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Partner Voices: Logicalis Customers Get Smarter and Faster with Cisco Smart Solutions

This is the latest in a series of posts featuring partner success stories where partners share how they’re helping customers achieve their goals by using Cisco technology. This week we’re pleased to feature Chris Gabriel, Vice President of Solutions Management, Logicalis Group.

Say you are the CMO of a retailer who has just surveyed your customers and found that providing an iPad-enabled queue jumping option in your stores would make them three times more likely to choose you over a competitor. Wow! A Eureka moment if ever there was one.

Now say you are the COO of a major manufacturer who has just realized that your business is producing a mountain of data that if used in real time could reduce your cost base by 2% and improve your margins and competitive edge. Pow! The value of big data hits you right between the eyes.

These moments of insight are now happening more and more at a faster pace. New technologies transform the way we think about our world; just think how many new business apps are available on your iPad, and it’s only three years old. There’s a lesson in this speed, and it’s that looking smart in the IT world isn’t about how much technical jargon you know, but rather how quickly you can enable your customer to meet its business priorities.

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Video Collaboration Helped Me Say Yes to the Dress!

March 28, 2013 at 10:13 am PST

I recently saw a blog post from my colleague on how video technologies like Cisco Remote Expert are completely revolutionizing the way we do things; for example, applying for your wedding license via video.

It was his blog that made me think about my own upcoming nuptials and the role that video collaboration played in my wedding planning. And while I didn’t apply for my marriage license via telepresence, I did however do something pretty cool that I wanted to share.

I don’t personally consider myself a bridezilla, no comment on what my bridesmaids and husband-to-be would say, but I did find myself in a tizzy regarding my wedding dress. Like any bride, I wanted the support of my closest family and girlfriends when I went dress shopping. However, I was on the hunt for a dress during a trip to my home state of Louisiana and my sister, who’s my best friend and maid-of-honor, was in Virginia.

She’s my older sister, so I’ve been asking for her opinion since I was a kid. When it came to my dress shopping, I was upset at the thought of not getting to share that moment with her. I had to think outside of the box to make sure she was there for the experience — and boy did I ever.

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series: Enabling Big Data Analytics Through Government Cloud

Governments around the world understand the importance of a national ICT infrastructure and the role it can play in the economic and social development of a country.

However, there is a significant industry trend called Big Data that, I believe, presents a major opportunity for governments to deliver more targeted services to citizens and businesses.

Three key aspects of Big Data are already impacting governments around the world:

  1. Volume: Each interaction with a government entity creates digital records, network traffic, and storage requirements. The compound annual growth rates of global consumer and business data are expected to climb by 36 percent and 22 percent, respectively, between 2010 and 2015.
  2. Velocity: Data is being collected at greater and greater speeds. One example of the new velocity of data is the U.K. government’s transition to real-time tax reporting, where employers submit earnings and taxation information on a monthly rather than annual basis.
  3. Variety: In addition to traditional documents and forms, governments now must deal with torrents of less-structured data such as video from public safety and security systems, along with social media feedback. The multiple channels through which people now interact with government have also created a challenge.

It is not the data itself that creates innovative opportunities for governments, but the potential for analytics and insight around this vast array of information across many formats. Big Data could enable governments to shorten the daily commute for citizens by developing predictive analytics on traffic flows and actual traffic data affecting traffic signaling in real time. Or perhaps governments could help with rapid identification and control of disease outbreaks—from flu, to infectious diseases, to food contaminants.

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Recap of Cisco at Next Generation Insurance Summit and Best Practices in Retail Financial Services Symposium

Cisco attended the Next Generation Insurance Summit (March 11-13) in Newport Beach, CA and the Best Practices in Retail Financial Services Symposium (March 13-15) in Carlsbad, CA. Some of the top minds in the financial services industry were in attendance and it was great to see these leaders deliver ideas and solutions for how to further the customer experience for both industries as well as the agent experience in insurance. Both conferences focused on reducing the amount of time it takes to adopt new technology and innovative ideas for competitive advantage, a current problem many financial institutions are going through.

At the Next Generation Insurance Summit, Cisco’s Michael Cantwell, Financial Services Solutions Architect, delivered a keynote on building a customer centric distribution network and how the expectations of today’s insurance customer has of their insurance institution/agent. He stated that from the end customer’s point of view everything is getting more integrated and simplified, but that insurers have yet to create that agent or customer omnichannel capability that allows for communication channel choice as well as fluid switching during an interaction to answer questions or assist in self-directed channels. Michael also touched on how enabling insurers with new tools and technologies, including sales force automation and mobile devices, will be key to fulfilling overarching business goals of improving sales interactions through traditional channels and, therefore, driving revenue.

Attendees showed immediate interest when Michael spoke about the best methods for line of business executives to work with their IT executives and vice versa. The success of customer retention rates among insurers who have incorporated Cisco solutions to improve customer-centricity was also of special interest to attendees. Read More »

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Transforming the Retail Experience with Video Collaboration

It’s happened to you many times – you’re in a store desperately trying to find a clerk to give you more information about a product you intend to purchase. But no such luck. Cisco is changing that with its Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail.

Rob Lloyd - Remote ExpertA recent article recapping a keynote at last week’s Enterprise Connect with Cisco’s Robert Lloyd, highlighted how Cisco wants to make the customer experience not only easier, but more enjoyable. What’s the overarching goal? Making sure the customer has a highly-personalized experience and is equipped with information to make their final purchase decision.

Once retailers get that prospect into a store they can’t afford to risk losing sales from customers left unsatisfied with the service they receive. Cisco’s Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail enables retailers to provide customers with consistent, fulfilling and positive shopping experiences. Using real-time, life-like video from screens positioned throughout stores, experts, can connect via video to share documents, videos, websites and any other content helpful to customers. This access to experts can reassure them about quality, functionality and how it might fit individual customer needs.

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