Using Virtual Presence and Robots to Enhance Mobility is Nearing Reality

Ken Landoline
Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobility is driving many enterprise strategies and purchase decisions today.
  • Videoconferencing has long been sold on the claim that enterprise travel budgets would be slashed dramatically, however the reality is that travel reduction has been less than anticipated.

Last week I was invited to the “Annual Trends and Innovation Event” sponsored by Polycom, a mainstay of the audio and videoconferencing industry. Held at a local San Francisco restaurant, the annual gathering offers the opportunity for Polycom executives and select business partners to discuss technology trends and strategies with members of the press and a group of industry analysts. While the evening was full of great discussions with an abundant exchange of industry trend information and new ideas, something surprising caught my attention. Among the group of 50 or so attendees was a robot who was mingling with the crowd. In actuality the robot, provided by a relatively new Polycom business partner – Anybots of Santa Clara, California – was there to demonstrate “virtual presence” and its potential to change business environments by allowing remotely-located individuals to participate in events actively, even when circumstances prevent them from being physically present. In essence, the travelling robot was a videoconferencing endpoint that stood just under six-feet tall and had an eye-level video screen and cameras which allowed “him” to converse with other attendees. Continue reading “Using Virtual Presence and Robots to Enhance Mobility is Nearing Reality”

UC Hanging On Users’ Permission

M. Halama
M. Halama

Summary Bullets:

  • User adoption challenges UC deployments.
  • Permission by presence status fits some corporate cultures but clashes with others.

Customers and providers of UC services cite low adoption and usage by end users as challenging.  Both buyers and providers of UC services have a stake in encouraging end users to adopt UC services; once demanding UC projects have been rolled out, finance directors are keen to see some sorts of return on investment.  Some UC features fare better than others (typically telephony gets high use) and they vary from user to user, but the power of ‘presence status’ to give contact permission can both deter and appeal to users. Continue reading “UC Hanging On Users’ Permission”