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Trick or Treat Online and then Save the Memories

When I told my daughter that her gramma was going to be with her other (younger) grandchild this year for Halloween, I did not expect her reaction. She’s 12 and has had gramma with her every year since birth and I figured she knew she would eventually have to share.

But that was not my kid’s idea. She was downright pissed!

“She needs to see me in my costume! It’s tradition!” she told me. Oops. Apparently we have a tradition that I just took for granted all these years.

But then I suggested we have a little fun and get to share the holiday with her cousin as well. We could do a WebEx, show my mom my daughter’s costume and see our little three year old firefighter in his outfit. “I guess that’ll work,” she conceded. And off we went. We did a test drive on Sunday.

We fired up the WebEx, turned on the webcams and the kids had a ball. Everyone get to see each other, there was lots of conversation and excitement and gramma Read More »

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Do I Need New Tools to Collaborate?

Technology adoption comes in many flavors, speeds, and styles. And when it comes to new tools that make things we’ve always done better, many of us are often skeptical. But eventually, most of us get over that and the new technology takes hold. Otherwise, we’d still be chopping trees with axes instead of chainsaws, heating our coffee over an open flame, and wouldn’t even know what a Venti Half-Caf Skinny Soy Pumpkin Spice Latte was. (I’m not certain I do to this day…)

So when I tell you that there are all of these amazing tools and applications that improve and simplify collaboration within your organization, you may tell me that you can walk down the hall to talk to George as easily as you can IM him. Read More »

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Building Solutions for Mid-size Businesses with Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Marc Ayers, Senior Manager of Product Marketing, discusses how Cisco designs and builds unified communications solutions for mid-sized businesses so they provide a lower total cost of ownership and investment protection.

Leading into upcoming developments about communications for mid-size businesses, we are conducting a series of interviews with members of our product teams so get their insights into unified communications from a mid-size business and Cisco perspective.

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Redefining Video: Highlights of Cisco’s Recent Enterprise Video News

Cisco continues to expand and enrich its enterprise video offerings.  This week, you’ve heard about the fifth year anniversary of Cisco TelePresence.  Last month, you heard about our end-to-end solutions for Enterprise Video Content.  In the video below, I  summarize some of the highlights of the Enterprise Video Content roundtable and how both of Cisco’s recent video announcements broaden our video portfolio and create more options for our customers.

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Collaboration: The Cure for a Rollercoaster Economy

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Rick Hutley, a vice president in Cisco’s global strategic consulting arm, IBSG. Rick advises business leaders in every industry about how technology—and more often than not, Intelligent Network technology—can help businesses achieve their goals.

As we embark on yet another economic rollercoaster, the goal of dramatically reducing costs while simultaneously growing revenues and market share seems impossible to attain. Yet, this is what businesses must do to survive.

In my opinion, the answer to this dichotomy is “collaboration”—enabling your workforce to be more effective at significantly lower costs. Collaboration can deliver significant benefits. Cisco®, for example, realized $1.4 billion in collaboration benefits in FY2010, up from $1.1 billion in FY2009. This was achieved across 27 initiatives at an annual cost of only $128 million.

These findings are detailed in a report titled “Economics of Collaboration at Cisco” by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), with analysis from its Research & Economics Practice. While every company is different, the following Cisco examples from this report offer a compelling business case for adopting similar initiatives where you work.

  • Business travel optimization to enable greater collaboration across regions while containing travel costs resulted in expense savings of $519 million per year and time savings of $140 million per year.
  • Telecommuting initiatives to increase productivity, tap global talent, and improve sustainability resulted in time savings of $320 million per year for Cisco and commute cost savings of $49 million per year for employees.
  • Connected Workplace, Cisco’s solution for optimizing knowledge worker productivity in the office, generated a 43 percent reduction in space per worker, real estate savings of $33 million per year, and energy savings of $2 million per year.
  • Next-generation Unified Communications resulted in salesforce time savings of $27 million per year and improved customer service.
  • Faster time-to-market capabilities with improved remote collaboration accelerated the introduction of Cisco’s ASR 9000, increasing margins by $90 million, reducing time to market from 4 to 3 years, and lowering R&D costs by $70 million.

To achieve these results, Cisco employed much of its own technology. Cisco TelePresence®, for example, powers a new way of working that allows us to be more productive through face-to-face, two-way video collaboration. Cisco WebEx® enables us to hold highly effective team meetings by sharing information whether we are using a desktop computer, laptop, or smartphone. Cisco Unified Communications links our phone, email, and other communications systems so we never have to miss a call or wait until a colleague gets back to his or her desk to respond to a critical email. And finally, Cisco QuadTM provides a single, integrated experience where individuals, teams, and communities connect, share, learn, and collaborate.

In today’s volatile economy, it’s clear we must learn how to collaborate better. Fortunately, technologies like those employed by Cisco can give your company an edge by improving competitiveness, innovation, and, most important, business results.

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