Nothing should be sacrified at the altar of virtualization
Embedded communications that embrace more than just voice are a great start. But as you can see, add in the creature comforts we expect such as normal sized handsets, keypads or caller ID notification….this all helps us forget that amazing technology going on the backside…lets us focus on the communication.
Behind the Storylines
Our spotlight series continues to morph a bit and try to find its sea legs. We are still going to change a few of story-telling methods in this series going forward…but a couple of fun things we did here that I hope are appreciated. The show is embedded at the bottom of this post so you can watch it..but first, a few notes on what we did here.
We started to make fun of ‘scenarios.’ One of the hardest things about cost-effective corporate video is finding unique visuals. Even the little we did in this episode took an extra day…and that is nothing when it comes to most productions. What we did a little different here, was to create the ‘office scenario’ to help get our point across..but instead of using actors and falling prey to the easy cheese that usually develops here..we tried just doing it ourselves and then ‘breaking the 4th wall’ every so often to explain a point to the audience. Our hope is that we remain educational and a little bit fun. We should never be taken too seriously…but you won’t mistake us for actors anytime soon.
We used a real whiteboard. Most video pro’s (including our own Producer Steve Ewertz) hate whiteboards. I agree with them from a TV perspective. They are really hard to light without getting hot spots/glares, everyone looks washed out in front of them…and the contrast when people write is just not that great. But as a Cisco guy, I love whiteboards. I love how much better every engineer can communicate when they have a pen in their hand. So Steve agreed to let us do this one with Jimmy Ray explaining the ‘tech behind the tech’ and I think with the two cameras and two lights we used…this scene came out great. Plus, I think it feels natural.
My two favorite days for a Vegas conference: arriving and leaving. Everything in between is a foot numbing, sleepless blur. But we had a great time! It was cool to be on stage hanging with our Cisco friends and getting to re-unite with old competitors, many of which are former peers.
We did not have as many videos as usual for a trip like this since we were doing the ‘stand and deliver’ thing. The topics were good however.
Jacob Rapp on Unified Access trends in the Data Center
Mark Royle catching us up on Unified Call Control
Bill and Ziad: Global Security Intelligence
This was a two-fer that Jimmy Ray and I tag teamed…I feel the urge to call it ‘Unified’ something just to complete my corporate marketing bingo card….but I did giggle a bit knowing that we stood in front of the ‘MOC SOC’ (Mock Security Operations Center). I am not even sure why I find that funny.
Interop was made more fun for us this year since we got to be on stage. Most of what we usually do is on camera of course…but presenting in front of people is the best.
Since we started TechWiseTV 7 years ago, we have tried to always get better at our on-camera skills. This has involved diligent effort not just improving our own skills but also how we can make it easier for others to shine with us. In other words, hosting.
It was Cisco’s Enterprise Networking team that asked if we would like to host a few stage spots during this years Interop show. Heck yeah we said. Mainly because it was a chance to ‘work an audience.’ You can certainly work a camera but what sucks is that the camera really never gives anything back.
Even the dullest audience will provide at least one nodding head or small smile. That alone can fuel an entire presentation. So we mixed it up this time. We had our A-Team for the camera crew so we were able to divide and conquer.
All of our stage appearances were quite free-form, but they did have a structure even if it was not apparent to those present. It was built around work pioneered by Marlowe Fenne. Marlowe is actually a day one veteran with TechWiseTV who has continued on his own path building bridges between customer problems and Cisco solutions. He had put together what I called a ‘MOC NOC’ for Interop. Customers were able to see first hand how their top challenges (as determined by multiple focus groups) were mapped to Cisco technologies and solutions. Easier than it sounds, let me assure you. Marlowe is such a good presenter, we were able to leave our crew with him while we did our song and dance on stage..then all Jimmy Ray and I had to do was record an intro and a close.
Challenges in the NOC: Wired and Wireless
Four ‘success factors’ were gleaned from these focus groups:
Don’t miss Bridging the App Gap where I will interview multiple Cisco customers and even Cisco itself. Fully understand all the Application Experience has to offer.
