NOVEMBER 2019 / Stockholm
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Revolution in the Workplace; how today’s technology is transforming collaborative work

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Oblong’s VP EMEA, Mary Ann de Lares Norris explores how next-generation technology can offer forward-thinking enterprises the tools they need to do their best collaborative work and deliver maximum business impact.

In today’s globalised world, the increasing pace and complexity of business demands the absolute best communication, workplace collaboration, and data visualization that technology can offer. Because work is changing, collaboration tools need to change too, and enterprises must deliver solutions that future-proof the workplace and adapt to its evolving requirements.


Modern Meeting Demands


Much of our work today is done collaboratively, in meetings. Sessions are fluid and often move through different stages, from presentation to ideation to discussion and resolution. We work in smaller huddle groups, larger briefing sessions, periodic brainstorms, and connected teleconferences. The different dynamics of these meetings demand that the technology underpinning these meetings must flex to support the variations, and deliver everything from multi-screen live content streams to multiple means of seamless access and control for a productive team experience.


The traditional meeting, with everyone gathering in one room with one large screen to sit through a presentation is clearly outdated. Knowledge workers are bringing laptops, tablets and smartphones to meetings to take notes (or videos) and to reference work in real-time. With the right technology they can share data instantly for everyone to see. The most sophisticated and productive solutions provide participants with means to share data simultaneously, across multiple wall surfaces, and utilize the most intuitive controls like gesture and touch. When collaborators share a united workspace, regardless of their location – meetings are more engaging, enlightening and immersive.


The seamlessness of the experience is key. It is essential to productivity that the flow of a meeting is not interrupted by people needing to switch cables or convert a file format so that information can be shown on screen. Each interruption sets back the collaborative and creative process and reduces the productivity of the meeting. Business circumstances demand the “It Just Works” factor, regardless of the collaborator’s device, platform, or application. This kind of simple fluidity will form the centrepiece of the office of the future.


Embracing the cognitive approach


Artificial Intelligence is becoming progressively more relevant to the enterprise. To solve our biggest business problems, and to manage the proliferation of new and essential data sources, we need to both see and share better information, faster. This is where AI comes in. Cognitive computing, particularly when combined with spatial computing, delivers an immersive data-rich environment for navigating information steams in three dimensions, simultaneously. When collaborators can see data streams side by side, when they can reconfigure them on the fly and use their own collective brain power plus the power of AI to analyse them in real-time, more reliable and accurate outcomes are achieved.


When AI gets a seat at the table where important conversations happen, when you transform meeting rooms into cognitive rooms, you harness the power of the team by changing the nature of the team to more easily surface insights and deliver results. 


The Era of  Infopresence


Meetings needs to be both information-rich and exhilarating. Workplace collaboration technology needs to be immersive, fast, visually beautiful, innovative, adaptive and future-proof. With the huge advances in AI, visual collaboration and the emergence of Infopresence, we’re seeing this happen. The future of work is increasingly defined by what we’re working ON, not just that we’re working TOGETHER. Whereas yesterday’s notion of advanced collaboration technology might be a video teleconference system where we can see and hear each other, today’s is defined by our collective ability to immerse at once in all the information we all bring to the table.


Through the deployment of visual collaboration technology such as Oblong’s Mezzanine, genuinely engaging and dynamic workplace environments can be designed to spur innovative thinking and deep engagement, and transform one-way presentations into collaborative conversations. The reign of the “bored room” will soon be at an end.


Mary Ann will be delivering her keynote on AI in the Workplace: Emergence of the Cognitive Room at IP EXPO Nordic on Wednesday 20th Sep at 15:30, where she will be addressing the challenge organizations face today to transcend traditional, sequential analytical processes in favour of faster parallel and real-time working processes that deliver the greatest business impact.