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Use Video to Make Internal Communications Count

blog image Patty Post 12_15_14As I am sitting in heavy traffic on the way home from work, my finger tips tapping impatiently on the steering wheel, my mind wandering… I suddenly think of the Chinese program that I am so glad to have recorded on TV. Without this convenience, I would have missed it.

I can’t help but reflect on how big the opportunity is for companies to deliver information via pre-recorded, on-demand, interactive video.

Just recently, I was talking to my colleagues about how different time zones often make it difficult to attend conferences live. Thankfully, we can access the recordings. These can save so much time and let us catch up with the topics that matter most to us.

One of my colleagues also pointed out how valuable the leadership briefings are to keep employees informed. Although we’re based in the UK and Cisco headquarters are in California, we do like to get regular updates and feel involved. She said that she watches the meetings on demand from her laptop or on her iPad while travelling.

If only more companies made more of their communications available in this way… Read More »

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Under the Hood: Cisco Collaboration Cloud

It’s been two weeks since the launch of Project Squared and the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. We’ve received fantastic feedback and great uptake. And we’re really happy that so many people are using Project Squared – and liking the experience.

I’d like to take you on a little behind-the-scenes tour and shed some light on the Cisco Collaboration Cloud and how it works. Here is a 10,000 foot view of the architecture:

Jdrosen blog image 12_15_14

The core architecture is built on OpenStack. We use it for compute, networking, and storage services. OpenStack supports both the functional components of the architecture as well as the operational services, such as: logging, metrics, events, health and even VPN services (for inter-DC messaging and replication). Read More »

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The Future of Work: The Partnership Between HR and IT

The workplace is forever evolving.

With the widespread use of collaboration technology and the addition of Gen Y and Gen X employees, it’s knowledge workers who are driving changes in the workplace.

The emerging mantra is: Work is something you do, it is no longer someplace you go. (And if you do go to a traditional office, culture is a determining factor keeping employees happy and engaged!)

As such the definition of a workday is more flexible than ever before and employees are seeking work/life integration instead of work/life balance.

As these dynamics shift and the proliferations of new technology becomes more pervasive, creating a successful environment for the future of work will depend on a strong relationship between IT and HR at the executive level.

This creates an opportunity for HR and IT leaders along with the CIO to evolve from technology administrators to strategic business partners.

Recently, I had the chance to participate in a new Future of IT podcast with SAP’s Brigette McInnis-Day to discuss how IT and HR leaders could work together in this Future of Work landscape.

Read More »

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Expressway: The Invisibility Cloak for Mobile & Remote Users

Improving workforce productivity is about more than telling employees to work harder, do more, and think faster. It’s about giving them the right resources and removing barriers so that they can do more.  One way Cisco is helping organizations improve productivity is by making our technology invisible to users.  We’re designing our products to be so intuitive that the complexity of the technology fades away and simply lets the end-users do what they need to do.  No training, no extra buttons to push, no fancy set ups, and no need to involve IT.   It’s a journey, but we are making progress.  A great example of this progress is Cisco Expressway, our advanced collaboration gateway.  It is the “invisibility cloak” for a variety of use cases including for mobile and remote workers.

Unknown to remote and mobile Cisco Jabber users, Cisco Expressway is behind the scenes doing the work to make their experiences secure and easy.  Employees simply log into Jabber and begin collaborating on their device of choice no matter where they are.  It’s Expressway’s firewall traversal technology working in the background that hides (eliminates) the need for the user to fire up a VPN. And with Expressway x8.5’s new single sign-on capabilities, employees do not need their user name and password every time they want to access a different application on Jabber.  It just works.

Similarly, Expressway is helping teleworkers by enabling VPN-less access for Cisco endpoints including Read More »

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Simplifying Management of Consolidated Networks

It started with voice: Get more from your corporate infrastructure investments by moving audio traffic onto the data network. It was a good idea that made good financial sense. It caught on. It became pervasive.

As it did, we looked for more ways to leverage that same network investment – extending it to include instant messaging, presence, and video. This evolution vastly increased the significance and value of these collaboration tools. But that sophistication came with management challenges.

When limited to IP telephony, the management tools could live within the solution itself. But extending the scope with more elements added complexity and new challenges: Not only were there additional pieces to roll out, monitor, and manage, but now you had to master management interfaces for each one.

Simplicity is one of the key tenets of an effective collaboration solution. Collaboration is about making connections. It’s about removing barriers that make it difficult or frustrating for people to connect. You want it to take fewer clicks to access the information and people you need to make decisions and interact effectively. The smoother the process, the quicker and better quality the results.

For users across an organization to adopt a collaboration solution, it has to be easy and intuitive. By the same thinking, if the deployment and management are too difficult, chances are the IT department won’t adopt the technology. The last thing IT needs is more complexity.

Cisco has made significant efforts to consolidate and simplify the management of collaboration networks. Read More »

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