Plantronics + Polycom. Now together as Poly Logo

Polycom Employee

Ole -1.jpgBrugerfladen og brugeroplevelsen er en essentiel del af enhver IT-baseret løsning og nogle af de største teknologi-virksomheder som eksempelvis Appel har bygget hele deres succes op omkring en velfungerende en af slagsen.  Kvaliteten af brugerfladen er i høj grad med til at bestemme hvor tryg brugeren er ved en given løsning, men trygheden og læringskurve afhænger desuden af om det er tale om et personligt device eller en gruppeløsning.

 

På personlige enheder ser man en meget høj tilpasningsrate fordi folk har det fint med at begå fejl. Folk føler sig trygge ved deres egen smartphone, tablet eller laptop, hvor de typisk er alene og bare finder ud af tingene hen af vejen.

 

Når det derimod drejer sig om gruppeløsninger som eksempelvis videomødeløsninger, hvad enten det er til de små møderum eller de store konferencelokaler, er presset på brugerens ”tekniske formåen” langt større.  Kollegaer og chefer kigger en over skulderen i det øjeblik, man melder på/ringer op og stressfaktoren er i top da, der sjældent er tid til fejl eller til at prøve sig frem.  

 

En af de bedste måder at komme denne modvilje/utryghed til livs er at rydde unødige hindringer af vejen ved at skabe ensartede brugerflader. Brugerne skal kunne gå fra den personlige løsning til gruppeløsningen uden at mærke forskel og dermed føle sig sikre. De skal kunne bruge de samme ikoner og følge den samme proces, når de foretager opkald og deler indhold.  Alle løsninger skal se ud og føles på samme måde. Uanset hvor nyt eller gammelt et system er.

 

Undersøgelser viser, at fortrolighed med et system giver en større tilpasning, som i sidste ende skaber den bedste interaktion mellem brugere. Løsningsudbyderne bør ikke tvinge brugerne til at forlade en brugerflade og gå ind i en anden for at kunne planlægge og administrere et møde.

 

Inden for videomødeindustrien taler vi om ”en halv meters” versus ”en tre meters” brugerflade, og det skyldes størrelsen på de traditionelle videokonferencerum. De var tidligere ligesom bowlingbaner, hvor du stod mange meter fra skærmen i et stort konferencelokale.

 

De nye løsninger har taget livet af den gamle metode. De førende virksomheder på området har valgt at sige, at ”den bedste brugerflade er ingen brugerflade”, og de har undersøgt, hvordan mennesker samarbejder mest naturligt i videomødesituationer.

 

De har lagt mærke til, at folk elsker at gå rundt i lokalet og at de har det helt fint med at se hinanden i øjnene. Det er også konstateret at fjerndeltagerne er meget engagerede, når de ringer ind i et rum fuld af mennesker.

For at gøre det muligt at bevæge sig naturligt skal kameraet automatisk kunne tilpasse sig din højde og bevægelser i rummet. Der bør ikke være nogen unaturlige begrænsninger for din adfærd som bruger.

 

Det næste trin for brugeroplevelsen er at gøre systemet 100 procent automatisk. Det indebærer, at brugeren blot skal kunne logge sig på systemet, som så tilpasser sig brugerens præferencer, trækker brugerens meste brugte indholdsdelings-metode op i forgrunden, ligesom det tilpasser volumen, tilretter kamera etc. Disse faciliteter vil gøre møder, som er baseret på samarbejdsteknologi, meget mere effektive. Også selvom vi ikke er nået helt i mål endnu.

Polycom Employee

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@PolycomEurope will open its doors once again on Twitter. The next #PolycomChat session will take place on 11 August at 12:00-13:00 BST, where we will be discussing the technology that instigates collaboration in workplaces and its place in the office of the future.

  

Why should you join us for #PolycomChat?

 

If you are interested in how companies, both large and small, can future-proof their business processes through collaboration solutions, then the next #PolycomChat is for you.

 

The open forum welcomes all discussions on how IT can increase their business potential, drive innovation and optimise budgets. IT is the business hero that can help shape and ultimately make the future workplace a reality today. 

