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Managing a Massive Voice Infrastructure with Cisco Prime Collaboration

Cisco IT monitors and manages a huge voice infrastructure, with over 200,000 UC endpoints, and the Cisco Prime Collaboration solution helps us do this work efficiently.

For example, a common problem for my team is identifying which devices are provisioned in the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM), but are no longer in use. This issue is getting more complex as Cisco employees have multiple devices associated with their one directory number. In a typical case, a salesperson might have a desk phone and a Cisco TelePresence personal video endpoint in the office, another phone in their home office, and use Cisco Jabber clients on a laptop and smartphone at home, at customer sites, or while traveling. Cisco Prime Collaboration lets me easily view this information and verify that the employee is actively using all of these devices.

Hardware phones in particular can become inactive when an employee leaves or transfers and no one else moves to that desk. Cisco Prime Collaboration lets me easily identify and remove that phone. We can also detect which employees haven’t downloaded the latest Jabber client version and encourage them to update their devices to the currently supported software.

Cisco Prime Collaboration gives me a very easy graphical interface to see into the whole global network, and then allows me to drill down to any components to see what’s going on.

Figure 1:  Sample CPC Network Topology, enabling drilldown on each location and device

CPC Voice Jim Marshall - Figure 1 of 2 Read More »

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Email and Calendaring Social Community Decreases IT Support Caseload

June 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm PST

In my previous blog post, I talked about how adding a social support layer enabled the IT Mobility team within Cisco to realize cost avoidance of $650k, which was leveraged for new, innovative projects.

Benefits were also seen in Cisco IT’s Email and Calendaring WebEx Social community. Since it’s launch in Q4FY12, the Email and Calendaring Services community has seen more than 33,000 visitors and 300,000 views spread across collaborative wiki posts and discussion forums. The discussion forum alone has over 500 individual discussions through moderated support and user contribution, resulting in a self-service model for those who may have a similar question or issue. Read More »

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How Telework Helps Cisco Recruit and Retain Employees

Why does top talent choose to join a company? Then, once they are employees, why do they stay?

At Cisco, one factor is consistent among our diverse, global workforce: the flexibility of our telework program and the Cisco technologies that enable it.

Recruiting the Best Workforce

As a global company, we know that talent lives everywhere in the world, but not always near a Cisco office. Our telework program helps us recruit the right employees because they won’t need to make a hard, long commute or face the life and family disruption of a relocation.

One employee wanted to raise his family in Illinois where he could be close to his extended family. Cisco supported his choice by allowing him to telework – one of the first employees to do so at Cisco – and was able to keep this valued technical employee with the company.

Other employees tell me that working from home enables them to work much more flexibly, and this motivates them to work even harder for their team, manager, and Cisco. The motivation produced by flexible working appears to play a role in our employees’ performance, with a higher percentage of mobile and remote employees receiving the top two performance evaluation rankings compared to traditional office workers.

Flexible work arrangements are also very important to the millennial generation that is now entering the workforce. Data in our 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report indicates that a majority of today’s university students value unconventional work schedules and believe they can work more productively away from the office.

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Collaboration is Hot … A Report from Toronto, Canada

I just concluded three days of customer meetings and participation at Cisco Connect Toronto – a fabulous one-day conference hosted by our Canadian team which enjoyed a sell-out crowd of 1800 customers. Read More »

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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