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Mobility and BYOD That’s Right for Your Midsize IT

Employee are now unchained from their desks; mobility frees the ability to work anyplace, anytime, and from any device. This is revolutionizing the type of productivity and efficiency businesses see from their workforce- large, medium, or small.  While realizing business efficiency and growth, midmarket IT is struggling to balance objectives (make the network for you) and challenges (limited resources).

Midmarket IT Objectives

Leverage the network as a strategic asset

To increase employee productivity and gain competitive advantage;

Better serving customers,

Thus realizing overall growth

Midmarket IT Challenges with Mobility and BYOD

The advent of mobility and BYOD, while unleashing unprecedented levels of communication and collaboration, brings challenges to IT. Mobility enables BYOD. BYOD enables multiple types of employees, logging in from multiple types of devices, from multiple locations. Users are demanding access to the Internet and applications wherever and whenever they want.  Chaos? Anyone reading this won’t need the laundry list of concerns. It’s there.

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Courts Excellence in a Changing World: Highlights from Day 2

02The second day of the Courts Excellence in a Changing World conference was even better than the first with a number of best practices demonstrating court excellence. Many of these best practices involve technology innovations that provide the foundation for transformation.

The best practices shared provided the courts capabilities for 24x7 citizen services, reduced costs, increased transparency, access from anywhere at anytime, increased citizen satisfaction, and more.

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Pick the Low-Hanging Omnichannel Fruit

This blog is the third of a series on how retailers are addressing the challenges of becoming an omnichannel business. We’ve talked about how omnichannel selling is not really about rushing to invest in some whiz-bang technology – in fact, I think stores often try to do too much at one time.

Instead, a smart approach to your implementation is to find the low-hanging fruit – projects that have the highest probability of effectiveness and can be measured against business targets as a whole. Remember that every store has its niche, and one size does not fit all. By achieving rapid successes up front, you gain funding for the next piece of your strategy, building from success to success to achieve omnichannel entry.

For example, some retailers look at how to make it easier for shoppers to buy and return where they want. Stores don’t carry the same selections from region to region, and they need processes and systems to make such an approach successful. The key is inventory management: figuring out how to sell, reorder, and exchange products in stores that also serve as fulfillment centers.

Other retailers focus on building a strong relationship with shoppers through excellent customer service. For example, instead of picking up the red bat phone or having “Customer assistance on Aisle 3” called over the loudspeaker, consumers can contact remote experts on their own mobile device or through a kiosk. Still other stores may put resources into user interfaces, branding, and site useability. These personalized approaches also pay off in better information about the customer, allowing retailers to use video analytics and sensors to get help to the shopper faster.

To help stores define their best path forward, they often make use of “innovation platforms,” systems designed to allow you to quickly set up and try out new merchandising, practices, or seasonal locations.  Innovation platforms let you experiment with capabilities that leverage organizational strengths, hitting on the cylinders you want to address. Each success helps build the business justification for the next stage, supported by your cost/benefit analyses, baselines, and measurements.

Let’s talk more about this at the NRF Big Idea Sessions, where I’ll be speaking on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2:00-3:00 ET, in Room 4. My topic is “Detect, Connect, Engage: Enhance your Customer Experience with Mobility,” and I’ll discuss how to personalize the mobility journey and new strategies for delivering a meaningful customer experience. Visit Cisco’s NRF website to learn more about these very popular seminars. As well, please take time to attend some of the demos in Cisco booth #1954. These include several technologies that fulfill the requirements discussed above.

I’ll see you at NRF!

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New University Dedicated to STEM, Real-world Relevance

The success of our industry and even our nation’s well-being are dependent on engaging students and developing the experts of the future in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). I am personally committed to STEM education initiatives, and want to share an exciting university that’s breaking new ground to lead the way and ensure students have a clear path to STEM careers. As the newest member of the State University System of Florida, Florida Polytechnic University is dedicated exclusively to STEM.

Within their College of Engineering and the College of Innovation and Technology, Florida Poly will offer six undergraduate degree programs and two Master degree programs. These include some really unique areas of concentration including Big Data Analytics, Cloud Virtualization, Health Informatics, Cyber Gaming, Information Assurance and Cyber Security, and even more.

Another unique aspect of this high-tech university is that they work closely with industry partners to ensure strong relevance to real-world needs.  This will ensure graduates are learning the critical skills needed to join some very competitive workforces.  In fact, all you have to do is check out the campus to be impressed:

If you are in Florida, check out the PolyPremiere – a campaign where Florida Poly is rolling out the purple carpet at movie theaters across the state to give potential students an in-depth look at Florida Poly’s campus, curriculum, culture and scholarships.

Where are your tech students looking for STEM degree opportunities?

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – December 13, 2013

December 13, 2013 at 8:34 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Wow, winter seems to have taken hold early this year. Here in North Carolina, we are certainly seeing colder temperatures than normal this time of year. My dogs certainly seem to appreciate a warm spot on the couch more these past few days.

Even though temps are dropping outside, we are, of course, keeping the fires going here at Cisco. Even as we are heading toward the holiday season where we will all enjoy some time with friends and family, we still have a lot going on for partners. Here’s a little recap of the week!

Off the Top

As part of our Partner Voices series, we like to highlight the successes of our partners using Cisco products and services to solve customer issues. This week, we had the opportunity to speak with MCPc about a recent airport project they completed. Read More »

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