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“Play Nice”

Post by Phil Heyneker, executive communications manager As has been the case with any industry in its earlier stages, unified communications is still in its”pie-growing phase”. A few years ago, we thought this would be a $19B market by 2010. Today, in 2007, unified communications is roughly a $25B market, and we see it growing another $10B over the next few years. As the industry matures, success for suppliers will depend on our ability to work together in the interest of our customers, and address a few understandable concerns along the way. This posting will cover a few of these industry challenges and customer concerns around UC, and what we need to do as an industry to address them. Play Nice!While we all agree on some common attributes, we haven’t really reached a unanimously agreed upon definition of UC in the market today. In fact, research has indicated that only 10-11% of customers are even aware of UC as a solution set. But it makes sense that this is happening, as dozens of suppliers are approaching the market from various angles. Traditional voice suppliers, network suppliers, messaging software players, business application providers, video players, and mobility players are all doing their best to tell a compelling story that caters to their business. But if, at its most basic level, UC is the integration of all forms of business communications (voice, video, data, mobility), then each of these suppliers is actually quite relevant to the UC industry, each has a right to tell its own story in the space, and each has to recognize the other’s right to be there. Read More »

WebEx and Oracle Mashup

Post by Colin Smith, Director, WebEx Corporate CommunicationsToday WebEx and Oracle announced an alliance to deliver Oracle’s on demand CRM via the WebEx Connect platform. WebEx is now offering Oracle’s Siebel CRM on demand service through the WebEx Connect application ecosystem. In an Infoworld article also published today, Josh Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting said there is a lot more that can be done with WebEx’s ability to “get to the desktop.” “The fact that WebEx has a platform for SaaS delivery is one of the best kept secrets,” said Greenbaum.Read more.

Customer Loyalty and the Perils of Incorrect Routing

Post by Ross Daniels, Director of Contact Center Solutions MarketingI care about customer service. Not just as a customer, but because my livelihood is somewhat dependent on it. I market Cisco’s Unified Contact Center solutions. So, I think about customer care. Often. And I’m always on the lookout for examples of good, bad, and indifferent service. With that in mind, I’d like to kick off this blog with a recent travel story which illustrates two core themes in customer service today. On a recent business trip to Toronto, I found myself at the wrong end of an airline’s customer loyalty program. Attempting to fly home to Boston after a successful three-day business trip, I was “bumped” from my oversold flight. You might be reading this and think “Bumped? Who gets bumped from a flight?” Well, as best I can tell, it’s the people that rarely, or never, fly that particular airline. I had arrived at the airport well in advance of the airline’s suggested check-in time (this makes me unlike many frequent fliers). When I was denied a seat assignment at the check-in kiosk, I was mildly surprised. When I asked a check-in agent for a boarding pass and was told,”You’ll have to handle that at the gate,” I was mildly concerned. When I was told by the gate agent,”You’ll have to wait until I board these other passengers first,” I was greatly concerned. I had followed all instructions, yet I (along with two other unfortunate travelers) was the one being bumped. The airline, I’m sure, was following its policy, and that policy must have included a check for a flier’s”status” with the airline. The airline differentiated its service based on customer loyalty. Ironically, that’s exactly the kind of thing a contact center marketer like me would have advised them, and it’s what Frost & Sullivan analyst Ian Jacobs advises in a recent article. Read More »

Extend The Experience To All

Post by Salvatore Collora and Taylor CollyerCisco took the telecommunications world by storm in 1999 with the acquisition of Selsius Systems. In the past eight years, the stalwarts of the industry that once laughed at the notion of ubiquitous use of IP telephony now see it standing at the precipice of the next industry shift to unified communications. While some might call for”VOIP As You Are” (marketing spin and jargon abound), the reality is that people work differently now that in the past and companies cannot stand still and operate as they do now if they want to be leaders in their industry and attract the best next-generation talent.My near ten-year career at Cisco has spanned Systems Engineering, Advanced Services Delivery and now Product Marketing. I have clearly seen the shift from information workers sitting in cubes all day to a more spatially independent and collaborative workforce. Key business decision makers as well as first-line managers realize that keeping the best talent often requires a diverse mix of incentives, foremost of which is the ability for people to work anywhere at any time and be more productive as a result. Read More »

VIDEO: Charlie Giancarlo on Collaboration Technology

Cisco’s CDO, Charlie Giancarlo discusses the different aspects of collaboration technology as well as its practical applications in the work place and eventually in the home.In this video blog he answers the following questions:1. What is your vision for collaboration in the next generation workplace?2. What is Cisco doing technologically to enable collaboration?3. When will TelePresence be in the home?