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My Week at CiscoLive! San Francisco 2014

SDN-SDN-SDN…No longer does it stand for “Still Does Nothing”! Welcome to the world of Cisco where today is ACI and tomorrow is a stellar collaboration lineup. I hope you are prepared for a wild ride!

This year was the 25th Anniversary of Cisco Live, previously known as “Networkers”, and what an event it was! The Moscone Center neighborhood in San Francisco was abuzz with excitement as the event drew in a crowd of 22,000 registered participants.
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Surviving the Conference Call: There is a Better Way

Wall Street Journal writer Sue Shellenbarger makes some great points in her recent article “Surviving the Conference Call.” She points out many of the downsides of not collaborating in person — people multitasking during calls, bad audio, the inability to build rapport.

I remember those days well. For me, they’re in the past because I use video on nearly every call I make, whether it’s a group conference call or a 1:1 conversation with a co-worker.

Shellenbarger reports that about 65% of all conferencing is still done via audio calls, according to Wainhouse Research. To some, video may seem like the future, but it’s really available and affordable here and now. It’s moving from an executive-only tool to something available to everyone.

At first I was surprised that Wainhouse predicts time spent in audio conferences in the U.S. will continue to grow 9.6% a year through 2017. But in context, it’s pretty slow growth compared to predictions for video conferencing (check out Figure 14).

True, video is a new concept for many of us. Just the idea of being heard and seen is a hurdle for some people. I used to hide from cameras at parties and now I use one throughout the day. The benefits quickly outweighed any awkwardness. I found right away that the ability to have eye contact with people and see their physical reactions during a conversation makes a significant difference in the communication. Read More »

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Creating the Next Generation of Collaboration Experiences

If you’ve been following Cisco Collaboration recently, you’ve probably noticed we’ve been changing things up…and I don’t mean just a little. Truth is, we’ve been busy completely reimagining collaboration and setting the foundation for a revolution in the industry.

We’re listening to users who have told us that they are frustrated with today’s tools and, more importantly, these tools limit their ability to work the way they want.  We are building collaboration tools that are simple, elegant and beautiful. Tools that get out of the way, reduce friction and let you work the way you want.

I am proud of the technology we announced today.  It represents the largest single change to Cisco’s collaboration portfolio since the initial launch of TelePresence and every stitch of it meets the “new Cisco Collaboration standards”—meaning you will love the attention to detail and want to use it.

We have an uncompromising approach to the user experience that includes the delivery of incredible video experiences from the boardroom to the browser and all the spaces in between. Cisco’s affordable endpoints for spaces and organizations of all sizes and all use cases will make that happen. And when we can get these experiences into the hands of users, amazing things will occur.  We truly believe that these next gen tools will let users work the way they want to work.

As proud as we are of these new offerings, here’s the very best part:  Read More »

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Domani inizia qui (Tomorrow Starts Here) – Cisco Live Milan!

I arrived in Milan for the annual Cisco Live conference for networkers and was immediately excited by the buzz the change in host city generated (from London last year) as well as opportunity that all 7,000 attendees had to learn about connecting technology architecture with business architecture to better enable their businesses. From the keynote kickoff by Rob Lloyd all the way to the customer appreciation event featuring Dire Straits, the Milano Congressi was jumping! Read More »

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IoE and KFC – The Possibilities are Endless

Well, 2013 was a whirlwind and the first month of 2014 has flown by with hypersonic speed.  We are definitely living in very unique and interesting times.  As I reflect on the past year, one obvious theme or revelation always comes to the forefront…..technology and the use of it is the common fabric that enables change in our lives, whether its social, economic or environmental. The use of or the abuse of technology has always been the underpinning foundation for change.

The beginning of the New Year is always interesting and fun for me.  I’m always intrigued, fascinated and often times amused by the pundits, prognosticators, “experts”, fortune tellers and the like who have never been shy about offering their viewpoints and perspectives on the trends and movements of the coming year.

Predictions:  Do You Hunker or Bunker Down?

In fact a very interesting….amusing story came out during the end of last year about a gentleman named Norman Feller, kfc3who went into a bunker for 14 years over the fears of the fallout from the Y2K virus.  Mr. Feller emerged from his bunker absolutely sober and of sound mind. In fact, Mr. Feller had the wherewithal to visit his local KFC restaurant and be absolutely amazed by the innovation of KFC’s “Double-Down” sandwich. The combination of putting together bacon, cheese and chicken fillets was earth…”bunker” shattering for Mr. Feller .  Now, I’m not sure if this story is actually folklore or true, but I do know that people and societies have various emotional responses to technology trends, predictions and/or “hype”

2014 Manufacturing Trends and Predictions

Manufacturing is no exception.  There are no shortage of predictions and trends being applied to the manufacturing industry.  One of the common technology trends being cited is the Internet of Everything’s impact on the industry. My colleague Chet Namboodri wrote an outstanding blog entitled, “Predictions 2014: Wager on the Internet of Everything”   He leverages the expertise and research from Bob Parker,  IDC Group Vice- President, to provide insights and predictions on how IoE will have a profound impact on manufacturing markets and industries.

I think we can all agree that we are living in amazing times with wonderful possibilities.  The world is “smaller” and more connected.  The changes we promote and execute against will affect not only our next-door neighbor, but our trans-continental neighbors.

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