Strategies and tools to change the way we meet with Google Workspace

hi we’re at the last session I understand
of cloud next so thank you for showing up I know it’s been a long three days but hopefully uh you know
thought-provoking and interesting for you we are going to be talking about
meet video conferencing hybrid work and this will be a moderated panel and
we have our guests on stage uh I am haruko sorry I’m haruko I work
on workspace and meet Partnerships for Google and with me we have
Thomas usaki from brandlive Brian Thomas from Lenovo and Dan lawyer from lucid
right Thomas sure what do you do in my life hello everyone I’m Thomas from brandlive
where I run the product organization at brandlive we’re really focused on Reinventing larger meetings specifically
presentation based meetings things like Town Halls webinars that type of thing and our products are designed to help
hosts put on well-produced differentiated compelling content for those occasions that’s it’s
apart from the day-to-day world of video conferencing in some cases and
this edition of cloud next is a is a very special moment for us and our partnership with Google as we’re
actually here announcing a product integration with Google meet which we’re quite excited about and there’s another
session about on demand if if you want to learn more
yeah uh so thanks for having me here today I’m excited to be here at Google Max my name is Brian Thomas I’m the
senior director of smart collaboration portfolio on alliances at Lenovo our
business is really focused on helping our customers Implement hybrid work solutions for both in the office and at
home employees as part of that effort we’ve partnered with Google and Google series one over the last three years to
deliver a room solution that really helps our customers get the most out of
their meeting room experiences through leveraging both audio and video AI Technologies and be happy to talk a
little bit more about that today and we’ve got a booth down below where we can demonstrate that as well thanks Brian
and then Dan I’m Dan lawyer I’m the chief product officer at Lucid Software
and Lucid has had a long history with Google we’ve enjoyed a partnership with them for a long time in fact back in
2010 that’s in the way back machine we were one of the launch partners with the
workspace Marketplace and we’ve been building Integrations ever since we’ve enjoyed a really good kind of top level
leadership engagement Lucid what our our co-founder one of our co-founders and now chairman of the board it was an
early googler it was over patents and Business Development things like that and so we’ve had a lot of relationships
over time with Google and and together you know it’s been really fun as Google has built out their product Suite we
built out our product suite and and together we’ve been able to help millions of people to really experience the value of visual collaboration as
they’ve engaged and used what is now 13 Integrations that we’ve done with Google workspace and and more to come I’m we
have yet more Integrations that we think still need to be there so we’re excited about it thanks Dan
all right um just before we dive into the questions uh I want to frame the
conversation a bit about where we are today and I know the previous session was talking about productivity we’re going to focus on hybrid work and meet
there’s lots of lots of words that have been floating around here that are similar but um we’ve gotten back to the
office but video meetings have stayed and we’ve continued to have the need for real-time Communications and hybrid work
requires effort and you know we want to make sure that everyone is able to
participate in discussions and feel connected and many organizations I think are looking for better tools to engage
in attendees and make video feel as close to in-person connections as possible
and as part of that effort Google has addressed these challenges by engaging in a growing number of our ecosystem
Partners three of whom are here today and a lot of our partners are in
Enterprise productivity tools engagement tools used in the classrooms digital
collaboration tools and Hardware Partners like Lenovo who help us build
the best in class meeting experiences and I’m looking forward to hearing how our leaders in Industry are thinking of
hybrid work awesome great so we will dive into the
questions the current state of communication and productivity tools
um so Thomas let’s start with you Trends challenges opportunities what are
the challenges you see in meeting and collaboration what kinds of issues are companies facing and what are the
biggest areas of opportunity sure so Trend wise I think maybe I’ll
start from an employee or an end user perspective it is easier than ever to
meet we are working hybrid or remote and and so we’re hopping on meetings and more compelled to meet than ever before
meeting technology is built into all of the tools that we’re using on a day-to-day basis and this fluid
communication style leads to more meetings all the time
and from a company perspective so taking the flip side you see an increase in the
volume of meetings and we have more communication channels in some cases than we know how to deal with or know
how to manage and so it’s important I think as companies look at the effect that coming out of the pandemic and
moving into a hybrid world it’s important to to think about the tools that you’re offering to employees
