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Employees Bring Cisco Tech to Late Night on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Cisco employees at Jimmy Kimmel Live

(L to R) Mike Thomma, Kevin Roarty a Jimmy Kimmel Live producer and Chris Ward pose in the green room before the show.

It’s Oscar’s night. Your technology is getting ready to debut in less than three minutes on Jimmy Kimmel Live (emphasis on the “live” part). You’re not sure if the celebrity interview you’ve planned at the Governor’s Ball is going to happen. Then, the show launches, Cisco’s Wall of America is a hit, you interview Kevin Hart and Eddie Murphy and you go back to your LA hotel to crash, satisfied with your technology.

It’s just another day in the life of a Technical Marketing Engineer (TME) at Cisco.

“Sometimes the role is stressful,” says Chris Ward, TME. “But hey, we’ve been backstage at Jimmy Kimmel. The perks of doing stuff like this are awesome. I’m not sure I’d be able to do this at another company.”

“Plus, we have access to the latest Cisco technology,” says Kevin Roarty. TME. “Being one of the first to get hands on and test is a cool opportunity. “

So what does a TME do?

“We work with our engineering teams to help test and validate new software and products,” says Mike Thomma, TME Manager. “But we’re also customer facing, and often present at trainings and trade shows to explain how Cisco tech works. It’s a great role, you can decide what you want to focus on.”

Chris and Mike started at Cisco in tech support. Kevin started in engineering. The team also has members with no tech background at all.

“The key is to be a product expert,” Kevin says. “Plus, a willingness to learn how our customers will want to use our products.”

So what’s it like to see your work displayed weekly on a HUGE late-night TV show?

“It’s really fun,” Kevin explains. “They orchestrate a show within a show. It’s a big important conference call within a live recorded late-night show. It’s really interesting to see them strike a balance between being spontaneous and scripted. ”

How’d they get to work on such a cool project? Jimmy Kimmel expressed an interest in using video technology to bring the home viewer into his show . The team started with some demos, and within 6 months, they were planning an Oscar-night launch.

“When we first went down to do a live demo, I was overwhelmed by how frantic it all was,” Mike says. “Seeing the chaos as they prepared for a new show every day made me realize I couldn’t last long under that much pressure. But we got to meet Jimmy Kimmel when we were doing a demo for the producers. He just walked in unexpected, shook our hands, said it looked cool, and thanked us.”

“Jimmy, himself wants to be entertained,” Chris added. “He didn’t want to talk to people on the Wall of America until it was live, so we’d use Cisco people on the rehearsal. The show has really embraced it beyond just the studio – they’ve built it into their regular day. Their producer sees forward. As we deployed Cisco tech, he’d ask if we could also do this or that. So we’ve added three new components since launch.”

“You can’t get exposure to most of this kind of tech at other companies,” Mike says. “My career advice for those who want to work in tech is to not stay in one place in a company. Expand your views. . Try new things that challenge you and always keep learning.”

Want to work with the best technology and teams around? Join our Cisco team.

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Public Safety Series: How the City of McAllen Transformed their Judicial Process with Video Solutions

In my last blog post in the Public Safety Series, I discussed how police forces could use video technologies to improve their training programs. In addition to training, there are numerous other ways that law enforcement agencies can utilize video solutions to both operate more efficiently as a department and improve officers’ ability to protect their community. Today, I want to share with you a real-life example of how one government agency is using video solutions to make tangible changes in how the judicial process in their city works.

The City of McAllen, located in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, is increasingly turning to innovative technology solutions to improve the city’s operations. As a smaller city with limited personnel and resource, McAllen realized that technology can help them operate at a high level and continue to provide excellent service to its residents. Previously, the city had deployed Cisco Call Manager as a solution to its formerly fragmented phone system, which helped simplify and management of its phone system and save money.

Next, the city turned its sights to exploring more efficient ways to connect court activities with police departments and officers in the field. It had always been difficult to obtain warrants from off-duty judges, wasting time and adding unnecessary roadblocks in the judicial process. McAllen hoped that with video solutions, police officers could connect with the city’s judges and receive paperwork for a warrant immediately.

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Video Interpretation Solutions Help Ensure Equality in the Justice System

While I was thinking about the topic of my second post in the court series leading up to the CTC conference in September, I came across an interesting news article. The state of California just announced that it will now provide court interpreters for free in all court cases. In the past, the state – along with many others – has only provided interpretation services in criminal cases. However, ensuring that everyone understands what is going on in the courtroom, no matter the case, is critical to making sure justice is dispensed fairly, efficiently and accurately. This means that court interpretation services are a crucial part of the justice system.

While this move by California is great, it is a bit behind the times. Back in 2010, the Department of Justice issued guidance on the issue of interpreters within the judicial system, noting that a particular concern was, “limiting the types of proceedings for which qualified interpreter services are provided by the court.” The letter went on to state: “Some courts only provide competent interpreter assistance in limited categories of cases, such as in criminal, termination of parental rights, or domestic violence proceedings. DOJ, however, views access to all court proceedings as critical.” This means that all states have had five years to expand their court translation services to cover all types of cases, in accordance with the Department of Justice’s standards.

However, states have been slow to take on this expansion, largely due to the high costs. California, for example, has the nation’s largest court system, spread out across a huge state. They also have about seven million residents with limited English proficiency, who speak over 200 different languages. The cost to provide translators in those locations for these residents is huge; in 2010, California spent nearly $93 million on court interpretation services. So in order to reconcile the challenge of fixed budgets with the increased demand for interpreters, state and local governments need to rethink their manual processes for deploying these services and look toward technology instead.

One major way to reduce the cost of providing interpreters and ensure that all citizens participate in a fair and balanced judicial process is using video services. To address the rising demand for interpreters and to help streamline court procedures, Cisco has developed a Connected Justice™ Video Interpretation solution (CJVI). CJVI allows interpreters to virtually join court proceedings using the high-quality video and audio features of Cisco® Unified Communications Manager and Cisco TelePresence® end-points. Read More »

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#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 34: The Wonderful World of Collaboration System Release 11

CiscoChampion2015200PX#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’re talking about Collaboration System Release 11 with Cisco Technical Marketing Engineer Dan Keller.

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Cisco SME
Dan Keller, Technical Marketing Engineer, Collaboration Technology Group

Cisco Champion Guest Hosts
Dennis Heim, @collabsensei, Emerging Technology Architect (Collaboration)
Josh Warcop, @Warcop, Senior Consultant
Bill Carter, @ccie5022, Senior Business Communications Analyst

Kim Austin, @ciscokima, Collaboration Solutions Marketing Read More »

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Cisco Receives Frost & Sullivan’s Market Leadership Award for IP Endpoint Communications

John Chambers has often commented publicly about how Cisco’s innovation engine is on “fire.” Within Cisco’s Collaboration and Endpoint Technology Group (CETG), we certainly feel that way.

I just got word that independent industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has awarded Cisco its 2015 Market Leadership Award for IP Endpoint Communications. The award encompasses our desktop IP phones and DX Series, and our Cisco Jabber soft-client offerings. Coming on the heels of Red Dot design awards we received for our room systems, it’s another validation of our progress.

Frost & Sullivan recognized us for our relentless pursuit of technology excellence, and for our ability to maintain leadership positions in a fast-paced, rapidly evolving market.

I thought it would be worthwhile to share some comments from Frost & Sullivan to add insight.

Highlights noted in the report include: Read More »

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