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Where Do Your Teams Work?

Lately we’re hearing a lot about the end of traditional workplace hierarchies. Organizations expect employees to do more within smaller teams, and to do it faster. People want the freedom to rapidly move between projects and to collaborate with others inside and outside their organizations with fewer restrictions or privacy concerns. And they want to work from everywhere.

According to the 2014 ZK Research Unified Communications Purchasing Survey, 48% employees now spend at least 30% of their time away from their primary workspace and 71% of organizations regularly collaborate with individuals outside their company.

Today’s collaborators – what I call “agile workers” – are transforming the enterprise.  They are creating and sharing ideas and content rapidly, and interacting with colleagues inside and outside their organization from anywhere.  They work at their own pace and they want to use the devices of their choice.  Gone are the days of being in an office on a 9 to 5 schedule.  So even while organizations invest in collaboration tools to improve how people work at work; employees bring their own devices and apps to the workplace to be more productive, individually.  What we’re missing is a way to improve productivity for both the individual and the team, using the same, simple solution.

Think about your day. Despite all the new technologies available, do you default to the familiarity of e-mail and audio conferences? Do you feel that you work better with your teams inside your company or with others outside your organization? Do you feel more productive at the coffee shop or at your office?  Read More »

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What’s New from Cisco IT?

If you’ve seen the short introductory video to Cisco on Cisco, then you know that Cisco IT shares stories with customers. But – what kind of stories?

Well – let me turn that around. What stories would you like to hear? Because we have some good ones. And if we don’t have content to point you to, we’ll build it. Just let us know what you’d like to hear about.

For example:

COLLABORATION:

Cisco IT has some great stories to share about transforming Cisco into a global collaborative environment, based on two major cultural changes: mobility and video.

Read More »

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Industry First: h.264 Video endpoint calls Firefox via Webrtc-enabled Project Squared

Yesterday on stage at Cisco Collaboration Summit, I demonstrated an industry first – the first non-transcoded video call between a webRTC application and an existing video endpoint.

Why is this significant? WebRTC is an exciting new technology, enabling real-time voice and video calling natively in the browser. Up until now WebRTC-enabled applications have not been able to connect to existing video collaboration gear that companies may own, from room systems to desktop video endpoints.

Today, Cisco has broken the barriers that previously prevented browser-based collaboration from connecting with existing video hardware. Companies that have invested in video collaboration can now extend that collaboration to the browser, enabling their users to collaborate from anywhere, at any time.

Yesterday, Andreas Gal, the CTO of Mozilla, joined me on stage. He called a simple SIP URI on a Cisco video endpoint, which instantly rang my Project Squared client running in Firefox. By leveraging WebRTC and Cisco’s OpenH264 binary module integrated into Firefox, we had a great voice and video call, without  plugins, complex and cumbersome browser downloads, or expensive transcoding gear in the cloud. Check out a demo of what we did onstage here:

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What Is the Cisco Collaboration Cloud?

Today at Collaboration Summit, we announced a bunch of really exciting stuff: the IX5000, the Project Squared client, and the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. This third announcement is a big one for me personally. Since my arrival at Cisco, I have invested a lot of my time and energy working on the Cisco Collaboration Cloud.

So, what exactly is it? Simply put, Cisco Collaboration Cloud is the server-side software that powers the Project Squared client. But, it’s also a whole lot more than that. We see the market going through a substantial transition around cloud and mobile. We knew this required us to place a big bet on the technology platform that would help us leapfrog through this market change. Cisco Collaboration Cloud, or C3 for short, is one of those big bets.

Iteration

The first thing we needed was a software platform in the cloud that would deliver a fantastic user experience. More important, we needed to build a platform from which we could continuously evolve and improve the user experience. The reality is that it’s incredibly hard to just sit in a room, think about how the product should look, ship it to customers, and be completely right – on the first try. Unless you are Steve Jobs, you need to iterate based on feedback.

The best client experiences in the market today are powered by cloud platforms that iterate incredibly quickly, with new software pushes in the cloud on a daily basis. Doing that is hard. It requires software that is capable of hitless upgrades (meaning, no downtime when doing an upgrade). And it requires tons of automation for everything from testing to deployment.

So, we built all of that. Iteration is a key tenet of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. But frankly, iteration is almost table-stakes in modern cloud software design.

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How I Manage a $4B Business from my Phone

I don’t use my laptop to run my business.

It’s not that I don’t like my laptop. It’s just that I really love using my mobile device — for everything. My mobile is incredibly convenient, small, and functional. Let’s face it: we’re lucky to be in the era of the smartphone when one device can do almost everything. And best of all, I actually can run my business with just this device.

Two years ago, when I started at Cisco, it was not possible for me to run my business with a smartphone. Something was missing. I used email and SMS and voice/video on my phone, but it wasn’t quite enough. I realized that I needed one place to stay connected to the work we were doing and to stay connected to the people I needed to work with. And do it both in real-time, and non real-time.

That need is pretty obvious to other people too, as it now seems every week there is a new messaging app targeting mobile workers like me. What all of these apps are missing is a way to connect real-time collaboration with non real-time conversations. Most of these apps treat this problem as an afterthought, but we didn’t. So while everyone is running in one direction, we’re going a different way. A better way.

Today, I’m excited to tell you that Cisco has developed that very tool and we launched it today: Project Squared built on our new Cisco Collaboration Cloud.

Project Squared is our brand-new enterprise business collaboration application. Read More »

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