Telecommuting isn’t really anything new – people have been doing it for many years. One thing that has changed, however, is the dramatic gain in popularity. More people than ever seem to be embracing the option of working remotely, and it’s setting the standard for the new in-demand work environment, writes Mashable Business’s Amy-Mae Elliott. Working parents like the telework option to balance work and personal life; metro area employees enjoy the break from hectic commutes; and, younger employees appreciate the workplace flexibility, according to the article. Question is, are organizations ready to embrace the spike in demand for this growing trend?
As anyone with kids can relate, this time of year is one of the most fun, but challenging times of the year. It’s tough to be away from your family or traveling with so many holidays coming up and the kids buzzing with projects, decorations, costumes and school events.
I was recently in an all day planning meeting and got a text from my wife that our four year old daughter was dying to show me her new Halloween costume. Sure, this is something I could easily see when I got home, but have you ever tried telling a four year old to wait a couple days … or even a few hours? During a break I called home on Cisco Movi from my Mac. Seconds later, there was my daughter. Grinning ear to ear in her adorable flower costume.
Today, we unveiled our plans for Cisco TelePresence and shared our vision for how we will make the “Power of In-Person” accessible to everyone. As my colleague Marthin De Beer recently told you, our destination is beyond the executive boardroom: We’re taking our technology to every desktop and many everywhere in-between.
For five years now, Cisco TelePresence has been empowering people at leading organizations worldwide to work together in new ways to transform business, accelerate innovation, and do more with less. Our focus is on the human experience, and our technology is at the heart of this new way of working together. With Cisco TelePresence, every person, everywhere can be more effective through the most natural and lifelike communications experience available.
Why is it so important for us to take action now, to ensure tens of millions of people around the globe – employees at all levels and companies of all sizes – have access to Cisco TelePresence? Research [link to research] indicates that the number of network-connected devices will be more than 15 billion by 2015 – that’s twice the world’s current population. It’s our job to make it possible for anyone using Cisco WebEx, IP phones, Cius, or any third-party standards-based endpoint to join this community and experience the Power of In-Person firsthand through Cisco TelePresence. Furthermore, as Cisco TelePresence becomes deeply integrated into the way people work, it is critical that our technology becomes even more integrated into existing network and daily collaboration tools.
Over six years ago, I was asked to build and lead a Cisco team to incubate new emerging technologies that can generate $1 billion worth of revenue and enable Cisco to capture key market transitions, driving the network as a platform. Together, this entrepreneurial team investigated market trends and customer needs and quickly realized that video and more specifically video communications was going to be a game changer and transform forever the way people communicate and collaborate. I like to say: words convey meaning; a picture says a thousand words; but video says it all.
That was the start of a vision and idea called telepresence. It’s about delivering a video experience so intuitive, so lifelike and natural that it recreates an in-person experience. Today, TelePresence is a well established market category, in a multi-billion dollar market where Cisco owns over 50% market share. I feel honored and privileged to have been part of this journey with the Cisco team. We have accomplished a lot to be proud of and there is much more to dream and innovate.
Back in July, I wrote about the federal government’s General Services Administration’s (GSA) plan to install 15 telepresence centers in federal buildings around the country. Well, I’m excited to report those sites are up and running!
Outfitted with Cisco TelePresence, the sites allow federal employees to conduct face-to-face, real time meetings with colleagues in faraway locations without incurring any travel expenses. Participants can share electronic documents and presentations, discuss strategy, and look each other in the eye across the virtual table. The GSA sites are open to employees from agencies that register to use the telepresence system.