Guest author: Phil Marechal, Vice President Product Management and Business Development at Yamaha Unified Communications

The internet has grown up and is now as much a communications platform as it is just a place where you grab information or retrieve information in front of a static webpage. It has become this dynamic live communications network, hundreds of millions of phone calls, video calls and collaboration solutions that are running simultaneously across this global connected grid. It has revolutionized communications to all parts of the world that’s more cost effective and available.

In the past, our industry has developed collaboration technologies that were typically, a $30,000 videoconferencing systems on proprietary call control planes or technologies that were isolated islands. It wasn’t easy for a person who owned a videoconferencing system at Procter & Gamble to easily communicate with their outside contractors, suppliers and key partners because their system was running on a separate network. And so, the value of videoconferencing has always been diminished by the fact it was a somewhat isolated technology.

So along came web collaboration in the last couple years. And because laptop computers have enough power to produce and compress video in real-time with high quality, it enabled a whole bunch of web startups focused on collaboration technologies. New tools emerged that enabled users to easily share information with others using a simple URL address or a web address.

Yamaha Unified Communications realized that that this was going to cause a revolution in the industry and we wanted to be the first to design devices that could take advantage of it. Our CS-700 video collaboration system, used in Bluescape, is one of our first technologies that was designed as a simple plug and play solution to deliver high quality audio that can work with any collaboration and meeting platform.

We looked at how companies deal with different types of information, applications and conferencing tools. The way we work internally is commonly found in most organizations. In planning for a product launch, I’ve collaborated on launch documents and reviewed videotapes located on different share drives. There’s no convenient, easy method to access all this information and different media assets. And there’s no historical timeline for reviewing past decisions, meeting notes or draft revisions.

And so, along comes Bluescape and we were super impressed by what we saw. Their digital collaboration workspace gives users the ability to take different media types, post them on an infinite plane, and be able to look historically back at what they have done. It’s a way of looking at a body of work in a time and dimension scale that I haven’t seen before. It’s easy to use in a visually-rich environment for people to create, share and collaborate.

Yamaha is a company that prides itself on offering high-quality audio and reproducing sound as accurately as possible. Bluescape expands the universal extensibility of our products to work on a variety of collaboration engines. We provide technology that layers on top of Bluescape to do all of the audio processing. Users gain an instantaneous collaboration experience through one device with realistic and natural voice audio that comes through clearly.

The importance of having all of these technologies work better together is having the right tools to get business done efficiently. You need a robust network with connected audio, video and collaboration tools. When organizations make these investments, people start using them and suddenly, they communicate better and make decisions much, much faster than before.

Collaboration tools and the ability to reach across teams, more efficiently, effectively and with exceptional quality is an absolute necessity. And efficient companies that can drive to faster consensus and decision making with advanced collaboration tools are going to win the battle. They are the ones that are moving forward at a rapid pace.

Visit Bluescape and Yamaha Unified Communications to learn more at InfoComm, June 6 – 8 at Las Vegas Convention Center, Expo Hall, Booth N1227.

Phil Marechal