By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities*, representing an additional 2.7 billion people in the world’s urban areas. How can city leaders prepare for this influx of migrants in light of today’s challenges: aging infrastructure, tighter budgets, cyber-security threats, urbanization and the pervasive use of mobile and social technologies by citizens?
Government leaders have the power to shape the city of the future. Information and communication technology enables cities to innovate, collaborate and prosper by connecting constituents with the next-generation of public services, with the goal of improving satisfaction, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.
Failing to properly deploy innovative solutions to mitigate the population density of cities would result in additional labour, traffic, environmental and security challenges. In this blog, I am sharing how Microsoft unified communications and Polycom collaboration solutions empower citizens, businesses and governments to transform the way people live, learn and work. You can also watch the video interview available further below to know more.
The Smart City race is on and the opportunity is big.
According to Forbes, urbanization has become so important that it has elevated some cities to be even more important than the countries themselves contributing substantially to the country’s GDP. Top of the Forbes list was New York City, which has initiated smart and sustainable initiatives such as City 24/7, an interactive platform that integrates information from government programmes, local businesses, and the city’s citizens to provide knowledge to anyone, anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Barcelona and Santander in Spain and Amsterdam have been cited as some examples of smart cities which have already begun wiring up and connecting themselves to drive better efficiency and benefits for citizens.
The Government of India has announced an ambitious 100 Smart Cities programme where State capitals as well as many tourist and heritage cities are expected to witness a rapid upgrade of urban infrastructure and online services to citizens, enabled by Information Technology. Singapore remains committed to becoming the world’s first Smart Nation that taps on ICT to better serve citizens, which will set it apart from the many Smart Cities that are already developing globally. The global race to become the Smartest City is definitely on and the business opportunity for technology vendors and integrators is tremendous.
According to Frost & Sullivan search, the Smart City market represents a USD 1.5 Trillion business opportunity globally in segments of energy, transportation, healthcare, building, infrastructure, and governance. Polycom and Microsoft are two Smart City market participants that partner with cities to address various challenges through the use of unified communication and collaboration technology.
Polycom Solutions for Microsoft CityNext: Better together!
Microsoft CityNext empowers governments, businesses, and citizens to create more sustainable, prosperous, and economically competitive cities. Broadening the city innovation conversation beyond infrastructure alone, Microsoft CityNext helps city leaders unlock the most important resource of any city—the potential of its people—by delivering citizen-centric services to help them lead safer and healthier lives and have access to quality education.
Polycom provides the most comprehensive and complete solutions for Microsoft unified communications, including voice, conferencing, and video collaboration solutions. Polycom collaboration solutions integrate seamlessly to enhance productivity along with Microsoft applications. Thus, together, we are enabling cities to provide services that put people first by designing around their needs to serve them better.
• Modern Cities – Microsoft & Polycom enable real-time, equitable and sustainable access to government information, services and city resources. Allowing city employees do their jobs better, citizens to leverage services more effectively and businesses to succeed more quickly.
• Safer Cities – Microsoft & Polycom empower justice, enforcement and defense agencies to be better prepared and respond faster to threat, disaster or emergency in their communities. Protecting the way-of-life that citizens and leaders have worked hard to establish
• Healthier Cities – Microsoft & Polycom help cities to transform healthcare models and provide collaborative care from anywhere to anyone affordably. Offering patients, providers and payers a sustainable model and better outcomes for all.
• Educated Cities – Microsoft & Polycom provide rich, interactive learning experiences that improve knowledge retention and increase productivity of every learner, teacher and instructor.
By adopting a modernization approach that works today and is sustainable into the future, government leaders can transform their cities into vibrant hubs that attract a skilled population and inbound investment to drive the city’s economy— thereby, becoming more competitive in the global economy.
Partnering to build The City of the Future
The Mega Trend of Smart Cities is set to drive urban development for the next decade and will drive demand for response, storage, multi-energy networks, smart devices, and new business models (Telehealth, Distance Learning, Next-gen Citizen and Emergency Services…) leveraging unified communication and collaboration solutions. As a Microsoft and/or Polycom Partner, you should be at the forefront of this change helping to build the City of the Future, which is more modern yet sustainable, educated, safer and healthier for all.
Visit us at WPC 2015
If you happen to be at WPC, please visit the Polycom Booth #1501. Ask for my colleagues, Andrew Graley or Robert Birch who will share with you how we can work together to address this market opportunity. You can also contact us to know more about Polycom Solutions for Microsoft CityNext: firstname.lastname@example.org
* The World Health Organization, in their World Urbanization Prospects report for 2014.
In the season finale of the CBS legal drama, The Good Wife, the writers took the audience into the exciting world of video conferencing. Well, an aspect of it anyway. The premise is that multiple law firms were conducting a remote deposition, something that happens hundreds of times per day using video communication's gear, and one of the lawyers picked up the wrong remote and turned the TV off and not the video system. This mistake left their system connected so others could still see and hear what they were doing and saying.
The Polycom Group Series 500 was actually the video system the law firm was using. It is unfortunate the lawyers had zero training on the operation of the video system because Polycom puts in a number of safe guards to let the user know there is an active call taking place. For instance, the LED on the codec itself changes color; there is also a light on the camera that indicates the system is in a call. The lawyers did not recognize these signs because they were unaware. The most telling sign that the Polycom system is in a call is that the camera is actually facing you. When the Polycom video system is idle, the camera turns 180 degrees letting users know "they are not being filmed".
Photo credit - CBS / King Size Productions
The Good Wife did get a lot of how video is used correct because the production is a user of Polycom video conferencing to assist in the development of the show. Read executive producer, Robert King, discuss how they use Polycom on a daily basis in Entertainment Weekly.
As for the things that were not 100% accurate on the program, well, this is Hollywood and anything is possible!