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Hollywood Got Collaboration Right

If you’ve ever tried to dial in to a conference call from the school’s carpool lane after dropping off your kids and ended up with the other parents honking at you while you tried to join, you won’t recognize Hollywood’s version of collaboration.

On TV shows, no one is ever searching for a conference dial-in and in the movies when the hero rushes out of the conference room her video call instantly transfers to her phone without missing a beat.

Unfortunately the real world isn’t like the movies.  Our daily work lives are filled with the frustrations of trying to get technologies to work well together, as we all deal with the reality of outdated, complex, and difficult to use collaboration tools.

When I took over Cisco’s Collaboration group three years ago, I got to experience the great products and see the great experiences we could deliver.  But I also saw where the sitcoms got their material.

I told my team that we not only have to pay attention to the details, but that we need to let the future inspire us as we drive towards a totally seamless collaboration experience.  One where the right information just appears when it is supposed to, when all the technology just works, and where people pop in and out of virtual spaces like magic: Just like you might see in a futuristic movie.

Imagine a work week when you didn’t need to say “I’ll set up a meeting as soon as I am back at my desk,” because setting up a meeting from your mobile device was actually easy to do. Or one in which you could spontaneously share a document with a colleague who called you, because every call is also a meeting.  Or one when joining a conference call from your car meant was a one-touch experience and didn’t require pulling over so you could write down the meeting number and password.

To get work done, people need to be able to message, meet and call each other without thinking about it and without stopping to consider what device they are using.  Whether they are on a room system, a desktop phone, or a mobile phone, they should all work the same.

When you get a call you should be able to answer on any of your devices–and if you want to change the device you are using, that should be easy too.

Today’s announcements about moving our core collaboration products to the cloud under a single platform, Spark, take us to this reality.

With the new Cisco Spark platform– and the groundbreaking new collaboration technologies built upon it–we can finally start to usher in that futuristic world we’ve all been dreaming of.  We can’t wait to share it with you.

Check out the replay of my keynote at Collaboration Summit where I go into detail about our latest collaboration announcements.

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Top Cisco Collaboration Partners for 2015 Recognized with Awards

How exciting and inspiring it was to welcome partners from around the world to Collaboration Summit 2015 last night! We had a great time, and I could tell as we said goodnight, that we were all brimming with anticipation for the next few days. I can confirm for all of you, we will be sharing some historic news that will greatly accelerate our collaboration business.

For those who are not with us in person, I strongly recommend tuning into the live stream of the keynotes from Rowan and Jonathan today at 9:00 a.m. PT – or catching the replay on demand. I could not be more excited to share the news with you this week, and for the success we’ll certainly create together in 2016 and beyond.

Last night, we were thrilled to recognize a select number of our partners with well-deserved awards for their outstanding performance in fiscal 2015. On behalf of the entire Cisco team, it is my sincere pleasure to recognize them again here. And extend my warm thanks to all of our valued partners for the success we shared this past year.

2015 Cisco Collaboration Partner Award Winners:

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Our Innovation Ecosystem Shines Brilliantly at IoTWF in Dubai

As the sun rises on the third day of the third annual Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) this year in the super smart city of Dubai – the brilliance of the Internet of Things (IoT) market and the robust ecosystem that supports it continues to shine brightly. Rapid IoT prototyping and other innovative solutions that are transforming business and society flourished during three days of demos, case studies, keynotes, breakout sessions, hackathons, smart city tours and much more.

It’s fitting that this year’s IoTWF came toward the end of the calendar because it mirrored a full year of explosively disruptive growth and value – all made possible by connecting the unconnected through a digital platform we call the Internet.

Cisco's Innovation Engine_StaticIoT and its continuous evolution to the Internet of Everything – the connection of people, process, data and things – is maturing at unprecedented speed. The evidence was all around us with examples of how cloud, fog, mobility, sensors and other technologies are converging to create a new digital world. These outcome-based solutions are capturing new value in industries ranging from oil and gas, retail and healthcare to manufacturing, transportation and the public sector. The excitement, opportunity and optimism for IoT/IoE was literally tangible at IoTWF.

