Think of the last time you sat on a conference call, whether just an audio based conference call or an interactive audio/video/content conference call.  How engaged were you?  If you felt like you were pretty engaged, that’s great!  Now, think of the traditional conferences/meetings.  You typically schedule a block of time on everyone’s calendar, find a room, secure the resources.  The meeting goes great up until you look at the clock and you are running out of time.

Two things could take place.  First, you have a meeting to talk about something that is happening – ie: go over an agenda, assign resources, recap previous meetings, etc.  Second, you meet to collaborate amongst collegues.  This is a great example of what I’m going to showcase.

Take the collaboration example.  Ten people book a room for one hour.  In that one hour, you are expected to ramp up the dialog, make sure everyone is in attendance so you get the best ideas from everyone, and you are expected to have all data in your back pocket.  If you don’t, then typically you’ll need to schedule another meeting or work offline.  Then, you come back again after a period of time to meet again.  But, in the first part of this example, let’s say 45 minutes into it everyone starts changing directions and gets on to valuable collaboration.  Now, what happens to that feeding off others when you get kicked out of the room becuase your one hour is up?

This brings me into a product from ProtonMedia where they have developed a virtual meeting center.  This virtual meeting center allows all to create an avatar that simulates them in real life, and build knowledge around specific subject areas.  This tool now integrates into Lync, which allows real time collaboration amongst people, integration into SharePoint, which brings skills and resources around collaboration, and now single sign on so you can be a single entity.

This tool I started playing with last night and I am already seeing value within it.  I can be matched up with the right people instantly!  Maybe they aren’t online (the real person :) ), but maybe they can still provide some quick knowledge or point me in the right direction.

I’ll be playing with this tool a lot in the next few days, but thought I’d start telling everyone how excited I am to see progress made from the standard 2D conferencing to new 3D conferencing worlds.  This is really going to improve, expedite, and give quality to meetings, conferences, collaboration, training, and education.

Here is a link to this tool:  http://protonmedia.com/the-product/