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An Architecture of Inclusion to Save the Planet?

In a few days, Cisco is going to host an industry first: a virtual”eco-panel.” The session will be simulcast live to audiences around the world, including 2,500 attendees of the Voicecon conference in Orlando, Florida. Using TelePresence, former Vice President and Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore will be participating from Nashville, Tennessee, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers will be participating from Cisco headquarters in San Jose, Cisco EVP of Marketing and Government Affairs Sue Bostrom will be live on the keynote stage at VoiceCon, and science journalist Lawrence McGinty will be beaming in from London, UK. It’s not going to be your father’s tradeshow event.Rather than foreshadow the keynote let me herald the question: can the information and communication industry apply our technology and talents to address what is clearly one of the most significant problems of our day? Can we use the tools and the time given to us to help reverse global warming?Addressing climate change is not an opt-in technology subject. It’s not an upgrade cycle you could or should delay. Solutions and insights are not proprietary to a specific company, country or part of the globe. Read More »

Cisco EcoPanel to be Webcast March 19

On Wednesday, March 19, at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT /15:00 GMT), Al Gore, John Chambers and Sue Bostrom will come together in a virtual unified communications environment to examine the critical role that innovation can play in mitigating climate change. If you haven’t started thinking about how your own organization can play a role in this global challenge or if you’re interested in learning how technology innovation can help lower greenhouse gas emissions, we encourage you to attend this discussion online. Just last month, The McKinsey Quarterly published a survey on how companies think about climate change. The survey of global executives breaks down the importance of considering climate change in strategic planning. The survey contains many interesting data points, but one particular set of responses clearly identifies that executives believe climate changes must be considered in many important strategic decisions. Almost two-thirds of respondents believe that reducing the organizations carbon footprint to be very important or somewhat important.

On Demand platform

by Colin Smith, director of public relationsWebEx Connect Named CODiE Finalist for Best On-Demand Platform We’ve received some exciting news from the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) -- the WebEx Connect Developer Network was selected as a finalist in the 2008 SIIA CODiE Awards in the Best On-Demand Platform category.Full story

Effective Virtual Meetings

by Michael Caton, Collaboration Evangelist, WebExEsther Schindler at wrote a nice article that gives pointers on how to run effective virtual meetings. As management consultant Steven M. Smith notes at the top of the article, many people in organizations don’t know how to run effective in-person meetings. With so many organizations having geographically dispersed workforces, developing those skills and applying them to virtual meetings is critical to productivity. Pet peeves get deserved prominence throughout the article. One of the first pet peeve examples, a meeting participant subjecting the entire team to hold music, ranks high up there in terms of being disruptive to productivity. Giving the meeting host the ability to mute the offending line really makes a difference. If one participant has dialed in from a phone with poor line quality or a cell phone, it can net the same result, the static or street noise can override other participants trying to weigh in. Even for people that have good meeting skills, I recommend looking it over. The article is a quick read and positive reinforcement on the basics often lost to hectic workdays, e.g. including meeting agendas in invites, should pay dividends at least for the next month or two of meetings. On the topic of editorial, I wanted to give my congratulations to Dan Farber and Larry Dignan at ZDNet. Dan Farber is taking over editorial operations for ZDNet’s CNet’s sister site, Larry Dignan is taking over for Dan as Editor in Chief of ZDNet. Having worked for Dan when he was Editor in Chief of PC Week (now eWEEK) I can say he is an excellent manager, editor, and writer. I also worked with Larry at PC Week and eWEEK, he too is a top notch manager, editor, and writer, best wishes to both.

Ideas in Motion In Barcelona and the UC Mobility Industry

Last week, 55,000 attendees and 1,300 vendors converged in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress to debate the future of mobility. In John Chambers’ opening keynote, he shared Cisco’s view that”‘mobility’ is no longer about particular devices, technologies or services. It is about using any device to access any content over any network, with IP as the basis for all communication.’” The writing is on the wall -- the days of just making telephone calls on cell phones are over. Cisco and Nokia share this vision, and have been collaborating to deliver richer, more consistent experiences for mobile users in the unified workspace, as well as the connected home, for the past five years. Building upon the Mobile Business Solution that the two companies announced last year at Mobile World Congress, Cisco has turned Nokia dual-mode mobile handsets into wireless extensions of campus IP desk phones, providing users with the same rich calling experience”on the go” as they are accustomed to enjoying at their desks. What’s even more exciting, though, is that we’ve integrated presence, conferencing and voicemail capabilities with this rich telephony experience to help customers dramatically increase workforce productivity and drive business transformation using the Cisco Mobile Communicator client for Symbian handsets. Read More »