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Will you make the Summit?

To all our Cisco partner’s in MEAR that have registered for our annual Partner Summit on 3–6 June 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts; I’d like to welcome you ahead of the event next week.

This year we’re expecting an incredibly high turnout – nearly 3,000 partners from 150 countries who will be networking  and discussing our Go To Market, the latest technologies, new markets, business transformation and leadership, and lots more.

Alongside the Summit in Boston, an estimated 10,000 people from our partner organisations will be taking part in the Virtual Partner Summit. This offers real-time access to the same content, speakers and resources – it’s the next best thing to being there in person and I’d encourage as many partners as possible to get involved.

The fast pace of business means it easy to forget how much ground we’ve covered in the last 12 months. Among all the networking, meeting new people and sharing news, the Summit is our chance to look back and celebrate our mutual successes, recognising our partners’ achievements and rewarding excellence.

Hot topics for 2013

The Internet of Everything will no doubt be a hot topic. During the three day session, I’m expecting lots of debate about the impact of connecting people, process, data and things – and the new revenue streams it’s creating.

Our partners in MEAR always have news, views and insights to share about expanding into new markets. For me, that’s what makes the Summit so crucial to building relationships across the globe. It’s the arena for extending your professional network with many of our top executives at Cisco including the MEAR leadership team and your fellow channel partners. It is our opportunity to listen to you and everyone’s chance to have some fun together.

If we don’t get to meet in Boston, watch the Virtual Partner Summit as it happens, and follow the event on Twitter #CiscoPS13 and #MEARps13 . You can also catch-up with the sessions you missed via our on-demand service, which will be available from the end of the Summit until 8 July.

See what’s on at the Cisco Partner Summit 2013.

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Collaboration Patterns That Accelerate Your Business

This is my fourth blog in a multi-part series.  In my first blog, I introduced insights from Cisco’s Collaboration Work Practice Study and how people value collaboration in the work environment.  In my second blog, I discussed the importance of building trust-based relationships and networks to make collaboration work for you.  In my third blog, I share how you can turn human interactions into business results.  In today’s blog, I discuss patterns of collaborative behaviors and how to leverage them to better support collaborators.

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Collaboration can happen at anytime.  Some would describe it as chaotic.   But interestingly enough, through all the collaborative interactions we observed, we saw patterns in the “chaos” -- patterns that did not just exist in organizational silos, nor were they simply associated with a job role or personality type.   Throughout the day, people play a variety of roles and experience different types and modes of collaboration.   They go from online to offline, in a virtual meeting to meeting over coffee, have an ad-hoc chat in the break-room and attend a global Cisco TelePresence meeting.

If we pay close attention to the behavior patterns of collaboration we can learn how to better support collaborators and create a more seamless experience. This is where process, technology and the physical and virtual workplace can complement the human behaviors that occur during collaboration.

Accelerating Collaboration through Catalysts and Connectors

“Not everyone is comfortable with collaborating virtually. [A catalyst’s] outreach encourages participation and makes the experience rich and meaningful.”   -- Study Participant

In our study, we found that certain types of people play an essential role in not only Read More »

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Cisco Prime Collaboration in Cisco IT Video Operation

Cisco Prime Collaboration (CPC) is based on years of partnership and collaboration between Cisco IT and the Cisco Network Management Technology Group (NMTG). Today CPC is a critical part of our internal video operations process, with useful capabilities like

-       Proactive monitoring and alerts for video endpoint faults

-       Real-time monitoring of live sessions and call session statistics reports

-       End-to-end network path troubleshooting

-       Endpoint and system inventory reporting

 

Figure 1:  CPC Provides proactive monitoring of endpoints, sessions, and ports.

CPC Video Jim Yam - Figure 1 of 2

Video calls and TelePresence meetings in Cisco IT have become part of the Cisco global business culture. Utilization of video is high (for example, utilization of the shared 3-screen TelePresence systems has remained at about 68% for the past few years). One reason for this success is that, at Cisco, these critical video sessions run smoothly, without disruptions or noticeable drops in video or audio quality.  High availability and high quality is essential for user adoption of video:  all the components (endpoints, network infrastructure, backend systems and etc.) need to run smoothly without causing any frustration for users and distracting them from the communication effectively of the meeting. These disruptions are particularly unacceptable for high visibility events or sessions that involve executives and customers. Cisco IT uses CPC to keep video running smoothly when it really counts.

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ATA 2013 – Not All TeleHealth Markets Are Created Equal

Being able to participate at an American Telemedicine Association event in Austin, Texas has been a true highlight of 2013. The conference and its attendees were a-buzz with more remote monitoring devices than I knew existed, infinite possibilities to provide “care anywhere,” and a fantastic array of new connections in this growing facet of our industry. Thought-provoking conversations centered on convergence of healthcare and ICT, needs and opportunities for telehealth stakeholders, and telehealth’s impact on treatment and prevention.

