Monday, February 28, 2011

More on how ProtonMedia and Enabling Technologies are enabling Microsoft Lync in the enterprise

I recently told you about our new partnership with Enabling Technologies. Today, we made the announcement official with a press release from the Enterprise Connect 2011 show. Read on for more details on how we'll be working together.



ProtonMedia and Enabling Technologies Use Microsoft Lync to Erase Collaboration Challenges

Enterprise Connect 2011
Booth 329

LANSDALE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ProtonMedia and Enabling Technologies Corp. today announced a partnership to provide secure virtual collaboration solutions that help businesses lower costs, raise productivity, and optimize operations—all while maintaining strict regulatory compliance. Under the terms of the agreement, Enabling Technologies, a leading Microsoft Unified Communications Voice Specialized Partner, will be helping its customers unlock the full potential of their Microsoft Lync investment through integration with ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere platform. ProtoSphere is the only virtual collaboration environment built on the Microsoft stack, and the #1 virtual collaboration platform in life sciences today.

ProtoSphere is the only virtual collaboration environment built on the Microsoft stack, and the leading virtual collaboration platform in life sciences today. It is also one of four technologies selected for the highly-coveted Innovation Showcase at Enterprise Connect 2011, the foremost conference and exposition in enterprise communications and collaboration, being held this week in Orlando, Fl. The Innovation Showcase features companies that are taking enterprise communications and collaboration to a new plateau.

ProtonMedia wins Enterprise Connect 2011 Innovation Showcase

I'm coming at you today from the Enterprise Connect 2011 show (formerly VoiceCon), and one of my first orders of business is to share some exciting news with our readers. Enterprise Connect has selected ProtonMedia for its prestigious Innovation Showcase.

The Innovation Showcase competition recognizes four innovative start-up companies that are taking enterprise communications and collaboration to a new level. The show's five judges reviewed entrants across a variety of dimensions to examine how they are delivering innovative communication solutions to enterprise companies.

David Michels, who's managing the Innovation Showcase, reported that the response was greater than anticipated. Winning the Innovation Showcase tells our users that the Enterprise Connect judges find ProtoSphere to be on the leading edge of enterprise communications and collaboration solutions.

As an Innovation Showcase winner, I'll be giving a short presentation on our ProtoSphere technology and how it works with the Microsoft UC stack, including connections to Lync, SharePoint, text chat, and presence. My presentation is scheduled for tomorrow at 9 a.m. on the keynote stage on the ballroom level at the Gaylord Palms Convention Center.

Also as a winner, we're exhibiting in the Innovation Theater, which is booth #329. If you're here at the show, I'd love to catch up and chat.

Watch our blog for more news, interviews, and reactions from the show.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On the road to Enterprise Connect with ProtoSphere Lync Edition in hand

Enough of the snow and blistering cold up here in the North. We're headed for warmer weather next week to exhibit at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Fla. from Feb. 28 to March 4. We'll be settling in at booth #329 at the Gaylord Palms Convention Center, and hope you swing by to say hello.

And even if you're not in Orlando, you can still swing by our booth by downloading the demo version of ProtoSphere Lync Edition and beaming in. We'll be in world demoing it at the show.

If you're scratching your head and wondering why you haven't heard of Enterprise Connect, it's because you probably remember it better as VoiceCon. They decided to rename the conference this year to reflect the multi-faceted, multi-media communications world in which we live.

Although the name has changed, the conference still offers in-depth, technically rich, and market-savvy information on the world of enterprise communications. And this year they're expanding their focus to look at the larger technology trends that are shaping communications, including cloud-based services, social networking, virtualization, and the increasing demands for security and resiliency.

We'll be there demonstrating ProtoSphere Lync Edition, which helps companies maximize the benefits they can realize from their Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Unified Communications investment through our ProtoSphere platform. You'll be able to see and hear how ProtoSphere uses Lync's crystal-clear VoIP, how you can share and work on your SharePoint documents right in ProtoSphere, and more at our booth.

