Having just walked from the front of economy of a crowded plane to the back and then forward again, it is ever clear to me that most people do not work on airplanes. It’s 1:35 in the afternoon on Monday January 10, this plane has Wi-Fi and it has been a smooth flight. Most people have their laptops out – and – have their movies playing or have their games going. Facebook is a strong third. Would we be doing this at the office?
Face it. We don’t work when we travel or we certainly don’t work as much. At trip from Philadelphia to the West Coast for four days – what do I gain, what do I lose, what could I have done through a less costly and less life-invasive approach? The problem is that companies are spread out, their customers are global, people need to collaborate and the tools we use today for collaborating remotely are unsatisfying or are overly complex or both. Put me in a netmeeting like LiveMeeting, Placeware, or Gotomeeting and I spend half the meeting doing email, browsing the web, or doing my typical ADD office behavior. Put me on a multi-person video cast, assuming my company has spent the money and has the IT support for this, and it still takes 30 minutes for 80% of the participants to get coordinated, and 20% call in. By the way, how do we share data effectively and quickly among multiple parties under either a netmeeting or a video conference? Not easy if it’s possible.
Our portfolio company, ProtonMedia (www.protonmedia.com) has taken a different approach to remote collaboration using a virtual world environment, avatars, and data carousels for information collaboration to allow people to be brought together in highly engaging interactive sessions. When people who have used the solution, including world renowned scientists in poster boarding sessions, say that it is better than being there – we sit up and take note. Now that ProtonMedia has gone live as a Microsoft Lync partner, corporate access and mainstream use has become even easier. While still early and still evolving, ProtonMedia users are going to think twice before getting on a plane – unless they are behind in their movie watching.
ProtonMedia has a great blog you can get here http://blog.protonmedia.com/ or get to through their website or check out this recent interview of ProtonMedia CEO Ron Burns by industry thought leader , Tom Keating, highlighting the recent ProtonMedia and Microsoft Lync release. (http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/unified-communications/protosphere-3d-virtual-world-combines-microsoft-lync-voip-collaboratio.asp) .
In a couple years, I hope that the evolutions toward advanced collaboration solutions, including those like ProtoSphere, ProtonMedia’s virtual world, will make this trip and many others not necessary for me.
Well, my battery is dying so it’s time for a movie on my IPad.