Our first day of presenting overlapped just a bit as Jimmy Ray was previously committed to one of his popular TechWiseTV workshops that he had to give from his Mandalay Bay hotel room. He did his usual pre-presentation technology checks to make sure all was working well. This was even more important this go-round as the hotel wireless was so bad it felt purposeful..as in…why are you on the Internet? Get down to the casino! Who knows. Well try as he might, he could not get a consistent connection wired or wireless in the hotel room.
Backup plan A was a higher powered wirelesss card that he tried to use and acces wireless from the adjacent Luxor hotel…but that was not holding steady either. So fallback plan B involved something I would never have guessed: An acoustic coupler. Fancy (but accurate) term for a modem.
If you don’t know what this is, go ask your parents…this is how we all used to get on the network. (I hesitate to say Internet). Plan B goes into action at a blazing 28.8 baud and another workshop goes off without a hitch..the audience was never even aware. Anyone else out there hosting Webex on a modem? I didn’t think so.
As we prepared for this show working with the Cisco MDS (which I think stands for Multi-Layer Director Storage Switches), I thought it was fun that Nitin Garg, our top of show guest, was also our guest from a segment shot back in London. Nitin was foreshadowing upcoming announcments that he subsequrently revealed in today’s show.
Nitin Garg with Jimmy Ray Purser at Cisco Live London
Beyond the people you see on screen, this show was largely made possible by the hard work of Gabe Dixon. Gabe has worked with us on multiple topics over the years.
This BizTech video is a first in a new series where I am hoping to find a middle ground that is certainly more business oriented than TechWiseTV but not so distant and high level that we can’t be specific.
Storywise -- these can be a challenge. Coming up with good visuals in a story like this is more difficult I think because you need both time and budget to cover these subjects well.
Before I share some of the production stuff I enjoy talkng about -- let me set up the content…let you watch it, then read on if interested in the other stuff.
The subject for this one was cross-departmental with underlying technologies from both Cisco Collaboration and Borderless teams. Virtualized Workspaces , a very specific term to denote something beyond (but certainly including VDI) is covered with Laura and her guest Phil Serburne. Jaishree brought in Neil Anderson to talk strategy around mobility…an area of incredible impact these days. We also secured Kenneth Daniels from Samsung to talk about SAFE: Secure Architecture for Enterprise . We finish out with an intro level voice over for Cisco Remote Expert
Our first step here was using co-hosts Jaishree Subramania and Laura Powers. Both great Cisco managers in thier own areas (and frequent hosts for topics on TechWiseTV). But we also stretched with a few metaphors during the transitions.
Part of this becomes an excuse whenever I can to practice my weak skills in walking and talking to a camera…(not as easy as one would think), but also, again, just to try and keep the pacing up a bit. We were shooting the Samsung interview in Richardson, TX. We had to scramble and capture that interview at the Cisco campus since we did not have a room at Samsung reserved. No worries…we shot that inside one of our conference rooms (not easy to make look interesting…but Director Steve Ewertz did his normally creative touch and made it great). We then shot my standups outside the Samsung building to make it look like we had been there. This was all authorized..but its funny how quickly security always shows up. I could only flub my lines so many times with pressure increasting from the building security guys…we pressed on…but if you look closely, you can see we are about to get approached for the last time…
One other bit of ‘behind the scenes’ I think was interesting. This same shot, if you watch it in the video, was done on a slider. These are great little additions to your camera gear for video as they can give you that cinematic movement IF you set it up correctly. Good slider shots require foreground objects or you can’t see the move. Once again, Director Steve to the rescue…if you look at the beginning of that shot…
The cameras movement is only apparent due to that green leafy branch at the start. Reality is -- Steve picked that up off the ground and held it in frame just so we could see some foreground motion and sell the shot. I love that stuff…it dawned on me that he could have kept the camera still and just pulled the branch over and we would have THOUGHT the camera was moving. So keep that in mind if you need a slider shot for you next video and you don’t have a slider!
Hope you enjoy this first BizTech. We are working on a few others that we will to bring to you soon.