I know there is overwhelming statistical research and myriad examples of IoT’s expanding landscape. However, for me, one of the clearest signs of market acceleration is seeing the robust ecosystem of accelerators, incubators, startups, entrepreneurs and app developers that are coming together to drive innovation in this area.

At Cisco, we believe the next big idea can come from anywhere and we’ve built our own innovation engine around build, buy, partner, invest and co-development to reflect this. Specifically with IoT, we’re looking at how we apply this strategy – be it partnering with peers to introduce industry standards or encouraging the entrepreneur spirt with industry challenges. Coming out of this event, I am particularly proud of our work with our extended ecosystem showcased at this year’s IoTWF to bring IoT to life.

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What Is Rowan Trollope Announcing at Collaboration Summit?

What will Rowan announce at Collaboration Summit? It’s a popular question leading up to Tuesday’s keynote.

If you want to know, then I may be able to share a few things…

The first thing to share is that Cisco Collaboration is hot.  In Cisco’s last quarterly announcement, Collaboration has continued to grow and saw a 17% Y/Y increase. It’s great news for Cisco and great news for the organizations that look to Cisco for the best offerings in collaboration technology.

It’s the tenet of putting forth the “best offering” that, in my opinion, is responsible for our success. And will be responsible for our continued success in collaboration. Rowan has a philosophy of creating products that are delightful to use in all aspects. There is no compromise on quality.

The product designs are simple, clean, and it’s a pleasure to use them. This is evident through the red dot design awards we’ve received. Design is not just how a product looks, but also how it functions. As a frequent user of many Cisco collaboration products, I can tell you the experience is awesome and continues to be more awesome with each iteration.

At the Cisco Collaboration Summit:

  • Will Rowan announce new products?
  • Will Rowan announce new and better experiences?
  • Will Rowan talk about the Apple partnership?

I can only give you a definite maybe on those particular topics. However, you’ll hear announcements of some very cool and exciting things. If you’d like to know what they are, register to watch the live broadcast of the keynote sessions. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear it live and hear it first.

You will hear from:

Register Here
Live Keynote Broadcast
December 8

at 9am Pacific / 12 pm Eastern

Let us know what you think of the news afterward.  There will also be plenty of tweeting going on using the #csummit hashtag.  Watch for it and contribute.  We’d love to hear from you.

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OpenFog Consortium Gains Momentum as Fog Picks Up Steam

This week, I’m joining leaders from industry, academia, and government at the Internet of Things World Forum (#IoTWF) in Dubai, and fog computing is a hot topic in many of our discussions. As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more pervasive in our homes, cars, city services, and across industries, fog computing will become an essential technology for capturing value in many IoT use cases.

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Anil Menon President, Smart + Connected Communities at Cisco and John Defterios, Emerging Market Editor with CNN talk briefly about the newly formed OpenFog Consortium at the IoTWF.

That is why I am particularly happy to be representing the OpenFog Consortium, as well as Cisco, at this global event. The consortium was formed to accelerate the deployment of fog technologies and to provide industry and academic leadership in developing fog computing frameworks and architectures. Cisco has been working for many months with the other founding members—Intel, Microsoft, Dell, ARM, and Princeton University—to form this new industry body. Since our announcement of the OpenFog Consortium on November 19, interest has gained momentum and there is now a healthy pipeline of new members in the process of joining.

Exciting possibilities of a fog approach are coming to life in Barcelona, Spain. Last week, I participated in a live demo of a proof of concept project that brings together a number of disparate smart city services within a single unified architecture, rather than in disconnected, siloed efforts. Barcelona has been working for several years to develop “smart” urban services, including lighting, traffic management, event-based video, and on-demand connectivity. For the most part, however, these services have been developed and deployed independently by different city departments—resulting in a dazzling array of sensors, gateways, repeaters, and other devices positioned on poles, posts, and walls around the city. The proof of concept project consolidates and integrates these separate systems in secure, strategically placed outdoor cabinets, and provides a single-screen view to monitor and manage data, applications, virtual switches and routers, fog nodes, fog services, and the network. This project represents a paradigm shift for smart city services, leveraging both cloud and fog capabilities to integrate a rich set of use cases on a multi-vendor software platform.

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