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VDI: Creating a Successful Virtual Desktop Architecture

During a recent Desktop Virtualization Webcast titled VDI with Unified Communications: What Architects Need to Know, one of the key takeaways was that Unified Communications (UC) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) teams need to work together and look at the larger user environment in which they are delivering the IT services.  When the audience was asked how many of them were collaborating with their UC teams, 53% said they were currently engaging with their organization’s UC teams in their desktop virtualization projects.

Of course, this may be a biased sample, since the survey is of the webcast attendees, which mainly include IT professionals who are interested in the intersection of VDI and UC.  However, I believe this is a sign of a growing trend in enterprise IT.

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High Energy This Year at Enterprise Connect

It’s that time of year again. Spring in Orlando where the industry will gather for Enterprise Connect, and the Cisco team will be there in full force.

So get ready for a whole new set of statistics demonstrating the health of our industry and the pace of change in the post-PC era. For example:

  • Between 2011 and 2016, mobile data traffic is expected to increase 1800%
  • Video traffic is expected to make up 70% of that mobile data in 2016 and more than 90% of network traffic
  • Cloud services, which are being accelerated by the adoption of tablets and smartphones, will drive a second wave of IT consumerization.  Software as a service, which is already disrupting more than 25% of the enterprise application space, will go on to change the way we collaborate globally

(Sources: Cisco Visual Networking Index Feb 2012, “Which Software Markets Will SaaS Disrupt?” Forrester Research, January 2011)

At Enterprise Connect, we at Cisco want to hear how these changes are affecting your businesses today – and how you are planning for tomorrow. Video, cloud collaboration services, mobility, and customer collaboration are some of the themes we look forward to discussing.

I hope you will make time to see my colleague, OJ Winge, deliver the Cisco keynote on March 27th at 10am Eastern time (7am Pacific). You can also watch it live on

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Three Drivers of Collaboration

In my last blog, I asked the question “Is Collaboration Worth It? Every day, customers tell us collaboration is critical to their ability to compete—something top of mind right now. Why does collaboration matter? From our research and interviews with business leaders, we attribute the growing importance of collaboration to three fundamental trends:

  1. Competition comes from anywhere and everywhere. The barriers to entry are lower than ever, and you cannot predict who will enter your market next. It might be a startup in India, China, Africa or Eastern Europe—or competition from another industry. How do you stay ahead when you don’t know which organizations you’ll compete with next month or next year? Read More »

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Bringing the Olympics to life

When one is fortunate enough to work on as exciting and mammoth a project as the London 2012 Games, it is easy to forget that while it might take over your life, for others it’s a distant and somewhat unattainable dream.

Certainly LOCOG are working hard to try and expand the reach of the Games beyond London and make sure other parts of the country benefit from the once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity the Games coming to the UK brings. The torch relay alone will ensure that 95% of the UK population will be within a one-hour journey of the Olympic Flame, and that will certainly help.

But just this week the impact we, as Olympic and Paralympic Partners can have on people’s experiences and perception of the Games, was brought very much to life via feedback we had from our partner Pearson – who are working with Cisco on the Out of the Blocks StemNet programme. This programme was launched in January, using London 2012 as a catalyst to encourage children aged 11-14 to get excited about learning maths and science. So far over 4,000 UK secondary schools have received a set of free Key Stage 4 activity books.

Our colleague visiting a remote school in Lincolnshire was delighted to see the teachers using the Out of the Blocks books and how the children were excited not only about science and maths, but also for the Games themselves. As one teacher said:  “We’re in an out-of-the-way area.  The children have never seen a major event, and there aren’t any children in my class going to the Olympics – this Series brings it to life for them.”

Another said: “Endlessly kids say, ‘when am I ever going to use this Maths in my life?’  Well, this book shows you where and how…  The diving lesson sticks in my mind.  The kids are intrigued by the formulas – it makes them think how they’re useful in real life.”

Nice – now we have a chance of a lasting legacy!

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Study Shows that Cisco-based Contact Centers Perform Better and Save Money

A recent landmark study by BenchmarkPortal showed that Cisco-based contact centers have a nearly 17% lower average cost per call than contact centers not using Cisco.  A medium-to-large contact center can handle millions of calls a year, so these are tremendous savings.  At the same time, the study reveals that companies using Cisco-based contact centers enjoy customer satisfaction rates more than 3% greater than companies using other vendors’ technology.  Given that a fraction of a percentage increase in customer satisfaction can have a major positive impact on business profits, this too showcases why Cisco is creating such a buzz in the contact center market.  You can access a presentation of the study results here.

In less than ten years, Cisco has evolved from a newcomer in the customer care industry to a leading worldwide technology provider.  Last summer we were recognized for the first time as the world’s leading Interactive Voice Response (IVR) vendor.  Cisco is currently #2 in the worldwide contact center market, and we are driving aggressively toward number one.

Contact center is at the core of our collaboration strategy at Cisco.  We are delivering innovations in Customer Collaboration, which combines traditional contact center technology with key innovations in social media, Web 2.0 agent workspaces, video, and network-based recording and analytics to empower businesses to forge deeper, proactive relationships with their customers.

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