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Moustaches and the Customer Experience

Tom_Selleck

Photo by Alan Light

Remember when moustaches were cool? For those who weren’t paying attention, it was back in the 1980s when Tom Selleck–sporting that signature facial hair–ruled the T.V. airwaves as private investigator Magnum, P.I. Most guys old enough to shave (or who thought they were) tried to proclaim their manliness with a Magnum-style moustache. We thought 128 kB of RAM and the 5 1/4″ floppy drives on our IBM XT personal computers were pretty neat, too.

The early 80s were also the last time many consumers thought that contact centers–or call centers, as they were known then–were cool. People appreciated being able to call businesses if they had a question about their bill or needed product information (remember, those were the Dark Ages before the internet). But as related in a noted white paper, contact centers soon became more about minimizing costs than providing exceptional customer care. And of course we started getting annoying telemarketing calls in the middle of dinner.

In the last couple of years, however, customer care has begun to swing back in favor of the customer.

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Ringing in 2015, the WebEx Way

Happy New Year! As I return from the holidays and begin the year ahead, I’m energized and excited about all the amazing accomplishments we achieved with WebEx in 2014. Many recollections come to mind that I’d like to share with you. And I have exciting news for 2015 — already! More on this in just a minute…

WebEx is really at the core of everyone’s work life. With over 60 million users and more than 1 million meetings a day, we really impact how people work and live. It was just a little over a year ago that I started leading the Cloud Collaboration Applications team at Cisco. When I started, I challenged the WebEx product team with a new goal to dramatically improve our already great web conferencing tool. A key element of this goal was a focus on simplicity. Making WebEx simple in addition to enhancing functionality was the target. Bottom line: It is our mission to delight every WebEx user and make their work life more productive.

The New WebEx

My team took this challenge to heart and made significant product changes in this direction. In October 2014, we launched the New WebEx that comes with a new clean intuitive interface, improved web landing pages that make it easier to join online meetings, much faster meeting load times, better video layout, and wideband VoIP audio for better audio quality. Read More »

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6 Ways HR Can Benefit from Video Conferencing

With the near year come new resolutions.  For many people, among those at the top of the list is getting a new job.

For human resources leaders, the resolutions may be to get more creative to find new talent, and to retain and grow the existing talent. This challenge is even greater when you are attracting a new generation of workforce.

By 2015, millennials will make up 36% of the American workforce. They are more mobile than previous generations; they want greater choice on how and where they work.  They feel comfortable with technology and they’re used to being connected and collaborating all the time.

Video conferencing is one of the best technologies HR can use right away to attract, retain, and develop millennial employees.  Once seen as a nice-to-have, video conferencing for business use has come a long way.  It’s no longer just a big, expensive system in a large conference room where you need IT’s help to get it to work, nor is it relegating to consumer-grade video chat, bypassing IT.  For businesses that use the right video conferencing solution as part of their overall communication tools, they see an immediate business impact.

Here are six top benefits we see from our customers:

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A Broad Partner Ecosystem is Pivotal To Delivering the Total Customer Experience

Many highly successful companies have a common characteristic- their customer care strategy is supportive of, and in alignment with, their corporate brand strategy, often driving to provide a consistent customer care experience, irrespective of the channel used for customer engagement.

Customers’ expectations and demands are growing and changing rapidly. Customers today are different from yesterday. They want to be helped quickly, efficiently, and on their terms. Businesses must learn to successfully deliver against these customer expectations.

Cisco’s broad partner ecosystem plays a pivotal role in helping businesses achieve these desired outcomes. This includes delighting their customers, and winning (and keeping) new business. Cisco collaborates every day with hundreds of established partners who have a wealth of experience and expertise in the customer care industry and our solutions. As trusted advisors, Cisco’s channel partners are positioned to deliver unique value-add services.

Along with our partners, Cisco makes tremendous investments in our partner ecosystem and our shared momentum continues to build. We recently hosted Cisco Customer Collaboration Sales Summits in the Americas and in Europe, bringing together over a thousand partners, developers, and Cisco sales experts to learn and share best practices. Read More »

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Project Squared Update: Secure Media

The cloud is software in motion.

Our recently announced Cisco Collaboration Cloud did not stop moving once we launched it on November 17. We’ve been pushing code into the cloud multiple times per day and have release several client updates since we launched. The great thing about this model is that we can be delivering new features constantly without waiting for a giant release. This also means that, when a feature doesn’t get done by a particular date, it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t need to wait for a huge release 6-12 months later. It might come just a few weeks later.

This is exactly what has happened with an important security feature which we didn’t quite finish in time for Collaboration Summit – secure media (also known as Secure RTP or SRTP). The version of the application that we launched on November 17 did not utilize secure media in all clients. Given our focus on security this was obviously something we weren’t happy about. But, we knew that it was almost done and we would push it soon enough.

I’m pleased to report that we have indeed pushed secure media. All of our Project Squared clients – the Mac, Android, IOS and web clients send all media in encrypted form to our media servers. The media is secured using a flavor of SRTP known as DTLS-SRTP, which performs the key exchange inline with the media itself.  SRTP is on by default and cannot be disabled. This is consistent with our general approach to security – to make it always there but invisible to end users. Neither our users nor our admins of the collaboration cloud need to do anything to make sure media is secure. It just is.

Of course – we’re not done yet! There is still a healthy backlog of features, including many more great security improvements, that we’re working on. Stay tuned, more stuff is  coming. That’s because the cloud is software in motion.

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