My name is Adam Blomfield and I am a Collaboration Architect for the Presidio South Team in Oklahoma. I’ve been working with Cisco’s collaboration technology for over twelve years and joined the Presidio team in 2006, Presidio is a great place for me because of the unrivaled team of colleagues and the diverse client base that I can help. In the course of my day to day job, I work with a wide range of collaborations solutions and help clients deploy everything from new phone systems and call centers to video conferencing and TelePresence rooms.
If you look at a map of Oklahoma, you will notice right away that cities are some distance apart. Travelling from one place to another often involves a lot of windshield time, which means a lot of potentially unproductive time. To try and combat this problem I helped develop a “video in a box” solution that our Account Managers could take with them to client sites. By combining a Cisco EX60 TelePresence endpoint with a rugged case, we provide clients with real-time access to an engineer without taking that engineer out of the field for more than the duration of a meeting – we eliminate windshield time. With this system a Presidio Account Manager shows up at an office toting a rolling black case. Five minutes later, in any conference room, they can unpack a video device with which they can dial up any one of Presidio’s hundreds of highly skilled engineers to talk about whatever topic is needed. Instead of a faceless voice at the end of a conference phone, our clients get interactive, face-to-face communication.
Despite becoming more common in our personal lives, video is still not as common in business as it should be. We think nothing of chatting face-to-face with friends and family on the other side of the country or the world from our smartphones using applications like FaceTime or Skype, but if we want to talk to someone at work, we’re typically relegated to a plain old telephone call. It disturbs my kids when they can’t see their grandfather while talking to him, but I put up with the majority of work calls being voice only without even giving it a second thought. With so many options for richer communication available to us, we need to stop settling for less.
Face-to-face communications is part of our everyday lives. Video adds another dimension to a call that voice alone is not able to accomplish. So much of our communication is non-verbal, and when we can only hear a person, we’re missing half the conversation. By utilizing the full suite of TelePresence solutions that Cisco offers, we can enable high-quality, low-effort communications with colleagues, clients or anyone else that we want to collaborate with.
Mobile video solutions have the potential to solve problems and enhance productivity in a wide range of industries. Video can allow a doctor to interact with a patient in a remote clinic location or let an engineer see and diagnose a problem with a piece of machinery on the other side of the world. Video can allow a financial institution to have a mortgage expert available for face-to-face consultations with new customers in every branch across the country. Video allows for innovation that is only limited by your imagination and creativity.
As immersive communications become simpler and more available I believe that we will come to expect them as our default mode of interaction. Today we’re talking about video images, but concept systems have already shown us solutions that bring life-size holographic projections on stage. I’m not saying we’re five or ten years away from Star Trek-style holodecks, but we’re definitely at the point where we can and should expect more than just a plain old voice call. Our mobile video solution allows our team members and clinets to bring this expectation to reality and will hopefully encourage more interactive communication from all companies in the future.