because work is going to occupy the tool set or the channels that you offer it and so companies as they see some
alarming Trends perhaps to some folks in terms of the volume of meetings and the time spent in meetings relative to work
before the pandemic our need to take into consider consideration meeting
culture as an aspect of culture at large and potentially an area where you can
think about creating competitive advantages inside of your team and your organization
right all right Brian so how do you think about this so from
my perspective and at Lenovo you know we’re continually hearing about back to office initiatives from our customers
um they’re all struggling to find The Sweet Spot on that and the fact of the matter is you know we’re seeing really
no customers that are successfully implementing a full-backed office environment and so that really creates
hybrid as a trend right I mean we’re talking about hybrid but hybrid is the reality of the situation and how do we
deal with an environment where you have some employees in the office and some employees that are remote
so that’s really the the key Trend we’re seeing but the challenge that we see on that is really around when you’re
looking to try to get employees back into the office we only have about 15 x actually fewer than that of meeting
spaces that are video enabled so we’re coming from a space where employees have been at home and all of their meetings
have been video enabled and then you’re trying to get them back into an office where they’re likely to walk into a
space and they’re going to have a conference to call a speakerphone on the table and they have no video and that’s not an appealing environment to get
someone back in the office to have that type of trade-off and experience so that’s the key challenge that we see
that kind of brings us on to an opportunity so obviously if we’re able to video
enable those rooms with basic video USB camera USB video that’s good but it
creates an opportunity in what we call an equitable meeting space so when you
look at just basic USB video USB audio in a video space yes you’re getting a
video stream out but it’s not an equitable experience so you’re used to in the pandemic this Mass video adoption
where everybody really had an equal playing field right everybody would look the same in the meeting they had the
same level of visual and audio experience when you go into an office space you have this unequal plane where
the people in the office have a single video stream and the people that are remote are struggling to see who’s in
the space who’s saying what what the reactions are Etc so creating that Equitable meeting experience is is the
opportunity that we have and this technologies that we have such as our Google series one room system that’s
what it was designed to do is to try to deliver a more actionable experience and that meeting room space so when you come
back in the office you’re not having any type of trade-off remote participants are able to be seen and heard people in
the office are be able to be seen and heard and it’s an actionable experience across the board it’s almost like the office is behind
the virtual experiences right what about you Dan you know it’s
interesting I think we’ve all seen this really dramatic shift in how people work
and I don’t think any of us think that that’s going to be isolated to just a few years post pandemic it’s probably
here to stay and so as we engage with our customers we’ve noticed you know
several Trends and maybe I’ll just cap off on three of them real quick like the first thing that we’re seeing is during
the pandemic you saw these I.T teams in particular do you know amazing things to
enable their workforces and the amount of change that was introduced and what they had to do you know they were doing things in you know two or three days
that they would have taken months or years to do to just enable their teams now what we’re seeing is that they’re
going back and they’re having to rationalize all those decisions they’re trying to figure out how do they streamline their Tech stack how do they
simplify their spend and reduce their spend how do they increase productivity and they’re looking to do that by
standardizing on their software portfolio uh so that’s one Trend the second term we’re seeing of course ties to hybrid work and we’re going to talk a
lot about that today but they’re trying to figure out what is our approach to hybrid work how do we enable our teams how do we facilitate hybrid work in a
way that we don’t lose the creativity and The Innovation that we can keep teams together and connected and aligned
as they go through their work together and so they’re looking for solutions to make sure the teams are equipped in a
way to continue to facilitate that and then the third Trend that that I’ll bring up today really comes to
um you know why while companies tend to be as Innovative and really push the envelope on Innovation as much as ever
before their tolerance for failure in that Innovation process seems lower than ever before and so they’re looking for
how do we help our teams of knowledge workers to be able to more reliably predict you know what are
the Investments what are the projects that are going to succeed and they’re going to win they’re going to help us to you know quickly execute and be able to
you know maintain or gain market share or be able to create a new Revenue stream or be able to create that really
delightful customer experience and do it in a way where there’s likely less failure in the process and and these