 

(view in My Videos)

Who are our panel?

 

Industry experts Ray McGroarty, Global Director for Enterprise UC Solutions at Polycom, and Matthew Ball, Principal Analyst at Canalys, are our panellists for this session. Both our experts will provide differing insights on how to get the best from your collaboration solutions.

 

Here is how you can join the discussion and also invite others who wish to participate.

 

Hashtag: #PolycomChat

Date: Tuesday 11 August

Time: 12:00 – 13:00 BST

Event page: http://www.polycom.co.uk/go/TwitterChat-IT

How you or your contacts can join the event or ask questions is explained below:

  • On Twitter: Participants can join the Q&A on the day by 
    tweeting their questions including #PolycomChat  in all conversations
  • Not on Twitter: Questions can be submitted in advance by:
  • We endeavour to respond to all questions on Twitter or otherwise be in touch directly to provide a response.
Polycom Employee

I recently wrote a blog about the digital consumption of WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications) to help the users improve their knowledge of the technology. WebRTC is growing in popularity and businesses are equally supportive of the new functionality.

 

The emergence of email, phone and instant messaging has facilitated the development of the ‘always-on’ world of today. Video collaboration solutions have strengthened the network further providing users the coveted ability to balance their work and life. For businesses, WebRTC will have a profound impact on the adoption of video and replace ‘do you want to have a quick chat?’ with ‘do you want to connect via video?’. This will not only improve the speed and quality of the business decision-making process but will also transform the way of working in the future – to carve the workplace of the future.

 

The proliferation of WebRTC is evident through the presence of over 2 billion WebRTC-capable devices. This is expected to increase to 6.5 billion devices by the end of 2015 according to a new piece of research. As the technology industry prepares to ride the wave of this new movement, it is important that vertical industry businesses like manufacturing, finance and the public sector also prepare to move forward. This is so they can continue maintaining their competitive edge in the market.

 

The initial two to three years will see a smaller scale usage that will be largely based on the pilot project development plans launched to create WebRTC based business applications. During this period companies will have the opportunity to identify and test the business applications that run on this engine. To harness the power of WebRTC, Polycom has developed WebSuite to connect the users based at different locations and using different types of devices so they can enjoy the same full HD video and voice collaboration experience.  

 

One of the business usage examples can be seen within healthcare, where patient consultations – on the proviso that the browser is based on WebRTC – can be delivered speedily, remotely and securely via video should the patient need to attend from home. Users will have to rely on the Unified Communications (UC) solutions provided by the businesses they are connecting to for end-to-end security traversal. However it should be noted that WebRTC audio and video streams are encrypted.

 

The element of security is of prime importance for content collaboration. Having a secure content sharing workspace is essential for all businesses, be it financial services, public sector, manufacturing or retail. The ability to share, view and annotate content promotes faster decision-making. Until now, only one stream of content could be shared over video. Polycom WebSuite allows multiple streams of content promoting ‘informed’ decision-making and spreading the power of collaboration to more than one user at any given time.

 

Vertical industries can be one of the main beneficiaries of such a technology, when coupled with enterprise grade UC solutions. They will be able to connect with their customers via web collaboration technology at the touch of a button. If this is the present, imagine the future that WebRTC has the potential to bring tomorrow.

Can you please tell us a little bit about your background?

MARCO: Most of my background has been working in IT and throughout many different parts of the world. I have over 20 years of international experience in enterprise sales, marketing, and product management. My recent role was with Zebra Technologies where I served as Vice President of Sales for EMEA. In this role, I led the theatre to a highly profitable $1.3 billion success story through a tough economic climate. Prior to Zebra I held a variety of senior positions at Motorola Enterprise, where I led the company’s enterprise business across all markets in EMEA, holding leadership positions in PSION and Symbol (prior to acquisition). I was also part of the leadership team responsible for the acquisition and sales integration of PSION into Motorola in 2012.

 

What is your top priority in your new role?

