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The Challenge

At Cisco our business is focused on some pretty complex areas, to say the least. Collaboration, Virtualization, Video, Core Networking Technology…you’ve read, heard and watched us talk about all of this right here on this blog. And, as you know, when we talk about Video, for example, we’re not just talking about consumer products or just video use in the enterprise. We are talking about the entire experience of video from how it is captured and created to how it is shared and stored.

Our portfolio is great…and that is where being a communications professional becomes both a blessing and a curse.

We have an ENORMOUS amount of content to work with and at the same time we need to stay focused and make sure our stories  resonate, stick and make sense outside the walls of Cisco.

The Response

In preparation for the launch of our new corporate news website in early 2011, this fall we developed a series of videos (see example below) focused on the core foci of our business. Our goal with these videos was to provide a basic definition for a non-technical audience about the importance of Collaboration, Video, Virtualization and Core Networking Technology (Routing and Switching) in the marketplace.  We also wanted to hear from our fans and followers on these topics.

Video from the Series: Cisco on the Importance of Video

As these videos get shared and viewed, our hope is that they will not only further demonstrate our leadership in these areas, but also provide a better understanding of what the heck people are talking about when they throw out an all encompassing word like Collaboration. These are videos that serve not only to educate my mom on Cisco’s business, but, hopefully, also industry influencers  -- whether they are investors, analysts, media, business leaders -- who are looking for solid, creative ways to explain the techiest of tech topics in simple terms.

The Feedback

You need just check out the Cisco Facebook fan page to get a sense of how these videos have been sitting with our audience (See posts dated 12/6, 11/30). It didn’t hurt that we threw in a gaming element, putting viewers to the challenge to identify changes throughout each video.

The point is, it is possible to take complex material and make easily digestible.  Some tips to rely on when dealing with challenging content:  1. Set clear goals 2. Know your audience 3. Be creative.

Check out the full series of videos and let me know what you think.

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5 Comments.


  1. After spending 9 hours on the phone over 4 days with Verizon, discovered our 1 year old linksys router stopped transmitting any distance. Bought a new one – tried to set it up – no go. You tell the consumer to go on line. Question is, if you can’t get on line, how do expect us to get help. Read all the PDF’s included in the setup disk – NOTHING! If you want to provide support then include a Phone Number!

    Did speak to Linksys a day before buying new router. Absolutely no help, sounded like a party was going on in the office, laughing, loud talking, very unprofessional! Very disappointed with the support service offered.

    Thanks for letting me express my experience with Linksys products and support. Hope you do something to correct this.

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  2. I love the TV sets trying to squeeze into the straws!

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  3. I just checked out your video and you guys (Cisco) are right on target about using youtube as well as other video sources to share your thoughts and ideas with the world.

    For example, I will personally use youtube to find important information, that I can not easily find in Google search. Not to mention, many youtube videos end up on the first pages of Google’s search.

    Incidentally, the example with the straws was a good one, because the information today can be funneled faster then ever before to a wider audience. I also agree that video conferencing is going to be the ultimate way to do business in the future. It really is quite amazing!

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  4. Nice twist at the end. You have a fair point though. Video will explode but the technology in which we receive it is lagging massively. In the UK there has been a massive restriction on mobile bandwidth because they just can’t cope. I hope there is a change soon as the demand massively outweighs the capabilities of the networks.

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  5. It does seem that video and mobile are becoming more pervasive. I hope to use video on my blog throughout the coming year to better connect. I think for a company such as Cisco using video is essential as you deal with such a complex technology that, as you say, “it is possible to take complex material and make easily digestible”.

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