Success StoriesThese are just a few of the stories we have documented so far. We are interested in hearing each of your stories of how you use Vyew.
February 08, 2008
- 35 year history in Ophthalmology (Diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases of the eye)
- The leading producer of ophthalmic equipment
- Based in Japan with over 1200 employees with distributors worldwide
Collaboration Among 30 Parties
When you're dealing with something as technical as ophthalmology equipment, making sure you're making the message crystal-clear in your advertising is critical.
That's the challenge faced by Frank Wood, marketing manager for the U.S. arm of Japan-based Nidek, manufacturer of cameras and lasers for treating glaucoma and cataracts. Wood is tasked with creating all Web- and print-based advertisements for Nidek's U.S. business. To ensure that his ads are not only compelling but technically accurate, Wood routinely must get feedback from 20 to 30 clinical specialists and sales representatives.
Problem: Collecting feedback from 30 people is draining
Until recently, Wood collected feedback of various types—everything from "I don't like that color" to "move this line to the end" to full ad rewrites.
"After a day or two, I'll have between 10 and 30 e-mails and then have to synthesize all comments and convert them into usable feedback for the graphic designer," he said. To complicate matters, the feedback is often fairly vague, and Wood believes that something is lost in text e-mails.
Clearly, something had to change.
"My boss and I talked about it and he could see it was like dragging an anchor," Wood said. "His suggestion was to get feedback from just one person, like a product manager, but if you do that, you get a very one-sided view."
And because consensus is critical in Japanese culture, everyone involved in a project has to agree before the project can move forward. "So I was really losing consensus by eliminating the big group," Wood said.
Although Wood knew there had to be a better way, he was somewhat at a loss until, by chance, he met Todd Lane, marketing director of Berkeley, Calif.-based Vyew, at a holiday party. The two exchanged information on their jobs. When Lane told Wood that his company's flagship product was a hosted online collaboration tool that allows participants to collaborate either synchronously in real-time or asynchronously—posting content and allowing users to annotate or view it at their leisure—Wood was instantly intrigued.
Soon, Wood decided to give it a try. He was instantly drawn to the concept of assigning different users different levels of access—view, comment or collaborate (comment and change things).
Using Vyew to eliminate redundancies and confusion
The first thing Wood noticed was that he didn't have to spend an inordinate amount of time synthesizing comments. He simply gave users a 48-hour window to make comments, during which time they could view others' comments as well, eliminating redundancies and confusion. That's especially important with clinical features and benefits, which can be interpreted many different ways.
And because the company's graphic designer is on the viewer list, "he'll often send new drafts as feedback is coming in, which really speeds up the process," Wood said.
The system has repeatedly proved itself. One current project has particularly benefited. The company is on the cusp of receiving FDA clearance for a new product, and Wood's first duty every day is to work on the ad that will hit all ophthalmology journals as soon as the FDA gives its approval.
"I'm collaborating with people in Japan and the U.S. on this project, and we're on the sixth draft of the ad," Wood said. "So the framework of the ad is finished, but as we learn more about this application, we are reinterpreting a lot of the bullet points. It's a very fluid ad and this allows us to keep tweaking it."
Although Nidek has been using Vyew for only a few months, Wood is enthusiastic about it. "I've got lots of uses for it. It has really improved things around here," he said.
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February 08, 2008
By Marko Kennelly-Ullman
- Vizwerks is an intimate old-service retail design shop
- They go from concept design all the way to managing construction
- Clients include: Avirex, Columbia Sportswear, Calvin Klein, DC Shoes, Nike, Marc Ecko, and Starbucks
- Website: www.vizwerks.com
Replacing Faxes and In-person Meetings
The Problem: Need Improved Communication with Clients
A critical point in designing retail spaces is working with clients and getting their feedback on design alternatives. Everything in a project is of course based on the final design and it is very important to explore as many alternatives as possible to ensure client satisfaction with the design process and the final design.
In the past, Vizwerks relied on faxes and in-person meetings to review design alternatives. While these methods were productive they were limited by travel time, expenses and phone conversations when reviewing the faxes.
To improve collaboration and communication with clients on retail-space designs Vizwerks began exploring web-based alternatives to faxes and in-person meetings. The company wanted a solution that would be always on for clients and Vizwerks staff to access anytime while also providing the ability to review designs together in real time, brainstorm, make changes and see the changes as they’re being made to ensure accuracy and consensus.
Solution: Review Anytime with No Software Requirements
Vizwerks chose Vyew, an instant workspace enabling real-time and always-on collaboration with text, files, images, audio/video, VoIP, webcam and a powerful whiteboard. Vyew allows Vizwerks and its clients to review designs together on the Web and make annotations to ensure that they are arriving at a final design that incorporates collaborative consideration of as many alternatives as possible. Vyew only requires a browser and no software installation so that team members can participate in design reviews from any computer. It also supports a broad range of media and file types so that there is no concern about our ability to upload files in various formats.
When the entire team was able to view, discuss and modify the design online in real time the design was completed and the project could move to its next steps.
Vizwerks does many retail-space design rollouts each year around the United States and internationally for major retail brands. Visual collaboration with Vyew saves time and money on travel while providing a workspace that is always on anytime and accessible from anywhere. It bridges time zones, distances and communication gaps that could occur without the ability to view the same designs together online. It also allows team members to access the designs and make changes at their convenience.
Vizwerks is an intimate old-service retail design shop. We go from concept all the way to managing construction which is now rare in the industry. Clients work with two people throughout the process rather than with several companies. It is important to maintain the client relationship throughout the process and Vyew has enhanced our ability to work remotely and efficiently with clients to produce designs that communicate their brands and consider many alternatives.
