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Video Collaboration and the Present Mom

“Mom, is there anything you don’t do well?” That came from Jaden, my twelve-year-old daughter, after a particularly arduous week tackling algebra and a To Kill a Mockingbird essay with a little help from me.

Clearly, I don’t do everything well, but the validation felt really good coming from a kid who I think is pretty extraordinary, herself. I might be slightly biased, but there’s enough evidence for extraordinary that some of my colleagues call me “Tiger Mom.” What they don’t know is that by Amy Chua standards, I would be a deadbeat mom since I only make my kids practice piano 30-45 minutes a day, and sometimes not everyday (gasp!).

Kim N and daughters 2All joking aside, I did ponder why I was the object of such adoration during a time when kids often retreat from their parents. And I believe it’s because I’m able to be around a lot and be present for my kids at their point of need. That’s because the collaboration tools that are essential to my productivity as an employee also give me the flexibility to work from home and still only be a video call away for my kids when I’m not.

The ability to be present at the point of struggle, at the point of discovery, at the point of accomplishment has been key to my close relationship with my children and in their development. But isn’t that true with just about any relationship? Don’t relationships with customers, partners and colleagues also flourish if you can be immediately present at their point of need?

The video collaboration technologies that are designed for faster decision-making, faster time to market and beating the competition are, in my world, really just about connecting people at their core. Read More »

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Mobile Growth is Key Focus at 2015 ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference

The explosive growth of mobile offers the greatest opportunity for contact centers. If the consensus among those at ICMI’s Contact Center Expo and Conference is any sign, mobile is the place to focus.

But while there’s consensus about mobile, there isn’t consensus on a standard definition of mobile customer care. Many consider mobile to be just another device to support or another channel into the contact center. However, participants and speakers at ICMI did not have a standard definition of mobile customer care. Many consider mobile to be just another device to support or another channel into the contact center.

I talked to Nemertes Research Analyst Lisa Durant to get her perspective. She agrees there is a dramatic evolution in the industry as mobile interaction continues its explosive growth as a contact method. Durant takes a broader view of mobile customer care to include “any interaction using a mobile device.” Whether a customer makes a voice call to a contact center, completes a transaction online, or engages via social media, she points out that the user is most likely on a mobile device.

As a silver sponsor at ICMI, the Cisco team experienced that strong interest in mobile. Attendees kept the booth staff busy demonstrating Remote Expert Mobile. Armed with iPads and Cisco DX80 endpoints, Cisco engineers Brian Cole and Doug King demonstrated products in the Cisco Customer Collaboration portfolio, including Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, Cisco Unified Contact Center Express, Remote Expert Mobile, and Context Service.

The Evolving Mobile Customer Experience

Despite continued growth in mobile, Read More »

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Innovative Benefits of Cisco’s Collaboration Core Infrastructure Approach

Many of the products that make up the Cisco collaboration core infrastructure are “best-in-class” solutions that deliver significant benefits in their own right. Used together, their benefits become amplified. Together, they create a comprehensive and powerful end-to-end collaboration solution.

Designed to work together, the components complement and extend the value of the other components, creating a “one plus one equals three” scenario. Some of these advantages include:

A consistent user experience, regardless of your location or device. This allows you to focus on what you’re doing instead of the technology you’re using. Focus on the discussion rather than how to join the meeting or view content and video. We’ve optimized the views and quality for each device so everyone has the best experience their device can support.

Tremendous flexibility for any-to-any collaboration. Connect from anywhere, with anyone, from the applications you use and the device of your choice. This removes barriers. Mobile and teleworkers can work as easily, effectively, and securely as if they were in the office. This flexibility extends to:

  • Business-to-business and business-to-consumer interaction
  • Secure connectivity to the cloud
  • Interoperability with third-party endpoints and systems
  • Public-switched-telephone-network (PSTN) connectivity options

Read More »

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13 Reasons to Check Out Collaboration at Cisco Live

Cisco Live in San Diego is fast approaching. Here in the world of Cisco Collaboration, we’re getting ready to share all our latest and greatest products and content with you. Meanwhile, we’re making sure we have our official boothwear, slideware, and convention-center footwear ready to go.

I challenged my teammates to help me tell you why should be sure to see all the Cisco Collaboration activities we have to offer at this year’s event. (Yes you, looking at a screen of some sort right now and reading these words.) After a purely unofficial, nonscientific process filtered by my somewhat skewed sense of humor, here are 13 compelling reasons to check out all that Cisco Collaboration has to offer from June 7th to 11th in San Diego.

  1. Choose from 75+ technical breakout sessions, 30 hands-on technical labs, and more than 25 engineers available for 1:1 sessions.
  2. Ride in a Cisco Spark bus or pedicab to get there and snap selfies ’til you drop
  3. Cloud, on premises, hybrid, oh my: Hear experts unravel mysteries and answer your questions in Meet the Engineer sessions.
  4. More than 200,000 companies using Cisco Collaboration can’t be wrong.
  5. “Walk this way, talk this way.” Follow AeroSmith’s instructions and come see us live in action.
  6. Spark, Spark, Spark, baked beans, and Spark
  7. The Customer Connection Program gets you access to NDA content (and nifty giveaways).
  8. Don’t just see it, do it.  Find out how and meet the experts.
  9. Get coding. Hear the latest from our DevNet team and learn why we are buying Tropo.
  10. Join the conversation, don’t just observe.
  11. Bored with your humdrum work life? Try new Cisco Collaboration.
  12. Spark is the new black.
  13. The Cisco Hat.

Check out the Cisco Collaboration events as you build your schedule make sure you catch the latest great information.

Special thanks to Alexis Doherty, Barnaby Meadows, Jillian Zimmerman, Ross Daniels, Fran Blackburn, Chris Wiborg, Angela Murphy, Kirk McNeil, Jeff Marusak, Lauren Colson, Marcus Gallo, Patty Medberry.

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The Days of the Mad Men Office Are Over: Create a Digital Workspace

We’re accelerating the speed at which we generate, test, and bring ideas to market. New digital work styles with social platforms, mobility, cloud, and video conferencing allow us to move faster.

To stay competitive and agile, companies are knocking down boardroom walls — physically and virtually. They’re turning toward a digital workspace where employees can collaborate across the table or around the globe. No matter the size of your organization, you have many options as you build a digital workplace strategy.

Business Value of a Smart Workspace

Stakes are high both in local and globally competitive markets. To keep pace with demand, you need to meet your performance and production objectives. As you think about budget allocation for real estate, consider workplace transformation as a good place to start. It’s about choosing the right infrastructure and securing your digital space. And mobility is always a key factor.

Employees want flexible options and to pick which devices they use. They want to choose where they work, which means they want to participate in online meetings with video and have access to cloud-based mobile apps. Read More »

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