cross-functional teams they need solutions that help them to get those products to Market or their Solutions
out to their to their Workforce faster and be able to do that all the way from like the earliest idea through to our
now it’s a reality and so Lucid is leading in across the board with our customers and our partners to try and
solve all those problems uh uh you know a little bit for us to do the bar is definitely higher and I think
that’s a good thing okay so hybrid work um Brian we’re going to start with you
uh how many companies have remote and and on-site as you talked about how can
meeting Technology support effective collaboration we are behind there’s a way there’s a need to update the offices
to have better Technologies in the office what strategies do you recommend for organizations and how can companies
provide flexibility boost engagement Foster better connections
yeah so great question um on that so as I stated before meeting
Equity is the key opportunity all right and you know we’re looking to bring technology forward to help address this
through leveraging Ai and both audio and video experience that is delivered for
both the remote and the local participants now first we’ll talk about video so you know at the very basic
level with video AI we’re doing things such as identifying things in the room such as white boards we’re identifying
the whiteboards we’re Keystone applying Keystone and image correction and enhancement to those white boards and
we’re passing that over through video to the remote participants so they can see what’s going on in that room and feel
like they’re part of that room and that experience but that’s just the first step you know the next step from a video standpoint as I said before was how do
we take that single video stream of a room where you might have somebody sitting 15 feet away from the camera at
the end of the table and that person might be the most important person in the room the leader in the room and how do we take that experience and enhance
that while we’re doing that through really doing multiple video streams so we can take a single video stream we can
start to enhance that and provide multiple video streams so individuals in the room can start to be pulled out and
presented in an individual video stream to the remote participants that allows those remote participants to be able to
more easily see what’s going on in the room the reactions of the people in the
room to things they may be saying or what other people may be saying bringing again those remote participants into the
room that’s on a video side and on audio side uh again we’re looking to leverage AI to
enhance the audio experience again for remote participants how do we use audio
AI to remove background noise right annoying things such as keyboards clicking bags crunching background
conversations that might be happening in a more open uh meeting environment that’s actually a leadership position
that we have with Google series one we’ve got some of the best capabilities on audio filtering so that those remote
participants aren’t distracted by these background noises and they’re able to hear clearly what’s going on the meeting
engage with people in the meeting the next step of it is using AI to align
spatial audio so you know we are all used to that Brady Bunch view that we
see of a meeting space with with people you know scattered throughout on the
board and we’ve all had that experience when we’ve been our home office where somebody starts speaking we’re searching throughout that Brady Bunch board for
who is it is talking well with positional audio when you have that screen at the front of the room inside a
meeting room you can start to have a right hand side speaker matched to a right hand side person as that person
starts speaking the audio comes out of there the audio is a clear view to you to turn your head and engage your eyes
in the direction of that to help help the people in the room better understand who’s speaking and and provide a little
bit less confusion in that experience so the implementation of these Technologies really creates a more collaborative
engaging work experience helps to make employees have a better overall
experience and be more productive overall thanks and how do you think about hybrid work
yeah I mean uh it’s a combination you know all the stuff that Brian and his company is doing to like facilitate that
um you know the video conference the communication that part the communication is one side collaboration is another part of it and they they kind
of work hand in hand and and I think you know the old ways that people work to the old ways that people collaborated
um were really dependent on doing things exclusively in person uh and and I think
that you know during the pandemic there was this really rapid rate of change that put a lot of pressure on these
collaboration patterns uh and and it really brought uh to the Forefront a lot
of things that were broken that maybe we had just become numb to or we’d gotten used to and then suddenly it doesn’t work anymore uh and so I think a lot of
that pain comes down to a really fundamental problem which is that uh language whether it’s written or spoken
language is imprecise and so humans spend a lot of time trying to understand each other and we’ve come up with all
these ways over time to try and augment that communication so whether that’s riding on a cave wall or riding on a
