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Photo: Lyft http://www.wired.com/2013/08/airport-arrests-uber-lyfts/

 

 

If you’ve ever heard of Aribnb, Lyft, or ZipCar, then you already know about collaborative consumption – the idea of renting out desirable resources (such as an extra bedroom or a car parked down the street) instead of letting them sit idle.

 

It’s a brilliant concept because it benefits everyone involved and wraps new meaning around the notion of reducing unnecessary duplication. The average car, for instance, is used just one hour a day, according to a terrific infographic at futureofcarsharing.com. Car sharing makes better use of some of that downtime, offers occasional or visiting drivers a convenient alternative to traditional car rentals, and puts money in the pocket of the car’s owner. And it’s smart for other reasons: Frost & Sullivan estimates that car sharing diminished global carbon emissions by more than 480,000 tons in 2009 alone.

 

All this had me wondering: How well suited is video and content collaboration to this model? To find how this is evolving, we just have to take a look at a few Polycom customers.

 

While video collaboration environments traditionally are owned and operated by organizations and designed for the use of employees, this is changing. ALAIN AFFLELOU, Europe’s leading eyewear retailer, shares collaboration infrastructure with more than 1,000 franchisees so they can learn product details, selling skills, and management best practices.  All workers need in franchise stores is a mobile tablet, and they can all share in this valuable resource.

 

An even more wide open model is emerging globally as Polycom partners offer web-based video collaboration services that tap into a centralized platform powered by the Polycom RealPresence Platform.

 

Here again, everybody wins: A shared video collaboration resource serves many more users, who can cost-effectively defy distance without having to make investments on their end. And service providers reach customers who otherwise may not have been candidates for enterprise-quality video collaboration.

 

Like car sharing, shared video collaboration reduces carbon emissions. And it does so much more, leading to more efficient traffic management and security on public and private networks. Customers enjoy high-definition video and audio, and network bandwidth is more fully utilized.

 

Interested in learning more? Watch the ALAIN AFFLELOU video here.

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