Imagine working with people anywhere, anytime, developing ideas, communicating concepts and information, and never having to take another note, copy another flip chart or wish the group had all been together in one place. That time is here.
Mike Dunn, President and CEO of PolyVision
Face it, nearly every promise about how a new system or product was going to deliver on the prospect of local and remote collaboration has failed to achieve true, effective collaboration. Think about it. Video conferencing was going to save a fortune in travel and personnel time. Web-base conferencing tools were going to do the same at the desktop, and the list goes on.
These and other technologies were supposed to revolutionize the way people communicate and collaborate over great distances. Some of them promised to fill in all the gaps of teleconferencing and to replace face-to-face meetings. Some also promised to put an end to the expensive airfare associated with one-day meetings. Well, guess what? These various tools have for the most part not kept any of these promises. Something has always been missing, and people still lack the ability to create an environment of true information exchange and collaboration…and the research has been telling us what was needed all along.
Voice is the most important factor in collaboration, persistent and visible information/data is a close second, and the view of the other guy is a distant third.
So, to date, why have all of the “solutions” been unable to achieve seamless collaboration? Simple, they have not been based on the way people really work. They were all created to solve the wrong problem. Until now.
We at PolyVision have taken that research, combined it with our unique point of view on technology design and adoption, and created something we think will truly change the playing field. The outcome is called Thunder™ Virtual Flipchart™ System, and it is a product that will revolutionize collaboration and offer a measurable return on investment for the first time.
Imagine a room where flip charts, reports, video, and other digital information surround you on the walls, but all of it is virtual. All of it is displayed, updated, and shared in real time around the globe or around the corner. Thunder is a solution to a problem that has plagued industry and education for years. Talking is great and video conferencing is okay for some things, but how do people share and expose lots of information easily, without barriers and without complexity? We’ve done it and the reaction has been wild. You may be seeing a new industry born right here in Atlanta and I couldn’t be more proud of our team for making it happen.
With Thunder and each new product we’ve developed, we’ve learned more about the ways in which people come together as teams to work, learn and collaborate. Through our research, and through our own interactions as a team, we’ve discovered what is truly important in creating effective communication tools for groups in both local and remote locations. I’d like to share some of the insight we uncovered through our extensive research.
We’ve learned that people work best within an immersive experience. They surround themselves with multiple information sources, depending on a variety of tools to achieve their goals. They rely on their computers as one source of information, spread books and papers out around themselves, and post notes on the walls. People don’t work or learn effectively or efficiently in a unilateral environment because accessing information one piece at a time delays the ideation, collaboration and development process.
We’re learned the immense importance of information persistence. When people are working on a project, especially in a collaborative meeting situation, they want to be able to access all of the relevant information, not just a piece of it – in context and in real time.
We also know that when the meeting is over, ideas are often lost and forgotten or taken out of their original context. We know that capturing all of the meeting content in its original format is a key to contextual memory because people rely on visual cues to support recall.
We know that keeping all project content available to all project participants, at any time, and from any location, in a searchable archive is a key catalyst to true collaboration. Participants must be able to access information whenever and wherever they need it to keep the project running smoothly and on schedule. And when the project is successfully completed, they need to be able to easily access any part of it, any time, period.
We know that meeting organizers and participants want their visual communication tools to be powered by transparent technology. The technology used to support their goals and serve their needs – the technology that brings meetings and collaboration to life – must be easily adopted and seamlessly integrated into participants’ daily lives in order to provide wide-reaching benefits to your organization.
Basically, we’ve learned that the world of work and learning needs a new communication tool that can bring all of these benefits together.
All of this insight has lead us to develop Thunder – a completely new way to collaborate.