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Cisco 500 Small Business Series

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There are almost 28 million small businesses in the US which have generated over 65% of the net new jobs since 1995. Of those with websites, the average annual revenue was $5.03 million. With those statistics in mind, how do you build an infrastructure to support growth through it’s first 5 years and beyond? How are these small businesses integrating the various components of a network together such as wireless, VoIP, and security?* Read More »

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Finally offer your viewers the packages they’ve wanted all along

To keep their viewers happy, video broadcasters find themselves increasingly eager to offer the best possible deal. Crafting offers that win business has not always been easy. Traditionally, offers have been tied to a single device, such as a set-top box, and limited to rudimentary models such as subscribing to one or more channels or purchasing a single event. Even if one overcame that obstacle, supporting commercial offers on multiple devices – many of which employ different proprietary Digital Rights Management (DRM) standards – meant that it was difficult to ensure a seamless user experience.

In a competitive business environment, the ability of broadcasters to monetize their video services with creative and attractive offers should not be limited by Read More »

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Top Five Mobility Trends CXOs Should Watch

As technology becomes smarter and capable of more connections and interactions, we will begin to see certain trends arise in the mobility industry. Trends such as, low-cost mobile devices will positively impact developing regions around the world, Internet of Things (IoT) partnerships will drive transformation of mobile networks and the proliferation of wearables will further increase the number of connected devices.

These trends and more are shaping the future of mobility, and what they mean for executives in today’s business landscape. In addition, the convergence of mobile, cloud and infrastructure is demanding that executives prepare for what will certainly be an evolutionary time in our history.

So looking ahead over the next twelve months, what mobility trends have immediate business implications for organizations and service providers?

Future of Mobility Podcast on iTunes

Listen to the Future of Mobility Podcast on iTunes

What do CXOs need to watch for?

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Cisco Partners, Complex Support: Simplified

I had the opportunity to attend Cisco’s annual Partner Summit last month and I am excited about the news announced at the summit as well as the valuable conversations I had with our partners. The reoccurring topics I heard included cloud, innovation, speed, scale and, most importantly, differentiation.

The partners I spoke with viewed exceptional service as a key enabler of future growth. As solutions get ever more complex, partners increasingly look to services as their key competitive differentiator.

Partners have a unique opportunity to leverage recent Cisco investments in software enabled services to enable differentiation. In discussions at Partner Summit, one question came up time and again:

“Customers are demanding more complex solutions, but they want a simpler support experience – how do we balance these seemingly competing objectives?”

Multi-vendor solutions are by their nature complex. Integrating support across these disparate components enables partners to create a simplified support experience – speeding resolution times and increasing transparency across the support process. Customers also look for integrated SLA’s, no matter how many parties might be involved in delivering support.

By connecting all service partners in the cloud, partners can deliver a unified support experience, opening new opportunities for partners to provide differentiated services. Better still, this “ecosystem” of connections in the cloud enables automation of IT service management and better exchange of support information between providers and customers for faster mean time to resolution for IT issues.

One partner at the forefront of this new paradigm is BORN Green Technologies of Switzerland. I caught up with Patrick Spreng from BORN at Partner Summit. He told me about BORN customers who had visibility into multi-vendor support processes they’ve never had before, using Cisco ServiceGrid. What had previously seemed an unmanageable mess created from a highly fragmented environment was brought together into a single support experience – with one overall SLA. On a daily basis, Patrick reported, it just made support easier.

Services will continue to grow as a major competitive differentiator for partners. Partners that embrace new models and innovate in this space will win new customers. Nowhere is this more important than in managing the growing complexity customers are facing every day.

Watch our interview with ATP Partner BORN Green Technologies to learn more about how it is leveraging the power of Cisco ServiceGrid:

 

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Wearable 2.0: The #FutureOfMobility

This two-part blog series discusses the future of wearables and mobility in an #InternetOfEverything world. 

Check out the first post of this series that discusses why contact, connections and context will drive the next generation of wearables.

When 24-year-old Jason Barnes lost part of his arm in an electrical accident, he also lost the ability to drum. Thanks to engineers at Georgia Tech, he now has range with his artificial hand that is impossible with a normal human hand. Arguably, now he has new capabilities that other musicians don’t have – all because of an incredibly advanced replacement part.

If you consider how wearables may evolve, we may see a time where people take a perfectly good limb, eye or ear and replace it with something synthetic because it gives them a skill that they haven’t had before. Perhaps it gives a solider infrared vision at night or a baseball pitcher a robotic arm that throws a perfect game.

These new capabilities will propel us into a new phase of human history – this period of self-designed evolution. As the power of Internet of Everything (IoE) technology merges with biology, we can create a self-evolving population. Let’s take a step back and look how this has developed over time.

How it Began

If you look back throughout human history, we’ve always adorned ourselves with some kind of capability. Usually it’s because we want to differentiate ourselves or show status or an association with a tribe or group. This has traditionally been accomplished through wearing jewelry, getting tattoos or piercings and so on. Today, we’re beginning the wearable phase and it’s about smart watches, glasses and jewelry, but tomorrow will bring the era of embeddable technology.

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