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Cloud Reimagined

As we gear up for our biggest collaboration event of the year, Collaboration Summit, I thought it would be a great opportunity to kick off a blog series leading up to the announcements we’ll be making there this December about the evolution of our Collaboration Cloud Platform.

At last year’s summit, we announced Project Squared, our foray into what Gartner calls “enterprise mobile messaging,” but also a proof of concept for our entire cloud platform. We created this app, now known as Cisco Spark, to help us collaborate better internally while we built a new collaboration infrastructure from the ground up.

Infrastructure is top-of-mind for enterprises today, especially considering the rise of cloud and mobile and the increasing pressure of business leaders to make a decisive move to cloud. As our CEO Chuck Robbins noted in a recent blog, “The critical timeframe to deliver on the transformation cycle is compressing, and we all must move faster than ever before.”

It’s not possible to simply move our current infrastructures into the cloud. We saw the need for a new kind of cloud architecture reimagined to work with enterprise and partner networks in a radical way.

We built our platform with modern cloud-based technologies focused on key customer and partner concerns, including user experience, security, flexible deployment options, and ecosystem. For the first time, we can deliver the incredible experience users want built on the dynamic and secure infrastructure IT demands.

Please follow this series of blogs from our cloud team as we track the evolution of our cloud from app to platform to ecosystem, allowing each of our cloud leaders to comment on the design and technical principles behind its truly unique architecture.

The future is going to be in the cloud, but not all clouds were created equal. With digital transformation looming large in the minds of business leaders worldwide, it’s important to choose a cloud deployment model that can actually get them there.

At the Cisco Collaboration Summit, we will share all the details of how we have achieved this feat. Please join us for the keynote to hear from myself and Collaboration CTO Jonathan Rosenberg. Register today and watch on December 8 at 9:00 a.m. PST.

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The Mobile Workspace For Collaboration

The first thing you may wonder is how can you have a mobile workspace. After all, the point of being mobile is that you can be anywhere and if you’re anywhere, you may noScreenshot_2015-09-01-13-37-31t have a physical workspace. This means your accessories must also be mobile. They should fit in your pockets, or at least a laptop bag. Most people will argue that a laptop is a portable device, not a mobile device. Even if it is equipped with mobile connectivity. Consider what devices you use most when on the road.

The first piece of your mobile workspace is your mobile phone or tablet. The phone is the foundation for the mobile workspace.  I don’t own a tablet. I prefer something that fits in my pocket. When I’m on the go, I use my mobile phone as my primary means of communication. Today I have the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active and I’m happy with it.

There are some key collaboration applications that you need to realize the most value of the mobile workspace.

My collaboration user persona is that of a mobile worker. I spend time in the car. I spend time among the buildings on the Cisco campus.   I also spend time with customers and attending events. Read More »

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My Job Moves with me Anywhere I Go

In the last five years I have moved from Siberia to San Francisco, to Berkeley, to San Jose, to Phoenix, and now to Minneapolis. Unlike most people, moving so many times almost feels like a privilege to me. My husband and I have been able to explore the “sparkle” of Silicon Valley. We enjoyed Phoenix during the not-so-hot months. And now we are in Minneapolis where every day of summer seems like the 4th of July. (I might not be bragging in January when its -30 degrees. But hey, I’m trying to tell myself that it’s healthy for the soul to endure a Winter Wonderland in the U.S. Midwest.)

There are many reasons why we’ve had to relocate so often. Whether I moved to be closer to the beach, the snow, or family — or due to a tragedy — I’m glad that my personal life did not impact my professional life. Aside from constant packing, unpacking, and doing the legwork of finding housing – I don’t know what I would do if I also had to start and restart the process of finding a job.

I have worked for Cisco a little more than two years now. Throughout my transitions, my responsibilities have changed only slightly. Surprisingly, my productivity and efficiency have increased thanks to my new, liberated perspective of work.

South Long Lake_MN_OK3My job moves with me anywhere I go. As long as I have an internet connection, I can work from my home office, my backyard, a restaurant, a coffee shop, or even on my family’s boat. My laptop and smartphone are the only devices I need to be fully functional.  And Cisco tools such as Jabber, WebEx, and now Spark (a team collaboration solution) allow me to collaborate with my colleagues across continents.

If I need to join an important meeting with executives or managers, I have a DX70 desktop endpoint for better audio and video quality. If I have a meeting with local colleagues, we can use room systems like MX800 or IX5000 in a Cisco office. It has been fun to explore the differences between the Cisco offices in Phoenix, San Jose, and Bloomington, Minnesota. (Hmm, I think next year I should visit the Cisco office in New Zealand.) Read More »

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Changing the Future of Healthcare with Collaboration

All of us have hobbies and some have passions. And then there are causes, which many of us are passionate about. I have a special place in my heart for making a difference in anything to do with healthcare.

I obtained my Master’s degree in Child Psychology. I realized that most of my student projects pivoted around activities like spending time with and reading stories to sick children in hospitals. And teaching families in rural areas about healthy living and good nutrition. My project reports were quoted as examples of near ideal written pieces that other students could emulate. The seed was sown.

I started my career with writing, mostly on health, fitness, nutrition among many other topics. I critiqued books on health, care, and life. As I progressed in my career, I moved into IT marketing. I could feel my satisfaction levels peaking when I could bring technology and healthcare closer together. Technology can improve healthcare access and delivery. It’s especially impactful in rural areas where the nearest hospital or clinic could be hours away.

The Promise of Technology-driven Healthcare
There is no doubt that technological advancements are transforming the entire healthcare industry. The proliferation of new collaboration technologies is helping to address issues such as:

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Raising Standards Through Collaboration

AJ September blog post 9 2015I spent last Sunday in a cold, damp changing room with 15 other forty-something parents. We were attending the first day of our FA Level 1 Soccer Coaching course.

It was fascinating! Our instructor really brought to life a framework for coaching the young footballers that we volunteers look after every Saturday between August and June.

But then he dished out the homework!  We were to work in teams to plan a training session that followed the FA framework. And we’ll be assessed on our work in a couple of weeks.

One of our first discussions was around how we would get together to develop our plan and divide up our responsibilities. Of course my immediate thought was to use Cisco Spark to set up a room to keep the conversation going.

I invited the other coaches simply via their email addresses. Very quickly we were up and running, exchanging ideas on what we would do, and which of us would lead each task.

But the collaboration didn’t stop there. Other Spark rooms have since popped up to share player appearance and performance stats, discuss team formations, write match reports and arrange transportation to and from fixtures. Read More »

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