Recent articles indicate that manufacturing activity in the U.S. continues to expand and global industrial production is positive in spite of softness in a few geographies. This is a great rebound from the trough of 2009. Productivity gains have fueled much of the recent rebound and leading companies are looking for more. Several years ago a leading manufacturing company, GE, asked Cisco to develop a new collaborative environment for distributed teams.
Leaders have implemented new working environments, such as the Cisco Active Collaboration Room. Now there is a movement to bring forward the next environment for team productivity, rapid decision making, and distributed collaboration. The development of new working environments will accelerate, driven by a need to enable distributed teams for innovation, business management, and optimization. As mobility and the benefits of rapid analysis and decision making increase, the work environments will change dramatically as described in the Fortune magazine article, “What will the future workplace look like?”
In recent discussions with several executives from leading companies it has become evident that they are investing in a wide range of content-sharing and video capabilities to enable workers to work remotely yet still have face-to-face interactions. Think about the effect on production as engineers can rapidly assess a quality problem. Customer experience can also improve as field engineers use visual images from a call center to assess and resolve problems in a service event.
Many companies moving to new work environments are collecting ideas , concepts, and practices from around the globe that illustrate the use of smart surfaces, augmented content, co-creation, and video. Expect to see these in a location near you soon.
The future is closer then we think.