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Importing contacts from WebEx Connect to IM & Presence

Currently, WebEx Connect has no method of exporting contacts into Jabber or IM & Presence. I came up with this solution to help a couple of my users migrate their large contact lists, and thought I would share the solution with you. Let me know what you think.

This method relies on the use of a perl script and having the user log into pidgin XMPP client to WebEx Connect to populate the pidgin blist.xml file with the WebEx Connect contacts. Read More »

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Ever Have A Day Where So Much Goes Wrong But Still Works Out?

Today has been one of those days. I knew it was going to be a rough day when I hadn’t properly set my alarm this morning. The switch was in the middle between “on” and “off” and the middle equates to “off”. Fortunately, my internal clock was still ticking and by some miracle I woke up not much later then my semi-set bedside alarm was supposed to wake me. It’s amazing how quickly I can move when this happens. It must be the adrenaline rush that comes with the realization that I am now behind schedule on getting ready for work. This morning I was scheduled for a customer presentation. I have a 50 minute commute when there’s no traffic, I pad an additional half hour for rush hour. I was running about 10 minutes behind, but I could still make it on time if traffic was cooperating.

Traffic was not cooperating, at least not for the first leg of my commute. On the second leg of my commute traffic was moving nicely and I recovered some time. As I approached my half way mark (isn’t it something how many landmarks we have for our daily commute?) I saw that I was still 5 minutes ahead. I’m not panicking yet. I take the exit for the third leg of my commute and things are looking good for about 5 seconds, then traffic slows to a crawl and many times to a complete stop. Now I start to panic. I grab my mobile phone and send an e-mail to the presentation program manager letting her know I will need to reschedule 10-15 minutes later. If you happen to be a member of California law enforcement this is not an admission of guilt to the “hands-free” law. As I neared the presentation site, I used Jabber IM on my mobile phone to provide an update to the program manager (while stopped and not driving) and received an immediate response that everything was set. The new expectations were communicated and the customer filled the available time by going to the Cisco store. We had a great presentation.

Right after, I had a meeting to attend a couple buildings down, so I hustled over and got there just after start time. Only thing was, this was a virtual meeting. The only people in the conference room were the presenters. My laptop was back in the car two buildings over. However, the conference room was equipped with a display screen on the wall. The presenter sharing the content slides was able to display them on the in-room screen as well. I was now able to fully participate in the presentation by viewing the content as I listened.

Immediately after the presentation ended I had another call scheduled. I’m in a completely different building and without a workspace. Read More »

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Taking the Next Step in Business Collaboration

February 11, 2013 at 7:56 am PST

When I was in London recently for Cisco Live, I got a lot of questions about how organizations can drive the most value out of collaboration. As expectations for seamless collaboration between devices and applications increase, I can practically see light bulbs appear over many customers’ heads as we talk about how collaboration technologies can transform a business and drive tremendous value.

Many of the conversations I have with customers surround how to best integrate collaboration technologies into business process and other applications to drive the highest value. Many customers are uncertain about how to move forward with taking a business and technology architecture approach to accelerate and simplify business processes.

There are a couple of ways to think about this. The first deals with integrating your collaborative processes into your business process, what we call Collaboration Enabled Business Transformation (CEBT). The second deals with integrating your collaborative capabilities and apps so they work together. This is particularly important since most companies have multi-vendor environments for voice and video, hardware and software, and desktop and network. It is an understatement to say that interoperability is critical with collaboration tools so users have a seamless experience when using them to communicate, do business, and maximize results.

Cisco SVP, Chris Dedicoat, presented CEBT at a keynote held during the Cisco Live London activities and appeared to drive a positive response. The CEBT approach to integrating your collaboration capabilities into your business applications processes such as salesforce.com or SAP, can Read More »

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Enhancing Collaboration with New Integrated Audio Accessories

Today, I am pleased to post a guest blog from Cisco partner, Jabra, authored by Chris Briglin, Vice President of Strategic Alliances at Jabra. 

One of my favorite quotes in the technology business is: ”The next big thing is whatever makes the last big thing usable.” To me this really speaks to the importance of a great user experience in driving the widespread adoption and deployment of technology solutions. While there are lots of business problems out there and many technology-based solutions created to address those needs, solutions that address business needs through a superior user experience are typically the ones that thrive.

As noted in Cisco’s announcement last week, Jabra partnered with Cisco to co-develop audio devices that enhance the collaboration experience on Cisco Jabber for virtual environments. By combining Jabra’s expertise in audio engineering, product design and software integration with Cisco’s leadership in unified communications, we created two audio devices Read More »

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The New Collaborative Workspace Experience

January 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm PST

In my last blog, I talked about how much our desktop, or what we know as a “desktop”, has evolved over the past few years. Mobility, cloud and video have redefined a lot of what is included in that desktop, but the need for a high quality and consistent user experience across devices has not waned.

Bringing together all these elements has provided a new workspace environment that is virtualized, mobile and convenient. The best of all worlds really. Now the remaining question is: does this new workspace offer a better collaboration experience? I think the answer is yes. Here is why.

On January 17th Cisco announced a new software that extends the power and reach of Jabber (our all-in-one UC client) to virtual environments, delivered as part of Cisco VXI. And the response from the market and media was really great. Articles published tied the announcement to larger industry trends such as BYOD and mobile workers. Many commented how Cisco’s announcement and the features released were a clear response to the fact that work life is changing, and solutions like these will allow for more flexibility, without compromising capabilities or the user experience.

“What this means is that the reach of Jabber—which includes such features as instant messaging, high-definition video, voice and presence—will grow beyond physical desktops and into the virtual desktop space, which is finding rapid adoption in enterprises…”Cisco Brings Jabber UC Features to Virtual Desktop World -- Jeffrey Burt, eWEEK

“In light of the escalating trend, the marriage of Unified Communications and VDI is a logical market evolution. The effort is part of a long-term software strategy for Cisco aimed at taking its collaboration and video prowess up a few notches” Cisco Extends Jabber With VDI -- Stefanie Hoffman, Channelnomics.

Cisco pioneered this trend when we announced Cisco VXI over 2 years ago, and since then we have been working on delivering the promise of VDI without the compromises. The announcements we made a couple of weeks ago confirms Cisco’s commitment to this space, and our deep understanding of the market transitions and the customer needs.

This new software direction is not only focused on enabling multiple devices to be part of the VXI ecosystem, it also means that Cisco is extending these capabilities to provide customers more options, in an open, standards based environment, without compromising the level of the capabilities delivered, or the support available. As more than 1,000 VXI customers will tell you, the Cisco Validated Designs are not only a way to have a full multivendor solution tested and validated in a real-world environment, they are a recipe for deployment success.

Since “seeing is believing” let me invite you to see the VXI technologies in action at the World of Solutions Unified Workspace booths at Cisco Live London, and invest some time with our experts at the show. We have a series of very impressive demonstrations lined up for you, showcasing different environments for different user profiles. There is at least one that will be applicable to your work environment, I promise you that.

For those of you that can’t be in London for this event, we have something prepared too. Visit our Virtual Experience online in the Cisco Collaboration Community to see Cisco leaders expand on Cisco strategy and demonstrate the new solutions announced on Jan 17.  You can also ask questions to our experts through the discussion forum. We want to hear from all of you.

Roberto

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