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Continuing the Evolution of Video

Enterprises have made major investments in video endpoints and continue to do so—with good reason. Would you personally want to attend a two-day strategy meeting via iPhone or Skype? I doubt it. There is a place and a time for room-based systems, and our customers not only understand and appreciate that—they invest accordingly.

At the same time, it is important to note that hardware costs have come down, and new pricing models and financing are available too. Bottom line: our customers can video-enable their organizations or their home offices for remote workers, with a desktop system that delivers a high-quality video experience for as little as $25/month.  Customers can also deploy larger integrated systems for a more immersive experience for as low as $350/month. These price points bring boardroom video capabilities to a user spectrum across the company.

With all the talk of clouds and services, we see an even bigger opportunity for customers to get more out of their hardware investments.  We are modifying our endpoints to work seamlessly with the collaboration devices people choose to use on their personal time. Case in point: Read More »

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Collaboration Without Borders: Saving Money, Helping Patients

The next wave of the Internet is driving the most disruptive change in history. Powered by mobile devices and apps—collaboration technologies that seamlessly allow people to work across multiple video and mobile devices—people are using technology to share ideas and opinions, and to reach the people and resources they need at any given moment. For the young Millennials who have grown up with the Internet, life flows seamlessly between the physical and virtual worlds. For professionals and executives, the Rolodex file of old has transformed into an online network for real-time, multi-person, topic-focused collaboration, not just as individuals but also in their enterprises.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is accelerating this trend, creating real business value through the networked connection of people, process, data, and things. Earlier this year, Cisco® research identified $14.4 trillion in Value at Stake for the private sector that will be created or migrated among companies in the IoE economy over the next decade. Collaboration, video, and mobility will contribute 55 percent of this value—or $7.9 trillion in private sector Value at Stake by 2022.

Large global organizations are using collaboration, video, and mobility technologies to reach across time zones and organizational borders to spur innovation, solve complex problems, accelerate business processes, and reduce travel costs. These companies are investing in collaboration solutions because they can see direct benefits to their business—both in growing their top-line revenues and reducing costs to improve profitability.

In a recent survey by Forbes, more than 90 percent of respondents at companies that lead in collaboration technology adoption said that pervasive and extensive collaboration generates profound or disruptive innovation and enables efficient business processes. More than three-quarters of respondents agreed that collaboration accelerates business results and creates a competitive advantage.

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Bringing the Internet of Everything to Life for Hoteliers

In my recent post, “The Internet of Everything’s Impact on Hospitality, I discussed how the Internet of Everything (IoE) is currently transforming the hospitality industry to more effectively enhance the guest experience while ensuring operational efficiencies and sustainability for hoteliers.

Bringing the Internet of Everything to Life for Hoteliers

As we continue to move into a new age of mobile and connected things, IoE presents a number of advantages for hoteliers, increasing business value as well as securing customer loyalty through enhanced guest experiences. Hotels that leverage IoE capabilities are made possible through technologies such as Wi-Fi-enabled RFID sensors and Bluetooth LE.

Read More »

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Omnichannel Is Changing How You Do Business – Sort Of

This is the final installment of a series on how retailers can address the challenges of becoming an omnichannel business. I’d like to wrap up by talking about a deceptively simple stumbling block – accepting that being an omnichannel seller changes how people work.  I spend much of my time talking to retailers, and this really is a big issue.

For example, I have seen stores install – and then turn off – Wi-Fi deployments because they worry that associates will waste time surfing the web. And, yes, some might. But consider the cost compared to customers knowing more than your salesforce because they’ve been doing online research. It makes your team look uninformed, lowers the quality of service, and impacts sales. Obviously, you don’t want workers to play games all day. Instead, train them to find and use online product information, social media, and reviews that will help improve response to customers – and deal appropriately with the exceptions.

Related to this are issues around Wi-Fi access for customers. If you provide it for employees, please just go ahead and extend this to shoppers. Universal store access allows you to optimize your brand with both employees and customers (and enables far more effective analytics). I guarantee that you will lose relevance over time as consumers learn your store is one of the few without mobile service.

As well, I’ve met retailers who won’t add Wi-Fi because they are convinced that the only outcome will be showrooming and ultimate desertion. It’s time to shed the fear of this increasingly common customer practice. Instead, leverage it as a new marketing tool. You can drive sales by being part of the customer’s social media experience, delivering your own identity, branding, and incentives. A recent Accenture study shows that younger consumers still want the in-store experience, but they also expect retailers to integrate personalized shopping across all channels.

Let’s talk more about this at the NRF Big Idea Sessions in New York, where I and Jon Stine, Lisa Fretwell, and Kathryn Howe will be speaking on Jan. 13 and 14.  Visit Cisco’s NRF website to learn more about these popular seminars, and stop by Cisco Booth #1954 to say hello.

The idea of omnichannel selling can be daunting, and getting the benefit may entail learning to manage a certain amount of risk. But you know – it’s just retail. The environment is becoming more device-driven and the way stores look is changing. But giving consumers what they want; interacting with, understanding, and nurturing them: It’s still the business of retail. And you know how to do that.

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Summary: Transforming Child Safety through Mobility

New innovations in mobility are transforming our daily lives and the safety of our loved ones. As the growth of mobility enables more wearable devices and applications that include GPS and Wi-Fi features, it is becoming increasingly easier for parents to remotely monitor their children’s safety while managing their own daily tasks.

Gartner predicts that wearable electronics will be a $10 billion industry. This opens up many opportunities for organizations that can successfully respond to the rapidly changing mobile landscape by bridging enterprise and service provider networks through an architectural approach to mobility.

How will this increase in mobile data impact your infrastructure and security? Two common concerns that must be addressed are the issue of bandwidth and the potential for malware attacks. It is important that IT leaders consider how a stable and secure network can significantly impact the future of mobility.

Read the full Transforming Child Safety through Mobility blog to learn more.

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