I had a troubling thought. If I can no longer be considered part of the new generation, am I now the old generation? Generation X used to sound so modern, but we’re no longer the cool kids. After all, I’m driving a Prius and doing fourth-grade homework with my kid after dinner instead of chasing Skrillex. Now we have the Millennials who, according to Wikipedia, are Gen Y. (But, really, what generation wants to be saddled with a name based on the one that came before it?)
We recently invited a small group of MBA students from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business to meet some of our customers for a
grilling panel on what companies can expect from the new generation entering the workforce.
They provided first-hand perspective about what it’s like to be new on the block and work with, well, er, an older generation. Compared to our learned comfort with technology, theirs is nearly ingrained based on its presence in their lives since childhood. This difference comes through in their expectations, habits, and predictions for the wonderful world of technology in front of us. Read More »
Tags: byod, cloud, collaboration, collaboration summit, email, Generation X, Generation Y, millennials, mobility, social media, WebEx Social
There’s a lot of collaboration technology out there and deciding which technology to invest in can be daunting. How often have you heard of a company making a major investment in technology for it to become “shelfware” and never see deployment? How often have you heard of a company that’s deployed a technology, yet nobody in the company is willing to use it? How often have you heard of a company that has several products from different vendors that do exactly the same thing?
It doesn’t take much to realize that each of these situations has a negative impact and the cause of each situation stem from different reasons, but usually with the best intentions. Shelfware occurs because of undeployed licenses in ELA’s or quantity purchases for better per seat pricing. Unfortunately, the business doesn’t grow and the company is obligated to pay for unused licenses. Other times, a company deploys a product with great features that is too complex or doesn’t integrate well with workflows and remains unused. Lastly, individual departments may make purchase decisions based on their needs without consulting IT or other departments resulting in redundant solutions that compete internally with each other.
In considering collaboration strategy, it is key to consider Read More »
Tags: Cisco Jabber, collaboration, instant messaging, licensing, marketing, sales, TelePresence, unified communications, use cases, video, Voice
In the first part of this series I introduced the people in our new “at-a-glance” graphic (see end of this blog where I’ve embedded it) and looked at their diverse roles and the challenges that posed to IT. In this wrap-up blog, I focus on Bijad, the VP of IT, his understanding of the challenges and his response.
Bijad is the man in the middle of the evolution to a post-PC world. As the range of available collaboration technologies has continued to broaden, the focus for IT has begun to swing from delivering individual best-in-class applications to an interest in an integrated collaboration experience that delivers consistent functionality across multiple devices. However, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. From the C-level suites, he is accountable for enabling this cost-effectively while providing a combination of scale, security, and accessibility through a variety of devices and operating systems. From his customers like Doug, Lee, Sarah, and Ben who you met in my previous blog, he’s hearing increasing demands for a rich, personalized, consistent user experience that lets each of them work and collaborate their way — where, when and how they want — without limits. They want tools to help them stay more connected with their peers and other organizations.
Bijad knows that this will require more flexibility and simplicity to preserve a consistent experience and that an open, interoperable architecture is key to success. Even more important, he knows that people, not technology, are the prime source of his company’s competitive differentiation. So he’s listening carefully, and thinking in terms of roles rather than devices.
To support Doug, the VP of sales, and people in similar highly-mobile, outward-oriented roles, Bijad is looking to Read More »
Tags: Bring your Own Device (BYOD), Cisco Customer Collaboration, Cisco Jabber, Cisco TelePresence, Cisco Unified Communications., Cisco WebEx Social, collaboration, Post-PC Era
The way that enterprises connect to the outside world is changing. The transition to voice over IP (VoIP) that began with enterprise networks a decade ago, is now in full force in service provider networks. In a report issued on Monday, Infonetics Research reported that Cisco, the global market leader for unified communications and collaboration, is now the new market leader in global enterprise session border control (SBC) solutions for the first half of 2012, providing secure IP connectivity from the enterprise edge to the service provider session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking service.
Why is this so important? Service providers are now offering SIP trunking services instead of legacy dial tone (also known as time-division-multiplexing or TDM) to connect to enterprises of all sizes, including small businesses. In fact, according to their 2012 VoIP and UC Services Report, Infonetics forecasts SIP trunks to grow over 66 percent in 2012 alone. Customers are quickly embracing the new technology, which offers substantial cost savings and the promise of extending real-time rich-media collaboration applications beyond the enterprise to customers, partners and suppliers.
To begin realizing the benefits of SIP trunking, businesses need to deploy a session border controller in order to efficiently and securely connect to service providers while preserving voice quality and features. Session border controllers connect IP networks and provide session control, security, demarcation for better troubleshooting and interworking to help overcome differences in the deployment of the SIP standard (such as CODEC or signaling).
Cisco reinvents the collaboration edge
Cisco’s session border controller, called, Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE) is a software license add-on to the widely deployed Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) and Aggregation Services Routers (ASRs). CUBE provides significant benefits over competitors’ stand-alone session border controller offerings. For example, CUBE enables customers to transition more smoothly to SIP trunking while reducing costs and operational complexity, often requiring no new hardware to be purchased or deployed. As a result, CUBE has been adopted by over 5,000 customers in 160 countries.
In their report, Infonetics credited Cisco’s differentiated model for delivering SIP trunking service, stating: “This is a natural extension of Cisco’s dominant market position in the router market—the majority of organizations have Cisco routers already installed and deployed at the important network border points.”
Other benefits of CUBE include: Read More »
Tags: collaboration, CUBE, Infonetics, SBC, Service Provider, Session Border Control, SIP, SIP trunk, UC, unified communications, voice over IP
I have often found it a little surprising that while we and customers expend considerable effort planning, building, and managing collaboration solutions, the process of their adoption by end-users can get lost in the proverbial shuffle. Adoption is a really important issue, because adoption is a controlling variable in the collaboration infrastructure investment equation. In other words, a collaboration infrastructure that operates at 80 percent of capacity is going to deliver four times the returns of one that runs at 20 percent of capacity.
The problem of suboptimal adoption goes deeper than the sinking feeling of paying to build and operate infrastructure that sits idle. It gets more serious when one considers that under-adoption means forgoing the positive benefits of collaboration. It’s not so much the money blown on unused equipment and services, but the opportunities missed to Read More »
Tags: adoption, collaboration, ROI, roi of collaboration