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Work is What You Do (Not Where You Go)

June 5, 2014 at 10:31 am PST

As I wrapped up my monthly forecast call last week, it struck me just how drastically work has changed in the last decade. It was 10 p.m. and I was in my hotel room in Macau, face-to-face with sales team leads in Singapore, the U.K., Switzerland, and the U.S., over video. Ten years ago, mobile phones were just phones, and for many, the office was where you met with co-workers and got your work done.

Today we’re mobile. Our workforce is globally distributed. Deadlines are shorter than ever. We need to make decisions faster. With multiple generations in the workforce, we must accommodate a wide range of behaviors, outlooks, expectations, and work styles. To stay competitive, we need to look beyond commute distance to find the best talent.

I’ve said before that embedding collaboration technology into workplace design is critical to the success of any workplace transformation effort. Our activity-based  work spaces must give employees secure, seamless access to the information they need to get their jobs done. But this must also extend beyond the walls of our offices so we can collaborate no matter where we are – at home, at a customer site, inflight at 30,000 feet, or in a hotel room in Macau.

And we’re not the only ones who think so.

  • Almost half of professionals worldwide are already working remotely at least some of the time
  • Globally, the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion by 2015
  • 61% of employees globally believe they don’t need to be in the office to be productive and efficient
  • 70% of aspiring executives who plan to manage large teams say they will rely more heavily on video in the next 5 to 10 years

Work Is What We Do, Not Where We Go

At Cisco, our own work profile surveys show that among Cisco employees: Read More »

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Is Your Contact Center Ready for the Cloud?

As we meet with key customers, partners, and industry analyst around the world, there continues to be growing interest in cloud-based services for contact center and customer care, among other technologies. At Cisco, our focus for the customer contact business is to enable companies to provide customer care, in a flexible fashion, to support their corporate brand and customer experience strategy, regardless of the deployment model.

Cloud-based contact centers have moved into the mainstream, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Businesses of all sizes and industries who move their contact center to the cloud are reaping the benefits, including rapid deployment, flexible scalability, pay-as-you-go pricing and access to the latest technologies and upgrades. In some cases, these are key differentiators between businesses that lag behind and those that thrive.

Migration to the cloud is not an all or nothing endeavor. In some cases, Read More »

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Collaboration Notes from Cisco Live: Thursday Recap

May 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm PST

The collaboration momentum at continued today. First up this morning was a Cisco Live Executive Interview with Peder Ulander. In it Peder talks about how the way people work is changing and how Cisco is adapting technology to meet those changes.

He covers our latest DX Series products as well as shares how American Express is using remote expert and video to better serve customers. In a pilot program, premier customers could get an instant connection with the right person, whether to resolve billing problems or find concert tickets.

Today’s Locknote: Sal Khan, Khan Academy
Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, Standing room only. Inspiring. Fantastic. Riveting. Followed by a standing ovation. Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization focused on providing free, world-class education globally.
sal khan quote

And when it comes to Khan’s thoughts on collaboration, I can’t disagree: Read More »

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Collaboration Notes from Cisco Live: Wednesday Recap

May 22, 2014 at 10:48 am PST

Wednesday was another beautiful day in the neighborhood, the Moscone neighborhood. I started my day with a 6:30 a.m. conference call with some nice people in Amsterdam to talk about one of the topics John Chambers put front-and-center in his keynote address: business outcomes.

Hosted by Cisco’s Mala Anand, the Wednesday morning keynote focused on Internet of Everything and included Intel’s Doug Davis, NetApps’ George Kurian, and EMC’s Bill Schmarzo. For me, Schmarzo’s points on business models and big data were particularly interesting. His premise was essentially that at the core, the Internet of Everything and big data are about business transformation. A great quote: “Organizations don’t need a big data strategy, they need a strategy that incorporates big data.” Yes, yes, and yes.

Paras and Associates: Using Video to Remove Language Barriers
Melinda Paras was one of the customer speakers at the collaboration press announcements earlier this week. Paras is CEO of Paras and Associates (PAA), which designed and now manages the first operational video/voice over IP call center--the Health Care Interpreter Network (HCIN)--a cooperative of California public hospitals sharing interpreter services. PAA offers technology systems that enable immediate access to language interpreting via video and telephone.

“Clinicians trust that they can reach language interpreters instantly—whether they are across the street, or across the country,” says Paras. “High quality video enables a degree of nuance and rapport that you simply can’t achieve with just a telephone.” Read More »

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Collaboration Notes from Cisco Live: Tuesday Recap

May 21, 2014 at 12:51 am PST

There’s an advantage to having events in different buildings of the Moscone Center. You get to go outside and enjoy the great weather. Just watch out for the birds in Yerba Buena Gardens once things quiet down a bit – I got dive-bombed by an avian aviator. 

Enough about me. What was up with Collaboration on Tuesday? Plenty.

Rowan Trollope and Hans Hwang closed out the afternoon sessions with the Collaboration Technology Keynote, providing a closer look at the new desktop collaboration experiences, including the DX80, DX70, and Collaboration Meeting Rooms. Wearing bright red Converse high-tops, Rowan promised a continued focus on simplicity: “Everything you see going forward is going to be easy to use.” The laminated “how to use this device” cards are history.

The DX80 demo highlighted the simplicity, clean industrial design, and the directional “what you see is what you hear” microphones (read: no more barking dogs or noisy office neighbors in the background of calls). You know the design is new and different when the room applauds after a quick tour of the back of the unit – or the “other front” as the designers call it.

In the Collaboration Meeting Room demo, Rowan showed how easily callers on all sorts of different platforms and devices can connect to a video conference call just by connecting via the host’s meeting-room URL: three-screen immersive telepresence, laptop with a web browser, PC with Lync, and a DX80 all joined the call.

Earlier in the day, the technology keynote kicked off with a great video about the Bay Bridge, which also happens to be the world’s largest LED sculpture – and supported by a Cisco network infrastructure. Read More »

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