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Customer Spotlight: Idaho Transportation Department Creates Cohesive Communications Environment

While Idaho isn’t a very populous state, with only 1.5 million people, it stretches across 83,000 million square miles. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is responsible for all transportation-related efforts in that area, from highway construction to the Department of Motor Vehicles. But with only 1,800 employees, that can be a real challenge! As ITD employees crisscross the state to ensure all transportation is running smoothly, they rely on a host of communications tools to stay connected with the department headquarters in Boise and other workers on the road.

Despite the amount the customer relied on communications tools to function, the department didn’t actually have a unified communications environment. Instead, employees just used whatever communications tools were available, purchasing and deploying new tools as they needed them. The result was a hodgepodge of tools that didn’t all fit together well and made for both inefficient communication and negative financial repercussions.

To control costs and create an easy and cohesive communications infrastructure, ITD went looking for a unified communications (UC) environment to address the challenge. After an internal audit and careful research, ITD chose to deploy a suite of Cisco collaboration tools, which included voice, video, data communications, IP phones, a call management system, Cisco WebEx, and Cisco Jabber.

Now, all of ITD’s employees have a suite of communications tools that work together seamlessly, are user-friendly, and expand the opportunities for employees to collaborate. The UC environment has also reduced long-term IT costs for the department and given them a successful model of how to quickly and successfully roll-out new communications in the future.

To read more about how Idaho Transportation Department is reaping the rewards of their new UC environment, check out the full case study. You can also go here to learn more about how Cisco collaboration tools can help your agency.

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Cisco and Microsoft Lync Content Sharing

Cisco has a proven track record of supporting open standards, designed for maximum scalability and effectiveness.  Our mission is to enable any to any collaboration – in a simple, intuitive and user friendly way. Unfortunately not all vendors are adapting to open standards. And customers that have already made significant investments in proprietary technologies are asking Cisco to help them bring these worlds together. To solve our customers’ challenges, Cisco has decided to expand our industry leading interoperability to include two way content sharing with Microsoft Lync 2013. This will be a software upgrade to existing solution. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to a release.

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On Premise Collaboration

When people think of WebEx the first thing that comes to mind is cloud collaboration and while that definitely is a viable and powerful collaboration tool, Cisco just recently has released an on premise version of WebEx that is currently at version 1.5.

The benefits of collaboration are numerous. Being able to share or schedule on the fly is nowadays critical in a work force that is distributed. Couple that with video and it’s even more powerful. Read More »

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Cisco Unified Communications 9.0 In the Cloud

“But didn’t you just release Cisco UC 9.0?”

I have heard this often since Oct 16 when we announced Cisco Unified Communications Release 9.0 “in the cloud”, or more specifically in Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). The question has led to positive discussions around Cisco’s focus on providing customers their choice of deployment model without compromise.

Cloud collaboration is an integral part of Cisco’s Collaboration strategy. We are committed to delivering feature parity for Cisco Unified Communications on premises and in the cloud. After a new Cisco UC release is made available for on premises deployment, then within 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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