What is Telepresence?
Telepresence is the science and art of creating visual collaboration environments, networks, and strategies that duplicate in-person meeting experiences as completely as possible in both internal and external business communications. Effectively leveraging telepresence as an organizational and collaborative strategy can improve productivity and effectiveness by enhancing business communication, collaboration, and reducing physical travel.
A good telepresence strategy puts the human factors first, focusing on visual collaboration solutions that closely replicate the brain’s innate preferences for interpersonal communications, separating from the unnatural “talking heads” experience of traditional videoconferencing. These cues include life-size participants, fluid motion, accurate flesh tones and the appearance of true eye contact.
How Can Human Productivity Lab Help Me?
The Human Productivity Lab provides telepresence consulting services for Fortune 500 and mid-size firms across a broad range of industry sectors. We approach every telepresence engagement exclusively from our client’s perspective, employing a vendor-neutral focus. With objective analysis, companies and enterprises get the right hardware, network, and services mix for their needs, not what a single vendor wants to sell them.
Selecting equipment, managed services and network providers is a complex process and the investment considerable. The Human Productivity Lab’s mission is to future-proof and secure the best possible terms for your organization’s telepresence deployment.
The Human Productivity Lab offers telepresence end-user firms and vendors a host of advisory services including RFP/RFI Development, Acquisition Consulting, Realistic ROI Modeling/Deployment Strategies, Vendor and Technology Assessments, Telepresence Solution Design, and Best Practice Assessments.
The Lab’s expertise and knowledge of current and future technology trends is not just academic – it is real-world. In fact, the Human Productivity Lab has more experience with telepresence than any other consulting firm on the planet.
If your organization is considering deploying telepresence, call the Human Productivity Lab at 512-828-7317, or email us at Info@HumanProductivityLab.com.
Examples of HPL Consulting Engagements for End-Users:
Global Fortune 20 Oil Company – The Lab helped a global Fortune 20 oil company better understand its telepresence options with respect to deploying telepresence group systems between its global locations. The Lab traveled to multiple telepresence hardware vendors and met with their research scientists and product managers to get an up-to-date understanding of multiple product offerings and their technology roadmaps. The Lab conducted an evaluation of a new telepresence system on the market, helped write the firm’s RFP and produced a comprehensive report comparing the firms’ various options with our recommendations to streamline deployment.
Global Fortune 20 Energy Company – The Lab helped the same Fortune 20 global energy company evaluate their options in creating a telepresence distance learning capability for training petrochemical engineers and oil field geologists globally. The Lab short listed the appropriate suppliers, arranged demonstrations, and helped produce the appropriate RFI. The Lab designed a “Pro-Modified” version of a Polycom RPX that created a stand up presentation environment for an instructor to be captured naturally instructing in a “Theatre in the Round” format for teaching to both local and remote student simultaneously with enhanced capabilities for data collaboration. The Lab also created a design for a “Productized Learning and Collaborative Kit” that would have provided an enhanced capability to collaborate on data by improving and simplifying the ability to launch collaborative sessions including the ability to whiteboard interactively between any sites equipped with the kit (Unimplemented). The Lab helped the project team create the business case for using telepresence in the learning center and created a financial model that compared the various proposals including multiple options for hardware, managed services, and network including the option to manage the video network infrastructure themselves.
International Investment Bank – The Lab helped an international investment bank evaluate multiple providers of desktop video conferencing solutions including a new firm with which that client had an investment. The Lab made recommendations and preliminary budgets for the firm to create a studio environment for their equity analysts to rapidly create video content of breaking economic and company news for their equity research clients. The Lab created a preliminary design and budget for creating a solution that would connect their New York City and London trading floors so their head trader in New York could be “present” on the London floor while trading. The Lab worked directly with the CEO and CIO on the engagement.
International and Domestic Standards Bodies – The Lab helped both an international standards body and a domestic (US) standards body understand their telepresence options for effectively connecting their organizations together to work on a major project. The organizations required a large capacity telepresence solution to accommodate a 16 member board and four executives on one-side of the Atlantic and eight board members and executives on the other with the ability to stream and archive content. The Lab accelerated their due diligence process and provided expertise to evaluate vendor proposals.
International Security Consulting Company – The Lab helped the CEO of an international security consulting company understand his options for improving the human factors of his existing videoconferencing deployment. The CEO, a best-selling author, spends more than half the year writing at his home in Fiji and wanted to improve his ability to communicate with his staff and clients. The CEO realized the limitations of his traditional videoconferencing system especially with respect to eye-contact and contacted the Lab to better understand his telepresence options.
Examples of HPL Consulting Engagements for Vendors:
Arming Telepresence Commission Driven Mercenaries – This is the Lab’s “Open Source” competitive overview for telepresence solutions vendors, managed service providers, and inter-networking firms in the telepresence and telecommunications industries. The course is designed for product managers, sales representatives, sales managers, and sales engineers to rapidly bring them up-to-speed on the competitive landscape in the telepresence industry. While the Lab judiciously protects forward-looking product roadmap information that we are under NDA on, we offer a true critique of the various telepresence systems on the market and the pros and cons of various approaches. The Lab has created courses for multiple Fortune 500 clients.
International Telecommunications Carrier - The Lab helped an international telecommunications carrier better understand the landscape of telepresence managed service providers so they could select a provider to private label a telepresence managed service offering. The Lab further helped the company better understand the differences between small group telepresence solutions so they could create bundled telepresence solutions for their portfolio. The Lab worked directly with the firm’s two principals / co-founders.
Telepresence Product and Strategy Review - The Lab worked with an established telepresence solution provider to understand the telepresence landscape. The Lab provided an independent third party critique of the firm’s telepresence offerings, managed service provider strategy, and go-to-market strategy with respect to telepresence. The Lab worked directly with the CEO.
Telepresence Consulting for Investors
International Investment Bank – In June 2009 Howard Lichtman participated in a trip to San Francisco and Silicon Valley organized by a European investment bank which took multiple institutional portfolio managers and hedge fund managers on visits with telepresence and videoconferencing companies. The group met with CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, and other corporate officers and received demonstrations of telepresence and videoconferencing solutions. Mr. Lichtman provided independent third party analysis on what the investors saw and heard and conducted an overview presentation on the overall telepresence market. Mr. Lichtman predicted that Cisco would acquire TANDBERG and took the assembled investors through his reasoning. Cisco announced they would pursue an acquisition of TANDBERG 5 months later on October 1st.
Buy / Sell Side Hedge Fund – Mr. Lichtman provided an independent third party analysis of the telepresence industry to the portfolio manager of a buy/sell side hedge fund in April of 2009. Mr. Lichtman predicted that Cisco would acquire TANDBERG and took the portfolio manager through his reasoning. Cisco announced they would pursue an acquisition of TANDBERG 7 months later on October 1st. The fund claims to have made 30% on an investment in TANDBERG in 7 months.