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Track the Customer Journey with Cisco Context Service

I was on a weeklong business trip to London last month, and as I made my way to purchase a ticket for Heathrow Express train, I realized that I had left my corporate credit card at home. It was close to midnight in London, and Heathrow Express was the perfect option because I was going to stay at Hilton Paddington.

I reached the hotel rather quickly and, like always, thought to myself, “Why don’t we have something like Heathrow Express in New York?” At check-in, I offered my personal credit card and within seconds of the swipe, I received a text message from my bank:

iphone1iphone2

I responded in affirmative and received a confirmation. I was very impressed that my bank was looking after me. Read More »

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Mastering Design, One Red Dot at a Time

One of my favorite designers, John Maeda, believes that the most successful tech companies of the future will really be design companies.

When John’s somewhat bold prediction is put in the context of this quote from Steve Jobs, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” – it’s easy to see that John is right.

So if the future successful tech companies will really be design companies, what does that mean for all the “non design companies” of today (read: most tech companies and especially most IT tech companies)? This is an opportunity for all tech companies to understand the real value of design.  I believe that change has to start at the top, so for Silicon Valley, it means business leaders have to come to grips with this transformation. Not just hiring more UX people, or opening a “design center,” but embracing design as a way to lead your entire company.

It should come as no surprise that I place such high importance on the Red Dot awards.  They are a validation of amazing design quality from beyond the technology industry.  Our products in the Collaboration portfolio have won six Red Dot awards in the last 18 months – that’s as many as Cisco has won in all its 30 years.

Last week, I found out we won two more. Our newest video endpoint and the flagship of the Collaboration portfolio – the IX5000 – just won a “Red Dot Best of the Best” 2015 award, the highest distinction in Red Dot’s product design category. In 2015, only 1.6% of the nearly 5,000 submissions received this top prize.

The Cisco TelePresence IX500

The Cisco TelePresence IX5000

Read More »

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“Sparking” Collaboration at SXSW

Every year at the SXSW Interactive Conference, tens of thousands gather in Austin, Texas to get a first look at what’s new in innovative technology. And while the atmosphere this year was festive, it’s safe to assume that many attendees were trying to stay connected and get work done on-the-go with colleagues back in the office.

While email and conference calls have long been the staples of business communication, the reality is that people on-the-go, whose mobile devices are their business lifelines, need solutions that make it simple and easy to work together from anywhere. Since Cisco was on the ground with attendees at SXSW, it was the perfect opportunity to not only hear how they collaborate, but also discuss the future of collaboration and find out directly from users what they are looking for.

While we think collaboration is the best thing since sliced bread – or in Austin, taco trucks – we wanted to hear how users describe it: how do they use it, how does it help them, what do they wish it could do? Because Cisco Spark is so easy to put in the hands of users, we asked people to try it out. Read More »

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Context is Everything in Customer Care

“Let’s eat grandma!”
“Let’s eat, grandma!”

Punctuation makes a difference, doesn’t it? So does context.

Photo by Takkk, Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Takkk, Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a basketball fan with March Madness on your mind, “Drive the lane!” might make you think of something a coach yells to his players. On the other hand, if you’re teaching your teenage son to drive, it means something else entirely. Context matters! (By the way, march madness also refers to the breeding season of the European hare; context is a tricky thing.)

What’s one of the most annoying things about calling a contact center? For me, it’s entering my account number to an interactive voice response (IVR) system and then having a customer service agent ask me to repeat it moments later. In his recent blog, Zack Taylor refers to this as a “Do It Again” moment. Come on, people! We put a man on the moon in 1969 (or not, if you’re a conspiracy buff), but we can’t get an IVR system to send account numbers to agents? Actually we can. But most businesses don’t because it’s been too difficult or costly. We’ll get back to that shortly. Read More »

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Collaboration Makes the Future Bright for Healthcare

Well, New Year’s Day is long past. As I continue to plod along with my New Year’s resolutions through this brutally cold winter, I do so with varying degrees of success. I still start my day with an apple-ginger juice and try to eat my veggies.   Along the way I bolster my dedication with the incremental successes that a healthy lifestyle delivers.  I feel lucky to have my health and I’m trying my best to protect it! 

Sometimes, I get bummed when I read the healthcare headlines: There’s a new “super bug”… there is a shortage of doctors… antibiotics are nearing the end stage of their effectiveness…. The headlines can be scary!

But I know that headlines are meant to elicit emotions and capture attention. I recently looked behind the headlines at stories about how companies in the healthcare industry are using Cisco collaboration technology.  I came away feeling optimistic.  There are some cool things happening!

Technology is making a huge difference in doctor-patient care.  

Park Nicollet Healthcare is a nonprofit integrated healthcare system located near Minneapolis. The company was looking for ways to improve collaboration between the more than 1000 physicians on staff. Park Nicolette made huge strides when it added Jabber to its existing Cisco Unified Communications Manager implementation Read More »

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