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Virgin Media Rolls Out Cisco Quad As Part of its Flexible Working Initiative

Over the last several months, Cisco has been espousing the virtues of people-centric collaboration and today we’re thrilled to announce that Virgin Media is deploying Cisco Quad, Cisco WebEx and Cisco Unified Communications as part of its Flexible Working Initiative. By putting people and not text, email or the document at the center of collaboration, Virgin is able to foster a more flexible work environment that allows people to work effectively from a variety of office locations including the home. Thousands of Virgin Media’s employees will now be able to collaborate and work remotely with web-driven conferencing, voice, video calls and shared documents from the device of their choice – be it PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, using a social business platform to drive a new way of work.

Cisco Quad, Cisco’s social business platform, will act as a virtual knowledge bank accessible via any browser that helps create virtual business communities where filtered and relevant information “finds you” allowing users to find resources and prioritize work in a manner befitting the generation we live in.  WebEx high-definition video helps engage workers and allows them to meet “face-to-face” no matter where they are.

Collaboration technology lets Virgin Media’s employees enjoy greater work/life balance while also giving them the ability to access information anywhere to make decisions more quickly.

For more details, see the full press release.

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How Are Large Enterprises Utilizing Collaboration in the Cloud?

Today, we ‘re featuring a guest post from Brian Blatnik, a senior manager within Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group:

In the month since our CloudVerse announcement the notion of a world of many clouds – public, private, and hybrid – has resonated with our customers, partners, and industry analysts. I’d like to share some perspective on how those types of clouds address different customers in the collaboration cloud services market. Since last month’s announcement highlighted our private cloud model in that market, Hosted Collaboration Solution for Large Enterprises, I’ll focus on that model. As a reminder, the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers.

I’m often asked, “Haven’t enterprise voice and other UC services always been delivered from what we now call a private cloud?” It’s true that IP PBXs and other UC servers, like their PBX predecessors, provide services to users from a remote room or facility via a network. But there are two ways in which today’s cloud service delivery differs. First, there is the efficiency of pooling computing, network, and storage resources across multiple locations and services. Second, the services can be delivered in an on-demand fashion with elastic scaling.

The financial and strategic benefits deriving from these two factors are leading many businesses to consider consuming collaboration services in a utility model from Cisco’s partners in the Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). But the same drivers can result in substantial benefits to businesses that aren’t looking for services from a third party’s public cloud. Read More »

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Four Ways Social Software Collaboration Technology Can Change Higher Education

New media and collaboration technologies have the potential to transform higher education in terms of the classroom, the learning process, the relationship between students and instructors, and how institutions conduct academic research. While much of the industry discussion revolves around use of consumer tools and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, Cisco’s educational customers also see tremendous opportunity to increase student engagement and drive their own institutional strategies with “enterprise class” social software as well.

Since Cisco first announced Quad, we have had conversations with dozens of colleges and universities regarding the role enterprise social software and Cisco Quad can play in transforming education. Cisco Quad is an enterprise collaboration platform that brings people together to share ideas and content, collaborate on projects, and interact using chat, voice or video, regardless of where people are located.

Below, we’ve outlined four ways in which educational institutions are telling us enterprise social software is helping, or can transform the way learning, research, and academic advisement is crafted, delivered and consumed:

1. The 24/7 interactive classroom: Instructors often struggle to deliver a collaborative environment for their students that is secure and supports multiple access methods such as mobile.  Technology like Quad can enable students to interact in a secure, policy-based manner that extends the classroom conversation beyond physical walls. Courses partially or wholly targeted at off-campus students can similarly benefit from enhancing the class-like experience for remote students. For example, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the cross country MBA students based in the US, England, India and other countries are using Quad to create virtual working groups, find people with common interests, share files or videos with other students working on similar projects and instantly start video conferences or chat sessions. Quad provides students with the ability to interact, ask questions and share ideas with professors/faculty/tutorial assistants anytime, as opposed to only during fixed faculty office hours. It can also drive improved accountability on team projects, as content and comments are tracked in activity feeds and in project communities by both participating students and faculty leads.

2. Serendipitous Research: Quad contains several features, such as an activity feed that compiles microblog posts from students and staff and allows a snapshot view of a person’s current activities. These dynamic updating functionalities can facilitate broader cross-departmental collaboration, for students and researchers alike. Security features ensure that research that needs to be confidential is shared in a secure and safe manner.  As researchers update their statuses with exciting discoveries or frustrating problems, or create posts, upload videos or otherwise document their work, this content becomes accessible to hundreds of fellow university researchers through activity feeds and searches, making it possible for providential inter-disciplinary connections to be made and new insights to be generated. Read More »

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Executive Perspectives Part 2 – Toyota Streamlines Business with Cisco

December 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm PST

Check out this part 2 of our Executive Perspectives series. Here we follow on from Part One: Executive Perspectives and AkzoNobel – Manufacturing Industry CIO/CXO Special – Part 1, and look at how one of Cisco’s customers in the automotive industry has partnered to gain real business benefits.

A well-known brand and Cisco customer

Following the economic turbulence of the “Great Recession,” Toyota felt the need to improve its revenue structures. These earnings are directly linked to advanced work performed by knowledge workers in areas such as research and development on new cars, production, and sales. Toyota also wanted to shorten its product time-to-market to maintain its competitive market lead. The firm turned to the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) to help Toyota determine where improvements could be made and how to implement them.

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