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Clouds are Rolling into the Hotel Industry

Hospitality 3The hotel industry has traditionally managed IT applications and network infrastructure locally on property, which led to higher costs associated with having local resources on premises.  But now, many hotels have realized a need for greater operational efficiency and an ability to meet guests’ Wi-Fi needs. A virtual server seems to be the solution.

According to Gartner Inc., approximately 60 percent of servers will be virtualized by 2014, up from 12 percent in 2008.  Clearly, we are starting to see large businesses across multiple industries realize the benefits of virtualizing their server workload.  For example, one benefit is that IT executives are able to cut down the costs of storing data through physical hardware, which is both a costly and inefficient method. Without physical hardware, an on-site IT staff is no longer necessary which also reduces operational costs. Additionally, offloading information to the cloud helps free up bandwidth for guests and customers alike to utilize – a benefit very helpful to hoteliers that put the guest experience first. Read More »

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Register to Learn About Cisco’s Policy Enforcement Solution

In his blog last week, Daryl Coon announced how there’s going to be a webinar this Thursday talking about Cisco’s leading One Policy solution driver, the Identity Services Engine (ISE) and its newest enhancements—now available with its 1.2 release.

During this free event, you will learn about the new features that provide increased scalability, reliability, and ease-of-use for guest access and BYOD on-boarding. You will hear from customers who have already deployed the 1.2 release. And we will discuss how the enhancements provide significantly greater capabilities than solutions available from competing vendors.Whether you need to support BYOD work practices, or provide more secure access to your data center resources, the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) can help. With this all-in-one enterprise policy control platform, you can reliably enforce compliance, enhance infrastructure security, and simplify service operations.

Read more at http://blogs.cisco.com/borderless/ciscos-policy-enforcement-solution-delivers/

Already sold? Join us for the free webinar, Thursday Sept 5 at 10am PST to learn more.

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Mobile Video Collaboration

In today’s world, we are always on the go and want to communicate and collaborate wherever and however we choose to live, work, and play.

We are seeing this mobility trend emerging with more of our customers, as they realize they need their employees to be able to effectively work across their different devices while on the road or in different office locations.  And just being able to connect isn’t enough.  There must be really good quality not only in audio, but also increasingly with video and application sharing.

The latest version of Cisco TelePresence Server (v3.1) has been developed with these customer needs in mind.  Organizations can now better enable their employees to collaborate face to face while on the move, with new video capabilities that improve the user experience from any endpoint:

  • Flexibility with ActiveControl:  Users can be more engaged with a higher level of user control of meeting layouts.
  • Video quality with Cisco ClearPath:  Over highly lossy public networks – even at packet loss rates of 20% – ClearPath delivers a clear video experience.  Watch this video to see the difference ClearPath makes in quality:

Under the same network packet loss conditions, the left screen is the video experience without ClearPath; the right screen is the clear experience with ClearPath.

Are you a mobile worker, or have a mobile workforce?  We’d like to hear from you.  What do you expect and need from video for great collaboration?

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#ExecInsights:Brazil Spotlights Innovation and the Internet of Everything

As Cisco’s executive sponsor for Brazil, I had the honor and privilege to launch our new Rio de Janeiro Center of Innovation on August 22.

IMG_8644I am very excited about the opportunities the Rio Center of Innovation can provide to enable growth – this venture is just one of many investments we are making to develop applications and solutions to foster what we call the Internet of Everything – expected to generate $613B in global profits in 2013, and $14.4 trillion of potential economic “value at stake” over the next decade. The facility will support local companies to develop applications and solutions intended to connect the 99 percent of things that still remain unconnected in the world today.

The Rio Center of Innovation will allow local companies to take advantage of some of the foundational technologies Cisco provides. We will join forces with our partners to create software, solutions and innovation for Brazil. Initially, we will support various sectors, such as: oil and gas; sports and entertainment; healthcare; education; public safety and security; and Smart grid.

