Throughout history there are moments in time that define innovation.
In 1939, two guys in a garage built the first audio oscillator. It was sold to Disney and helped create Fantasia. In 1973, Motorola built the first mobile phone. It weighed 2.5 pounds and was 9 inches long. It let you talk for 30 minutes. Then you needed 10 hours to charge it. This was innovation at its finest.
I am a strong believer in the power of video; video can transform the relationships we have with our colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers. Our goal is to make video as universally available and easy to use as voice and data are today. Recent developments make it possible to scale video more cost-effectively across organizations, but as an industry there are still more hurdles to knock down in order to make rich, effective and efficient video collaboration part of everyone’s daily routine.
Customers have a breadth of needs when it comes to when and how they collaborate, and it’s no surprise to me that customers are taking a step back to evaluate the needs of their organization both now and in the future. While doing so, they are also trying to understand the alphabet soup of standards and what it means in terms of technologies working together. Which standard is better? What are the benefits of each? Will a technology that uses one standard be able to communicate with a technology that uses another standard? Will a technology made by one vendor be able to communicate with a technology made by another vendor?
I personally believe it is the vendors’ responsibility to take the complexity out of the equation and do whatever it takes to make things work together. For me, that means industry-wide commitment to open standards. Open standards ensure true interoperability across vendor and technology boundaries bringing us closer to our goal of making video universally available and easy to use. Cisco has led the way in developing open standards, driving the industry towards interoperable collaboration solutions. And we continue to do so.
Cisco® TelePresence® has transformed the way we collaborate—enabling immersive, face-to-face meetings at a distance, and access to remote experts anywhere in the world. What if that experience was combined with robotic technology, to give the remote user “location spontaneity”—the ability to move around a faraway space…have a chance encounter in the hallway or tour the factory floor?
That is why Cisco’s new joint effort with iRobot—demonstrated publicly this week for the first time—is so exciting: We’ve created a mobile Cisco TelePresence unit that brings collaboration to you—or, conversely, brings you to wherever you need to collaborate. Called iRobot Ava 500, this high-definition video collaboration robot combines Cisco TelePresence with iRobot’s mobility and self-navigation capabilities, enabling freedom of movement and spontaneous interactions with people thousands of miles away.
Nobody can question that location-based services are hot these days--especially in the retail space.
Retail in general is under increasing competition and pressure to maintain its revenues and profitability, especially physical retailers who are threatened by online businesses, ranging from one person outfits to global giants.
Physical retailers big and small are all facing the same phenomenon: smartphone users walking around their stores (inside and out). Google and Nielson recently reported that shopping queries are two times as likely to be in store. So people are actively on their smartphones in stores. The significance of this statistic to retail is that there is a huge opportunity here to optimize dollars, be it marketing funds or operational savings–all of which can be enabled by location-based services.
Cisco’s location based services using the Mobility Services Engine and the Connected Mobile Experiences solutions is market leading and generates a lot of interest among customers and I get the privilege of speaking with many retail business executives on a global basis.
In retail, the two big rocks are revenue and loyalty. The Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution helps line of business leaders reach those goals by aligning with the mobility trend. Armed with the location-based services of CMX, you can captivate your customers by creating personalized, context-based engagement to boost loyalty, while generating location analytics data on customer movement patterns and behavior for optimizing operational costs. Read More »
One of Cisco’s longest-running traditions is a special program for Silicon Valley nonprofits, which has offered Community Impact Cash Grants to carefully selected community organizations for more than a decade. In recent years, the grant amount has been set at $15,000 each for programs focused on K-8 education and health, a subset of Cisco’s overall social investment areas.
A unique aspect of the program is its reliance on Cisco employee volunteers. While holding down their day jobs, these hardworking team members help drive every aspect of the grantmaking process – from evaluating the applications to performing site visits to identifying the 40 strongest applicants from a large and worthy pool. (See this year’s awardees.) On Wednesday, this year’s recipients gathered at Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose, California, to pick up their checks, brainstorm with peers about common challenges they face, and reunite with the Cisco employees who helped evaluate and recommend their grant proposals as the most competitive.
From left: Operation Access’ Marisol Ponce de Leon, Cisco’s Cindy Cooley, and Operation Access’ Ellen Kaufman.