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From Cairo to Nairobi – Eye to Eye at the Touch of a Button

In my last blog, “Africa – Connected Continent – At last”, I described how the arrival of affordable internet bandwidth in Africa is enabling companies to use technology to transform how they do business. Today at Cisco we have realised huge efficiencies in how we conduct our business internally and we have fundamentally changed how we communicate and collaborate with customers and partners, thanks to TelePresence.

TelePresence allow people to meet face to face over the network without the need to travel. Participants enjoy a high definition, high quality, life-size video experience and can share rich media content. We can now bring in subject matter experts from over one thousand Cisco TelePresence rooms across the globe and put them together with the vast majority of our workforce in Africa as if they were sat just across the table from each another; all at the touch of a button. In fact we can connect Cisco’s TelePresence rooms with any customer or partner TelePresence room, provided they have a B2B exchange with Cisco, so the possibilities are huge.

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Collaboration is Hot … Very Hot (A Cisco Collaboration Case Study)

In conversations with customers, I am consistently asked about the business value and return on investment with regard to collaboration.  At Cisco, we define value in terms of productivity, growth and innovation. 

I’ve shared with you in past blogs that we’ll be better able to report more on business value at Cisco once we’ve deployed our own collaboration solution – our Integrated Workforce Experience or IWE – internally. And, although it’s still early days in our own collaboration journey, we do have a few tangible examples of how IWE is now being used successfully within our functional groups. Read More »

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Real-Time Video: From Science Fiction to Reality

March 30, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

If you were making a movie or television show about the future, what fantastic technology would you feature?  How many years do you think it would take for that technology to not only be invented but also come in to common usage?

I participate frequently in Telepresence calls for my job.  Video communication was the stuff of science fiction long before being developed to the point that any of us could use it in real life, though.  Back in 1966, Star Trek showed starship-to-starship video transmissions alongside molecular transporters, food replicators and faster-than-light space travel.  More than 40 years later I still can’t beam on to a starship or travel at warp speed but I can and do have real-time video conversations with people around the planet.

Fascinating, as Mr. Spock would say.

As we use video more and more in our everyday activities, how is Cisco accommodating increasing traffic on its own network infrastructure?

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Collaboration is Hot … Very Hot (Adoption is Increasing at Cisco)

Hi everyone.  I’m back with a Collaboration update to my blog series of last fall.

If you followed my blog last year (and I appreciate those of you who offered comments), you know that Cisco has launched a collaboration solution internally which we call the “integrated workforce experience” or IWE. 

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How IT as a Service Creates Competitive Advantage

Not a week goes by that I don’t talk with a customer about the reality of IT as a service (ITaaS). The question I am asked most often is, “Does ITaaS really create a competitive advantage for my company?” My answer is always “Absolutely.”

If you’re wondering why I’m so confident about my answer it’s because the ITaaS approach, when embraced by a company, empowers IT to sit closer to the front end of product and service creation. Repositioning IT to the front end allows us to become a strategic advisor to the rest of the company.

As a strategic advisor, IT can develop best practices, lessons learned, and business value examples from actual implementations done within IT’s own organization. These IT learnings help the sales organization and ultimately benefit the customer, which is what creating competitive advantage is all about.

Before I go on, a word about vocabulary. In the ITaaS model IT vocabulary and business vocabulary must be one and the same. If IT is to be a strategic advisor to the business and the decision-makers on the customer side understand business vocabulary, then business vocabulary wins. IT must be able to “talk the talk.”

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