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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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If You Want incredible Collaboration Experiences, IT Services Can Deliver

May 20, 2014 at 8:03 am PST

I must be in the right business. I’m a pretty easy-going guy, but one thing that gets me worked up is inefficiency. Lines at the store, info I need to enter again and again online, meetings that exist just to schedule another meeting…arrrgh. That’s why I am so excited by the direction coming from Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group. Simplifying work experiences. Removing clutter from the desk. Reinventing how we innovate and engage across corporate and physical office boundaries. That’s just what the DX80 desktop collaboration device, announced here at Cisco Live, is designed to do. Give me a DX80 bumper sticker, and I’ll put it on the back of my rental car right now (Sorry, Hertz).

I am not alone in my love of efficiency. In this age of “Pace of Change2,” the top of mind for every business leader is how to get more done faster. According to a recent CIO Insights Study, innovation, efficiency, and cost reduction are CIOs’ top business priorities, in that order (Cisco Strategic Marketing Organization, Nov. 2013). Collaboration holds the promise of greatly increasing productivity for organizations of all sizes, in every industry.

Technology-enhanced collaboration is more than a technical architecture or product. What do you think would happen if you put a DX80 on every worker’s desktop at your company? Without network optimization, training, and adoption services, there might not be much change in productivity. And how would you measure success?  Putting devices on a desk and making sure they are functional is not an effective measure of success.  Are they being used?  Is video being turned on every time?  Is it changing the way people work?  You need to measure whether use of the devices is resulting in the benefits you expected to see. And you’ll want to adjust your strategy and support structure based on what you’ve learned. Read More »

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Collaboration Notes from Cisco Live: Monday Recap

May 20, 2014 at 6:01 am PST

If you’re wondering what was up with Cisco Collaboration at Cisco Live today, then you probably weren’t here. Or you weren’t paying attention. Or Darth Vader wandering around Moscone South distracted you. Or maybe it was a unicorn. Because Collaboration is everywhere at this year’s Cisco Live.

Trust me and my wearable connection to the Internet of Everything. I can attest to two facts: I walked about 4.5 miles today and Collaboration was all over the place.

John Chambers kept me v-e-r-y busy live-tweeting collaboration commentary from his keynote. Big points of emphasis were architectural foundations and, my favorite, focusing on business outcomes as a driver of technology. In addition to his comments on Cisco’s commitment to re-imagining collaboration, the demos included the so-new-it-was-just-announced-today DX80 and Remote Expert.

Some of my notes. Strangely, they’re each fewer than 140 characters…

  • Demo: Remote expert. Bring tablet into train tunnel, connect w/ experts, share video. Fix the train!
  • “When you get 5% improvement in downtime in #manufacturing environment, you get 30% improvement in profits.”
  • “Rowan, I want this on my desk by the end of the week.” on the DX80.
  • Amazing innovation “at unbelievable speeds.” on developments from the Collaboration team.
  • Remote Expert is “hottest” application for customer care across organizations.
  • “It’s not the applications in silos, it’s the applications working together that create transformation.”
  • “Most CEOs are struggling to get the 5% to 10% of collaboration improvement they think they should get.”
  • “Last year, I said we’d become #1 in Security. This year, we’ll do the same in Collaboration.”
  • “They said we couldn’t spell telephony, but we knew how to get 65% marketshare, didn’t we?”

Today’s Collaboration Announcements
Cisco DX80 5.19.14For the Cisco Collaboration teams, the biggest deal of the day was the announcement of our latest products. Put simply, our goal is to bring exceptional collaboration to every room, every desk, and every pocket. And that’s what we’re doing. Read More »

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