Holy Modern Workspace – Batman!

When I think of the creation of huddle spaces, video conferencing, and the suite of Collaboration technology of the modern workspace, I can’t help but reflect on our childhood memories of the vintage Batman TV series.  It was awesome how Bruce Wayne could get a call on the Bat-Phone, and with fluidity of motion open the secret door to the Batcave. He would slide down the pole and land all bat-dressed and bat-ready to leap into his tricked-out Batmobile without missing even an iota of focus and concentration. That, to me, was cool: the ability to move effortlessly from one space to another without losing momentum.

It’s awesome when those concepts become real. We might not all get to work in a Batcave, but seamless transitioning? Yes, that’s a thing now in the modern workplace.

Like most people, I have a very busy schedule, and I have way more things on my to-do list than I have time for. One of my biggest hang-ups has always been just that – the “hang-up” that happens when I switch from one location to another, or one device to another, in mid-meeting. For example, for many years it has been possible for people to dial-in to a conference call and participate in a meeting while traveling from the airport in the back of a cab. But what I really wanted was a way to be “in” that meeting –  seeing the visuals, and seeing the reactions in the faces of the other participants. And yes, like Batman, once I leap out of the cab and enter my office building, I want to transfer my meeting from my phone to video conferencing equipment with a single swipe. No need to hang up and log back in, just continue the meeting in a new workplace, without interruption.

That’s where we are now: seamless swiping – One Button To Push (OBTP) – from the pocket to the war room. We have finally entered the age of fluidity and fluency in the meetings process, in which starting a meeting or transitioning from one device to another is a one-command process – from mobile to video conferencing equipment. With new huddle space technology, we have access to our meetings from wherever we are – on any device.

Holy Rise of the huddle space, Batman!

The rise of the huddle space is building momentum. There may already be as many as 25 million huddle spaces around the world. The concept of getting together for a quick meeting is not new, but the execution with advanced room conferencing solutions certainly is. The modern huddle space usually has these characteristics:

  • It should have great AV technology, including smartboards and video conferencing equipment.
  • It shouldn’t use walls in the traditional way, but instead create a comfortable, workable space for up to six people to be part of an ad hoc or impromptu meeting.
  • Its primary goal is to share information between people and their devices, especially in terms of live document sharing and room conferencing solutions.
  • It is fast, temporary, and well-connected, lacking of cords and wires, with a very different feel from meeting rooms.

The demand for huddle spaces is growing. A recent study conducted by Dimensional Research shows that 93 percent of respondents state that open office environments require more huddle spaces, with 78 percent expressing dissatisfaction with current meeting room techniques. The study found that 42 percent believe that deploying technology from multiple room conferencing solutions vendors within a huddle space only creates complexity. The huddle space answers a deficiency present in both open and closed-office environments as well as in boardrooms, where technology is a generation or more behind the times.

From Technology comes Trust – what we gain with the huddle space

It would be easy to focus on the technology of a huddle space at this point, since it is technology that allows us mobility and seamless, swiping flexibility. But what I want to focus on is a more significant dividend: human relationships.

When people join a huddle space using modern video conferencing equipment, when they can see the faces of their colleagues, when they can read every nodding head gesture, smile, or look of recognition at a good idea, stronger bonds are built between the people involved.

Audio teleconferences only allowed words to get through. Conversely, packed with modern video conferencing equipment, huddle space collaboration allows human engagement to happen – and trust to flourish. People need that. People buy from people they trust. Not just on the retail front, but internally too, buying into ideas, building synergy, feeling part of something good.

These are the powerful elements that help to make one company or department rise above its competitors: a collective sense of togetherness that comes from a shared, uninterrupted multi-sensory experience.

When Collaboration and room conferencing solutions are so good that it becomes invisible, what you are left with is the energy between people – a continuum that need not be broken by hang-ups or incompatible tools. When I can effortlessly collaborate in a white board session between mobile devices to the digital whiteboard, I deliver ideas. When I see peoples’ eyebrows raise slightly in recognition of a great idea, I receive synergy.

When that happens, our entire team, like Batman sliding to the Bat-cave, moves fluidly together into a new mental space.

Learn more about Huddle Space:

As organizations deploy more huddle spaces, management of the technology will be imperative. Read the infographic “Rise of the Huddle Space” for an independent study on how using huddle space technology from a single collaboration solution provider removes the top challenges.

Want to learn more about how Cisco transforms Huddle Spaces with the most advanced video conferencing equipment? We’ve just launched Webex Share™, Webex Room Kit Mini™, Webex Board 55™ and Webex Board 85™ so you can convert any room into a huddle space.

If you are joining us at Cisco Live Cancun on December 4-7, be sure to check out our room conferencing solutions demos in the World of Solutions to see how you can transform your workplace.

See What is a Huddle Space? 



Aruna Ravichandran

Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Webex Collaboration