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Virtual Holiday Cheer

Going home for the holidays and celebrating during the holiday can be challenging for folks. The cost and time off for travel as well current living arrangements, such as soldiers overseas or expats working in other countries, can dramatically limit the sharing of ‘merry holiday’ times. Technology can help bridge these geographic and economic gaps to enable a ‘jolly good time’ for all. Virtual environments and technology enable us to connect with our loved ones, visit our home town for a nostalgic tour, go on a much needed vacation, engage in charitable activities, and celebrate the holidays.

I have some great examples as well as a personal story to share.

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New on Service Request history at your fingertips

Last week, we rolled out a new feature on that will be of particular interest if you enter or track service requests for support.

Now, if your online account is associated with service requests, you can log in and access these capabilities via a new module in My Cisco called Recent Service Requests.  The new feature provides quick access to the latest 50 open and closed service requests.

This new release also includes:

  • A “See All” page that allows you to view, hide and sort your service requests
  • Quick access to links to open/query service requests in TSRT
  • A Recent Service Request details page that provides additional information on each service request
  • A secure, flexible web service that allows other Cisco-hosted applications to query and render relevant information on service requests


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Wolly mammoths, Web sites and 7 +/- 2

Web design professionals often work to George A Miller’s credo that humans can best manipulate “seven (plus or minus two)” items in their working memory. This 7 +/- 2 guideline isn’t a bad model to follow for keeping things simple on Web sites, where we all know that spewing your visitors with too much information will overwhelm them and could cause them to run away to the next site.

But in his latest column, Web usability expert Jacob Nielsen posits that 7 +/- 2 only goes so far as a guideline. In addition to reducing noise, it’s important to focus on making abstract concepts more concrete and accessible.

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Virtual Environments Go Mobile

There is no question that virtual platforms are extending the value and reach of physical events, but what about extending beyond the laptop?   Mobile devices have now reached the level needed to act as a direct connection into the event itself.   Within Cisco Live Virtual, we began to see this trend, as attendees looked to the virtual space as well as Twitter, to ask a myriad of event-based questions during the event.   

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Interacting Virtually

When Microsoft surface first came on the scene I was excited to say the least. It seemed like allowing individuals to touch software interfaces in order to interact with a tradeshow booth demo was an obvious evolution. In some of the research I’ve been doing lately it is clear the evolution continues.

There are some interesting concepts being presented or in use at events that go beyond the obvious uses of augmented reality for registration, navigating the venue, and connecting attendees on-site. For example imagine a kiosk at an event where you can leverage materials (either downloaded beforehand or available at the kiosk) that allow you to instantly create a 3-D model of a product that you can manipulate and control. This doesn’t have to be limited to just a 3-D model of a product it could also be an interactive example of a concept or solution or an artificial intelligence that can engage with the person at the kiosk. Of course this is contingent on the event producer enabling technology on site.

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