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Unified IP Phones Play a Key Role in the ‘Collaboration Toolkit’

The recent news that Cisco shipped its 22 millionth Unified IP Phone to Foster’s Group Ltd.seems a good indication that recent media reports projecting the imminent decline of the desk phone are at minimum premature in their predictions.  Is it possible that the desk phone has a role in business communications for the foreseeable future?  What role does the phone play as organizations move to collaborative work spaces?

Industry analysts offer differing views on the outlook for the desk phone.  My observation is that customers continue to have a healthy interest in having deskphones.  A similar review is reflected in these reports with respect for IP phones:

•    The Dataquest team of Gartner published a worldwide business IP Telephone forecast in July 2009 projecting shipments of IP Phones worldwide to exceed 36.5 million in 2013 with an annual compound growth rate of 16%. Fairly healthy growth – when compared to a projection of worldwide shipments in 2009 of 20.3 million.
•    In-Stat also published a report in February 2009 noting the business market for IP Phones is “thriving”, projecting 31 million business IP Phones to ship in 2012.

Steve Slattery
Vice President, IPCBU at Cisco

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Cutting Costs with Collaboration

In a tough economic climate cost savings are a priority, but at the same time it’s important that organisations remain competitive and assess how they can use technology to help them escape saturated markets and embrace new opportunities ahead of their competitors.
 
A crucial prerequisite to achieving cost savings and increasing productivity is to decrease barriers to collaboration that exist in your organisation. Where an enterprise is too thinly spread, or too compartmentalised into distinct business units, its ability to hone in on an opportunity and run with it becomes compromised. Laborious, rigid and sequential internal processes, and protracted supply chain management, increase cost and delay projects -- hampering speed to market with new products or services and limits the ability to add value or compete on price.

By Tim Stone, Sales Business Development Manager

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The Future of Email

As we continue to integrate Cisco’s acquisition of PostPath into the Cisco SaaS-based Collaboration portfolio , below are some salient characteristics of how email will evolve and change: Universal. Email will be delivered from the cloud (or from mixed cloud-and-customer-premise infrastructures) and accessible everywhere, at any point in time. Users can access email securely through any PC, browser or mobile device, with a rich, intuitive, multi-function user experience available in every platform; although there will be a diversity of client types on every platform, browser-based clients will grow ever more important. Limitless. The dream of a bottomless inbox will become reality. Email systems of tomorrow will be massively scalable, and be able to accommodate any amount of storage. This near-infinite capacity will come hand in hand with high performance and 100% reliability, backed by real local and geographically-remote redundancy, and by customer-based data and system isolation to guard system-wide contagion failures. Automatic Data-mining and Data-organization. Whereas email today often drowns you in information, future email systems will improve productivity by organizing your data for you. It will do personal data mining, extracting useful information and making semantic connections based on subject or content. It will have context-based relevance, automatically bringing you the information you need for your current activity. It will also be extraordinarily searchable -- not just at the individual level but also, depending on configuration, within teams and groups. By Duncan Greatwood, Senior Director of Engineering, Collaboration Software Group Read More »

Flick of the Wrist at Cisco with our Director of User-Centered Design

I was over in Building 31 the other day and was about to meet with Cordell Ratzlaff, Director of Cisco’s User-Centered Design Team in the Voice Technology Group when I saw him take his iPhone and flick his wrist at his computer. I started wondering what could he be doing? So with my ready-to-shoot Flip Mino HD video camera already in hand I walked into Ratzlaff’s office to record this interesting feature. While walking across campus, Cordell was finishing up on a WebEx meeting on his iPhone but when he got to his office he wanted the benefits of the large size of his desktop screen so with the flick of his wrist he transferred the WebEx meeting to his desktop.

View the video and let me know what you think or if you have any other cool features you’d like to share.

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The Changing Face of Customer Collaboration

Cisco recently co-sponsored a survey which asked over 1800 consumers from six countries (USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and Australia) a set of questions focused on their perceptions of Speech Recognition and Self-Service as used for customer care. Although this is the third annual edition of the survey, this year marks the first time consumers were asked about the different channels they use to contact a business or organization for customer service.I was struck by the result that 44 per cent of the consumers surveyed said that they use online methods first (e.g., the web, e-mail, user forums, click-to-chat, etc.) to obtain customer service, whereas only 20 per cent said that they would choose the phone first. Even more striking, 52 per cent of respondents in the 16 to 34 age bracket (the new generation of consumers) indicated preference for using online methods first.By Murali SitaramVice President and General Manager, Cisco Customer Contact Center Business Unit Read More »