If you haven't registered for Enterprise Connect yet, you can still do it on the show's website. Hope to see you in sunny Florida!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

White paper: Compliant Collaboration and Learning in Virtual Immersive Environments

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?
Dr. Maria Valdez had been to live clinical trial training before. She often found it boring and unimaginative. She complained to herself,“if I see one more slide with tiny fonts and dozens of bullet points, I think I’ll scream.” Still, she did like the opportunity to meet the experts running the trials and she did always seem to have a dozen or so specific questions that were best answered in a live, face-to-face environment. Email never seemed to be a good vehicle for the types of questions she always seemed to ask.
To prepare to be involved in the trial, Dr. Valdez had logged onto her organization’s Learning Management System (LMS) and took the two GCP online modules. The online courses gave her an excellent understanding of what she needed to do but she was hoping for a few “live” meetings with some of the experts running the trial. She wondered if that would even be possible, they were thousands of miles away and travel was restricted due to budget concerns. Still, she’d like to have answers to her questions.
This is an excerpt from the latest white paper by Karl Kapp, Ed.D., CFPIM, CIRM, Professor of Instructional Technology at Bloomsburg University. If you're in life sciences, you can probably relate to the situation Karl describes.

Title 21 CFR Part 11 compliant LMSs have revolutionized life sciences training. But as the industry continues to face intensified pressure to cut costs and maintain strict regulatory compliance, some companies are looking for new and complementary technology choices to cost-effectively improve learning outcomes.

Karl details this new technology solution in his white paper, Compliant Collaboration & Learning in Virtual Immersive Environments. He explains how virtual immersive environments can provide life sciences companies the opportunity to hold targeted training programs and meetings with global teams in an interactive, compliant environment.

He breaks down specific areas where life sciences companies can benefit from using secure virtual immersive environments with compliant LMSs. Some of these include medical science liason and key opinion leader (KOL) relationship building, KOL meetings, physician communication, training, simulations, and data visualization.

You can download Karl's white paper now. We hope it's useful and informative. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below.

A better way for Enabling Microsoft Lync in the enterprise

Regular readers of the ProtonMedia blog know that we've integrated Microsoft Lync into ProtoSphere in our new ProtoSphere Lync Edition. This pairing helps companies maximize the benefits they can realize from their Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Unified Communications investment through our ProtoSphere platform.

Our next step in moving this integration forward has been signed, sealed, and delivered. We'll be formally announcing the news next week. But for our blog readers, we'll clue you in now. Find out what's next by watching my interview with Bill Vollerthum, President of Enabling Technologies, from the DIA EDM 2011 show. More details to come soon, so watch our blog!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Life sciences compliance training gains a new dimension

Many of our life sciences customers use ProtoSphere for KOL sessions and other learning and training activities. They also often use Kaplan EduNeering's ComplianceWire learning management system for compliance training.

One request they brought to us was to provide a way to track the attendance and progress of physicians who were participating in KOL sessions in ProtoSphere. They wanted to be able to confirm that physicians reviewed certain materials and were certified in particular procedures.

At the same time, they wanted to augment their ComplianceWire courseware with the ability to seamlessly share, discuss, and collaborate on their course materials and learnings in ProtoSphere.

We began working with Kaplan EduNeering to develop a way to integrate our technologies, and marry secure compliance training with live, virtual collaboration. Our goal was to develop a virtual workplace that lets life sciences companies collaborate across every stage of their product life cycle, while meeting compliancy standards.

I'm excited to tell you our solution is now available. We've combined Kaplan EduNeering's ComplianceWire with ProtoSphere to create a new way for life sciences organizations to meet regulatory and compliance regulations.

You can now schedule, launch, and track ProtoSphere virtual meetings, conferences, and other learning sessions using ComplianceWire. In addition, you can access, share, and collaborate on ComplianceWire courseware, SOPs, other materials in ProtoSphere.

Together, the technologies give companies a secure way to add live, virtual collaboration and learning events to their online compliance training curricula, improving colleague interaction and knowledge transfer without the costs and time of travel.

We issued a press release announcing the integration with more details on how you can use ProtoSphere together with ComplianceWire. If you have any questions, would like to learn more, or want to see a demo, feel free to ping us.



ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere Now Integrated with Kaplan EduNeering’s ComplianceWire

Joint solution helps life sciences companies foster product life cycle collaboration within research, development, production, marketing, and customer engagement

LANSDALE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ProtonMedia and Kaplan EduNeering have integrated their technologies to create a new way for life sciences organizations to meet regulatory and compliance regulations. The companies have combined ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere virtual immersive environment with Kaplan EduNeering’s ComplianceWire learning management system. With this integration, companies can now schedule, launch, and track ProtoSphere virtual meetings, conferences, and other learning sessions from ComplianceWire. In addition, companies can access, share, and collaborate on ComplianceWire courseware, SOPs, other materials in ProtoSphere. The result gives companies a secure way to add live, virtual collaboration and learning events to their online compliance training curricula, improving colleague interaction and knowledge transfer without the costs and time of travel.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Microsoft Life Sciences' 2011 plans to support compliance and collaborative R&D

Today at the DIA EDM 2011 show, I meet up with Les Jordan, CTO of the Life Sciences Industry Unit at Microsoft. I had the opportunity interview Les about Microsoft's plans to create a more collaborative R&D framework for the life sciences industry, as well as its focus on supporting scientific innovation, compliant collaboration, and clinical trials in 2011. I thought you would all enjoy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Microsoft partnership takes on a new sheen -- silver

Here's something no other company in the Microsoft Unified Communications space can say.

What's that? We're the only virtual immersive environment software provider certified with Microsoft's Silver Unified Communications competency. There's no better evidence of our skill, expertise, and customer achievement using Microsoft's Unified Communications technology.

We've said before that we are the only virtual collaboration environment built entirely and exclusively on the Microsoft stack. But it's one thing to talk the talk. It's another to walk the walk.

Our certification as a silver partner documents to C-level and IT decision makers that ProtonMedia's ProtoSphere helps them take maximum advantage of their Microsoft technology and provides the seamless integration necessary to extract more return on their Microsoft UC investment.

We issued a press release today with more details on Microsoft's certification, which I've pasted below.


Microsoft Certifies ProtonMedia with Silver Unified Communications Competency

LANSDALE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ProtonMedia today announced the company has achieved Microsoft’s Silver Unified Communications competency, making it the first and only virtual immersive environment software provider to achieve this certification from Microsoft. This certification affirms ProtonMedia has met Microsoft’s silver competency credentials and customer evidence requirements. As a Microsoft partner with silver Unified Communications competency, ProtonMedia gains additional technical and service resources to help customers maximize their investment in Microsoft Unified Communications technologies. This includes Microsoft Lync, which is now integrated into ProtoSphere Lync Edition.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

E-learning's biggest mistake

In this weekend's New York Times, author and professor Randall Stross wrote an article raising two concerns he sees facing education. First, that he and his fellow professors will be out a job if education is boiled down to the bare essentials of an automated program that a computer can run like an MP3 file.

Stross's larger point is that we need to keep human instructors involved in online courses, stating that fully automated courseware cannot do what real live instructors can do. "Those relationships -- with humans in the flesh -- help students to persevere. Online courses are notorious for high dropout rates."

I'd like to take Randall's argument one step further. The problem I see with fully automated courseware is that it far too often takes content out of context. When you take content out of a classroom or other learning setting, you take it out of the context in which it's intended to be learned.

When a student needs help understanding a concept, for instance, they usually seek out their teacher and talk to them. That's how knowledge is traditionally transferred. It happens within the context of the situation or problem.

This concept extends to business. Here's how.

E-learning's costly error

If you want to learn how to do something related to your job, you probably seek out a coworker that's done it before, and ask them about it. However, in business, our efforts to learn fall flat when we try to transfer knowledge or collaborate using only a document management system (such as SharePoint or Documentum). This is because we are taking content out of context.

Knowledge sharing and collaboration are not simply a knowledge repository. They are processes that require a place where you bring up documents from knowledge repositories, and instructors, SMEs, KOLs, etc. bring context to that content.
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