whiteboard which are remarkably similar behaviors separated by thousands of years right
but uh but there’s really really similar behaviors or we get into the same room so that we can see each other’s body
language or we you know create a visual and we get in the same room it’s that pattern of the past was like just so
dependent on being at this in the same time the same place with somebody so we could have that visual experience together to augment the communication so
visual collaboration you know is a solution for that it goes beyond that and it helps teams so they can work
together visually we often talk about it as side by side on the same canvas whether that’s in real time or
asynchronously regardless of where they’re located at in the world and so it’s a fantastic solution for bridging
those gaps and it’s one of the main reasons behind our Lucid spark web add-on for Google meme it enables users
to collaborate together during any call and really pretty much any meeting that a team is involved with you know a
workshop or meeting a session is going to be improved if they you know do some planning ahead of time on this canvas if
they facilitate and then do follow-up on a shared canvas together is going to enhance that experience for them so the
visual collaboration enables teams in a hybrid work environment to be able to communicate and collaborate and the way
that they work best that’s visually and it supports teams not just in that upfront ideating but really it needs to
support them on that entire Journey from the earliest idea all the way through reality so we often think about this
idea to reality journey and how we need to support hybrid work throughout that whole journey thanks Dan Thomas you’re in a slightly
different space than uh Dan’s world but how do you think about hybrid work yes
well I think I mean first of all without meeting Equity there is no hybrid work and collaboration as as Dan was sharing
hand in hand with that but I I will I guess take our conversation to think about communication and meeting at
different scales and at brandlive we really think about the importance of
large scale meetings so that might be a department-wide it might be a company-wide it might just be a new
presentation or a meaningful presentation introducing Concepts that are meant to align the audience or
energize the audience and those occasions in a hybrid sense are are even more important than ever before because
you have folks who are not in the same place the energy in the room is not a concept that exists when you have half
of the attendees joining on a video call and so we would really you know we
really push our customers and our partners to invest in those occasions when they will be presenting to a
broader audience and and the benefits are are multiple but a couple benefits are you know they it’s those occasions
and the quality that you put forward when you’re engaging the entire company it sets sets the tone for the
communication that should happen underneath inside the organization and they also help to create the right Focus
we’re distributed we’re hybrid and so those come together those times when we
have the opportunity to create alignment we need to invest in those occasions and and make sure that they stand out from
the day to day whether we’re talking about you know a typical hour-long presentation or whether we’re breaking
meetings into shorter chunks meant to be consumed synchronously we need to be thinking
about making meeting content in those larger occasions that’s worth watching it can’t look like this this is it can’t
look like a recording of a stand-up or a recording of the meeting that everybody just clicked over from when there’s a
more important message when there’s a broader audience it’s it’s important to invest in that in the hybrid sense
because those opportunities to leverage focus and Alignment across the organization are more more important as
folks are spread across different locations
okay last topic AI for meetings
we’re going to start with Dio Dan um can businesses use AI for meetings
what’s already available how does AI evolve the way we meet and
communicate and what does it enable for the future yeah so I mean the short answer is yes
yes they can use it um uh and then there’s obviously a longer answer uh in there
um but it’s it’s been fascinating to see the evolution of AI like so rapidly and
as I’ve watched it and and seen what’s happening it’s like there’s this Core group of entities that are evolving and
Building Things uh at the core like llms like Bard right that then there’s a whole another ecosystem that’s building
on top of that really rapidly and as I look at it it’s funny because sometimes I see all the experiments happening on
top of these llms I’m like it kind of looks like random acts of AI like it’s not I like like it’s not always
comprehensive or holistic or even meaningful at times um but that’s that’s the nature of
experimentation right that’s the nature of Rapid learning so so it’s okay and then we are starting to see sweet spots
though where like AI is doing really really well for example one of the use cases that we see and that you’ve
probably all experienced is is AI is great at summarizing content like it’s like home run every time that I use it
for that and so that’s that can be a summary during or after a meeting right that it does that at least the way that
we’re thinking about it you know we recently released our first beta of a series of features we call collaborative
