Video is on the cusp of a breakthrough. While video is becoming more prevalent, and in some cases essential to an effective workplace, we are yet to “cross the chasm.” That will change in 2015, and at Polycom I’m delighted to bring you some key enhancements that we will announce throughout the year that will change this.
To make video a central part of the workplace of the future, the key tenant has to be user experience. The easier and more delightful the experience, the more rich visual collaboration becomes a natural part of a company’s workflow.
A positive user experience really boils down to three tenants:
Collaboration Lifecycle: The entire collaboration lifecycle must be a delightful experience, from the pre-meeting, to in-meeting, to post-meeting experiences. All should be easy and natural.
Breadth:It must involve all parts of the portfolio – too often vendors solve the user experience for the easiest part of the portfolio, the desktop or the individual experience. To fully realize a delightful experience, all aspects, including desktop, mobile, rooms, studios, and the administrators experience need to be considered when implementing the solution.
Workflow Integration: It’s not just about end user experiences for your specific portfolio, but interaction with other technology that surrounds your portfolio.
Many of you have experienced Polycom’s market leading innovative solutions, which have been in the market for 2+ years. Solutions such as Smart Pairing, which lets you control the video systems in the room with your PC or tablet (see the related video), and Polycom EagleEye Director, which gives you a near immersive experience in a standard conference room, are just two of the many we’ve introduced with the end user in mind.
Today, we are announcing the new, exciting Polycom EagleEye Producer (see the related video), which not only offers intelligent framing capabilities, but also facial detection functionality that can be utilized in many applications. Polycom EagleEye Producer eliminates the need for any human adjustments to the video system, including fiddling with a remote or touch panel, at a price point that will cause you to deploy globally. All of these solutions are built with the collaboration lifecycle in mind!
In the realm of breadth, we’ve added user enhancements to every part of the portfolio. Our unified meeting experience has resulted in consistent iconography, workflow and functionality from mobile devices to the desktop and from the web experience into the room. We’ve placed great attention on creating the best user experience – no matter big or small. Every once in a while, I’ll be on a call where someone is speaking, but doesn’t realize they’re on mute. To address this, we’ve designed a little indicator that tells you to unmute yourself when speaking. The system can detect the active talker and now you have the ability to mute or eject (!) individuals.
This builds on the Polycom NoiseBlock technology, a feature on the Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server that removes distracting noise from meeting conversations so everyone can be heard clearly without human intervention. The best user experience at times is having no experience!
These are all examples of customizing a collaborative session to make it effective. We’ve also added nuances around user experiences in the infrastructure space, including new layouts on our RMX 8.5 release, which will allow you to better experience the main speakers without losing sight of the other participants. Combine this with the powerful capabilities I mentioned earlier and you have a rich collaborative experience that hasn't existed in the industry before.
Lastly, it’s about workflow integration or bringing collaboration to where and how people typically work. We’ve introduced the Video App SDK, which allows the user to embed Polycom’s rich technology capabilities in voice, video, and content directly into your application. This SDK allows you to integrate clients, like Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite, into applications people are familiar with, such as Salesforce. At Polycom, we’re using the Video App SDK to bring rich collaboration to our Human Resources recruiting application BrassRing, which has improved the new-hire process significantly. And, with our Polycom RealConnect solution, we have the industry's most seamless solution for connecting Lync to non-Lync environments based on the first and only Microsoft qualified video infrastructure for Lync 2013. Polycom offers the most cost effective, workflow oriented, content-rich experience in a Microsoft Lync environment.
No one has brought all of these capabilities together like we have. Is there more? Oh yes, a lot more. Join me at TEAM Polycom to find out! I’d also like to hear from you: what new collaboration capabilities do you hope to see in the year(s) ahead?