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December 13, 2007
By Susan Ostapower
Streamlining the Design Review Process
The design and installation of custom architecturally distinguished wine cellars involve more individuals than one would imagine:
- Designers & Architects
- Building Managers
- Client Business Manager
- Rendering Company
- HVAC Experts
- Security Experts
- Construction Company
Managing the complexity of circulating the various types of documents to all who needed to review them and then ensuring that all changes were received and incorporated was no small task in the past when we used fax, email and overnight delivery. It was a constant barrage of paperwork and follow-up.
To improve our ability to collaborate with multiple companies and individuals, I searched online for a better solution, a tool that would store documents in a central repository that anyone with permission could access from anywhere with a browser.
- No installation — to aid in quick adoption
- Ability to annotate, highlight and comment
- Be able to collaborate anytime, not just during a call
We didn't want to have to install software. This was an important requirement because we continually collaborate with other companies and cannot expect them to install and maintain the same software that we and other companies use. We also needed the ability to annotate and highlight areas that required revision or comment. Finally, we needed to collaborate on documents any time rather than only during a conference call.
I found the solution in Vyew, a visual-collaboration platform that includes all of the above features. Rather than faxing, emailing and mailing documents, I upload them into Vyew, invite participants by emailing to collaborate, then all involved can annotate changes, review others’ annotations.
This approach saves time
There is no need to route documents, wait for individual replies with changes then compile changes for all to review. With Vyew, anyone authorized to view and collaborate on the documents can access them anytime to review and make changes and instantly view changes suggested by others.
Vyew also bridges time zones and languages. A rendering company we work with is in China and we now have no concerns about the time difference or language barrier because we can annotate changes or post a visual depiction of what we want without worrying about when is a good time to call to explain our changes or whether they understood what we said.
Case in point: Our biggest project to date
A case in point is a modern-styled glass-enclosed wine cellar and wine service that stores 2,400 bottles at a hotel restaurant. This wine cellar took 13 months to complete and involved all of the individuals listed above: restaurant and hotel management, the sommelier, building management, designers, architects, the Chinese rendering company, HVAC and security system designers, the contractors and subcontractors, and me to coordinate the reviews.
Each review iteration simply required me to upload the files into Vyew, invite participants with an email generated in Vyew, schedule any conference calls then wait until everyone had reviewed the documents. The workspaces containing the documents, called VyewBooks, were left open for reference after all had completed their review. This was our biggest project to date and would have been a nightmare of paper and email without Vyew. The wine cellar is a great success with the restaurant and its customers due in part to our enhanced ability to collaborate and make changes.
Appreciated by all parties involved
Vyew is not only highly valued by Cellarworks. All of the individuals we collaborate with have enthusiastically embraced this approach to collaboration. Everyone involved in our projects agrees that Vyew makes it easier to share ideas and create the best wine cellar possible for every client.
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December 04, 2007
Written by Pat Aroune
Social Sciences Teacher
Iroquois Senior High School
Elma, New York
A High School Adventure in Online Collaboration
Collaboration helps learning
Studies have shown that learning occurs best in collaborative environments where students are actively involved in the process. Rather than absorbing material, learning rules, and displaying the material and rules on demand, students working in small groups tend to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer than when the same content is presented in other instructional formats.
While the above information is useful and widely accepted in the academic community, it has been, until recently, difficult to apply collaborative learning environments in a high-school setting. The reason is that it was not generally easy to get a diverse group of high-school students to physically meet and work on assignments outside of class.
All of this has changed with the Internet and specifically with the recent advent of online collaborative environments that allow students to view, import, discuss and annotate digital content from the comfort of their homes. I have been using online collaboration with my students since 2006 with spectacular results. It has completely changed and improved dynamics in my classes and made learning more fun and successful for my students.
Vyew and Skype in the classroom
My foray into online collaboration began when I asked five students to participate in an experiment using Skype and an interactive whiteboard called Vyew. Vyew is an always-on collaboration and web-conferencing platform that provides real-time desktop sharing and anytime collaboration on content. I met with this small group of students and we began what was essentially on online tutoring session for an upcoming essay. We did nothing that had not been done during the course of a classroom session except we were all in our individual homes and it was 8:30 p.m. I began to sense, over the course of that hour-long session, a wave of energy and enthusiasm from the participants. Students came to class the next day knowing they had found a good tool.
Following this initial success, I started to use Vyew for all my classes. I created learning teams for evenings, which were difficult to coordinate in the past but are now easy with Vyew since students use it at home. For example, in my A.P. European History class, we began to do assignments on primary source historical documents that I would upload into Vyew. I would ask an open-ended question about them and they would import additional digital content to support their answer and produce a unique product. The ability to collaboratively create and enhance content is a hallmark of visual collaboration. In class, they would project their work in Vyew to the class and discuss it. The design of the class affords the students an opportunity to collaborate every day because every assignment is around learning teams.
Collaboration with Vyew made a major social impact among the students
Personalities began to come out and quieter students especially began to communicate more with the class. For example, one of the quieter girls actually used a fictitious name in Vyew one evening and others followed suit. When students mentioned in class that they didn’t know who initiated using the fictitious name, she raised her hand and her interaction with the class changed from then onward. Vyew provides a way for students to open up because the home is a security blanket. The students have new mutual respect because of Vyew.
I believe the future of education lies in the development of the networked centered learning experience. Networked learning is inherently collaborative and provides opportunities to leverage expertise unlike ever before. It accommodates individual learning styles, enhances socialization and extends the classroom.
Online collaboration has now taken on a life of is own with my students. For example, twenty sophomores from my A.P. European History class met online and did a Vyew session in preparation for an essay exam. The remarkable thing is that I neither assigned nor was a part of it. Individual initiative got that conference off the ground. More power to the students! Online collaboration is exactly the solution I needed to improve their learning and socialization.
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