the way people behave and operate. It’s changing the way people consume information, make decisions and interact with others. This in turn, has profound implications on work and the workplace.
The flexibility and choice afforded by modern technology are making business leaders question the relevance and effectiveness of the workplace in its current form. Large underutilised office spaces and traditional desk and cubicle configurations are no longer effective – whether in terms of cost or productivity – in this age of mobile workforces and instant collaboration regardless of location.
Today, enabling technologies, such as mobile devices, tablets, IP telephony and video collaboration have changed the way people work. Whether it’s checking emails on the commute to work, joining a conference call while driving, or meeting over video collaboration from home, you don’t have to physically be in an office to be connected and considered a productive employee. Technology and connectedness have empowered workers with choice and convenience,in turn, this choice and flexibility have liberated workers from the workplace.
The growing prevalence of distributed teams, remote working and Activity-Based Working is evidence enough:
The population of workers occupying the physical workplace has declined and continues to lower, as workers and businesses adopt technologies that enable new ways of working outside of the office. Desk utilisation rates drop and expensive office real estate sits empty equating to lost money. At the same time, workers who continue to use the office find themselves in need of more facilities to team with distributed and remote colleagues.
Businesses must take action to correct the imbalance in the workplace. Collaborative workspaces that thoughtfully integrate technology and space should replace underutilised work desks. Adjustments to deliver the best experiences for physical and remote workers need to be made and throughout this process, workers have to be actively engaged for optimal outcomes. Every business is unique. Only by deploying the right technology for the right users, in the right workspace environment, can businesses boost productivity and reap results.
Trends driving new ways of working
From our perspective at Polycom, the workplace of the future is not a single place. Mobility, the cloud, big data, the Internet of Things, social media and consumerisation of IT are removing the many barriers that once prevented effective workforce collaboration within organisations across the globe. As the moderator and opening presenter for the upcoming 30 minute webinar ‘From Workplace to Workspace’ the first in a series, I will be looking at how organisations are adapting their workplace to support employees collaborating in new ways. Register today to secure your place. An on-demand version of the webinar will be available for all registrants.
Recently, the Manpower Group released the results of their 2015 Talent Shortage Survey, which showed that employers are facing shrinking talent pools as working populations decline. Globally, employers are reporting difficulties filling job vacancies due to talent shortages, increasing to 38% in 2015 from 36% in 2014.
As the competition for the right talent heats up, employers will feel the pressure to present themselves as attractive destinations to potential employees. This has fuelled recruiting trends such as employer branding, social sourcing and even assessment science. Another that is growing considerably in popularity is video-enabled talent acquisition – and this comes with numerous benefits.
Video collaboration technology is increasingly being used to connect candidates with companies, but additionally allows HR recruitment processes such as candidate screening, interviews, feedback, and remuneration package discussions to occur; face-to-face, in real-time, from any distance. Some companies go one-step further to integrate video collaboration into existing human resource management systems (HRMS) to record, capture and archive video interviews in the same way interviewer notes and assessments are kept “on-file”.
Introducing video collaboration into the talent acquisition process has several advantages:
1. Increased speed of decision and hire
A friend of mine went through 17 interviews, over a period of three months with a company before he was finally offered the position! Fortunately for them, he accepted. In today’s fast-paced world, few candidates would endure frequent and lengthy interviews. They would probably be interviewing with one to three other firms concurrently and would likely have accepted a good offer and even started their first day on the job, before 17 interviews were completed. Speed is essential in capturing the right talent.
Video-enabled talent acquisition delivers interviews efficiently; scheduling burdens are reduced when physical meetings can be replaced with virtual, face-to-face interviews, regardless of candidate or interviewer location. It even accommodates multiple interviewers from disparate locations in a virtual meeting room, with the candidate. Internal reviews and discussions about the candidate can also be supported by video collaboration. All this helps to shorten the talent acquisition process, and speeds up the decision and offer to the candidate. This enables companies to be more competitive when seeking talent that is in high demand.
2. Better assessment accuracy
A picture may speak a thousand words but video conveys volumes. When in-person interviews cannot happen, companies sometimes rely on phone interviews to replace them. For most companies, it is the next best option, but it doesn’t have to be. Browser-based video collaboration solutions, such as Polycom RealPresence WebSuite, allow interviewer and candidate to meet face-to-face, in real-time, through a web browser. This is far superior because visual information delivers important cues to the interviewer.
For instance, facial expressions that convey excitement about the role inform the interviewer that the candidate is sincere, and potentially passionate about the role. Other traits such as confidence, personality, understanding, puzzlement and confusion are also clearer over video, than through a telephone line. This ultimately results in a more accurate assessment of the candidate’s competence, personality and enthusiasm, and increases the likelihood of making the right hiring decision.
3. Employer branding
The world is a different place now, companies no longer hold the monopoly on selection. Candidates too use interviews as a platform to assess whether a company is one that they would like to work for. Theirchoice will also depend on what they learn about the company’s culture, work ethic, team work, trust and so on. Leveraging video-enabled talent acquisition shows potential employees that a company embraces technology – a factor that is very important to the fast-growing Millenial workforce. It conveys that a company is fast-paced, demanding, but is also collaborative and consultative. The adoption and use of technology portrays a company as dynamic and emphasises teamwork whereas traditional hiring processes may feel conservative, slower and sometimes bureaucratic.This infographic explains more about how HR professionals will shape the future of business.
