Monday, May 7th 2018
I recently visited a tech company in Austin. Entered the lobby, checked in, was told that my contact was running late, and was asked, could I "please take a seat and wait?" "Okay, sure." After sitting down on a modern-esque chair-you know, the kind you'd expect to see in a tech company-I'm surprised the flat panel on the wall isn't playing 'Squawk on the Street.'
Instead, the screen is displaying rotating pictures of various company events - a hike in a green space, some holiday dinners/gatherings, etc. The images segue to some screen captures of news about the company, including a new partnership they just signed, and then some customer logos. Then the system plays a video about the company's product line for the healthcare market.
At the end of my wait, I couldn't help but think that waiting in a lobby is usually pretty boring but in this case it was actually really cool. In just five minutes, I got this overview of the company, its employees, including a sense of what it felt like working there, and some great news highlights about the company. When it was time for my meeting, I was able to ask a few questions based on that content to help 'break the ice,' get the meeting started, and make everyone feel comfortable right off the bat. Loved it.
That corporate messaging is all managed by a Cisco Webex Teams Integration Partner called Appspace. And they do it extremely well. Companies can create their own digital channels - with all kinds of content, including pictures, videos, etc. - and play them back on hundreds of displays in offices around the world.
Appspace has a philosophy that there should never be a blank screen. In this case, the screens they are referring to are Cisco endpoints - Room Kits, DX80's, and Cisco Webex Boards. Of course, many large enterprises have these devices installed. Appspace turns these devices into a rich internal and external (i.e., for visitors) communications channel.
I love partners who enhance Cisco products like Cisco Webex Teams (formerly Cisco Spark) by adding useful features and thereby adding tremendous value. It's mainly because I love the creativity-seeing innovative integrations like Appspace.
Appspace has certainly embraced Webex Teams. With Appspace, the various digital channels you create are not limited to playback on large format displays. They can also be viewed outside of meeting rooms (on small LCD displays used for room bookings) in the Webex Teams app on your laptop or phone. From a Cisco Webex Teams space, it's easy to subscribe to one of the Appspace digital channels.
Think of all the possibilities: When an employee walks into an office for a meeting with coworkers, they can be greeted with a video of the CEO speaking at the latest town hall; pictures from the last 'all-hands' offsite; - or product updates. And this same information is available for people who work remotely directly from their Webex Teams app- keeping the entire team informed and engaged. We're all inundated with information, with shortened attention spans, so isn't it great to have the ability to better communicate with your employees by making the information more easily available?
Many companies certainly like what Appspace has to offer. Appspace has existing clients in Oil and Gas, HealthCare, Media, Finance, Transportation, and Social Media. At Cisco, we also use Appspace for our corporate communication digital signage network and Appspace room scheduling displays across 380 offices in 165 countries.
If you have Cisco endpoints or use the Webex Teams app, with Appspace, you can definitely get more value from them.
My team at Cisco is starting to use Appspace to broadcast partnership information to all of our partners. Right now, if I have a general partner update, I go to each partner Webex Teams Space and paste in my update. With Appspace, I can create a channel, subscribe my partner spaces to that channel, then post my updates once in Appspace and all my partners will get the updates. It's a really efficient way to communicate information.
With Cisco and Appspace, it's a great way for companies to take advantage of and optimize this digital real estate, enhancing your ability to communicate and market to your employees and visitors. It's a winning combination, and one that'll make that lobby chair way more comfortable, too!
- Frank Geck, Cisco Webex Solution Partners Business Development Manager