Working for a company which embraces the use of collaboration across its organisation greatly benefits its employees professionally and even personally. In my job, I use audio and visual communications to help enterprises and government agencies located around the world improve processes and optimise operations. But last weekend, using real-time collaboration technology, was much more personal and emotional. Let me share with you how I used Polycom to connect face-to-face with family members and colleagues from the hospital room.


On Saturday April 6th, 2014 my beloved wife was admitted at the maternity ward. At 6:46 AM, I happily posted on Facebook a picture of the clock in the delivery suite mentioning the imminent arrival of our second son, Olivier. I was very excited and eager to greet the additional family member.


However twenty seven hours later, and with my wife trying her very best, we were still waiting. Our family and friends, who had been waiting for the good news on social networks and messaging systems started to get very worried. This is when the doctor decided to opt for theatre and half an hour later, Olivier was out in this world, healthily crying his lungs out.


Soon after this, I took the opportunity to use video to communicate the good news to the family and share the first pictures of our baby boy. I took out my iPad mini, fired up the Polycom RealPresence Mobile application and established a HD video call with Olivier’s siblings and grand-parents using the Polycom HDX4000 located in my home office. Everybody was so excited, and yet so relieved to see me after the long wait. Talking to them face-to-face and sharing live the first few photos of our son, despite the distance that separated us, was truly a memorable moment for all. About 40 minutes later both mother and baby were back in the room with me.


The next day, after a well-deserved rest, it was time to introduce our little angel to my colleagues. Instead of waiting a month or two to introduce Olivier to those physically present in the Singapore office, on that day we organised an impromptu “baby defies distance session”, an ad-hoc video conference for all to join regardless of location. People joined over HD video from different locations using various types of systems, devices and networks (see picture below). We even recorded the virtual gathering using the company’s centralised Recording and Streaming Server for those who couldn’t make it.


While this example of “virtual visitation” was enabled because Polycom offers such collaboration options to its own employees, many healthcare institutions around the world today make such a service available to patients, families and healthcare professionals.


We are now at home and adjusting to life with our new family member. As a technology evangelist, I can proudly say that, at only one day old, our big boy has already mastered the art of collaboration and virtual meetings. But no matter how busy we get, how hard we work or how late we go to bed because of late conference calls, those are the little moments that last forever. Being able to share them face-to-face with your family and friends no matter where they are is even greater. With Polycom, we defy distance at work, at home and even in life.


Newborn and colleagues.JPG

Recording of multi-party video visitation using standards-based mobile, desktop, room and phone video end points. 


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