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Video Collaboration and the Present Mom

“Mom, is there anything you don’t do well?” That came from Jaden, my twelve-year-old daughter, after a particularly arduous week tackling algebra and a To Kill a Mockingbird essay with a little help from me.

Clearly, I don’t do everything well, but the validation felt really good coming from a kid who I think is pretty extraordinary, herself. I might be slightly biased, but there’s enough evidence for extraordinary that some of my colleagues call me “Tiger Mom.” What they don’t know is that by Amy Chua standards, I would be a deadbeat mom since I only make my kids practice piano 30-45 minutes a day, and sometimes not everyday (gasp!).

Kim N and daughters 2All joking aside, I did ponder why I was the object of such adoration during a time when kids often retreat from their parents. And I believe it’s because I’m able to be around a lot and be present for my kids at their point of need. That’s because the collaboration tools that are essential to my productivity as an employee also give me the flexibility to work from home and still only be a video call away for my kids when I’m not.

The ability to be present at the point of struggle, at the point of discovery, at the point of accomplishment has been key to my close relationship with my children and in their development. But isn’t that true with just about any relationship? Don’t relationships with customers, partners and colleagues also flourish if you can be immediately present at their point of need?

The video collaboration technologies that are designed for faster decision-making, faster time to market and beating the competition are, in my world, really just about connecting people at their core. Read More »

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ACG Research says “Cisco Continues to grow Market Share Leadership in Mobility” – #1 in Mobile IP Infrastructure, Packet Core, Mobile Backhaul, PCRF, and Mobile IP Core” for Q1 2015.

So here we are in the middle of Spring 2015 and the temperature is beginning to rise, yes finally here in New England the temperature is beginning to rise after such a harsh winter. What is also on the rise according to ACG Research is the Cisco IP Infrastructure Market-Share. ACG published today their 1st Quarter 2015 Mobile IP Infrastructure Report and it stated that Cisco led the mobile industry

  • Mobile IP Infrastructure at 44.7% up 5% QoQ
  • Mobile IP Backbone at 69.6% up 2.6% QoQ
  • Mobile IP Backhaul at 45.7% up 9.9% QoQ
  • Packet Core (EPC + MPC) at 30.1%

Market Shares of Leading Vendors

With the recent announcements of merger mania in the Video and Mobile market, we expect Read More »

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Innovation in Action: Exciting Catalyst Demonstrations at TM Forum Live in Nice

Last month, I encouraged you to come visit our booth at TMFLive! in Nice to see how Cisco’s unified service management solution helps Service Providers transform their networks into centers of excellence for building customer trust and loyalty by enhancing the customer experience. Now I am proud to announce that, once again, Cisco has partnered with other industry leaders in a number of exciting Catalyst projects that take the evolution of customer experience to the next level while driving operational transformation towards unprecedented agility and efficiency. I’d like to briefly introduce these Catalysts, and encourage you to visit their booths in Nice to learn more:

1) Big Data Driven OSS

Cisco is collaborating with Read More »

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Mobile Growth is Key Focus at 2015 ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference

The explosive growth of mobile offers the greatest opportunity for contact centers. If the consensus among those at ICMI’s Contact Center Expo and Conference is any sign, mobile is the place to focus.

But while there’s consensus about mobile, there isn’t consensus on a standard definition of mobile customer care. Many consider mobile to be just another device to support or another channel into the contact center. However, participants and speakers at ICMI did not have a standard definition of mobile customer care. Many consider mobile to be just another device to support or another channel into the contact center.

I talked to Nemertes Research Analyst Lisa Durant to get her perspective. She agrees there is a dramatic evolution in the industry as mobile interaction continues its explosive growth as a contact method. Durant takes a broader view of mobile customer care to include “any interaction using a mobile device.” Whether a customer makes a voice call to a contact center, completes a transaction online, or engages via social media, she points out that the user is most likely on a mobile device.

As a silver sponsor at ICMI, the Cisco team experienced that strong interest in mobile. Attendees kept the booth staff busy demonstrating Remote Expert Mobile. Armed with iPads and Cisco DX80 endpoints, Cisco engineers Brian Cole and Doug King demonstrated products in the Cisco Customer Collaboration portfolio, including Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, Cisco Unified Contact Center Express, Remote Expert Mobile, and Context Service.

The Evolving Mobile Customer Experience

Despite continued growth in mobile, Read More »

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Cisco Partners Poised to Cash in on Line of Business Selling

The way we sell to customers continues to evolve. What works for a while may not be effective in a year or two because the market and buyers are continually changing. Back when I first started in sales many moons ago, the small regional company I worked for didn’t leverage any type of formal selling model. We were encouraged to personalize our sales approach, build relationships with customers and continually build pipeline. While these things are still important, they may not be enough to sustain your business. Understanding the various sales methodologies and applying those models that fit the maturity of your particular local market is critical for your long term success.

The first methodology I was able to leverage was Solution Selling in the mid 1990’s. With Solution Selling, the salesperson focuses on the customer’s pain(s) and addresses those pains with his or her offerings (product and services). The resolution of the pain is what constitutes a “solution”. Typically, we would focus on taking a “latent pain” (something that was always in the back of the customers’ mind) and create a sense of urgency around it. Since I was selling IT services, my questions and solutions were designed for IT Buyers. This worked very well for a few years as I was selling a limited set of solutions.

With Cisco in the mid 2000’s, we were focused on solution selling but it became a challenge as more and more of our products were designed to work together. We needed a selling methodology that would put our products and services into a much broader context for our customers.  We moved to an Architectural Selling Model. Instead of solving for specific business problems, the architectural seller looks for opportunities to change and improve entire customer business functions by creatively applying their products and services.  Here, an architectural seller from Cisco would look to determine how a large investment in Collaboration hardware, software and services can help clients improve the effectiveness and efficiency of how they collaborate, increase productivity and lower their total cost of ownership, accelerate time to market and increase revenue growth, improve customer satisfaction and generate new ideas. Typically this type of selling is directed towards IT buyers as well and results in much larger deal sizes. Read More »

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