Read More »

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Sharing Content on Social Media Sites

September 3, 2013 at 11:52 am PST

Getting eyes on your content can be rough. Social media giants like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn offer an overwhelming number of content sharing solutions to their users. Whether you’re just dipping your toes into social media, or have been tweeting, blogging, and networking for years, these tips can help you reach out to your target audience more easily.

GuyLookingAtPhone

Facebook

Let’s start with Facebook! Facebook’s page feature enables businesses to share pictures, videos, and news with people who have “liked” their page. The page feature allows the administrator of the page to view analytics such as the demographic, weekly views, and audience interaction. Have you had any success in the past using Facebook’s analytics? I’m interested to gather more examples!

One example I really like is from Threadless.  The company uses their page to promote new products, inform customers about promotions, and respond to customer feedback. Here is an example of Facebook insights:

Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights

Facebook also offers groups” for sharing content and collaborating. Members of a group can share content to the group wall so every member can see it. You can also invite whole groups to events, and share documents. When you update a document, Facebook gives you the option to record what you have changed in the update. Group administrators may use privacy settings to restrict access to viewing or posting to a given group. Also, a secret group can’t be searched for and members must request permission to join.

Ways to Leverage a Group

  • Use as a company intranet.
  • Plan group events.
  • Communicate and share content with customers.

Here’s an example of leveraging a group:

FacebookGroups

Facebook Groups

Twitter 

Now let’s move onto Twitter. This channel is often used for customer support, crowdsourcing, creating 2-way dialogues, building brand awareness, or public relations. To illustrate one of these communication types, let’s walk through this Nike example. Nike made a separate twitter account for customer service; customers tweet to this handle and Nike answers their questions. Making a twitter handle devoted to customer service provides a simple and effective solution for customer service.

Companies also leverage Twitter for B2B transactions on an ongoing basis. It’s really one of the best ways to use Twitter for business! A study showed that 11% of Twitter users who saw a tweet from a B2B tech brand visited their site and filled out a sign up form. Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee live tweeted pictures of a bi-lateral knee replacement to show off their new orthopedics technology. Aurora Health Care saw a 15% conversion from leads to sales after live tweeting the surgery.

And Twitter’s “list” feature allows a user to keep and share a set of other users and their tweets. Many businesses find that this allows them to track potential customers and clients for B2B transactions. For this type of business, the list feature has many advantages. Here’s a snapshot of a list:

TwitterLists

Twitter List

Twitter List B2B Advantages

  • View specifics for your industry by putting followers in a list.
  • Target groups of industry experts with questions by tweeting at a list.
  • People that are interested in you can subscribe to your list and increase your audience.

LinkedIn

Another great social media outlet for sharing content is LinkedIn. This channel allows you to share your insights with other members within your network, throughout LinkedIn, or even with select members.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for networking and interacting with members of the site. With a few simple clicks you can communicate with business and people from all over the world. This makes a great B2B business tool. By using the LinkedIn “groups” feature you can create your own groups or join other groups and collaborate. My favorite example of this is when a lawyer created a group on employment law issues for HR directors and managers. One year later the group had more then 1,000 members! Once the group was establish the law firm hosted two HR question times in their offices. The majority of attendees were not clients. The firm used this opportunity to build relationships with the attendees and eventually turn them into clients. 

LinkedIn offers targeted status updates for business pages. You can choose to share a status update with the public, employee’s only, specific employees, or by industry, seniority, and geography. Targeting specific audiences can really help the way in which you share content.

Benefits of Sharing Content With Specific Audiences 

  • Avoiding cluttering the feeds of uninterested users.
  • Targeting people who are knowledgeable about the content.
  • Testing content with friends and followers before releasing it to the public.

Choosing the right media and medium is critical. Sharing the right content with the right users can make your social media efforts much more effective. If you have a great example of content sharing via social media, let us know in the comments and share!