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Video Changes the Equation

At our recent Collaboration Summit in Boca Raton, I had the opportunity to sit down with some of our customers and talk about how they are incorporating video into their organizations. It’s clear that many of our customers are already seeing the business benefits of video – whether it’s using remote expert services to improve pipeline conversion or launching new services more quickly through video collaboration.

But what if you looked at video not just as a way to help you improve what you are already doing, but as a way to allow you to do things you couldn’t do before? Things that previously were not feasible because of cost, resources, or other perceived barriers?

What if you could offer health services to a segment of the population you could not previously reach?

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Looking for Santa? Use Cisco Location-Based Wi-Fi!

As children all around the world are eagerly anticipating Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve, children in hospitals around the Americas were able to get their wish list in before the big day. This month, Cisco teamed up with several children’s hospitals with a Santa Connection project, which allowed children not well enough to visit Santa onsite to still communicate their wishes to him from their bedside using Cisco video.

I was able to work with one of these hospitals, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, to augment the Santa Connection experience with a ‘Santa tracking’ app, which allowed children to know how close Santa was to making his virtual appearance to individual rooms in the hospital. An elf traveling ahead of the Santa Video team carried an iPad displaying a live webpage showing the location of the much-anticipated video visit. Here is a screenshot of the app experience:


Utilizing the Connected Mobile Experiences solution, which includes the REST APIs provided by the Mobility Services Engine (MSE), we were able to show the children where the Santa team was in relation to them – with a Santa icon where Santa’s video crew was and a smiley face showing the child’s current location. Read More »

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Naughty or Nice: Cisco Wireless Rewards Release 7.6 Innovations to All

Deloitte’s 2013 Annual Holiday survey came out with some staggering statistics:

  • Nearly 7 in 10 shoppers will use their smartphones and tablets to shop this holiday season.
  • Nearly half of all shoppers will use social media to assist in shopping.
  • 73% of shoppers will be influenced by coupons and promotional offers.

Retailers both online and in-store can no longer ignore the power of mobile technology and social media influence with shoppers. Shoppers using mobile devices inside stores are actually more likely to make a purchase when being presented with the right information. In fact, this isn’t only true for retailers, but across all industries. Whether it’s guests, visitors, patients or passengers, there’s a real opportunity for businesses to make an impression via the mobile device.

Today I am happy to announce our latest Cisco Wireless Software Release 7.6. As you may recall from Sujai Hajela’s State of Cisco WLAN blog earlier this week, Cisco’s Wireless group has been ahead of the competition with our dedication to delivering cutting edge, high performing technology to our customers.

Many features in Release 7.6 were designed specifically to enable our customers to take advantage of the latest mobile trends. Here are some of the highlights:

Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX)

CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi is a joint Cisco — Facebook solution for guest Wi-Fi. Read More »

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Cisco Brings Joy for One Very Special Family Reunion

Every year for the last seven years, Cisco and its Santa Connection program have brought video collaboration technologies to hospitals across North America for child patients to virtually connect with Santa Claus in the North Pole.

The children get the opportunity to ask Santa what they want for Christmas either by video chatting on iPads using Cisco Jabber or through Cisco TelePresence and mobile carts. For these children, it’s a chance to enjoy the holiday season during their hospital stay.

Cisco Santa Connection 2013This year, Santa visited U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital virtually on December 12, and spoke with several of the kids – each with unique requests for what they wanted for Christmas.

But one boy named William, who’d been staying at U.C. Davis due to a recent injury, asked Santa for something really special. When it was his turn, he told Santa that all he wanted for Christmas was for his father to come home from Cairo, Egypt.

William’s father has been stationed overseas in the military, but little did William know that his father had been granted leave to come home to see him. So Cisco and U.C. Davis thought they could make their reunion extra special.

On December 19, during William’s dad’s flight back from Cairo, Cisco asked Santa to make a special visit to see William. Santa then brought an iPad to William’s bedside for a call with his dad. Santa told William his dad was currently at the embassy of Cairo – only the call “mysteriously” dropped.

Santa then told William instead to close his eyes and wish for his Dad to be there in person. And just seconds later, William’s dad came through the door!

Needless to say, William, his dad and the rest of the family were overjoyed to have everyone together again.

We were so pleased that Cisco, the U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital staff and Santa helped to make William’s wish come true just in time for Christmas!


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The IoE Enterprise: Diverse, Inclusive, and Hyperconnected

If it seems as if the roles of chief information officer (CIO) and chief diversity officer (CDO) rarely overlap, think again. In today’s hypercompetitive — and hyperconnected — global marketplace, inclusion, collaboration, and technology are merging as essential drivers of innovation and business success. And the relationship between the CIO and CDO may never be the same.

Indeed, fostering a policy of inclusion and diversity in your organization isn’t just the right thing to do; increasingly, it is also the profitable thing to do. And, it’s a clear business imperative, since great ideas come from all corners — and levels — of the organization.

In a Cisco survey of 7,500 companies, 93 percent of enterprises with a formal policy of inclusion reported that their collaboration technology investments outperformed their business value expectations. That’s just one example of the inclusion/diversity/value equation at work.

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