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New Cisco Jabber for Virtual Environments Provides Superior User Experience

As a technology guy, I’m always fascinated to see what new gadgets and technologies get announced at CES.  Some are pretty cool; some I think will only make it to the headlines.  In the end, which gadget will enjoy large-scale adoption and best empower the user?  The one that best meets the user needs with a superior user experience.

Similarly, Cisco’s announcement today  is all about providing a superior user experience to virtual desktop users and truly empowering them to reach new levels of productivity.  With the new software-enabled Cisco Jabber for virtual environments and integrated UC accessories Cisco is continuing to evolve the virtual desktop into a virtual workspace and pursuing a long-term software strategy for Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI).

According to Gartner, Read More »

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What Cisco Partners Need to Know About the New Release of VXI

Cisco partners have told us multiple times that the Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) continues to be the Gold standard for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). We appreciate your input. At the same time, we know there’s more we can do to help you.

So we’re happy to share with you that a new release of VXI comes out today. What does this mean for you?

Let’s have a look first at what’s new, how this meets your customers’ demands, and then how that applies to your business.

First, key to the announcement is an opportunity for partners to now offer Cisco’s collaborative services, enabled by Cisco Jabber. This means customers can select the work style most suited to their needs: mobile, fixed, and now virtual. Cisco Jabber for virtual environments is enabled by Cisco Virtualization Experience Media Engine (VXME), a new software component that delivers high-definition video and voice communications to be integrated as part of a virtual desktop session.

Why is this important for your customers? Read More »

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Model “A Day in the Life …” for Better Collaboration

There’s a lot of collaboration technology out there and deciding which technology to invest in can be daunting.  How often have you heard of a company making a major investment in technology for it to become “shelfware” and never see deployment?  How often have you heard of a company that’s deployed a technology, yet nobody in the company is willing to use it?  How often have you heard of a company that has several products from different vendors that do exactly the same thing?

It doesn’t take much to realize that each of these situations has a negative impact and the cause of each situation stem from different reasons, but usually with the best intentions.  Shelfware occurs because of undeployed licenses in ELA’s or quantity purchases for better per seat pricing.  Unfortunately, the business doesn’t grow and the company is obligated to pay for unused licenses.  Other times, a company deploys a product with great features that is too complex or doesn’t integrate well with workflows and remains unused.  Lastly, individual departments may make purchase decisions based on their needs without consulting IT or other departments resulting in redundant solutions that compete internally with each other.

In considering collaboration strategy, it is key to consider Read More »

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Collaboration in a Post-PC World Part Two: Architecting a Solution

In the first part of this series I introduced the people in our new “at-a-glance” graphic (see end of this blog where I’ve embedded it) and looked at their diverse roles and the challenges that posed to IT. In this wrap-up blog, I focus on Bijad, the VP of IT, his understanding of the challenges and his response.

Bijad is the man in the middle of the evolution to a post-PC world. As the range of available collaboration technologies has continued to broaden, the focus for IT has begun to swing from delivering individual best-in-class applications to an interest in an integrated collaboration experience that delivers consistent functionality across multiple devices. However, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. From the C-level suites, he is accountable for enabling this cost-effectively while providing a combination of scale, security, and accessibility through a variety of devices and operating systems. From his customers like Doug, Lee, Sarah, and Ben who you met in my previous blog, he’s hearing increasing demands for a rich, personalized, consistent user experience that lets each of them work and collaborate their way — where, when and how they want — without limits. They want tools to help them stay more connected with their peers and other organizations.

Bijad knows that this will require more flexibility and simplicity to preserve a consistent experience and that an open, interoperable architecture is key to success. Even more important, he knows that people, not technology, are the prime source of his company’s competitive differentiation. So he’s listening carefully, and thinking in terms of roles rather than devices.

To support Doug, the VP of sales, and people in similar highly-mobile, outward-oriented roles, Bijad is looking to Read More »

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Can Manufacturers Stop the BYOD Trend or Should They Even Try?

I just finished reading Chuck Robbins’ blog on the BYOD trend and its impact on corporate culture. In the blog Chuck cites a recent study on how most executives are still uneasy about their companies’ mobile data-access policies… and it got me thinking about how manufacturers are dealing with this trend.

More and more manufacturing workers are adopting mobile technologies into their workspace, and are growing accustomed to interacting and working in a more visual, virtual, social, and mobile way.  In fact a survey conducted by Manufacturing Executive this year noted that 63% of manufacturing companies permit their employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work, but only  17% of manufacturing enterprises have a formal BYOD strategy with clear goals and objectives.  Manufacturers are struggling with how to create, deploy and enforce sound enterprise wide security polices around BYOD.   Protecting intellectual property is only half the concern.  Manufacturers must also consider how a breach in security will effect the safety of their workers and environment, as well as, their products.

Although security is a top of mind concern for manufacturers, the promise of deploying a sound BYOD policy can not be discounted.   Empowering employees and partners with the freedom to collaborate and access video, data and voice on an open, mobile and personal platform can produce a culture that drives operational excellence, supply chain agility, and innovation throughout the entire manufacturing value chain from the plant floor up through to R&D centers.

For example if there is a problem on the manufacturing line, an employee with access to the company directory on their personal mobile device can locate and contact a supervisor or expert using Cisco Jabber and then launch with a single click mobile Cisco WebEx mobile,  where they can show the problem using the video camera on the device and quickly collaborate to solve the problem.

Supply chains can now become more agile and flexible, because customers and the enterprise can analyze, monitor and track progress from order through successful delivery in real-time.  Data is now not just captured, stored, analyzed and delivered, but is now acted upon, presented and shared with the appropriate people and systems in real-time.

In addition, a May 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that two of five survey respondents said they would accept a lower-paying job that offered more flexibility for device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.  Crucial for an industry looking to retain and attract a qualified workforce.

Can manufactures continue to avoid the new BYOD paradigm, or are they just delaying the inevitable? Let me know your thoughts.


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