Video Where it Matters and Polycom
By Jim Lundy
We visited Polycom’s new executive experience center (EEC) this week and got a chance to see several demos highlighting specific use cases for video enabled business applications (VEBAs). Polycom is focusing more on VEBAs, which we think will be crucial in the next era of video collaboration, when video meets people where it matters to them and helps them get their work done.
UC Partner Integrations
Polycom demo’d UC partner integrations with platforms such as Microsoft Lync and IBM Sametime. Extending video to these platforms is strategic, because it places Polycom in enterprise environments with incumbent unified communication and collaboration infrastructure vendors.
Use Cases, Use Cases, Use Cases!!!
The key take-aways were the video use cases. The Polycom CloudAxis solution demo showed a simulation of a financial analyst on a video conference with remote clients from outside social networks such as Facebook, Skype and Google Talk. CloudAxis allows users to bring contacts from other networks into a browser-based video session. This will be useful for external B2B or B2C collaboration, and any organization that interacts with external partners would benefit.
Most of the solutions we saw were centered on specific use cases. Video, collaboration and now ‘video collaboration’ can sometimes be meaningless tech terms thrown around. Increasingly, our end-user clients want to know where they can use video to help people get their jobs done. That fancy telepresence room with the fancy furniture means nothing if it can’t support specific business processes or fit into the flow of how people actually work.
Examples of Video Where It Matters
As a case in point, Polycom presented the U.K. National Health Service’s Cumbria and Lancashire Cardiac and Stroke Network. NHS wanted to provide better stroke treatment across eight hospitals serving over 2 million people throughout the UK. They used Polycom video solutions to do health assessments of 520 patients, over 220 of whom received life-saving thrombolysis treatment at a cost savings of £30,000 per patient.
Then there was Petrobas in Brazil, a large oil company that uses Polycom video solutions to connect experts at remote sites with their teams via tablets and smartphones for things such as remote troubleshooting in the drilling process. Similarly, medical experts can conduct preliminary video-based assessments of offshore oil platform employees who may need medical attention, and deliver immediate help when and where it matters.
While this post was initially about a Polycom event, it’s not just about Polycom. The point is that all real-time technology providers need to communicate where video or real-time collaboration matters to people. We know it can reduce travel and save costs, but what does that really mean in helping me get my work done? It has to fit in my workflow and deliver real business value.