Ai and our customers seem to appreciate that the way we did it wasn’t random it
was focused on one really specific workflow it was on this workflow how do you help a team in their brainstorm
process so with from the earliest part of ideation to kind of synthesizing the thoughts summarizing that content
turning it into actionable insights so a complete workflow assisted by AI to help a team get through it and we think
there’s a lot more that we can do that way that will help teams in the context of meetings or in their day-to-day work and and we kind of Chunk it into four
categories the first of course is generative AI which we’re all used to and the use case there in a lucid
context is you could say or write some prompt that would basically say Hey you know an example would be the last prompt
I did was uh you know show me a diagram of how to determine where eligibility in the United States and it could just
generate that for you wouldn’t that be nice and uh and so so that’s one example
of the generative then we go to a category we call assistive and an assistive is interesting you can almost
think of it as where AI becomes the user interface and so it’s like you’ve got some set of content
and instead of like the old school way which is the old school is as a team or as an individual I have to go and click
around the user interface and figure out where stuff is and and invoke different features and capabilities the new way
with assistive AI in there is is I just say something like hey um get all of the cards uh move them
over to the right the ones that are at risk make them red the ones that are on target make them green and then
prioritize them you know order them by party and it would just do all that those are all things you could do manually if you knew where to click but
it can just do that for you so it’s like it’s becoming the assistant it’s it’s very intuitive that way the the third
bucket we talk about as interrogative and interrogative is like this query pattern where where the answer to your
question is explicitly found on that Canvas OR in the data associated with
that canvas and so you can ask a question like hey how many senior Engineers are working on our most most
important project and the AI could answer that question for you explicitly there’s a discrete answer to that question and then the fourth book we
think about is inferential Ai and you can imagine this in a team setting maybe the AI is participating in the meeting
with you and so as a team you’re asking questions and maybe you come up with a question together in that meeting of how
might we speed up this process and the inferential AI I’d like the answer to that question isn’t explicitly found on
the canvas you’re working on or in the data Associated but could be inferred with some analysis or some logic applied
and so what that might look like is how might we speed up this process by 10 percent it’s going to go it’s going to find the likely constraints in that
process look for common ways to offset those bottlenecks come back with a few recommendations and what the likely
impact and outcome of those implementations would be on this process that’s a pretty sophisticated thing for
an AI to be able to do so that’s the inferential Ai and we think all those things are attainable and all this can happen in the meeting context they can
happen you know as I work individually go through it and that’s that’s kind of our you know how we think about the world and how we drive it forward and
make it really tangible for people that sounds amazing
um okay Thomas yeah agreed amazing I think I’ll try to build on that answer a bit
we we may be entering well I think we are entering a period where some of the
the technologies that were just mentioned do apply to the meeting context we six months ago or 12 months
ago we were in a world where a lot of AI products were coming out and it wasn’t quite clear what’s meaningful what’s
applicable and now we’re getting to a time where we we can think about AI applied to the context of meeting and
collaboration and the lens I would urge folks to think about is quality and so
when we think about bringing AI to the meeting context how can we increase the quality of the communication happening
how can we raise the bar in terms of what the experience is like inside of those meetings and it can be done in a
few ways and these are just thought starters but I would break it down into before the
meeting or prep during the meeting as you’re actively in conversation or collaboration and then after the meeting
in terms of what why did we have the meeting what’s supposed to happen in follow-up and so if we look at before
the meeting I think generative AI is is a slam dunk here we can prepare more
thoughtful more meaningful presentation material we can actually lean on AI to
plan meetings ahead of time and keep us honest in terms of the agendas that we are running through as a group when we
do spend that valuable time together and so pre-meeting I think the tools available to us on a generative AI basis
and some of the cool pieces that we saw from duet AI earlier in the week offer meeting hosts and attendees the
opportunity to improve the inputs to the meeting and then once folks get there
and they’re in the room I think the idea of bringing AI to create better focus in the room it is really a big one
and we heard about AI to improve meeting Equity we also have seen this week I
