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The Olympics as a B2B Marketing Proposition

The essence of sponsorship is the right of association, as enshrined in the International Chamber of Commerce’s definition:

‘Any communication by which a sponsor, for the mutual benefit of sponsor and sponsored party, contractually provides financing or other support in order to establish a positive association between the sponsor’s image, brands, products or services and a sponsored event, activity, organization or individual.’

The difference between the Olympic and Paralympic Games and other major sporting events is that they are the only property that offers sponsors virtually nothing but the right of association.  Unlike other platforms, which will build in assets and benefits to their sponsorship package like perimeter board branding or event tickets, the only direct benefit you get from investing in a Games sponsorship is the right to use certain logos and marks.  Even then, these must be approved on a case by case basis. Everything else, including hospitality tickets, comes at an incremental price.

So Games sponsors cannot rely on a nice big advertising value equivalent from broadcast brand visibility to justify the fee internally.  They are forced to be much more disciplined in their assessment of how a Games sponsorship will create an acceptable return on investment. These sponsors must focus on who their target audience/s are, why partnering with the Games is relevant to them, how they are going to communicate those messages effectively and what is the desired behavioural outcome.

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Who wins when the Games go digital?

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are widely predicted to rapidly increase the adoption of digital services. It is set to be the most connected Games of all time, with record-breaking volumes of digital content being created, broadcast, and then shared via all kinds of networks and media.

The BBC alone will deliver 2,000 hours of live sport and create the equivalent of six months’ worth of coverage for its on-demand iPlayer service. One billion smart devices are expected to connect to the action and, with most people now having camera phones, the volumes of data they will generate is unprecedented. Attendees will engage with the Games in new ways, and people will be able to watch them on the greatest ever choice of channels and devices.

So who are the winners? Spectators will have an amazing time, and be able to share the experience with their friends. At work, there’s likely to be a lot of catching up with the action on PCs and smartphones, while businesses near the venues are sure to prosper. For content providers, it’s a chance to drive innovation by packaging content in new ways, and all the service providers will be delivering unprecedented network performance. Read More »

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Collaboration: On the Field & In the Office

Collaboration is great. But it’s not a Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, if-you-build-it-they-will-come Field of Dreams scenario. Alas, if all it took was plowing under a corn field and putting down some chalk stripes, I might be out of a job. And out of corn flakes.

We talk a lot about technology and process, but sometimes omit the human aspect. All the technology in the world won’t do much without people using it — unless you’re watching the Terminator machines attempt their takeover. And then there’s always HAL 9000. But those guys are a lot more interested in domination than collaboration anyway.

An organization’s culture is a critical component to successful collaboration. Make all the technology announcements and managerial pronouncements you want – you need an environment that supports collaboration. Read More »

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Virgin Media Rolls Out Cisco Quad As Part of its Flexible Working Initiative

Over the last several months, Cisco has been espousing the virtues of people-centric collaboration and today we’re thrilled to announce that Virgin Media is deploying Cisco Quad, Cisco WebEx and Cisco Unified Communications as part of its Flexible Working Initiative. By putting people and not text, email or the document at the center of collaboration, Virgin is able to foster a more flexible work environment that allows people to work effectively from a variety of office locations including the home. Thousands of Virgin Media’s employees will now be able to collaborate and work remotely with web-driven conferencing, voice, video calls and shared documents from the device of their choice – be it PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, using a social business platform to drive a new way of work.

Cisco Quad, Cisco’s social business platform, will act as a virtual knowledge bank accessible via any browser that helps create virtual business communities where filtered and relevant information “finds you” allowing users to find resources and prioritize work in a manner befitting the generation we live in.  WebEx high-definition video helps engage workers and allows them to meet “face-to-face” no matter where they are.

Collaboration technology lets Virgin Media’s employees enjoy greater work/life balance while also giving them the ability to access information anywhere to make decisions more quickly.

For more details, see the full press release.

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Barry O’Sullivan: 2012 Collaboration Predictions

This week in No Jitter, Cisco Collaboration Senior Vice President and General Manager Barry O’Sullivan looked into his crystal ball and elaborated on his predictions for 2012.

In an excerpt, Barry predicts:

“1. Post PC-era will explode

2. Video will break through

3. Contact Centers will evolve as customers choose to interact with companies in radically new ways

4. Companies will use the cloud and desktop virtualization to provide collaboration capabilities across the enterprise

5. Social business processes will become mainstream for many.”

Read Barry’s predictions in more detail and the follow-up answers Barry gave to Eric Krapf’s questions. I trust you’ll enjoy reading the article.  Send in your predictions for 2012 for collaboration, video, social software, and contact center.

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