All other things being equal, companies which leverage collaboration technology in their talent acquisition process, are more likely to secure the candidate and win the battle for attracting and retaining great talent.
Have a look at the video below, to get you thinking more about the benefits video collaboration can bring to Human Resources operations:
The term ‘pervasive’ usually refers to (an unwelcome influence or physical effect) spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people. Some may agree that this negative connotation is aptly applied to video collaboration. Indeed, there are pockets of individuals in organisations, who often play ‘dodge’ with the camera in video meetings, or who seat themselves outside of the breadth of the camera angle, or who simply join the call via audio – all to avoid being seen on screen. But for me, it ALWAYS saves the day. Here’s one situation I can recall:
It was a regular day and I was working from home like I always do. I then received a last minute meeting invitation which involved a VIP
customer. The key decision makers who were due to visit in two weeks had now asked to move the meeting to the next morning! The Account Manager quickly scrambled to gather all the internal participants to plan the demonstration and meeting.
If we had been “any other company”, this would have triggered a mad dash for me to grab a cab and rush into the office, probably 90 minutes late for the meeting. But we are Polycom after all, and instead of wasting time commuting, I was able to channel my energy to better use and immediately collaborate with my colleagues over video and participate in the discussions. Video collaboration enabled us to discuss how to address the customer’s requirements, our demo strategy and flow, and even conduct a dry run of the final sequence – all as if we were in the same room! (See the photos to prove it, below!). The next day, the customer was blown away by our presentation!
Is this a case for pervasive video collaboration? A resounding YES!
Any organisation that intends to fully realise the value of its human capital needs to enable efficient and effective interpersonal collaboration, irrespective of geography and location. And video collaboration is the tool that will unleash tangible value from within your business by empowering every single one of your employees to connect and communicate, face-to-face, wherever they are.
Check out the whitepaper, Power to the People by Rob Livingstone, Former CIO and Principal Consultant of RL Advisory and find out how the use of video collaboration technologies can meet your organisation’s collaboration needs.
The title of an upcoming webinar organised by my APAC colleagues From Information to Innovation –the Changing Role of the CIO, caught my eye as the email invitation went out to our customers, prospects and internal team. Among the speakers for this event is former CIO Rob Livingstone, who is now himself an advisor and consultant to other CIOs on innovative practices. When I learned more about what the webinar entails, what really got me thinking was the word “innovation”.
New technology and innovations are lauded as the currency of this digital age but I was curious about the sentiment out there. Do companies genuinely believe they have to innovate to grow? Are they investing towards this strategy? Or were these just sexy buzzwords that MBA students and industry pundits bandied about?
A quick Google search turned up an intriguing Wall Street Journal article – Economists Duel Over Idea that Technology will Save the World: Has All the Important Stuff Already Been Invented? (Read it in full here.)
There are some key opinions that stood out from the article:
I’m no economist. But being in the video collaboration industry, gives me a front-row seat to how just one sector of (recent) innovation, has changed our lives dramatically. The advances for productivity supported by the ability to collaborate face-to-face, anytime, anywhere, in multiple ways puts me firmly in the camp of optimists (such as Mr Mokyr) in this debate. And it’s exciting to me, because it isn’t just about the method of collaboration, but rather, the subsequent output or value (made possible by the innovation) that is astounding.
In a recent IBM survey, the 4,000 or so C-level executives participating considered technology the single most important external force shaping their organisations and their business strategy. With this imperative in mind, the upcoming webinar led by Rob Livingstone looks to be immensely relevant to current and future CIOs.
The live webinar - “From Information to Innovation – the Changing Role of the CIO”, will take place on Friday, 28 November, at 12:00pm Singapore time (9.30am Bangalore, 3:00pm Sydney). Rob Livingstone, together with Polycom experts Nick Hawkins and James Brennan will take participants through the trends that are accelerating the new rise of the CIO and IT function, and discuss how great collaborative organisations are tomorrow’s innovation leaders. If you’d like to find out more about the need for collaboration and innovation in today’s competitive market, be sure to join in here.
Why is collaboration so important to organisations? It turns out that innovation stems from routine collaboration that occurs in workspaces, social networks, and informal connections throughout the day. And because innovations deliver competitive advantage for companies, its catalyst – collaboration – is now the major focus of C-level executives, as well as HR, Facilities and IT leaders.
Face-to-face collaboration no longer requires physical presence in the traditional office. Video collaboration overcomes distance barriers and allows organisations to assemble the best teams and talent on projects and meetings, regardless of where they are in the world. This means that collaboration is now more effective and efficient in terms of time saved, time to market, and cost. The new reality is therefore, the Collaborative Workspace - a blend of physical and virtual collaboration environments within the traditional office, the home office or any other location an employee has chosen to work from.
