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3 min

Cisco and CDW Imagine the Workplace of the Future

Proofs of concepts from a recent Cisco hackathon highlight organizations' needs both today and tomorrow.


CDW recently participated in a Cisco workplace transformation hackathon to create a proof-of-concept solution to showcase the changing workplace.

What exactly is workplace transformation? It is the process of reimagining the workplace to adapt to the changing needs of workers and ever-evolving technology, as well as accommodating different types of work within the same organization. Work-life balance is another driving force behind workplace transformation — remote workers are more common today, especially as companies source employees from a larger geographic pool to find top talent and, thereby, create a virtual workforce.

2 Takes on Workplace Transformation

Cisco’s hackathon event consisted of three days of ideation, design, creation and demos of Smart Space use cases, and included Cisco partners, independent software vendors and internal subject matter experts. Each team included a mix of Cisco, ISV and partner members to encourage collaboration among people with a variety of backgrounds.

With approximately 1.5 days to build a working prototype solution, it was challenging to say the least. CDW participated in the work of two teams.

Scenario 1: Enhanced Meetings

One of the teams created an enhanced meeting experience utilizing geofencing and wayfinding. Some of the technologies implemented were Phunware, Joan from Visionect, Cisco Webex Teams with adaptive cards and Cisco Webex Meetings using a Touch 10 device.

Here’s how the reimagined meeting experience would play out:

A day prior to a meeting, an email and Webex Teams message is sent to the organizer. Included in the message is a link to Google Maps showing the location of the building.
The day of the meeting, when the attendee or organizer arrives in the parking lot, geofencing is utilized and a welcome notification is sent through Webex Teams. At the same time, the receptionist receives a notification in Webex Teams indicating the arrival of the visitor. The receptionist can print the badge at this time so it will be ready to go as the user walks through the door, saving valuable time.
The mobile app next guides the meeting attendee to the room within the building using wayfinding technology. LCD screens throughout the building also provide guidance as the app detects their location. For example, the LCD screen will display “Turn Left” as the user comes within range of it.
Once the attendee arrives in the room, the Webex video device greets them with a verbal welcome message as well as the meeting’s agenda.
After the video device senses there is more than one person in the room, the Webex virtual assistant will ask “Are you ready to start your meeting?” One of the attendees responds “yes” and the meeting begins.

The projected benefits of this solution are stress-free meetings, happier employees and higher productivity.

Scenario 2: Incident Management

The second team created an incident management solution with integrations to InformaCast from Singlewire, ServiceNow for ticket management, for communications and Cisco Webex Teams and video endpoints (for emergency outage displays). It consisted of a few different pieces:


The dashboard shows monthly and weekly reports of incidents that happened including how many people received messages. Dashboards can be visualized using pie charts.


This would allow the ability to quickly send broadcast messages to various groups within the organization. It includes sending messages via overhead paging, Webex Teams notifications, SMS and LED displays.

Ticket Management

When sending messages, tickets in ServiceNow are automatically generated and assigned to the appropriate resource (for example, to a network administrator for outages).


All tools required to program the incident management suite are contained within a web portal. Users and roles can be assigned via this portal.

With this solution, incidents can be managed in a single portal and integrate seamlessly into the existing workflow creating a better environment and a more efficient experience for employees.

Looking to the Development Future

Besides a lack of sleep, CDW experts gained valuable knowledge into emerging technologies such as geocaching and artificial intelligence. It was great to see partners, software vendors and Cisco employees come together and create some amazing things in a short amount of time. With the growing number of technology integrations available today, it makes it even easier to automate different parts of the workplace for efficiency and productivity gains.

Work is different today than it was just five to 10 years ago. While we are looking to the future, CDW is always ready to assist with all your collaboration technology needs to help you adapt to the changing workplace of today.

Learn more about CDW’s collaboration solutions and services.