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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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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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