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Video Collaboration: As Easy As Voice

March 26, 2013 at 6:00 am PST

This blog is third and final in a series of blogs glimpsing into the future of video collaboration. The first blog was Video Collaboration: Better Than Being There.  The second blog was Video Collaboration: On Every Pane of GlassWe encourage you to read the series and let us know your thoughts.

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Let’s face it, there are times when many of us have had a challenging experience connecting everyone in a meeting with video. Delivering an improved experience is equally important for the end users as is for IT.

From the end user perspective, intuitive interactions, icon-driven interfaces, voice features in video phones, integrated help guides, and the availability of better applications that deliver consistent user video experiences across their many devices are all good things. This in turn makes the users less dependent on IT, and reduces the barriers for deployment. It is really simple — if a user likes what they use for these video experiences, then they will share it with other users and will help to onboard them. This leads to more people on the same platform, and as the video experience gets more broadly deployed, the benefits can be achieved by more people at more places. That is social networking 101. The BIG differences in the enterprise environment is that those new video experiences should be powered by an architecture and applications that deliver security, identity, quality, scale, reach and transparent integration with the rest of the IT applications the users require to work. But with the right architecture in place, the journey to a better video collaboration experience is well mapped and available from day 1.

From the IT perspective, these new video tools need to deliver business class, reliable, scalable, and highly integrated experiences. Video should be secure and video should be compliant. The software and hardware architecture should leverage the power of the network to make video as easy to turn up as voice. Having a single call control, conferencing, and management platform to administer all the services is key. Cisco is the only vendor in the market that can offer all these components (and the network layer integration). All these elements together help to make video a more effective business tool that drives video adoption and success.

We’re at a tipping point leading into the next wave of video innovation, delivering pervasive business benefits for users across the organization. Making video as easy as voice is a big step forward that spans the end to end user experience.

Cisco has been driving the waves of video innovation — helping businesses to empower, engage, and innovate — every step of the way:

  • From the first wave when we pioneered with the first architecture for voice, video and integrated data (AVVID) we helped to deliver video over the network as a communication tool.
  • Then Cisco drove the movement of video from a niche, optional communication vehicle for a few people, difficult to use, and IT support-intensive, to a one-touch, easy to use, IT automated, and fully integrated communications and collaboration tool that helped video to be the mainstream communication and collaboration tool we have today.
  • Right now we are working on driving the third wave of video innovation by making video fully integrated into business processes in order to leverage its power and reach as a business-critical application for all users — on every device and location. All powered by the intelligence of the network and the flexibility of our software. Our Medianet capabilities are paving the road for more pervasive video experiences for all devices and networks, based on open standards.

So if you believe — as I do — that video is here to stay, then dare to be bold and imagine what video can do for you and your business when video experiences can be better than being there, there is video on every pane of glass, and video can be as easy or easier than voice.

Learn about our video collaboration strategy and new recently announced pervasive video and conferencing solutions by watching our March 19 & 20 Collaboration Announcement Webcasts on demand now, including strategic overviews and demonstrations by Cisco leaders.  Then learn more technical details about the features and architecture that differentiate these new Cisco video, WebEx and unified communications solutions by attending our live April 16 Technical Briefing with Q&A.  I encourage you to learn more and register now now.

Roberto

 

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Cisco Announces New Software and Cloud Solutions that Change the Game in B2B Video Collaboration

Cisco is changing the game for B2B collaboration with new software and cloud advancements that make HD video collaboration more affordable and accessible between businesses. Today at Enterprise Connect, Cisco is announcing new enhancements across our collaboration portfolio that deliver conferencing your way on any device, anywhere.

It’s about bringing all types of conferencing together whether video, voice, or web with a consistent user experience — Cisco is doing this.

We’re also introducing new ways to help our customers take advantage of intelligence within the network to easily and cost-effectively scale video collaboration across their organization and business community. Here are a few highlights of what is now available: Read More »

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HOW WELL DOES TELEWORKING TRANSLATE?

Teleworking in emerging markets is on the increase. It’s helping businesses across Emerging countries to work and collaborate effectively, and be more productive wherever they are located.

