I spent the last eight months on the front lines of the virtual demo world for Cisco. Working from our headquarters in California, I met with people from all over the world to demonstrate our latest products — without a single plane trip. Using collaboration technology sales teams can avoid travel expenses, sell more, and increase productivity.
Most significant business purchases require some form of travel. Companies need to send sales experts out in to the world to demo their products. Or, depending on the products or the situation, customers often travel to the vendor’s site. Although travel involves expense and time, personal interaction is important to customer relationships. Travel can make the sales process more cumbersome and time consuming. But without travel, you limit the degree of direct engagement you might have before a customer makes a buying decision.
How Can Remote Demonstrations Add Value to the Sales Process?
Remote product demonstrations are providing companies with a less-expensive option to engage with customers. And the best part of it is that neither customers nor your technical experts have to travel as much. Just as video is changing the nature of meetings, it’s also a fitting solution Read More »
Despite having spent most of a weekend stood in mud, rain and thunderstorms at the Glastonbury festival, I’ve spent time since happily reflecting on some of the amazing collaboration between performers over the three days. Aside from the various bands, whose members (presumably) work closely together all the time to perfect their sound, there were some fairly unlikely partnerships on display too. Dolly Parton and Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi rocking to “Lay Your Hands on Me” for example. Or Ed Sheeran and Rudimental ripping it up in the middle of an electrical storm.
These combinations got me to thinking about how businesses with very different skill sets and competencies frequently come together to collaborate. For small to midsized businesses the ability to collaborate effectively with partners, suppliers and customers is often critical to success.
Many organizations collaborate specifically to accelerate growth and innovation. According to the Plante Moran 2013 Innovation Survey of 4,225 business leaders, 94% of respondents felt that Innovation was important to sustainability and growth. And three quarters felt that collaborating would increase their chances of success with innovation, with the majority open to sharing financial risk and reward.
Do you ever get to the end of your working day, and realize that you have no idea whether the sun has been shining, or it has been pouring with rain all day? Sometimes, it is only when I’m in video meetings that someone else will actually notice for me that the sun is shining outside my window! Talking to colleagues in the U.K. while I was visiting San Francisco for Cisco Live brought this point home. In the U.K., the persistent cloud cover had disappeared, giving way to one of the UK’s rare heatwaves. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, temperatures dropped, and we huddled in jackets and sweaters. It wasn’t meant to be this way!
Did you make it to Cisco Live? If so, I hope that you had a chance to get to some of the great keynote sessions. My favourite was from Rowan Trollope, in which he demonstrated Cisco’s new video collaboration endpoints.
The new products are making video collaboration simpler and more cost-effective than ever. His demo included an illustration of Read More »
The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) students are learning in ways that would have seemed impossible just a decade ago.
The University’s College of Education, which is renowned for its innovative and progressive learning environment, made it their mission to give students a professional and global experience. By aligning collaboration technology with the University’s needs, UNO pushes the boundaries of education.
For example, with web conferencing, professors are now able to spend more time one-on-one with students and less time lecturing. Students and faculty can attend class from remote locations, making classes more accessible to all. In addition, students are able to view online lecture notes before class, so that class time is more effectively spent in group discussions around real-life applications. Read More »
As I wrapped up my monthly forecast call last week, it struck me just how drastically work has changed in the last decade. It was 10 p.m. and I was in my hotel room in Macau, face-to-face with sales team leads in Singapore, the U.K., Switzerland, and the U.S., over video. Ten years ago, mobile phones were just phones, and for many, the office was where you met with co-workers and got your work done.
Today we’re mobile. Our workforce is globally distributed. Deadlines are shorter than ever. We need to make decisions faster. With multiple generations in the workforce, we must accommodate a wide range of behaviors, outlooks, expectations, and work styles. To stay competitive, we need to look beyond commute distance to find the best talent.
I’ve said before that embedding collaboration technology into workplace design is critical to the success of any workplace transformation effort. Our activity-based work spaces must give employees secure, seamless access to the information they need to get their jobs done. But this must also extend beyond the walls of our offices so we can collaborate no matter where we are – at home, at a customer site, inflight at 30,000 feet, or in a hotel room in Macau.