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Customer Care — Sometimes it’s Not in the Cards

I was at my neighborhood grocery store the other day and it’s one of those stores that requires “shoppers cards” to get the best price on certain items. Fail.I’m a capitalist, and therefore I’m willing to let you track my buying habits in exchange for fifty cents off the price of milk. It’s a commercial transaction I can live with at the end of the day. Yes, I eat more then a healthy amount of ice cream and knowing that someone is running a tally somewhere is a bit worrisome, then again anybody can figure that out by scanning my tweets. My big issue with loyalty cards in this situation is the inconvenience of forcing me to carry a card. I’m the customer and you are putting the burden on me to carry around a piece of your plastic to identify myself. Have you met anyone recently who has spare room in their wallet to carry more cards? To make matters worse this particular grocery store is two miles from my house and I’m there at least once a week so I feel like they should say, “Hello Mr. Famous. Nice to see you again.” every time I walk in the door instead of asking me to produce a card to identify myself. Read More »

Collaborating to Do More With Less

By Kara Wilson, vice president of marketing, Cisco Unified Communications Collaboration technology is in the midst of a perfect storm. We’re in the worst bear market we’ve seen in decades, yet savvy companies are using the downturn to plan for future growth and build sustainable competitive barriers. A new technology investment cycle is imminent, and many businesses are already seeking ways to improve worker productivity with reduced resources. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will invariably facilitate investment and assist companies in developing critical communications infrastructures with applications to grow the business and better serve their constituents. Advancement in technology: green, video, Web 2.0, and mobility along with regulatory change is also impacting how technology is assessed, implemented, and used. Read More »

Online Meetings Made Easier

There are many times in our lives when joining a meeting runs up against a glitch. You might be stuck at the airport or unable to find a connection in that hotel basement conference room. Maybe you ran into traffic and are at a standstill on the freeway when you’d hoped to be at the client meeting. I’ve found a quick and easy remedy for these types of situations. Read More »

Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth

Earlier this week Cisco announced a series of new security solutions designed specifically to secure web-based collaboration and a new application delivery cloud that combines the reach, scale, costs and control benefits of both on-demand and on-premises solutions. The new Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud supports a hybrid architecture that allows users to integrate network infrastructure with web-based applications. It extends the cloud into an enterprise network, as my Cisco colleague said, “Bringing the Cloud down to Earth.” Read More »

Collaboration Technology — Changing the Way People Live

I was just chatting with one of Cisco’s systems engineering managers, Roy McLean, and he told me a story that reminded me how important efficient communications can be, even something we take for granted, like voicemail. Roy works out of New York, and had been involved in a community outreach program in a small town called North Boston, New York. The town had had a very old fire station and they just recently raised money to build a new one. They contacted Roy at this time to get some ideas and a proposal on what to install from a communications perspective. The fire department ended up installing a Cisco Integrated Services Router, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express and Cisco Unity Express. The installation was completed and the renovated station opened just a few months ago. Then Roy told me this story. Read More »