To gain competitive advantage, you need to get things done faster and we can help. Moving fast is critical in the disruptive economy. It is no longer just Uber in transportation and Amazon in retail that are disrupting industries. Traditional industries like agriculture and financial services are changing rapidly. One of every two CEOs believes their organization will be significantly transformed within three years!

New research shows that speed is the next business differentiator. How fast a company innovates impacts its bottom line, according to a research team from MIT and Stanford. Top innovators outgrew median innovators by 1% to 3% per year, every year. Given that 10% is a fast rate of growth for most companies, an extra few percent amounts to a significant edge. In short, speed counts.

Collaboration technology has the power to speed people, or slow them down. This is especially true when it comes to teamwork and delivering on big ideas. People have technologies for simple tasks, like email, phone calls, and conferencing. But when a project involves a group and takes place over days or months, those siloed tools cannot keep pace. In a recent Forbes column about Cisco Spark, Patrick Moorhead writes “Businesses are finally realizing they need new ways to work, collaborate and meet.”

Working at speed requires:

  • Instant information: Mobile devices are our window to the world in our personal lives. Our office tools need be just as effective at helping us find immediate answers.
  • Magical experience: No technology delays. No technology learning curves. No visible technology causing friction and slowing us down.
  • Teamwork: Every member must be able to access the same tools and information at any time, and to create together.

Earlier this year, we introduced Cisco Spark Board and the Cisco Spark Room Kit, physical extensions of online Cisco Spark spaces. These devices give you the same app-based file sharing, whiteboarding, chat, and conferencing inside and outside the meeting room. Teams can innovate at speed. Cisco customers like Facebook and Tableau Software, a visual analytics company where “innovation is the lifeblood,” agree.

“The ability of the Cisco Spark and Cisco Spark Room Kit ecosystem to extend the collaboration lifecycle beyond the meeting room will allow our teams to be productive before and after the meeting.” – David Levinson, Tableau

“We do a lot to encourage collaboration among our teams,” David Levinson, Tableau’s unified communications manager, told us. “The ability of the Cisco Spark and Cisco Spark Room Kit ecosystem to extend the collaboration lifecycle beyond the meeting room will allow our teams to be productive before and after the meeting.”

We’ve also introduced machine learning as another element of Cisco Spark’s magical experience. “We are already impressed with the great features of the Cisco Spark Room Kit, such as the ability to detect people in the room and digital speaker tracking – both are effortless,” according to David.

Dave Michels, founder of Buffalo Communications, also sees the value of machine learning to improve access to information. In a recent Network World article, Michels writes “Cisco has previewed a planned feature that displays each participant’s name on screen. This will facilitate collaboration and improve analytics. For example, it may be possible to search recordings for a meeting with ‘Stan and three others.’

Magical experience also comes from good design. Facebook is known for its strong culture of collaboration and focus on user experience. The Facebook team said, “We really like the design aesthetic of the Room Kit and think it will perform well in our environment. It’s a great fit for multiple room types, which is a definite requirement for Facebook. We are looking at these tools for wide deployment.” The expert panel at Red Dot also recognizes the value of good design, awarding the complete portfolio of Cisco Spark Board and Room Kits with Red Dot design awards this year.

Innovation and speed make the difference for our customers, and it drives everything we do at Cisco.

I’ll be giving the keynote at UC Expo 17 in London on May 18. Join me to hear more about using collaboration to your advantage in the disruption economy.


Snorre Kjesbu

Senior Vice President/General Manager of Webex Devices

Meeting Room Systems