ATA 2013 – Not All TeleHealth Markets Are Created Equal A common theme throughout the event was the current state of the industry and how connected health solutions are creating pathways to transform healthcare. This includes things such as workflow optimization, provider and patient engagement, and new application opportunities in the field of care. Telehealth has the power to impact both treatment and prevention in healthcare, which is crucial to shifting the burden of healthcare costs down, and the ability to improve outcomes.

During the event, I was privileged to take part in a Market Watch panel, “Not All Telehealth Markets are Equal,” hosted by Frost & Sullivan. This panel consisted of representatives from companies focused on remote monitoring, video telemedicine, mHealth, and home healthcare. We discussed key differences and similarities between these top market verticals concerning challenges, business models, and future growth.

Each of the panelists were asked several questions:

  1. What are the most innovative or transformative use examples of telehealth solutions you are seeing live in practice, which can impact change and outcomes?
  2. What restraints and challenges are people facing out in the market now especially in terms of realizing revenue growth and potential for telehealth solutions? Why will the future be different from the past?
  3. What are some best practices you have seen in getting patients engaged with mobile and telehealth solutions and actually driving behavioral change?
  4. Would you agree with our (Frost & Sullivan) view of the importance of video telemedicine in leading markets in telehealth, and what realized uptake is being seen in practice currently and what other factors are important to make this work?

Innovative telehealth use

There is a great deal of innovative  telehealth use, but one example I shared involved doctors recording patients’ visits (using Show ‘n Share) and sending a link of the recording to the patients after the fact so they can easily watch it again, and share with family and friends. This represents an innovative and different use of telehealth technology – it supports patients who are likely inundated with information during their visit and allows them to relive their consult remotely. 

Restraints and challenges

Telehealth now encompasses so many different channels patients want to use to interact with their healthcare system – telephone, mobile, social, email, text, web chat, etc. This means health care providers and payers must invest in the proper operational infrastructure to support these consumer connection expectations.  I gave the example of a patient with an illness, who wants to talk to a doctor remotely, and expects to be “seen” within 15 minutes. A payer or provider cannot expect to deliver that specific level of service unless they have a centralized infrastructure that is dedicated to operations. In order for this to be scalable, health systems will have to invest in elements such as contact center, unified communications, secure wireless infrastructures, and endpoints with solutions like Jabber and WebEx. These are just examples of some solutions that can be deployed in order to make telehealth work seamlessly to provide patients with the best remote care experience possible.

Best practices

Many panelists discussed gamification and how it is becoming a tool to engage consumers, as it ties to human nature, competitiveness and camaraderie. I discussed this from my personal standpoint. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy that healthcare should deploy more because many health systems are being asked to think and act more like retailers in-nature. Healthcare systems need to take a page from companies who have to know their customers well and respond. This requires a strategic shift in how they approach and interact with patients and families, creating an infrastructure that would allow patients and family members or loved ones to communicate and interact with their care professionals via the communication method they choose. A sophisticated CRM strategy and eco-system is necessary to manage this.

Importance of video telemedicine

To drive home the importance of video in telehealth and the need for more efficiency in healthcare, I highlighted the model for primary care. I noted that primary care itself could be more remote and centralized at the same time. This could be a market differentiator for the health systems that deploy such a model, because the cost structure would be significantly reduced. A key technology component that supports this is a call manager feature combined with  remote video technology that looks at hundreds of doctors to determine who may be available at any given time. As telehealth and telemedicine technology begins to grow and be widely adopted, this will be even more important. In order for it to scale and cross organization boundaries, it must be interoperable with different devices and endpoints and be able to connect in any way possible.

One thing is for sure; telehealth cannot exist without the support and adoption of the clinical community.  The only way to ensure successful adoption of new technology is hand-in-hand implementation that’s tailored to the desired clinical workflow and to ensure that clinicians are championing it across the organization.

Learn more about ATA and the “Not All Telehealth Markets are Equal,” panel I participated in. And let me know any thoughts you have about my responses to the panel questions.

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Introducing This Year’s Cisco Partner Ambassadors

As we dive into Partner Summit in Boston next week, we’ll be offering you plenty of news and key information, as well as ways to keep track of all of it via Cisco Channels social media. But the social conversation around Partner Summit certainly isn’t just about us—it’s also about you, our partners.

We launched the Cisco Partner Ambassador program last year, to provide a range of partners with the opportunity to share their thoughts and impressions from Partner Summit. This year, we’re excited to announce that the program not only will continue, but also has been expanded, with a fuller representation of the global Cisco channel community confirmed to participate, including partners who will be joining us primarily through Virtual Partner Summit.

Each of our Partner Ambassadors will be blogging, tweeting, and sharing content via Facebook and LinkedIn, before, during, and after Partner Summit. We’re excited to hear the perspectives they have, and look forward to sharing their content with all of you, too. Follow along throughout the event – don’t forget #ciscops13 for Tweets — and feel free to offer your feedback. For reference, we have created a Twitter list of all of our Ambassadors’ Twitter handles.

Let’s meet our 10 Ambassadors for Partner Summit 2013. I asked each to share a little about their specialties and where they focus in the Cisco ecosystem, so what follows is each partner’s description and where to find their social content throughout the event.  Read More »

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