Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A conference call is not collaboration

Our introduction of ProtoSphere Lync Edition 2010 marks a significant milestone for us. It realizes a vision that's been years in the making. It takes us beyond the conference call to real-time, natural communication and collaboration.

For a humorous reminder of what a conference call is like today, you needn't look further than David Grady's "The Conference Call" video.

"The Conference Call" has garnered a lot of attention lately, and while it does evoke a few laughs, it serves a bigger purpose. It shows us what's wrong with the way we try to communicate.

We're wasting a lot of time and fundamentally not getting anything done. Grady's video makes it glaringly obvious why conference calls are not collaboration. We're struggling to connect in the first place -- let alone share knowledge and information.

Microsoft Lync (formerly known as Communications Server, Communications Online, and Communicator) is one of the most widely used enterprise unified communications platforms. Similarly, SharePoint is one of the most widely used enterprise content and process management platforms today. We view Microsoft Lync, coupled with SharePoint, as the operating system of the enterprise -- the Microsoft unified communications and collaboration stack.

Our customers in life sciences and other industries are using SharePoint and Lync within training, learning, compliance, sales, human capital management, and product life cycle management. These platforms are crucial technologies that need to be available in virtual collaboration scenarios.

By building on top of the Microsoft unified communications and collaboration stack, we ensure Microsoft users can seamlessly use their Lync functionality and work with their SharePoint resources in ProtoSphere. This extends their Microsoft investment, enabling them to take advantage of their Microsoft technology in new ways to cut travel costs, improve productivity, and foster collaboration.

When we introduced SharePoint support into ProtoSphere last year, we were half way to realizing our vision. Today, with the introduction of Lync integration, we have achieved it.

Today marks the launch of our new, always-on virtual collaboration environment, where you can beam in and out of a work space, and put the right people and the right data together at just the right moment.

In this new video below, recently shot in Redmond, I describe ProtoSphere Lync Edition 2010, and our view on how to move beyond the conference call to real-time communication and collaboration. Adding Lync's VoIP technology to ProtoSphere enables visual conferencing, tied to visual and natural collaboration. It's our approach to next-generation communication and collaboration.

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