MARCO: My top priority is to keep Polycom on the growth trajectory and maintain the profitability of the business we have today. I will do this by identifying areas for growth and try to unearth new untapped opportunities so we can start to gain market share. Peter brought me in to lead a team that is performing extremely well in a relatively static market. My job is to come in as a fresh pair of eyes to search for new areas where we can grow.

 

What does the first 90 days for you look like?

MARCO:

1: Education. Not being a UC specialist, I want to gain a better understanding of our proposition.

2: I also want to meet the whole team, understand their roles and the structure of the organisation.

3: At the same time I will be meeting with partners, distributors and customers to gain an understanding of their view of the market and their view of Polycom.

 

I will try to figure out our strengths and look at areas we can draw on and where we can improve. Before the 90 days are up I will have a clear plan with ideas of how to grow and execute against.

 

Tell us a bit about your leadership style? What do you expect from your team?

MARCO: I am hands on – whether it is numbers, projects, issues – I look at myself as a “Mr. fix it” providing strategic direction and helping to drive the numbers, but also like to help people eliminate obstacles to achieve their goals. I like to solve problems, whether it is technical, GTM, marketing related and like to get into the detail. I have an open style, I am not hierarchal, and I want to motivate people from a personal perspective. I want them to have a leader they can trust and look to me for support. Their success is my success.

 

Your career in technology spans more than 20 years, how do you see video evolving?

MARCO: I like the fact that we at Polycom have a clear vision. The vision of a future work environment with people using video for meetings regardless of location – whether you are at a hotel, an airport, at home. It ignites my imagination as to how the future can and will look. If Polycom delivers the vision of collaborating across multiple platforms – through seamless communications and making video ubiquitous - to have everyone use it all the time, it makes complete sense to me and it’s a great place to be. I do believe that even though the market is more or less static in EMEA, you can attract different and new types of users. The biggest challenge is the conference phone market. The challenge there is what we are going to do with that market and how to refresh it.

 

Can you give us one example of how technology has changed your life?

MARCO: I am a prototype for the frequent traveler. I don’t work in an office. I haven’t worked in an office for a few years. In fact, I went to my last office five times in total… I work everywhere, including hotels and home. Technology has enabled me to work this way and has transformed the way I work. Coming to Polycom and using video day-to-day will only reinforce the way I like to work.

 

You’ve travelled a lot over the years with your various positions. What city has been your favorite so far?

MARCO: It is very hard to say. I have lived in many cities, including Rome, London, Paris, New York and Jakarta. Paris for me rates highly from a cultural perspective. London also has a lot to offer. Rome is a beautiful city with fantastic weather, food and culture. I would say it would be tough for me to decide between them all. Every time I visit a new city I think it might be a new favorite. If I was a millionaire I would have a lot of houses!

 

At Polycom, work-life balance is important. What do you do when you get some down time?

MARCO: I am firm believer in work-life balance. I enjoy being active, extreme sports and the great outdoors. One of my challenges for this year is to finish climbing the highest mountains in the world; so far I have climbed two of the eight. As part of my routine I enjoy going for a run before settling down to work. It clears my head and keeps my mind active. My weekends are also spent with my family, either in the garden or outdoors somewhere.wind.png

Polycom Employee

The lights are dimmed, your heart starts beating a little faster, popcorn in hand, it’s time for a movie.  Thousands of of times per day, this same scenario is played out all over the world.  What did it take for that movie to be created?  How many thousands of hours of writing, acting, editing, begging, pleading, go into getting that story on the big screen?

 

The Sundance Institute recognizes that being a great story teller is not enough to get your movie made and distributed.  This organization along with the Sundance Film Festival celebrates and helps bring amazing stories to the big screen. 

 

 Sundance-2015.jpgPolycom is proud to be a partner of the Sundance Institute where they help give life to storyteller's ideas. 

 

Using Polycom solutions, storytellers can think globally when shooting on location, editing or even creating the music score for a film.  No longer are filmmakers limited geographically by the resources they have. 

 

Robert Redford, founder of Sundance says Storytellers broaden our minds: engage, provoke, inspire, and ultimately, connect us.”   This sure sounds a lot like how a certain company I know works as well.

