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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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Exceptional Collaboration Gets Personal

Not too long ago, I was digging around in some old boxes and pulled out my old Motorola RAZR phone, along with a surprising number of other devices I used to carry around. What can I say? I’m a geek. In addition to my phone, I had a digital camera, a notepad & digital pen, an iPod, a GPS, a few spare memory cards and even a Palm Pilot. It struck me that in handful of years everything has changed. All the things I needed those devices for now exist in my smartphone – making my life simpler and easier. Peter Diamandis calls it dematerialization; I call it simplification, and use it as a backdrop for our collaboration technology strategy.

The ability of technology to simplify our experiences inspired our mission: to make collaboration simple. Consider that for all the promise of today’s collaboration technologies to make our lives easier, we are often frustrated by the fact that the most advanced products can’t seem to do the simplest of things; starting a meeting on time, connecting me with anyone anywhere, or allowing me to share my stuff easily. While technology companies race around to one-up each other introducing the next whiz-bang feature, they mostly overlook the one essential: what their product should do really well.

I joined Cisco with the purpose of delivering on this mission and bringing exceptional collaboration technology to everyone, everywhere: every room, every desk, and every pocket. The results of this focus have started to materialize in a set of announcements we started a few months back.

In March, we introduced the products that bring collaboration into every room in the enterprise: the SX10, MX200, MX700, and MX800 endpoints. These products are all about great collaboration experiences: engagement, simplicity, affordability – and award-winning design.

Today, we bring these elements to every desk with the Cisco DX80. It’s time to provide every worker—not just executives—with the tools that let everyone collaborate at a moment’s notice, without technology hassles. Read More »

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Can You Hear Me Now? Celebrating 15 Years of IP Phone Innovation

For those of you who follow my blog, you might have noticed that much of what I write about is focused on video collaboration.  However, before the video boom started, there was a more dominant means of communication – one we all still use today in one form or another – and that is voice.

There has been quite a bit of change over the past 15 years – the world, and the workplace, has evolved considerably.  The explosion of mobile, cloud and collaboration technologies has truly changed the way we work, bridging geographical barriers and improving business processes. Despite all of the change; however, there has been one constant sitting on my desk since 1999, a Cisco IP phone.

This year marks the 15th Anniversary of Cisco’s first IP phone, the Cisco SP12+, aka the world’s first desktop IP phone. Over the years we’ve seen a number of upgrades and enhancements made to our IP phone portfolio – a few of our models have even achieved celebrity status! Whether it was Ari Gold using the 7985 to call his “Entourage,” or a parrot calling in a murder via a gold IP phone on CSI, Cisco IP phones have been connecting important conversations since they first hit the scene.

While there are far too many cutting edge phones and exciting milestones to count, here are a few of my favorites: Read More »

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Can Midsize Businesses “Be Everywhere with Video”?

Off the top of your head -- how would you describe a successful company that is growing fast?

  • Has intimate customer knowledge
  • Provides great customer service
  • Is agile and responds quickly to changing requirements
  • Considered a great place to work

These are just a few characteristics that jump into my mind.

My colleagues recently produced the video Be Everywhere with Video Collaboration (PLXX) to show how effective video collaboration can be.  It highlights many of the characteristics I’ve listed above. Although fictional, the company depicted in the video reminds me of some of the small and medium sized marketing agencies I’ve worked with in the past.  They show a real can-do attitude, but with enhanced and accelerated service using business quality video collaboration.

So, why haven’t more medium-sized organizations adopted video technology?  A colleague recently told me that “93% of the conference rooms in the world don’t have Read More »

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“Is It Time To Become a Collaboration Technology Broker?”

It’s no coincidence that when choosing where to work, Type A personalities gravitate to organizations at the leading edge of their chosen field or that enable them to make a real difference. But gone are the days when you see “cell phone provided” in a job offer.  I don’t think I’ll choose my next employer based on what collaboration tools they provide, but I will make a point of measuring how seriously they take collaboration and how it fits into their operations. For me it will always be an important selection criterion.

They say “people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.”  I think people leave cultures that hinder them for ones that promise to set them free.

With so many disruptive technologies and deployment options, it can be difficult for IT teams to support broadening and challenging business needs. Increasingly, and often out of frustration around ‘Slow IT’, individual business units are acting as buying centers themselves; creating an issue of ‘shadow IT’.

Read More »

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