People need people and people need technology; and they need spaces which bring both together. Here are five considerations when creating transformed, interconnected workspaces that offer both choice and control:
1. Optimise Real Estate: If designed well, more flexible, team-focused offices, meeting rooms and hot desk environments will often require less real estate, not more. The cost and space savings can easily cover high quality voice and video communications systems that connect not just those in a single office, but a string of global offices that are all set up with these goals in mind.
2. Enhance Collaboration & Innovation: When more comfortable and engaging workspaces come together with the technology to connect anywhere, anytime, and in virtually any way, collaboration is automatically improved. From virtual whiteboards and immersive environments to physical group areas that are purpose-built for idea sharing, much can be done to foster teamwork.
3. Attract, Develop and Engage People: Employees are looking for more flexible work environments andHR professionals understand that smart, successful people do best when connected and engaged with like-minded colleagues. Top candidates are drawn to the mentorship and teamwork that come with collaborative workspaces.
4. Build Brand and Activate Culture: From a better group dynamic to happier, healthier employees and a lower carbon footprint that comes from less travel and waste, collaborative workspaces empower employees to work better, appreciate their work more, and broadcast these benefits to those around them.
5. Wellbeing at Work: More studies show that sitting alone in an office all day is bad for your heart, your feet, your spine, your weight, your mental acuity, and your outlook. Collaboration and movement together can combat years of damage done by stagnant and solitary work.
Collaborative workspaces are looking better and better, both physically and virtually. Offices can now offer sitting, standing and even treadmill and stationary bike desks, as well as purpose-built pods and rooms for engaging groups of all sizes. On the virtual side, fueled by the affordability of bandwidth, High Definition quality, and a wider range of video technology at lower price points, video collaboration is becoming ubiquitous. This means that emergency meetings, discussions with remote experts, and even HR training and corporate announcements are becoming simpler to organise, far more affordable, and better for everybody.
By combining people-centric approaches to enhance productivity and satisfaction, with a technology and equipment strategy that enables high performance around the office, around the clock and around the globe, collaborative workspaces are offering unmatched benefits to all kinds of companies, from the top to the bottom line.
Would you like to learn how video solutions can transform a collaborative workspace? Click to read more.
Most of you, like me, will have subscriptions to multiple news sites, analyst updates, and industry media outlets. These companies send you the latest trends, surveys, white papers and reports on a daily or weekly basis – keeping you up to speed on the latest and greatest. And you may have noticed, like me, that of late the interest around Talent has been growing. Talent, talent, talent. How you recruit, manage, motivate and improve productivity.
Talent, also known as Human Capital, has replaced Financial Capital as the new source of competitive advantage. As one of the largest items on the balance sheet, organisations are concerned with how well they manage this asset in order to maximise their investment and generate superior performance. Organisations are also concerned about how they address shortages in talent, as well as productivity.
In my guest article for ComputerWorld Singapore published this month, I share how new training paradigms that leverage real-time video instruction, recorded and streamed video lessons, and interactive webcasts are becoming simple to use and increasingly popular.
I also suggest four ways in which video collaboration can transform training, and help organisations resolve the shortage of skilled and productive manpower.
Read the article here: Training for the trenches – from battlefronts to boardrooms
I’m sure it’s happened to most of you…especially the iPhone users out there. If you have ‘App-Alert’ OCD like I do, you would have upgraded to the latest OS after seeing that glaring red circle with the numeral 1 over “Settings” appear, promptly irking you into action. But then horror ensues – no new emails are coming in! Email on my phone is DOWN! How will I get through the day/night/my life?!
Yet take yourself backwards in time about eight years and the concept of having a smartphone which gave you access to feature-rich, html emails or HD video collaboration (clearly I don’t mean the Blackberry), was probably not commonplace. For the tablet, it took merely four years from the launch of the first-gen iPad to penetrate the workplace and establish itself as the indispensable business tool it is to many of us.
So when I spoke about “The Video-enabled Collaborative Workspace of the Future”, at the recent Corenet Global Discovery Forum in Singapore, I really actually meant that the Future is already here. Now.
In a business environment where companies have to reduce operating costs, increase productivity and continuously enhance company value, it makes sense to empower the largest item on the balance sheet – people. By enabling employees to be more productive and more engaged, companies CAN reap greater returns in the form of innovation, creativity, productivity and that really difficult thing called competitive advantage.
Polycom’s vision of the Collaborative Workspace is more than a building or an office, or a desk. It’s more than merely putting people next to one another and saying “Go work together to solve/create/strategise”. It’s where collaboration technology – video, voice, presence – liberates employees and delivers the freedom to work wherever, whenever and however they choose. It measures results and accomplishments instead of physical presence in the office. Thereby empowering employees to develop that culture of collaboration and be more productive, in order to ultimately deliver greater company value.
Are you already working in a video-enabled collaborative workspace today? If not, get started. As a first port of call, there are many useful resources on our website. And if you don’t know where to begin, if you run into problems, or if you have any questions at all – leave a comment here or get in touch. We’ll be happy to offer advice.
ABOVE: Staff in Polycom's offices across Asia Pacific use many different types of video-enabled collaborative workspace. Pictured are examples of Steelcase furniture with integrated Polycom video collaboration solutions in our Melbourne and Tokyo offices.