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Vamp Up Your Healthcare

Organization with Videoconferencing How Telepresence Can Improve the Timeliness and Quality of Care

In the course of a workday, communicating in person isn’t always possible. But with multimedia tools like telepresence and videoconferencing, you can achieve the next best thing: face-to-face communication even when patients are miles or continents apart. In this issue of Meet the Expert, Larry Satterfi eld, VP of Americas Collaboration Sales for Cisco, talks about high-defi nition telepresence and how it can enable effi cient decision-making and teamwork—fostering more frequent clinician communication, providing easy access to specialists at the point of care, and improving face-to-face interaction between physicians and patients in remote areas.

Q: Several years ago, video was just for meetings. It was fi rst used in the boardroom, and then it started to move elsewhere. Where do you see it going?

A: There has been a great progression for telepresence and video over the last several years. What we have seen is that more and more departments are using it, not only for cost savings in general-purpose meetings, but also to develop projects. For instance, in the retail marketplace, big companies like Tommy Hilfi ger use this solution to demonstrate their products to their product marketing staff so that they can make decisions quickly. Manufacturing companies use video to bring product teams together on a more frequent basis. This allows the teams to engage more often and make decisions more quickly. Video and telepresence have become fully integrated to help companies drive increased revenues and reduce costs. It has been a process-enhancer for many organizations.

Q: What are some top benefi ts that telepresence can bring to an organization?

A: The fi rst benefi t is that telepresence has made decision-making faster. We no longer rely solely on communication via email, text, or an audio call. With video we can have a visual discussion with international partners, suppliers, or peers. This allows us to get to the heart of issues much faster, and we can make decisions much faster—that’s number one. Secondly, intimate relationships can develop faster because 50% of our users are having telepresence discussions with suppliers, customers, and partners. So decision-making and developing stronger relationships with customers are the 2 benefi ts that I hear about most often.

Q: What advantage has telepresence brought that you didn’t expect?

A: I’ll give you a personal example that I know other sales leaders have experienced. I previously joined an

organization called Tandberg—which was acquired by Cisco 2 years ago—as VP of Sales for the eastern half of the country. In that role, I had 5 direct reports across the east coast. Coming to a new environment, I needed to spend a lot of time getting to know the people that worked for me—before you do that, you aren’t an effi cient, smoothing-running operation. Because we used video every single day, I developed relationships with my direct reports much faster than I would have otherwise. I’ve been in this business for 30 years as a sales leader; I can tell you that experience was one where I got closer to my direct reports faster than any other. We became an effi cient operation quickly because of video. Video enabled us to get to know each other on a day-to-day basis and have face-to-face discussions. That was a big “wow” moment for me because it impacted my ability to become effective very quickly.

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