 

During this year's Sundance Film Festival, Polycom will bring in numerous directors to discuss their films with the audiences in Park City.  Using solutions like Polycom CloudAXIS and RealPresence Group Series, audiences and directors will have natural interaction even though they are thousands of miles apart.

 

If you are at Sundance, please make time to see how Polycom is working behind the scenes.  It is amazing technology that connects us.

 

Feel free to reach out at bob.knauf@polycom.com if you would like to see first hand what we are doing at Sundance.  You can also find me wandering the streets of Park City for the next couple of weeks.

I just returned home from three days at the International Forum for Women in E-learning (IFWE). This year’s theme was IFWE Walk in Her Shoes, and it took us a little deeper into what it means to work as a team in a diverse world. We were encouraged to look for innovative ways to tackle problems or hindrances from learning and make a difference. Here is what we learned:

 

Reason 1:

IFWE provided an opportunity to learn about innovative programs for education.

 

As with most conferences or forums I attend, I do more than casually join, I usually deliver a keynote or present in a breakout session. At IFWE, however, I decided to team up with Elaine Shuck, our Director for Education, U.S. Public Sector and co-host a guest speaker. Through CloudAXIS, Polycom’s browser-based video conferencing solution, we brought in Lisa Hopper, CEO of World Care to share her life experiences of running one of the world’s largest social entrepreneurship non-profit organizations.

 

IFWE Lisa 2.jpgIFWE Lisa 1.jpg

 

From a traumatic brain aneurysm to her position as CEO, Lisa allowed us to take a walk in her shoes. She shared her experiences in disaster relief where her organization has provided over 65 million pounds (29,483,504.05kg) of supplies to approximately120 countries which have suffered from disasters. World Care is now launching a new division focused on providing support for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning worldwide. (see how at www.stemlearning.us/ to learn more –I will be elaborating in a blog soon with more details). What World Care is doing for STEM is a very exciting venture and incredibly important as educators continue to encourage students to seek an education focused in STEM programs.

 

Lisa did a terrific job relating to - and encouraging – attendees. However, this discussion wouldn’t happen without CloudAXIS which enabled her to come in virtually. As many of you know, hotels are notorious for having horrible bandwidth and with firewalls that sometimes make videoconferencing impossible. Because it is browser-based, CloudAXIS had the ability to forgo bandwidth and firewall limitations. Most importantly, it allowed the group to focus solely on the learning and that’s how any solution should be.

 

Reason 2:

IFWE brought keynote speakers that were highly successful women in the field who have worked to balance life, family and career- each was inspiring.

 

Even as thought leaders in our respective fields, we often need someone or something to jump start our energy and reignite our passion for educating. Women like Veronica “Ronnye” Vargas Stidvent, Chancellor of Western Governors University (WGU) Texas, who also served in the Whitehouse, reminded us of how to drive our vision while maintaining a healthy life-balance. Ana Maria Lopez, Medical Director for Arizona Telemedicine Program provided stellar insight into leading the way by following our hearts, empathy and compassion for the learner.

 

Reason 3:

IFWE provided the opportunity to share best practices, establish valuable relationships, and explore ways to be more effective leaders.

 

Some of the breakout sessions included topics such as: eMentoring, competency-based learning, connecting the dots between knowledge acquisition and knowledge application, tracking mobile professional development using multimedia modules/badges, and developing real world experiences through E-learning.

 

While I love all of these topics, my passion for video quickly made me realize the power CloudAXIS is providing to take eMentoring and eTutoring to a whole new level. Teachers, professors, and students alike are connecting from wherever they are just-in-time. AND… future employers are giving back more often because they can easily connect from wherever they might be at the time the student or employee needs them. Expect a future blog to come on this subject.

 

The forum concluded with an invitation to join the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA) next April 26-29, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri for the national conference. The title will be DISTANCE LEARNING: IGNITE, INNOVATE AND INSPIRE! The call for proposals is now open at www.usdla.org. Will you join me there?

 

 

 

 

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