Youssef Saleh is Co-Founder and CEO of Ava Robotics. Youssef is an entrepreneurial leader with a passion for turning ideas into profitable and growing businesses. Prior to Ava, Youssef was SVP and GM of the Remote Presence Business Unit at iRobot, where he was responsible for iRobot’s leading-edge autonomous robots for commercial applications. He also served as VP/GM of Telepresence & Vertical Solutions at Polycom.
The time to bridge the gap between workplace expectations and conditions is now–and every day moving forward. The global workforce has never been more aware, and yet so uncertain. What we DO know is that every single business, to some degree, must account for hybrid collaboration. Regardless of whether it’s for our own employees, customers, partners, or clients, we must do more to enable and empower people to work how they work best. This priority has been past-due for many years.
Cisco’s 2020 Global Workforce Survey reports:
98% of the workforce expects future meetings will involve remote participants.
96% expressed a desire for intelligent collaboration technology.
How companies satisfy the desire, need and flexibility for access isn’t just a Covid-response success metric, its more; adopting and integrating more hybrid work processes and technologies will largely dictate overall viability and market leadership.
Since the inception of Ava’s intelligent workplace robotics technology at iRobot, Cisco was identified as the best possible partner to advance workplace productivity. Not only because Ava was built with a full Webex integration for best-in-class video conferencing, but also because Cisco sets the industry standard for secure, trusted technology.
It’s not about wanting to meet. It’s about wanting to be. What happens spontaneously and organically before the meeting, or after the meeting, for example, has always mattered as much as the meeting itself. Cisco and Ava have shared a mission that empowers people to own where and how they collaborate, long before pandemic times. The need to improve the workplace with intelligence, inclusivity, and mobility is not new–but the receptiveness to this technology, is.
As a member of the Cisco SolutionsPlus Partner network, Ava Mobile Telepresence allows Cisco customers to extend their collaboration capabilities, expanding operations and improving employee/customer experience.
Ava Mobile Telepresence as a feature of Webex introduces limitless opportunities to expand collaboration for the hybrid workforce.
Returning to the workforce survey, 77% of large organizations report that they will be increasing work flexibility. For each organization, “work flexibility” will have its own unique expressions and integrations within their existing technology and workflows.
No matter where a company may be along their return-to-work timeline, the new prioritization for agility, safety, and sustainability will endure. Corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives are no longer in the back seat. However, it’s important to also recognize heightened budget consciousness in these still-very-uncertain times.
What is so powerful about Ava + Webex, for both customers and Cisco representatives, is its accessibility and ease of use. Ava Mobile Telepresence fits seamlessly into what a business is doing right now. There is no extra framework or new IT resources (human or systematic) to introduce in order to get started.
Also related to new workplace priorities, emphasis on overall experience for both internal and external human resources, is literally changing the design of every workplace. The movement toward more human-centered design is visible across industry workspaces: factory floors, healthcare patient facilities, corporate offices, event venues, real estate properties, and more. And this design must address presence disparity, accounting for those on-site, as well as those who are virtually present.
For successful hybrid work, Cisco outlines three steps:
As a feature of Webex, Ava Telepresence Robots deliver on all three of these steps by offering: meaningful collaboration experiences for remote workers, a socially distant, hands-free solution, and intelligent, fully-autonomous robot. In addition to promoting mobile, independent physical presence through our partnership, Cisco embraces and uses Ava technology in their own global offices.
Cisco has deployed Ava robots in San Jose (US), Toronto, Dubai, and Manchester (UK). These robots enabled hybrid work and operations for Cisco prior to the pandemic and continue to connect teams and welcome customers on-site for tours and events. Additionally, Cisco will use Ava Mobile Telepresence to apply their 3-step hybrid work approach in its own offices.
Walk through Cisco IXC Dubai with Ava:
Many businesses are confident that they will, in some ways, come out of these disruptive, uncertain times better than they were–whether it be faster, more open, more dedicated to their people, or, ideally, all of the above. As part of the Cisco SolutionsPlus Partner network, we intend on offering Cisco customers a useful, meaningful way to achieve their hybrid business goals.
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