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The Future of Any-to-Any Collaboration Depends on Satisfying Today’s Mobile User Demands

When we think of the term “collaboration” we can often get trapped in the cycle of thinking that it only applies to IT departments and the bottom line. However, it’s important to consider how the role of the enterprise is shifting thanks to the consumerization of IT. For example, how can IT leaders satisfy new user demands while unleashing the power of a sound mobile strategy?

With today’s technology-driven global economy, enterprise mobility and collaboration tools need to be about connecting communities, not just companies. Never has there been a time when more business processes extend beyond headquarters. Organizations need to enable all types of connections: From the mobile worker to the teleworker, from other businesses to target consumers, from traditional branch offices to the cloud. This any-to-any type of collaboration is no longer keeping the enterprise at the center. Instead, the future is driven by all types of users.

It’s clear that users expect to collaborate anywhere, on any device, with any workload. They want to collaborate like they’re in the office regardless of their location. IT leaders must keep user demands top-of-mind when working to deploy a BYOD policy. This can create challenges and opportunities in five key areas:

Brett Belding - Collaboration

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The Correlation Is Clear: Measuring Collaboration Is Directly Tied to Better Adoption of Collaboration Tools

November 11, 2013 at 11:59 am PST

At Collaboration Summit, Cisco announced a number of exciting new technologies designed to make collaboration simple, fun, and intuitive. My friend Rowan Trollope who leads Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, is working hard to “make technology in the office better than what you have at home.” With Cisco Expressway, Intelligent Proximity, and Jabber Guest, a few of the new products Cisco just unveiled, we are breaking down the barriers between the home and work, creating a seamless experience for staying connected. And in Rowan’s words, “You haven’t seen anything yet.” Rowan and his team are dead set on perfecting the usability aspect of our collaboration technology – making it beautiful, affordable, and easy to assemble – and my services team has the charge of perfecting another: extracting its value.

According to a 2013 Forbes Study Cisco commissioned to understand business executives’ attitudes towards collaboration, we found those who see the greatest value in collaboration technology are the ones who use it the most. Heavy users, or collaboration “leaders,” perceive a strong correlation between using collaboration tools and achieving transformational business metrics in areas like productivity, knowledge sharing, customer satisfaction, cost control, and more.

From a services perspective, collaboration success is dependent on two things: Read More »

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Customer Collaboration and the Internet of Everything

Those who read this blog regularly know that Customer Collaboration combines traditional contact center technology and processes with important innovations in social media, Web 2.0 agent workspaces, network-based recording and analytics, and video to empower businesses to forge deeper, proactive, more consistent relationships with their customers.  Three years ago, Cisco identified Customer Collaboration as a major market disruption, and our customers have benefitted from our leadership through this disruptive time.

More recently, Cisco identified another market disruption--the Internet of Everything (IoE)--which Cisco defines as the networked connection of people, processes, data, and things.  The true benefit of the IoE is derived from the compound impact of connecting all these elements--with a majority of the value derived by extending the connections of the IoE to people.

So what’s the relationship between Customer Collaboration and the IoE?  Simply put, Customer Collaboration connects the Internet of Everything to consumers.  Many of the touchpoints to the IoE run through businesses, and Customer Collaboration is what brings businesses and organizations closer to their customers--to us.  Let me provide some examples of how Customer Collaboration can connect consumers to the IoE:

Consider Amy, Read More »

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Got Mobility? Check. Now What?

November 4, 2013 at 9:16 am PST

The mobility discussion isn’t fresh off the presses. BYOD isn’t something you have to look up to remember what the D represents. But much of the business-mobility discussion still focuses around smartphones and basic access. It’s a pretty limited view when you consider the potential beyond the petri dish of e-mail and calendaring.

mochachip

Take me to your keyboard…

Having access to my work e-mail and calendar on my smartphone is good stuff. As is having my choice of phones. And even the simple tools benefit my productivity, while letting me have a life beyond my job. Surprise, surprise: Sometimes “work happens” outside the normal work hours of my particular time zone. And, yes, “life happens” during my normal work hours.

I could be productive on a laptop from home, but my dog would soon gnaw through my keyboard in protest. (Hastened by prodding from my kid and a jar of peanut butter.) But she doesn’t mind if I check and answer e-mail at the dog park.

She’s a pretty advanced dog. She even accepts the need for instant messaging and an occasional WebEx conference, although her presence typically requires liberal use of the mute button.

Beyond the Basics
So, what’s missing? Once people get over the novelty of e-mail and calendaring, they look for more. If they can slingshot birds across the universe, book airline flights, and deposit checks on these pocket-sized supercomputers, shouldn’t they be able to do more?

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Open-Sourced H.264 Removes Barriers to WebRTC

When it comes to making collaboration technology such as high-definition video open and broadly available, it’s clear that the web browser plays an important role. The question is, how do you enable real-time video natively on the Web? It’s a question that folks are anxious to have answered.

WebRTC--a set of enhancements to HTML5--will address the issue head on. But, there is an important hurdle that must first be cleared, and that’s standardizing on a common video codec for real-time communications on the web – something the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) will decide next week.

The industry has been divided on the choice of a common video codec for some time, namely because the industry standard--H.264--requires royalty payments to MPEG LA. Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco is making a bold move to take concerns about these payments off the table.

We plan to open-source our H.264 codec, and to provide it as a binary module that can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Cisco will not pass on our MPEG LA licensing costs for this module, and based on the current licensing environment, this will effectively make H.264 free for use in WebRTC.

I’m also pleased that Mozilla has announced it will enable Firefox to utilize this module, bringing real-time H.264 support to their browser.

“It hasn’t been easy, but Mozilla has helped to lead the industry toward interoperable video on the Web,” said Brendan Eich, Mozilla Chief Technology Officer. “Cisco’s announcement helps us support H.264 in Firefox on most operating systems, and in downstream and other open source distributions using the Cisco H.264 binary module. We are excited to work with Cisco on advancing the state of interoperable Web video.”

Why is Cisco Doing This? Read More »

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