Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

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Telepresence solutions for the remote worker – part 5

out of officeThe world of technology has created incredible and unforeseen new opportunities for how we live and work today. Rapid advances in mobile, cloud, and social media technologies over the past several years have meant new options for how businesses and employees interact. Employees now increasingly can do their jobs anywhere, anytime, and anyhow they wish, reflecting the many ways the world of work is rapidly changing. Mobile devices, instant messaging, and video-conferencing allow people to perform their roles just as effectively from remote locations as in the office. The phenomenon of the global virtual worker indeed represents a significant new economic reality and a chance for businesses to dramatically cut costs in areas like real estate, utilities, electricity, and other office related expenses.






Telepresence is an area where we’ve seen a significant amount of innovation and development in recent years. This technology makes people feel like they are virtually present at a place other than their true location. A number of adoptions and varieties of Telepresence have emerged in recent years that hold promise for small businesses with remote employees. Let’s review some of the main topics we’ve covered throughout the preceding series and identify the key points to consider for implementing your Telepresence strategy.


What to Remember . . .


  • Telepresence videoconferencing: Once the exclusive domain of large companies with big budgets, videoconferencing now can be implemented for a fraction of the cost thanks to solutions like the following.


        • Vidyo provides a high quality, multi-person videoconferencing system to multiple endpoints such as desktops, conference rooms, and mobile devices.
        • Skype has redefined how we collaborate today and though not often associated with business videoconferencing, flexibility and ease of use make it a clear choice for many.
        • FaceTime is Apple’s solution for video communications and is a good fit for businesses already heavily dependent on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad.


  • Telepresence robotics: Don’t look now but your office is about to be invaded by strange, tall Segway-like devices on wheels! The buzz around Telepresence robots in recent years indicates the unique and innovative way that robots are becoming more mainstream. The Telepresence robotics market is projected to reach $13 billion in the next 3 years and while costs are still on the high end, those will eventually fall as the technology continues to develop.


  • Telepresence strategizing: Videoconferencing, whether stationary or mobile, is a nice “want-to-have” for the small business and it’s good to know that affordable options are available. But how does adoption of these technologies work in practice? The process of strategy implementation involves a clear roadmap with deliberate guidelines:


        • Strategy definition: Identifying your remote collaboration needs.
        • Business Impact Analysis (BIA): A total inventory of your workplace and the unique requirements, needs, and impact of Telepresence adoption.
        • Technology assessment: What technologies will be chosen? How will they be setup, supported, secured, and what policies that will keep them operating efficiently?
        • Training for virtual employees: Remote workers need the knowledge, skills, and support to gain familiarity with each new Telepresence adoption, while also retaining their productivity and connection to the rest of the team.






Saving costs, ensuring employee satisfaction, and staying competitive are just some of the many challenges that organizations will continue to face as the world of work becomes increasingly virtual. Smart businesses today will recognize how Telepresence videoconferencing and Telepresence robotics can provide real value for the remote worker.


If you haven’t done so, please take some time today to assess your organization’s culture and approach to the new virtual work economy. Ensure that your team is aware of the options and opportunities that Telepresence can provide. The effort taken now will pay off immensely and provide you with a clear competitive advantage in the ever-changing digital marketplace of the 21st century.


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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called, along with oversight and leadership of - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.