Collaboration Without Borders: Saving Money, Helping Patients
The next wave of the Internet is driving the most disruptive change in history. Powered by mobile devices and apps—collaboration technologies that seamlessly allow people to work across multiple video and mobile devices—people are using technology to share ideas and opinions, and to reach the people and resources they need at any given moment. For the young Millennials who have grown up with the Internet, life flows seamlessly between the physical and virtual worlds. For professionals and executives, the Rolodex file of old has transformed into an online network for real-time, multi-person, topic-focused collaboration, not just as individuals but also in their enterprises.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) is accelerating this trend, creating real business value through the networked connection of people, process, data, and things. Earlier this year, Cisco® research identified $14.4 trillion in Value at Stake for the private sector that will be created or migrated among companies in the IoE economy over the next decade. Collaboration, video, and mobility will contribute 55 percent of this value—or $7.9 trillion in private sector Value at Stake by 2022.
Large global organizations are using collaboration, video, and mobility technologies to reach across time zones and organizational borders to spur innovation, solve complex problems, accelerate business processes, and reduce travel costs. These companies are investing in collaboration solutions because they can see direct benefits to their business—both in growing their top-line revenues and reducing costs to improve profitability.
In a recent survey by Forbes, more than 90 percent of respondents at companies that lead in collaboration technology adoption said that pervasive and extensive collaboration generates profound or disruptive innovation and enables efficient business processes. More than three-quarters of respondents agreed that collaboration accelerates business results and creates a competitive advantage.
Cisco Consulting Services has worked with hundreds of customers in dozens of industries to identify how collaboration, video, and mobility can fundamentally transform how work is done in their organizations. Here are just a couple of examples:
Sub-Zero is an industry-leading manufacturer of high-end kitchen equipment. Based in Wisconsin, the company has suppliers and vendors all over the globe. Sub-Zero deployed mobile and video collaboration tools in its U.S. manufacturing facility to support the aggressive launch schedule of new refrigeration products. When a machinery issue arose on the shop floor, the operator was immediately able use a mobile device to look for and identify an available engineer with the necessary expertise, and click to call the engineer to share a video image of the equipment problem. The engineer then initiated a WebEx video-conferencing session with the supplier to talk through the situation and identify the defective part. The whole issue was resolved in hours instead of the days it would have taken using traditional problem-solving methods—avoiding a huge hit to employee productivity and a days-long delay in manufacturing.
Sometimes the impact of collaboration-enabled processes has a much more human face, impacting health and well-being as well as time and money. INTEGRIS Health is a not-for-profit health system in Oklahoma, with 16 hospitals and 20 clinics across the state. Even with this large network, many patients live in underserved rural areas, and there is a shortage of specialized physicians—especially in remote areas. To meet these challenges, INTEGRIS has adopted video-enabled telehealth solutions to better serve their remote patients. Now, instead of having to drive two or three hours to see a doctor, a patient can go to a remote clinic, where a nurse can bring an available specialist into the examination room via a Cisco TelePresence® clinical cart to consult with the patient. What used to require a daunting all-day trek to the city can now be handled in a 30-minute visit to a local clinic—making it much more likely that patients will get the treatment they need.
Whether it’s on a manufacturing line or at a medical appointment, the Internet of Everything enables collaboration without borders—making connections across town or across time zones with the right resource at the right time to save money, speed solutions, and perhaps even save lives.