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Collaborating from the middle of nowhere, anywhere, any device

Imagine that you’re standing out in the middle of a desert. All you and your work team can see is endless sand. You know where you are only from the GPS coordinates – there are no roads, no cell towers, no infrastructure. Can you expect to be able to utilize radios, smart phones, tablets, and teleconferencing systems just as though you were back in your home office? Read More »

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IT As Business Strategist

Poll us—any of us, whether customers, partners, or Cisco. We’re all experiencing the same thing: We’re at a point where technology is enabling a pervasive computing and collaboration experience for end users. It’s the “era of engagement”—and it’s fundamentally changing expectations for the end-user experience, just as it’s  changing expectations for business – how we do business, operate business and grow business.

Big End User Demands

Recently a customer CIO described how he delivers IT to his company: “When it comes to technology, we have to go where the users are. Technology must be intuitive, user friendly. Our employees choose technology based on what works. I run behind them and try and plug in the support they need to use it.”

Today, employees want their Sunday experience at work on Monday. They’re much more mobile in how they run their lives, communicate, share information and collaborate—and they expect the same on the job.

Consider these facts:

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Mobile Users: Get Ready, Get Set – Learn!

Last year, the Cisco Connected World Technology Report came up with a startling finding: In a poll of 2,800 respondents across 14 countries, 40% of college students and 45% of young professionals declared that mobility and social media access on the job was even more important to them than a high salary.

For slightly older workers, this is a major and surprising cultural shift. But it is one that has already been embraced by West Texas A&M University and its CIO, James Webb. To better serve its Millennial students, the university has deployed a flexible, pervasive learning environment based on a Cisco network that enables a multitude of devices. Offering mobile, more relevant learning options helps to prepare these students for the modern workplace while assuring that they receive a good education.

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The Eye in The Sky is Watching us All

May 16, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

My friends and I circled the floor at Harrah’s, in New Orleans, deliberately choosing a high stakes table that felt like a winner. Within minutes the dealer knew exactly how each of us played the game. He anticipated our every move barely giving us time to gesture “hit” or “pass”. The game moved so quickly we had only a second to cheer about a big win on a double-down or grunt when a sure-to-win hand was taken down by a dealer blackjack.

The odds were in our favor. Three out of four of us walked away winners. That game alone paid for a lovely dinner at Commander’s Palace that included a bottle of wine my significant other, Josh, and I would never have dreamed of spending so much money on before hitting it big at Harrahs. The winnings also treated us to a never-to-be-forgotten brunch at Brennan’s (eggs housard how I have longed for you in the 11 years since I first tasted you).

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The Other Side of the Equation in Higher Education

May 15, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

There has rightfully been much emphasis placed on student achievement to justify technology investments in higher education. California Baptist University is focusing in on students as a primary driver for their collaboration architecture, but something else interesting popped out for me in this recent case study – how it is affecting instructors.

Clearly there is a business case for extending the reach of a university that has limited “brick-and-mortar space to grow in.  According to Dr. David Poole, Vice President, Online and Professional Studies, “I can now offer face-to-face instruction in real time to Chinese students at the bachelors and masters level. My ROI is tremendous because I am not sending faculty over there to spend months and months over there.” I believe that while some US-based instructors may enjoy an occasional trip to China, an extended stay could be an obstacle from a personal perspective.

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