Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's up to you and I to help America reclaim its innovation edge

Innovation has always been fundamental to the success of any organization. But as our country remains mired in an economic slump -- one that could worsen should the federal government fail to raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2 -- innovation is taking on increased importance.

While no analysts are saying America is losing its innovation edge, it's clear that the gap between America and rest of the world is narrowing fast. Take China for instance. For us to remain competitive, we need to accelerate innovation beyond what the country has been able to organically sustain.

As a recent NPR article makes clear, some economists believe innovation of new technology is crucial to creating new jobs and boosting our economy, which grew at an annualized rate of only about 2 percent during the first half of the year.

Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein was quoted in the article as saying, "Without innovation, not only would you be stuck at 2 percent -- we might be lucky to get 2 percent growth."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who won our "Infinite Reality" book giveaway?

Our "Infinite Reality" giveaway is closed and the entries are in. We've put all the names in a proverbial hat and drawn two winners.

They are ...


Friday, July 15, 2011

eCliniqua notes how ProtoSphere is humanizing collaboration in life sciences for clinical teams

One of the interesting people I met at DIA 2011 was Ann Neuer, a writer in the clinical trials industry. We chatted about collaboration and learning in the clinical space.

I filled her in on some new things we're seeing in life sciences, and why organizations have been using ProtoSphere to achieve that human-to-human interaction when holding conferences, meetings, and other events virtually.

Last day to enter to win "Infinite Reality" -- the new book predicting the future of virtual technology on society

It's reminder time folks! You have until 5 p.m. ET today to enter to win one of two copies of "Infinite Reality," the new book by Jim Blascovich, Ph.D., and Jeremy Bailenson, Ph.D.

"Infinite Reality" is one of the most exhilarating books you'll read about how our brain behaves in digital worlds, and how virtual reality technology is transforming our future society.

The implications of virtual reality extend further than many of us realize, and the authors take you on a mind-bending journey predicting many surprising but highly plausible applications of virtual reality technology. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the future of how we live and work.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Introducing the virtual office for the virtual office

You surely heard Microsoft launched Office 365, the company's new Office suite in the cloud. It includes Office Web Apps (online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote), Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online.

The experience of using Office 365 is as rich as if you were running the apps on your native desktop, but without the associated costs and support challenges. Microsoft has done a great job of bringing the desktop to the Web.

As you probably are aware, ProtoSphere Lync Edition utilizes Microsoft's Unified Communications infrastructure, and integrates with Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint, The Microsoft Office Suite, and Microsoft Active Directory. In fact, it's the only virtual environment built on the Microsoft stack.

One of the things that our customers appreciate is that we've worked to keep ProtoSphere current with Microsoft's latest innovations. This goes back to our embrace of technologies such as SharePoint and Lync. Our integration initiatives have also extended to important partners that we find in our customers' ecosystem, such as Kaplan EduNeering.

And so in keeping with that tradition, we have added Office 365 support to ProtoSphere Lync Edition. But we're not adding this support just for technology's sake. As a cloud technology, Office 365 is an ideal match for ProtoSphere customers.

The combination will create something that is almost like an M.C. Escher print: what I call the virtual office for the virtual office. It's not just a clever headline. It speaks to exactly what we'll be delivering -- a place where you can work virtually not only with local content, but now with online content as well. We issued a press release with the news, which I thought I'd share here if you'd like some more details on our forthcoming Office 365 support. Any questions? My door is always open.

ProtonMedia to Support Microsoft Office 365

ProtoSphere Lync Edition to support Office 365 and associated online functionality

LANSDALE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ProtonMedia, a Silver Unified Communications Microsoft partner, today announced its ProtoSphere Lync Edition application will support Microsoft Office 365. This will provide users the benefits of Microsoft’s Lync high-quality VoIP and Office 365 platform through ProtoSphere’s engaging virtual collaboration environment. Office 365 is Microsoft’s next generation in cloud productivity that joins Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ProtoSphere Standard Edition Feature Peek: Add YouTube and other Web-hosted videos to Presentation Boards

A few weeks ago, I showed you an upcoming ProtoSphere Standard Edition feature that will let you upload and play videos on Presentation Boards.

In addition to uploading video files from your computer, you'll also be able to bring videos into ProtoSphere via a URL path, such as from YouTube. This gives you greater flexibility in what Flash content you can use in ProtoSphere, and how you can bring it in.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Win the book from the researchers who revealed your brain in a virtual collaboration environment

Our blogging crew recently interviewed Jim Blascovich, Ph.D., about what happens in our brains when we're interacting in a virtual collaboration environment.

We've posted the podcast and transcript from our interview with Dr. Blascovich, where we delved into some profound psychological and sociological implications of working and training in virtual environments. But if you want to go on an even bigger mind-bender, I've got the goods.

We're going to give away two copies of Dr. Blascovich's new book, "Infinite Reality," which he co-authored with Jeremy Bailenson, Ph.D. Their book explores the science of virtual reality -- the good, bad, and ugly of what the virtual revolution has in store for us as business professionals and a society as a whole.

It's a great book, and a must-read for anyone who follows virtual technology. It'll get you thinking about how far we've come with virtual technology, and more important, how far we can go with it, especially in terms of how we interact, learn, and experience everyday life and what it means to be human.

So how can you win your copy? Here's how to enter.

Philadelphia Business Journal features our latest financing

Just a note of thanks to Philadelphia Business Journal's Peter Key for reporting on ProtonMedia's recent $4.5 million financing. Thanks much!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cisco's Cius tablet off life sciences' radar

You might have caught Cisco's announcement last week that it will be shipping its new Cius tablet on July 31. Cisco has also introduced AppHQ, its Android app store for Cius.

Network World's Jim Duffy has been following the story, and recently asked me what my opinion is of the Cius and its acceptance in the enterprise marketplace. He included some of my thoughts in his latest article on the news.

During our interview, we got to talking about the Cius in the life sciences industry. From where I sit, the Cius is not on the radar of life sciences executives. All of my conversations relating to tablets are squarely focused on iPad pilots in 2011-2012 and rollouts in 2012-2013.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Remote working: Employees' needs not being met

Telecommuting and virtual offices are becoming more pervasive across enterprises, but it's presenting a trade-off. "... while workers want autonomy and flexibility, they also want social connection," writes Jessica Stillman in a recent GigaOM article.

We're seeing this among enterprises too. One of the common challenges executives are grappling with is how to overcome the sense of isolation employees can get when working remotely.
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