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A Partner’s View on the Changing UK Contact Center Market

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog “Customer Collaboration Takes the UK by Storm”, a big part of my week in the UK was spent meeting with key channel partners.  One of those partners, Touchbase, made it clear that they see the same changes that we’re seeing in the market. Formerly Avaya’s largest partner in the UK, Touchbase began seeing changes in the market a few years ago—so much so that they transitioned their business entirely from Avaya to Cisco.

Mike Danson, Managing Director of Touchbase UK, shared some thoughts with me in a short video here: http://communities.cisco.com/videos/8619.

Beyond the video, Mike shared with me the investments that Touchbase is making in being able to demonstrate Cisco Customer Collaboration to customers at its new Executive Briefing Center and also shared a quote from one of their clients, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, a 2200-person law firm with more than 300 contact center agents on Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise.  The firm’s Group Operations Director, Gary Jackson, said, “Our communication infrastructure lies at the heart of our business. It’s therefore crucial that we have the support of companies like Touchbase who can offer their expertise and knowledge to help ensure we can continue to grow.”

I also love to hear about customers and partners that are seeing success with Cisco solutions.  That’s certainly the case with Touchbase, and I look forward to seeing more of that success as we continue to focus on the UK market.

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Convergence Live: Cisco at Automation Fair, 16th-17th November 2011

Automation Fair is just around the corner – two weeks from now.  Convergence will be alive at AF this year.   My colleagues Peter Granger and Andrew Lach have blogged about Cisco’s overall presence and our social media channel, respectively.

In my video, I highlight the Innovation and Collaboration that the convergence of plant and enterprise networks enables, which we will be showcasing in our Cisco booth on the AF show floor, including:

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Customer Collaboration Takes the UK by Storm

I spent last week in the UK meeting with a host of customers, partners, consultants, analysts, and reporters.  After a busy and intense week of long days (and a few evenings), I can say that I have never seen a market so ready for Customer Collaboration and for how Cisco is approaching this market.

Over the next several days, I’ll be sharing some specifics in additional blogs, but I thought I’d kick things off with a summary blog.  Beginning with my first day of meetings, I was struck again by the enthusiasm of the Cisco sales teams for Customer Collaboration, reinforcing what I blogged about recently in “Cisco Customer Collaboration driving aggressively to #1.”  The reporters I met with keyed in on important aspects of Customer Collaboration, including social media and cloud-based contact centers; they were also particularly interested in customer stories. I will be sharing more on my press interactions as articles are published in the coming days and weeks.

Speaking of customers, James Hughes, the global communications manager for our customer Investec, was very interested in Read More »

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The Next-Gen Collaborator: Ready for a Mobile Workplace

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Eric Schoch, senior director for hosted collaboration  in Cisco’s Collaboration organization. Eric is responsible for hosted and “as a service” solutions, strategic pricing and licensing, and business development.

There is simply no denying the increasing importance of being connected. Generation Y in particular, who grew up with mobile devices affixed almost permanently to their hands, views connectivity as one of life’s fundamental resources.

The newest addition to the workforce considers their mobile devices as an essential workplace tool to managing their workload and connecting with their colleagues on the go. While sitting in a meeting or having lunch in the break room, you can almost visualize the text bubbles hovering over crowds of this generation of workers as fingers hammer away at phones and tablets, eyes glued to the shiny screens in their hands. BYOD

But this trend goes far beyond lunch hours and happy hours. As proven by Chapter Two of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, the next-generation workforce is demanding flexibility in their choice of devices in both the workplace and remote-work options, illustrating the importance of the Internet in workforce culture. Social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility, in the case of 30% of the study’s respondents, are more important when accepting a job than a higher salary.

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Do I Need New Tools to Collaborate?

October 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm PST

Technology adoption comes in many flavors, speeds, and styles. And when it comes to new tools that make things we’ve always done better, many of us are often skeptical. But eventually, most of us get over that and the new technology takes hold. Otherwise, we’d still be chopping trees with axes instead of chainsaws, heating our coffee over an open flame, and wouldn’t even know what a Venti Half-Caf Skinny Soy Pumpkin Spice Latte was. (I’m not certain I do to this day…)

So when I tell you that there are all of these amazing tools and applications that improve and simplify collaboration within your organization, you may tell me that you can walk down the hall to talk to George as easily as you can IM him. Read More »

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