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Telepresence Goes Hollywood

Throughout its history, Hollywood has been known for using and featuring some of the most advanced technology in its films. On May 18, Universal Studios’ latest film, Battleship, will be next on the list to showcase how far technology has come – featuring Cisco TelePresence front and center to connect scientists, NASA and the U.S. Air Force when it really matters. Take a look for yourself:
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Evolving from Customer Service to Customer Collaboration

May 9, 2012 at 6:13 am PST

Like many people, I’ve raised my expectations of the products I use and the companies with which I do business, both personally and professionally. As my choices of vendors have expanded, so have the criteria by which I measure them.

At one point, the smallest price tag won the battle. I didn’t always get the best result, but I saved some money. I can get a whole lot more store-brand ice cream for my dollar, but it’s never as good as Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. Never.

Product quality, convenience, brand reputation, price, previous experience, are all in the mix. Increasingly, customer service is taking a greater role. I want to work with companies that want to work with me.

Collaboration technology gives you more avenues to interact with and serve your customers. Make it easy to be your customers. The efforts are worth it. In a new white paper, titled “Turning Customer Service into Customer Collaboration,” ZK Research says “the time is now for companies to use collaboration tools to evolve customer service.” Read More »

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Experience Matters in Collaboration (So Does Architecture)

When you engage each and every employee, you can transform them from “knowledge workers” into empowered employees. And that is a powerful value for business.

Most enterprise executives are facing a workplace that is no longer a physical place, but a blend of virtual and physical environments; where employees are bringing their preferences to work and BYOD is the new norm; where collaboration has to happen beyond walled garden; and any-to-any connectivity is a requirement, not a “nice to have.”

As business leaders we are faced with making this work, and we find ourselves asking: How do we engage customers to provide them with greater value? How can we engage our employees so that they can get better, faster? Read More »

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What are the priority enterprise collab apps to move to the cloud?

As a follow up to a recent post, “Lessons about cloud from Enterprise Connect,” which discusses the merits of moving to cloud-based collaboration solutions, I wanted to dig a little deeper into which collaboration applications should be a priority for your move from premise-based to cloud-based solutions.

While we at Cisco certainly realize that cloud-based collaboration solutions are not a “one size fits all” deployment, we’ve outlined our suggested priorities as you work to migrate your collaboration technology to the cloud.

In order to maximize the return on your collaboration investment I’d first suggest going with a robust instant messaging (IM) and presence solution in order to collaborate more effectively with colleagues, partners, and customers. Cisco’s answer is Cisco Jabber a unified communications platform that in addition to IM and presence includes voice, video, desktop sharing and conferencing. With Jabber available from a wealth of mobile and fixed endpoints (from iPhone to Android, to the iPad and to both Windows and Mac) having this application migrated to your organization’s cloud allows you to work from any workspace, on any device, giving you the opportunity to communicate from truly anywhere.

Next, I’d suggest incorporating a web / video conferencing solution in order to stay engaged with colleagues, customers and partners from afar in the current mobile workplace ecosystem, which is not showing signs of slowing down. Cisco WebEx® Conferencing increases productivity and accelerates results with the ability to meet anytime, anywhere, in a compelling and cost-effective package.

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Mobilizing the New Collaboration Experience in the BYOD Era

Guest post from Hans Hwang, Vice President of Collaboration within Cisco Advanced Services.

At last month’s Enterprise Connect (EC), there was a lot of discussion around the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement, and how IT departments are enabling this “new collaboration experience.” As OJ Winge, SVP and GM of Cisco’s Collaboration Endpoints Technology Group, outlined in his EC keynote, collaboration is becoming more “mobile, social, visual and virtual.”  This is especially true as employees look to smartphones and tablets to enable them to collaborate more efficiently and effectively, and get their jobs done whenever and wherever they are.  This increasing desire for untethered collaboration, without compromising on the collaboration experience, means IT departments must take a side.

The Proactive Enabler or the Passive Supporter

Whether IT embraces or ignores this trend, there are serious concerns for companies:  impact on network, security, governance and liability questions. IT has a choice: they can either choose to embrace the opportunities BYOD policies bring, and become known as strong enablers and leaders to employee productivity and flexible work styles. Or, IT can limit users’ device choices and act as a passive supporter for a company’s workforce.

A passive approach might be to approve only one or two specific devices, and to restrict access and limit applications. A enabling approach might be to allow a choice of mobile devices and applications, to support collaboration on these devices and to reduce security risk with technology, policy, governance and training.

Cisco Recognizes Mobility is an Integrated, Critical Element of a Collaboration Strategy
Mobility has quickly risen to the #2 technology priority for CIOs as opposed to three to four years ago when it was ranked number 12. (Gartner CIO Study)

To help IT plan and prepare for the impact to collaboration, Cisco Services has introduced a dedicated practice for Mobile Collaboration Services. This new Cisco practice is designed to help IT departments connect their organizations’ business imperatives to mobile collaboration business transformation opportunities.  Experts from this practice can also help organizations prepare their network and communications infrastructure to deliver a compelling collaboration experience.

Next Steps for IT Managers

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