Not too long ago, I was digging around in some old boxes and pulled out my old Motorola RAZR phone, along with a surprising number of other devices I used to carry around. What can I say? I’m a geek. In addition to my phone, I had a digital camera, a notepad & digital pen, an iPod, a GPS, a few spare memory cards and even a Palm Pilot. It struck me that in handful of years everything has changed. All the things I needed those devices for now exist in my smartphone – making my life simpler and easier. Peter Diamandis calls it dematerialization; I call it simplification, and use it as a backdrop for our collaboration technology strategy.
The ability of technology to simplify our experiences inspired our mission: to make collaboration simple. Consider that for all the promise of today’s collaboration technologies to make our lives easier, we are often frustrated by the fact that the most advanced products can’t seem to do the simplest of things; starting a meeting on time, connecting me with anyone anywhere, or allowing me to share my stuff easily. While technology companies race around to one-up each other introducing the next whiz-bang feature, they mostly overlook the one essential: what their product should do really well.
I joined Cisco with the purpose of delivering on this mission and bringing exceptional collaboration technology to everyone, everywhere: every room, every desk, and every pocket. The results of this focus have started to materialize in a set of announcements we started a few months back.
In March, we introduced the products that bring collaboration into every room in the enterprise: the SX10, MX200, MX700, and MX800 endpoints. These products are all about great collaboration experiences: engagement, simplicity, affordability – and award-winning design.
Today, we bring these elements to every desk with the Cisco DX80. It’s time to provide every worker—not just executives—with the tools that let everyone collaborate at a moment’s notice, without technology hassles.
Today’s desktop collaboration experience is good for some and sufficient for many; but I know it can be better. We can make people easier to see, easier to hear and make the whole thing easier to use. And, we can clean up the desk! Today’s typical desktop is cluttered with monitors, speakers, cameras, phones, keyboards, and PCs. Rather than creating an experience that enables productivity, technology gets in the way.
By bringing integrated, exceptional collaboration technology to the desk, employees will experience super-productive meetings without having to think about the technology… because it just works: simply, effectively and seamlessly.
No-Compromise Desktop Collaboration
Simplicity drives our thinking. You have to get the basics right, but you also have to design the technology so that people will want to use it.
The Cisco DX80 lets you dramatically simplify your desk the same way the smartphone freed you from lugging multiple devices around. We built it without compromises. It’s a touch-screen display, a superior-quality IP phone, a whiteboard, and TelePresence. It’s the portal into all the key engagements of your work life. It runs Android out of the box, and you can use the apps you want. It has an amazing industrial design. And it’s affordable – about the cost of a high quality desktop monitor.
This is not just a great communication device; it is a great collaboration experience. Having a purpose-built collaboration device on your desk is great. But it’s about more than the device. It would be transformational if we stopped there, but we went further by incorporating our Collaboration Meeting Room technology.
Today, we are announcing the Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms (CMR) in the cloud. Building on our on-premise CMR solution, this offering gives you your own personal space in the cloud, extending the incredible power of TelePresence video with the scale and flexibility of WebEx cloud services.
You get one phone number, one URL, and one PIN for your own personal, private cloud video collaboration space via an always-on service hosted by Cisco and available from our partners. We will have this cloud-based offering available this fall.
This represents a transformation in connecting with people. Use CMR when you want, how you want for instant or scheduled meetings and for ad hoc interactions with anyone in your virtual room. It’s a highly scalable model for enterprise collaboration: always-on, pay-as-you go. No more having to schedule meetings, pre-provision, or reserve conference bridges. People tap to join any meeting, anywhere on any network, on any device, whether a Cisco video endpoint (like the DX80), any web browser and any mobile phone through WebEx, a standards-based video endpoint (Polycom), or even a soft client like Microsoft Lync.
Human beings are inspired and stimulated by positive experiences. We want to provide collaboration experiences that people trust and rely on to help them be their best. To do that, we strive for simplicity and excellence.
- Simplicity – so that people can focus on their jobs and the actual collaboration with one another; and
- Excellence – so that users can collaborate for hours without conferencing fatigue… acting naturally in a comfortable environment, like their desk.
The promise of a great collaboration experience has never been about one device or one technology. It’s great that we can connect things, but at the end of the day, it’s about humanizing the technology. It’s about connecting people. It’s about the quality of the work we can get done together, and the amazing things we can create when we collaborate.
Let me know what you think on Twitter: @rowantrollope
For more about today’s announcements, check out the Collaboration Virtual Experience