think awesome examples of improving image and sound quality to have a more true conversation with those folks
you’re in conversation with and then what got me excited across this week was seeing a lot of the updates to automated
meeting notes automated meeting summarization these tools that give participants confidence to be fully
present in a meeting in conversation and comfortable knowing that they’re not going to miss they’re not going to miss
anything and so I think enabling those tools for employees is is a big piece of helping to drive quality inside the
meeting experience with AI and it all leads to you know this notes comment kind of takes us to after the meeting we
should be leaning on these tools to keep us accountable we don’t want to be having meetings the classic meeting where a day later people follow up and
don’t know why they why we met or what we’re supposed to do next we should be
leaning on AI to keep us accountable and hopefully you know that that experience of getting feedback from your meeting in
a Punchy and Powerful way does train people to um you know come back to the front of
that cycle I just discussed and put more effort into The Upfront preparation and the rest will follow
the AI is training us a little bit all right Brian how do you think about
Ai and media so you know Dan painted a great picture of kind of the art of the possible of AI
and you know Thomas was talking about a couple different aspects and I’m going to latch on to one specifically the post
meeting aspect um so you know transcription is something that’s been around uh for a
little while uh with full remote participants but again as we have this hybrid environment we start to pull
people back into the office transcription has some challenges with inside a meeting room where you have
multiple people and identifying who’s actually saying what right attributing what’s being said to who’s saying it
with inside that meeting room and that’s where AI is coming in again that video in the audio AI we’re leveraging the
audio to understand the direction that something’s being said we’re leveraging video to look in that direction identify
who that is that’s actually saying that and then attribute that to them uh that person in the in the transcription of
that meeting but that’s you know that’s happening right now the next step of that is applying large language model
um and and some of the the capabilities that Dan spoke about um how do we take that transcription and
how do we make it relevant to people who aren’t in that meeting uh so for example if your manager was in meeting and your
manager was talking about something you probably want to know what it was they were saying especially if there were
action items um and ownership uh items that were coming out of that that your manager might have said hey
so and so on my team will take that well you really want to know that and you want to avoid a potentially embarrassing
situation where you were identified as an owner of an action item and maybe your manager forgot to tell you that I
know that’s never happened to anyone before but that’s where AI can help in a situation like that but that’s just the
tip of the iceberg with AI if we know who’s saying what and
we can use AI from a video standpoint to actually understand engagement or sentiment on someone’s face when
something’s being said so if you compare those two things together you can start to use AI in a proactive way to educate
employees right to to proactively let them know after a presentation that they
provided or a meeting that they were talking in and presenting or putting forward an idea you can actually let
them know potentially let them know what uh what was the reaction of some of the people in the room to some of the things
they said and then potentially what could be a more effective way to present that idea right so then we’re taking Ai
and we’re using AI to actually help improve our employees communication and by improving the employee’s
communication we make more effective more productive employees overall so
that’s the next step that’s the evolution of where we’re seeing AI in the meeting room space Brad just
imagining a snore score I hope you don’t do that well you know I
if if I was putting someone to sleep I think I’d rather have ai tell me that than my manager so okay there are
Partners who are building things like that for sure like on our platform we’re seeing Partners who are analyzing like
you just said people’s um engagement level what their facial expressions are and I did hear if you’re moving your
head more that it’s like your audience is engaged versus like if there’s really still on video it means they’re doing
other things um great thank you um well thank you Thomas Ryan Dan for
all of your Insight it’s really interesting to hear the different perspectives you guys have I know you’re
in different parts of the business and but sort of all sort of working on different elements of meeting and so
it’s it’s great to hear your latest thoughts on that um there is more you can check out on the
workspace Marketplace online Dan mentioned Lucid has a bunch of add-ons there a lot of our partners are in the
marketplace there and there are also demos I know the expo hall is closing out but
um there are some demos you can ask to see as well for some of our partners here so please go down and check that
out please give a land of a pause to our panelists today
thank you thank you for joining us and we’ll be around if you would like to talk

5/5 - (2 votes)