Hollywood Got Collaboration Right

December 8, 2015 - 11 Comments

If you’ve ever tried to dial in to a conference call from the school’s carpool lane after dropping off your kids and ended up with the other parents honking at you while you tried to join, you won’t recognize Hollywood’s version of collaboration.

On TV shows, no one is ever searching for a conference dial-in and in the movies when the hero rushes out of the conference room her video call instantly transfers to her phone without missing a beat.

Unfortunately the real world isn’t like the movies.  Our daily work lives are filled with the frustrations of trying to get technologies to work well together, as we all deal with the reality of outdated, complex, and difficult to use collaboration tools.

When I took over Cisco’s Collaboration group three years ago, I got to experience the great products and see the great experiences we could deliver.  But I also saw where the sitcoms got their material.

I told my team that we not only have to pay attention to the details, but that we need to let the future inspire us as we drive towards a totally seamless collaboration experience.  One where the right information just appears when it is supposed to, when all the technology just works, and where people pop in and out of virtual spaces like magic: Just like you might see in a futuristic movie.

Imagine a work week when you didn’t need to say “I’ll set up a meeting as soon as I am back at my desk,” because setting up a meeting from your mobile device was actually easy to do. Or one in which you could spontaneously share a document with a colleague who called you, because every call is also a meeting.  Or one when joining a conference call from your car meant was a one-touch experience and didn’t require pulling over so you could write down the meeting number and password.

To get work done, people need to be able to message, meet and call each other without thinking about it and without stopping to consider what device they are using.  Whether they are on a room system, a desktop phone, or a mobile phone, they should all work the same.

When you get a call you should be able to answer on any of your devices–and if you want to change the device you are using, that should be easy too.

Today’s announcements about moving our core collaboration products to the cloud under a single platform, Spark, take us to this reality.

With the new Cisco Spark platform– and the groundbreaking new collaboration technologies built upon it–we can finally start to usher in that futuristic world we’ve all been dreaming of.  We can’t wait to share it with you.

Check out the replay of my keynote at Collaboration Summit where I go into detail about our latest collaboration announcements.

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  1. Very nice details and way forward move from Cisco. Collaboration is most important in today’s world and having great technology making this important aspect simple and powerful is need of today.

    Thanks Rowan for sharing details

  2. Great informative post.

  3. In my current position, I now have to attend telecons on a somewhat frequent basis. Having to wait until the telecon admin sets up the call, while it doesn’t take long to do, can be an inconvenience if you have to dial in several times until the call has been set up. Being able to start it from a mobile device saves time and you don’t have to risk missing out on the beginning of the call because you were waiting for the call to start to dial in.

  4. Today, we use Microsoft Skype for Business for IM/P and Cisco for voice and video globally. My question to Rowan is how is Spark going to interoperate with our on-prem global multi AD Forest and Domain UC install base.

  5. Looking forward to see what you will bring next :).

  6. Clear, informative, simple. Love your post!

  7. Nice job Rowan and Team! It was great to see all the new hotness on stage…

  8. I always look forward to your articles, Rowan. I watched your Collaboration Summit keynote this morning. I won’t throw out any spoilers here for those who have not yet viewed the replay. Suffice it to say, your announcements around “…the groundbreaking new collaboration technologies…” are very exciting.

  9. Wow, amazing post, nice one bro

  10. Exciting! My carpool experience is more about waiting than driving so bring it on!

  11. Wow, please don’t drive around a school parking lot while on a video or collaboration call!