In South Africa, 85% of companies offer flexible working*, which is a much higher proportion than some European countries. The next generation of workers in the Middle-East and Africa are expecting to have the option to work at home. In fact, only 9% think they’ll be in the office full time*, which suggests the days of a fixed workplace and 9-to-5 working are over.

At Cisco, we’re committed to offering choice to our workforce. We think this is fundamental to a positive and engaging employee experience. Teleworking here is encouraged and let me offer you a personal story from this week.

We had an Emerging Theatre ‘All Hands’ hosted by my boss and myself via WebEx. Let’s consider the numbers: we set this up giving our teams just 10 days’ notice; and we brought together over 500 of our colleagues from their desktops, workplaces and home offices to educate and inspire them using video collaboration: presentations, webcam and a Q&A via chat, text, email and audio.  This was one of the largest assemblies of our team this year and it took place across 12 timezones for 90 minutes.

Those numbers are quite staggering, even more so when you begin to consider the wider benefits: minimal disruption, maximum attendance, no additional travel arrangements, venues, (catering, flights, taxis, or hotels) and the bonus for employees is minimal impact on their private lives. The value for us is not merely in having the capability and flexibility to host this kind of event but also the level of participation and commitment from our teams.

What employees need – as well as choice -- is sensitivity to their circumstances and flexible workspaces that match their needs. For companies, not only does finding the right solution help to maintain productivity levels, it can also motivate existing staff and help you attract talent from the next generation who expect teleworking to be an option throughout their careers.

On a daily basis the power of our teleworking is bringing our talented people from across the whole of Emerging closer together at Cisco and the effects of teleworking on our productivity at work and our quality of life cannot be underestimated. We look forward to seeing you on a screen near us soon!

*Regus, 2011, global research report based on responses from 17,000 businesses across 80 countries

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Collaborating with Cisco WebEx Cloud

Over the last six months, I’ve talked with numerous customers and partners. One thing is clear: People get it. Connecting employees, vendors, partners, and customers — so they can work together with no barriers — makes sense. It saves money and time, and builds relationships.

It seems like overnight we landed in a post-PC world — a place where working from anywhere, anytime is how it is every day. Two technology trends are driving this new work-style while embracing the existing IT landscape: cloud-based applications and smart mobile devices.

Cloud-based services are already familiar in the consumer world — with music, storage, and social media — and in the business world with customer relationship management (CRM) and other transactional applications. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) model offers well-known benefits to IT — such as rapid deployment, flexibility to meet changes in demand, and the ability to shift costs from capital to a predictable operating expenses — all while providing an “always on” service that is available anytime, anywhere.

I keep coming back to that: anytime, anywhere. It is the touchstone for this new work model. Smart mobile devices are the perfect complements to cloud-based services. We can have consistent access to information from different devices and locations throughout the working day. Check email, join a conference call, or participate in a video conference — all from your smartphone, notebook, tablet, or desktop. Whether you are on the road, in the office, or at home — place doesn’t matter. The Cisco WebEx cloud collaboration applications are hosted on the Cisco WebEx Cloud, a platform that supports nearly two billion Read More »

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Join the Movement! Telework Week 2013

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 which provides agencies greater flexibility in managing their workforce.  It provides a framework for agencies to better leverage technology and to maximize the use of flexible work arrangements which can aid in recruiting new Federal workers, retain valuable talent and allow the Federal agency workers to be more responsive to citizen needs and be more productive out in the field.  This can include situations such as national security, emergency response, cross agency collaboration, or simply, providing citizen services such as language translation.

 

Last year, more than 71,000 people pledged, saving $5,651,890 on commuting costs, gaining back 251,774 hours into their day, and removing 3 tons of pollutents from the air while refraining from driving 6, 413,006 miles.

Today, Cisco and Telework Exchange kicks off the third annual Telework Week 2013 – an annual global effort to encourage agencies, organizations and individuals to pledge to work anytime, anywhere from March 4-8, 2013.  According to Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), author of the Telework Enhancement Act, “Telework Week is an excellent opportunity for thousands of people to try teleworking and realize the great benefits it can provide. A robust Telework program can help organizations improve the quality of life of their employees, while taking strides to protect the environment, reduce traffic congestion on the roads, and increase workplace efficiency.” 

 

 

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