New Collaboration Technologies Give Mobile Users a “Wired” App Experience

By Matt Rehm, Director Collaboration-Strategic Technology Group, Presidio
12/09/13 at 08:29 am

If your company finds it challenging to get mobile employee and customers to give your corporate apps a chance, you’re not alone. The consumer experience that leading device manufacturers deliver on smartphones and tablets has raised the bar for what end users now expect. They want easy access to their apps, and they want an experience similar to what they see on desktop computers wired into corporate networks.

If you force mobile users to click a couple extra times to enact additional processes, such as setting up a VPN connection, chances are good you will lose them. No matter how great your collaboration tools perform on the corporate network, if you don’t make them perform just as well for mobile users, you won’t capitalize on the full value collaboration tools deliver. If you’re trying to connect with customers, your margin of error is even thinner.

Cisco is taking steps to improve mobile collaboration with new technologies that make the mobile experience truly feel like everyone is in the same room. One example is the recently released Jabber Guest—a Web-based and mobile-device video tool. Jabber Guest allows users without an account on the corporate infrastructure to utilize a Web browser or mobile application for high-def, quality video experiences inside the corporation. The technology can pay huge dividends to retail businesses and other customer service environments that want to enhance their services.

As an example, a bike shop could help customers repair their own bikes. The customer just visits the business website, clicks on the video service enabled by Jabber Guest, and a two-way video chat is launched. Both parties can then use their cameras to demonstrate the broken component and discuss how to fix it. The bike shop pro can even direct customers as they fix the problem.

In the business realm, real-time voice, video and collaborative apps have traditionally required users to be tethered to a specific device provided by the company to ensure high-quality experiences. Users thus had to use an expensive conference room or high-end video endpoint on their desktop.

But moving forward, technologies are now available for pushing high-quality video and voice as well as desktop sharing tools such as Cisco WebEx to everyday devices. These new technologies have a huge impact on the collaboration realm as users can participate in meetings just as easily on smartphones and tablets—with quality enterprise apps that include all the features and functions of wired desktop apps.

This approach sure beats requiring users to be in the office for a collaborative session and allows users to participate on the devices they already feel comfortable with. The new technologies will undoubtedly raise the level of mobile-user interaction since mobile devices can function outside the network with conference room-like interaction capabilities.

All that users have to do is launch the app—just as easy as placing a phone call, maybe even easier!