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Can TelePresence Make me a better Manager?”

Today large companies like Cisco have dispersed teams with managers having employees in far flung places and different parts of the world. I believe that Cisco managers, like myself, can create greater rapport and better relationships over TelePresence than with a telephone call. There are also events like mid-year reviews that can be delivered with the impact of TelePresence and help keep the high performance employee more engaged and feel like they are more closely tied to the team and its objectives. The consulting firm Towers Perrin found in 2007 that only “œonly one out of five workers around the world feel engaged in their jobs”. Cisco Advanced Services recognizes that employees are a key asset in the continual delivery of quality services. The yearly team event physical meeting where relationships are cemented and friendships are maintained is getting the impact of reduced travel expense requirements. That is where virtual meetings need to have the same impact as the face to face team meetings. What are the challenges managers have in creating a meeting and is it possible to have virtual team meetings using TelePresence?by Phil Marechal, product manager, Cisco TelePresence

What does Mobility mean to you?

Definition from Wikipedia:”Mobile computing, a generic term describing one’s ability to use technology untethered, but often used to refer to access to information or applications from occasionally-connected, portable, networked computing devices.”Mobility can also be described as providing a consistent user experience to a diverse workgroup that has different device approaches to do their different jobs and tasks. And what really becomes important is understanding what people do, how they do it, where they do it across the entire day, what tools they use to do their job. Read More »

Cisco IP Telephony offers more than tip and ring functionality in today’s spending environment

By Steve Slattery, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s IP Communications Business UnitAbout the same time that Gartner predicted that 40% of knowledge workers would be abandoning their desk phones by the end of 2013, In-Stat published a report entitled”Nearly 31 Million Business IP Phones Will Ship in 2012, While the Consumer IP Phone Market Diverges Towards Media Phones”. This report goes on to mention that businesses will outpace consumers by more than 10 to 1 for voice-centric IP phones. These divergent views bring to light a few important points: Read More »

IP Telephony got Unified and now UC goes Mobile!

Unified Communications is about collaboration and collaborative business processes. It’s about connecting people to information through the use of applications on open and private networks. Unified Communications is really about having the ability to communicate whenever and wherever, utilizing such features as single number reach, presence and messaging. A growing trend of collaboration applications, virtual workspaces and mobile integration all have inherent value to reduce costs, decrease the need for travel and improve employee efficiency. Work is no longer confined to a single place and hand sets are no longer required to communicate. With the downturn of the economy and tighter IT spending, companies are looking for ways to reduce cost and consolidate hardware. Considering whether users need a desk phone and a mobile device, often ranging from three to several hundred dollars per unit, consolidation seems inevitable. A recent article published by Gartner predicts by year end 2013, it is expected that 40 percent of enterprise workers will have abandoned or removed their desk phone. As the article points out, this will not be an easy challenge where there will be some resistance from older generation ‘legacy’ workers preventing change. There will be other challenges to consider, such as battery life, voice quality, enhanced presence and federation, carrier exclusive partnerships, compatibility, 3G availability (e.g. 3G isn’t available in India), device CPU and memory. Read More »

Cisco Adds to Mobile Business Collaboration Offering

Today, Cisco announced that it will be extending Cisco WebEx Meeting Center to leading smartphones. In April 2009, users with smartphones that support 3G or Wi-Fi (such as BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Storm, Nokia E71, E75, N97 and Samsung Blackjack II) will be able to join WebEx meetings on their smartphones. To find out more about WebEx on smartphones, check out this site.I invite you to view my video blog to learn more about the announcement. Alex Hadden-Boyd, Director of Marketing, Cisco’s Collaboration Software Group