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What Happens When You Put Cisco Spark on a Bus?

What happens when more than 100 entrepreneurs embark on a 72-hour bus journey to concept, design and pitch the next big tech thing?

With the right flow, pretty much anything they can imagine.

StartupBus is one of the most unusual startup competitions around. In a nutshell, the competition invites the best “Hackers” (programmers and coders), “Hustlers” (business and marketing minds) and “Hipsters” (designers and other creatives) to board a bus and form teams to conceptualize and design a tech-focused prototype or app with all of their hard work culminating in epic pitches to StartupBus judges and investors.

And they only have 72 hours to do it.

Earlier this summer, five buses in North America were a flurry of activity as “Buspreneurs” neglected sleep, overcame motion sickness, and tapped into strong competitive spirits to embrace the intense collaborative energy needed to perfect their pitches. The buses, originating from five regions (Mexico, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and West Coast) headed to Nashville for Accelerate, the ultimate “unconference” where the Buspreneurs would make their pitches.

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The Best Service Humanly Possible

Sitting in traffic the other day, I tuned off my Peter Frampton Spotify channel and started to listen to New York area local AM radio. The president of a mortgage business came on in an advertisement. He ended his pitch with the tag line “I promise you the best service humanly possible”.

This caught my attention. At one time I would have viewed this as a very positive statement. But is this still the case?

Consumers consistently cite the “indifference of one person” as a key reason they leave a supplier relationship. (Source: TARP).

The contact center industry has long counted on non-human software applications to attempt to emulate human interaction. This could be as simple as “if-then” routing schemes to sophisticated avatars which emulate human engagement (just “Ask Jenn” at Alaska Airlines – Read More »

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Key Considerations for Investing in Collaboration

key considerations before investing in a collab solution infographic -halved 8_15

Click to view full infographic

Are you about to make a collaboration investment?

Planning to purchase a set of collaboration tools to facilitate communication between your employees?

Evaluating tools that make it easier for a distributed team to meet, to stay in synch, and be more productive?

That’s great news.

But what to buy?  A lot of companies sell collaboration solutions. But not all solutions are created equal.  Some meet very specific needs, but offer little flexibility.  For instance, video conferencing systems that can be used only by people in rooms with specific endpoints.

How to choose a solution that not only meets your immediate needs, but also the needs, scenarios, devices, and work styles of other teams and users?  Today and moving forward?  In other words, how do you avoid purchasing a solution that has limited value?

To help outline what to consider at this critical stage – before making a purchase – we created a simple infographic.

Check out the top considerations. Review your needs. Then you can make a more informed decision about a collaboration solution. Get the right foundation to support growth, accommodate user needs across functions, work with a diverse set of devices, and be easy for IT to manage.

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Cisco Receives Frost & Sullivan’s Market Leadership Award for IP Endpoint Communications

John Chambers has often commented publicly about how Cisco’s innovation engine is on “fire.” Within Cisco’s Collaboration and Endpoint Technology Group (CETG), we certainly feel that way.

I just got word that independent industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has awarded Cisco its 2015 Market Leadership Award for IP Endpoint Communications. The award encompasses our desktop IP phones and DX Series, and our Cisco Jabber soft-client offerings. Coming on the heels of Red Dot design awards we received for our room systems, it’s another validation of our progress.

Frost & Sullivan recognized us for our relentless pursuit of technology excellence, and for our ability to maintain leadership positions in a fast-paced, rapidly evolving market.

I thought it would be worthwhile to share some comments from Frost & Sullivan to add insight.

Highlights noted in the report include: Read More »

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Business Quality Video Conferencing…It’s Magic, Even for the Scobleizer

A couple of weeks ago, we had the unique opportunity to support Tech on Deck with Robert Scoble and Scott Jordan. This first-time event was a big success. Remote viewers could actively engage with the hosts and guests, who ranged from Guy Kawasaki to Hap Klopp. The guests joined Robert and Scott using Jabber Guest from as far away as Israel. The discussions were fantastic.

Cisco’s own collaboration SVP Rowan Trollope also joined them from the comfort of his home via a Cisco MX200 G2 endpoint. Robert and Scott were shocked with the quality of the call – especially because it was living-room to living-room.  The quality of the video conferencing coming in over Jabber Guest was also good, but the experience delivered by a purpose-built video endpoint is still unrivaled.

As a marketer for video conferencing, this is the kind of excitement I wish I could bottle up and give to everyone. During a short interview with Robert (recently named #5 in Inc.’s Tech Power Players), we asked him how he uses video in his day-to-day work, about video quality, and the impact video can have in our lives – and how it can be better.

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