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Simplifying Midsize Collaboration Deployments

feb 2015 midmarket blog image - guy walkingIn my last post I talked about the impact that low-effort experiences can have on customer satisfaction.  I singled out my home broadband provider for criticism, and so thought it only fair that I talk about a recent great experience I had with them.

Last month, my provider sent an email telling me that they’d proactively upgraded my home broadband service to 50Mbps.  All I had to do was replace my old cable modem/router.  The process couldn’t have been simpler.   The new modem was delivered with pre-configured settings. All I had to do was connect it, power up, and enter the network ID and password onto my devices.

Contrast this experience with lengthy and complicated installations that customers often face when installing multiple communications and collaboration solutions from multiple vendors.

For small and medium-sized businesses in particular, with smaller IT teams, it is critical that solutions are easy to deploy, manage, and use. So we’ve taken a different approach.

The Cisco Business Edition 6000 consolidates multiple virtualized collaboration applications into one server solution that is right-priced and right-sized for small to medium sized businesses.  IT departments can rapidly deploy voice, video, messaging, or presence solutions, starting with their highest-priority use cases — and add additional functionality later. Read More »

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Social Best Practices for Events and Conferences

Tradeshows and events are practically synonymous with the technology industry – after all our industry produces some of the largest ones in the world. Whether it’s unveiling new products or participating in keynote sessions, today’s conference experience does not begin and end on the show room floor.

Rather, social media is the heartbeat of the event – shaping how attendees, partners, influencers and customers experience the show in real-time.

In my role at Cisco, I’ve seen first hand how the power of social media can drive the tradeshow experience. Whether it’s hosting a tradeshow, such as Cisco Live, or participating in an industry event, here are some social media best practices to consider as you prepare for your next show:

Social in Command

In 2013, we debuted the Cisco Live Social Media Hub – the first-of-its-kind social command center. The Social Media Hub not only monitors and reports on event and industry conversations, but also offers deep insights into how in-person attendees and external audience members engage before, during and after with the show.

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For example, since the Hub is staffed with social media engagement experts, graphic designers, analytics specialists and logistics personnel, we can capture real-time data trends and use the insights to guide the development of engaging content and socially shared graphics.

The results have been nothing short of astounding:

  • On average, the number of impressions generated per day during Cisco Live US 2014 (#CLUS) totaled nearly 59 million.
  • Comparing the use of #CLUS in 2013 vs. 2014: #CLUS was used 35,500 times in 2013 and 47,365 times in 2014; an increase of over 33% year-over-year.
  • Two Cisco executives Trended NATIONALLY on Twitter during their keynote with the high volume of social engagement; all organic – no paid.

Recently, we have begun rolling out localized versions of the Hub to support other Cisco Live events around the world, such as Cisco Live Melbourne (#CLMel) in March. Although smaller in scale, the localized versions pack a serious social punch – bringing participants closer to the action than ever before.

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Stealing the Social Show

It might be easy for Cisco to be front and center in social conversations at our own events, but how can we rise above the noise and make a social impact at some of the largest tech tradeshows around the globe, such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress (MWC)?

Our teams have seen stellar results from engaging live-tweets, the development of real-time content creation, such as videos and graphics for social sharing and more.

For example, as a result of our social media efforts at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Cisco received a total of 4,002 conversations, with an estimated 13.8 million impressions! These figures support the fact that strategic and insightful social content can help brands stay top-of-mind in a highly-competitive social environment.

Stay tuned as I share more social media best practices in future posts. In the meantime, be sure to leave a comment and share your thoughts about what makes social media a success at tradeshows and events.

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A Better Way to Private Cloud

Organizations are realizing that without a formal comprehensive cloud strategy, line of business and application architects will continue to sidestep their internal IT organizations and procure solutions on their own – an industry phenomenon known as “rogue IT” which happens out of necessity.  While it helps solve the immediate problem, it brings with it a host of complications – compliance, governance, financial, security and more.

A formal cloud strategy helps ease cloud service adoption, drives standardization of services and increases the value of IT to the business.  For all these reasons, cloud is now considered a core element in many enterprise IT portfolios.

Yet for all the strategizing and trial steps taken by organizations, only a small number of companies have implemented true private clouds.   This is because automation is challenging but not as challenging as maintaining the manual and siloed methods used to manage the data center today.

People need deeper knowledge about automation. They have to understand the types of automation available. They want clear insight into the short-term and future impact of automation decisions made today so that they can create the right strategy for their business and select the appropriate automation methods and technologies to support their strategy.  Without the right tools and approaches to automation adoption, most organizations experience pain and chaos.

Increase your automation knowledge by attending for this upcoming live webcast featuring Dave Bartoletti of Forrester together with automation and cloud experts from Cisco.

Webcast Title:   A Better Way to Private Cloud

Date:     Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Time: 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific

Register

What you will learn:

  • How a pragmatic, stepwise adoption of automation accelerates adoption of cloud services within your organization
  • How solutions engineered for hybrid-ready private cloud enable your organization to capture new revenue opportunities with on-demand delivery of applications and their supporting infrastructure
  • How Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite offers you cloud strategy, automation, and management options

Developers, end users and customers expect continuous delivery and automation is the crucial element to making this happen.  Join us for this live webcast and hear how Cisco can let your business soar and take advantage of new business opportunities.

The number of attendees is limited so register today.

 

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Innovating Beyond Technology

When people talk about innovation, they typically refer to the underlying technology and its benefits to users.  For example, articles on innovation in the cloud often describe the new features and applications organizations can now access and the ways these will transform how they do they business.

Innovation, however, can go far beyond technology.  Sometimes, how technology is delivered is as important as the technology itself.  There can even be innovation in how a customer pays for services.

In their blog “How Predictable is the Cost of Your Cloud?” Cisco partner Vodafone describes how it has added value to its Cisco Powered Unified Communications service offering through their unique pricing model.

According to Vodafone, one of the benefits of unifying an organization’s communications is the ability for users to work where they want.  For many users, this means they can stay connected even when traveling in other countries. Read More »

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Dreams Come True for Cisco Networking Academy Students at NBA All-Star Game

Next week, 30 of the top Cisco Networking Academy students from the New York City Area will work side-by-side with engineers to set up massive networks at this year’s NBA All-Star Game.

As part of a Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team, they’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain hands-on experience and showcase their technical knowledge in front of potential employers.

Starting this Monday, we’ll follow Deborah Huyler and Andrew Torres, two of the Dream Team students, as they set up wireless access points, provide network troubleshooting, and soak in the sights and sounds of NBA All-Star 2015 throughout the week. They’ll be sharing their stories from Madison Square Garden the Barclays Center, and other event venues through journal entries, photo slideshows, and videos!

The Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team visited the NBA offices earlier this week

The Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team visited the NBA offices earlier this week

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