Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Verizon and Cisco miss the mark on advanced collaboration tools

InformationWeek covered a recent study commissioned by Verizon and Cisco (carried out by Frost and Sullivan) that focused on the use and value of "advanced collaboration tools." I wrote my thoughts in a comment on the article, but also wanted to share them here.

Quite honestly, I think that Cisco and Verizon (companies I respect greatly, don't get me wrong) are really pushing the envelope in calling VoIP, instant messaging, and high-definition video meetings "advanced collaboration tools." These are commodity technologies that exist all over the country.

The study should really include a look at truly advanced collaboration technologies, a.k.a., 3-D immersive collaborative worlds. Tools like ProtoSphere have to be considered in this discussion, especially considering that it integrates all of these "advanced functions" into a single, engaging interface.

I have an admitted bias because my company provides this technology, but I'm not the only talking about the power and benefits 3-D immersive worlds can provide. We're doing our own research that shows real business metrics and results from using 3-D immersive environments. The early adopters have not been small players either, but rather, large enterprises in entrenched industries like pharma and energy.

It's an interesting study that gets to the core value of collaboration technology -- ROI -- but it is not inclusive enough to paint an accurate picture for enterprises.

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