The Workplace of the Future is Here

July 11, 2011 - 1 Comment

Whether you work at a specialty boutique firm or a large global enterprise, video is having a profound impact on the way we do business in today’s digitally connected world.  Nowhere is this more visible than at a global architecture firm like Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF).

Headquartered in New York City with offices in six global locations, KPF exemplifies the workplace of the future—that is, one that allows virtual teams to work together anytime, anywhere. My Cisco co-worker Diane Davidson recently had the pleasure of visiting KPF’s New York office, where she was able to see their collaboration infrastructure firsthand.  Not only do they have an environment that allows project teams to work together from any location at anytime, they also have video on every end point—from desktop video phones, laptops, tablets and smart phones to room systems.  According to James Brogan, AIA Director, Firmwide Technology, that’s because face-to-face communication is absolutely critical to the firm’s success. 


The KPF design process involves multiple 3D design models, photo-realistic renderings, and computer animations that show different views of building designs. The firm also uses rapid-prototyped physical models that they create from 3D printers. Tools like Cisco WebEx technology and Cisco TelePresence allow them to visually share complex designs not only amongst themselves, but with clients located all over the globe, whether they are in London,  Shanghai,  Moscow or Abu Dhabi.  

KPF offers their staff the flexibility of using the mobile device of their choice—Apple iPhones, iPads, and RIM BlackBerry phones—a key benefit of Cisco’s open interoperable architecture.  Cisco Mobile, along with the Cisco WebEx Meeting Center app (available on all of the above devices), gives project teams the flexibility to collaborate from home, on the road or at the airport, helping streamline global projects. In the fast-paced architecture industry, having this type of mobility approach is key in maintaining KPF’s competitive advantage.     

 “Cisco creates a framework for KPF and how we do business,” explains James Brogan, a Director for the firm who oversees the Firmwide Technology strategy. “And it’s really this holistic approach that supports and reinforces the way we do our work, interact with our clients, and approach our design.” With an innovative, technology-driven collaboration strategy, KPF is living proof that the workplace of the future is here – and it’s inherently mobile, social, visual and virtual.

To hear Brogan and others from the KPF team discuss the importance of collaboration technology, watch the full video or read the case study.

To learn more about Cisco Collaboration tools, click here.

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  1. Adoption of faster ways of communicating is key to a firms success today. Visual collaboration at all levels just enhances and secures your messages across all levels of your enterprise. And it is so easy. I use it everyday and my interactions with colleagues and partners would lose its impact if I could not read body language as I do on MOVI.