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Introducing the Cisco IT eStore and a Service Catalog for BYOD

Cisco IT has always encouraged employees to use the tools that help them work most efficiently from anywhere on any device.

As the range of IT services we offered has increased, we noticed that the process of acquiring the various tools became complex and confusing. We had a number of different internal sites (aka “stores”) within Cisco, each offering different systems for employees to request services.  This complexity impacted the user experience and productivity of these employees.

In order to simplify the employee experience with Cisco IT, we made the decision to consolidate all these different systems into a single online service catalog – effectively a unified e-commerce storefront for our IT services – where our employees could find services they needed to do their jobs.

We thus created Cisco IT’s “eStore”.

Our goal was to improve employee satisfaction, decrease support costs, and increase employee productivity. We had to find a way to increase adoption and transparency of our existing IT services.

Cisco IT knew that a platform to consolidate these services into one unified service request system could be built on top of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, our own end-user portal and service catalog solution. This solution provides enterprise IT management capabilities that enable entitlement, approvals, service taxonomy control, and even chargeback.

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Introducing Cisco Prime Service Catalog – Focusing on User Experience

When was the last time you turned on your new gadget, opened an app, or logged onto a website and found that you needed to attend a training course before you could use it effectively?

At times, we in the IT industry fall into the trap that we need the most advanced technical capabilities.  After all, this is the great force that has produced numerous inventions and has made our lives better.  However, when we focus too much on technical details rather than meeting our users’ needs, we fail to deliver not only for our customers but also for our business.

The IT team at a major global manufacturer recently told me about their company’s major investment in user experience design, because it is important for their brand image and business success.  They are applying user-centered design not only to the products they make, but also to the IT systems they implement in-house.  Even the U.S. government has a usability and user-centered design practice under http://www.usability.gov/basics/ucd/.

This year, our software development team embarked on a user experience update for our IT service catalog software by applying the user-centered design principle.  We are showcasing this new user interface and introducing a new product name for the software – Cisco Prime Service Catalog – at Cisco Live Orlando this week.

Here is a preview of the next-generation user interface for Cisco Prime Service Catalog:

Cisco Prime Service Catalog

This new user experience highlights the services that end users may be interested in, with lists like “Most Popular Services”.  If a user has a certain model of IP Phone, the service catalog may feature associated items such as a compatible headset.   This familiar ecommerce experience is still governed by the service catalog’s entitlement and approval process, so the service owner has full control over service consumption.   User experiences like this will help transform employees’ impression of their IT department.  Service providers will also find that they can configure this new user interface to portray the brand image and customer experience they want to project.

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BYOD: Many Call It Bring Your Own Malware (BYOM)

June 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm PST

It is not new that people are referring to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as Bring Your Own Malware (BYOM). In 2012 alone, Android malware encounters grew 2,577 percent (for details, see Cisco’s Annual Security Report). Many organizations are struggling to keep up with the BYOD trend by allowing employees to bring their favorite gadgets to the office to increase productivity and employee satisfaction. However, they are also struggling when trying to protect critical corporate assets, user’s data, and intellectual property in their employees’ mobile devices. Read More »

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A Mobility Guide to Cisco Live! Orlando Part II

We’re just a few days away from joining the record-breaking attendance at Cisco Live! in Orlando!

It’s been a busy week with the Internet of Everything and Connected Mobile Experiences project launch in Nice, the SITA Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels, and the recent news that our very own Cisco Aironet 3600 Series AP is the first publicly announced WFA 802.11ac certified commercial enterprise access point--that was a mouthful! Next week is busy too: ISTE in San Antonio, HITEC in Minneapolis, and, of course, Cisco Live! in Orlando.

This is Part 2 of the Mobility Guide to Cisco Live! Orlando:  Whether you’re in person or not, follow the whole thread on Twitter at #CLUS and follow @Cisco_Mobility for specific coverage.

In part I of the mobility guide, I gave a laundry list of some very special mobility-focused sessions in Orlando--here they are split out by days, plus some fun activities you should make sure not to miss!

Monday, 6/24
8:00 am RF Standards Update, Brian Hart

10:00 am Beyond BYOD, One Policy, One Management, One Network, Prashanth Shenoy

10:00 am AND 1:00 pm CCNA Wireless, Master the 802.11 protocols, Jerome Henry

3:30pm Solutions Keynote: Enterprise Networking presented by Rob Soderbury [editor’s note: it’s MONDAY not Tuesday--corrected in the last post] Read More »

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Telework Gives FEMA a Helping Hand

June 19, 2013 at 9:21 am PST

For one week this last March, hundreds of thousands of workers from around the world made the commitment to telework. This year’s Telework Week resulted in a 91 percent increase in involvement in 2011, with more than 130,000 total pledges! These record numbers really show the momentum of telework in both the public and private sector. And speaking of public sector -- 82 percent of this year’s pledges came from federal employees.

One agency in particular saw resounding success from the initiative -- the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA’s goal to prepare for and respond fast to natural disasters and mobilize massive resources as needed makes it vital for the agency to be mobile. So FEMA has embraced an expansive mobility initiative including an increased focus on telework. During this year’s Telework Week, 3,300 of FEMA’s 5,500 full-time employees logged more than 46,000 hours of telework. Read More »

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