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Simplifying Midsize Collaboration Deployments

feb 2015 midmarket blog image - guy walkingIn my last post I talked about the impact that low-effort experiences can have on customer satisfaction.  I singled out my home broadband provider for criticism, and so thought it only fair that I talk about a recent great experience I had with them.

Last month, my provider sent an email telling me that they’d proactively upgraded my home broadband service to 50Mbps.  All I had to do was replace my old cable modem/router.  The process couldn’t have been simpler.   The new modem was delivered with pre-configured settings. All I had to do was connect it, power up, and enter the network ID and password onto my devices.

Contrast this experience with lengthy and complicated installations that customers often face when installing multiple communications and collaboration solutions from multiple vendors.

For small and medium-sized businesses in particular, with smaller IT teams, it is critical that solutions are easy to deploy, manage, and use. So we’ve taken a different approach.

The Cisco Business Edition 6000 consolidates multiple virtualized collaboration applications into one server solution that is right-priced and right-sized for small to medium sized businesses.  IT departments can rapidly deploy voice, video, messaging, or presence solutions, starting with their highest-priority use cases — and add additional functionality later. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – January 30, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Bruce Klein had big news on the Cisco Partner Ecosystem this week as he blogged about how Cisco ONE and Meraki drive opportunities for partners. Bruce’s blog covers the launch announcements from Cisco Live Milan, and talks about how simple it is now to choose from what Cisco offers via Cisco ONE and Meraki.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

What do Technical Sales People Need to Achieve Maximum Success?

As always, Karin Surber has great insight into the mind of the sales force. In her blog this week, Karin explores how the average technical salesperson’s day breaks down by time and interaction with the customer. She points out how planning that interaction properly can greatly affect the success with those customers.

She also has some information on how the Cisco Partner Plus program can support your sales through a holistic sales model. Be sure to take a look and provide Karin with some feedback. Read More »

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A New Year, A New Resolution to Selling!

Happy New Year to our Collaboration Partners!

Do you know that only about 8 percent of people keep their New Year’s resolutions for the full year?

At the beginning of each year, I try to set a New Year’s resolution that is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound), so that I’ll keep it. I especially like to set goals that are attainable and will drive tremendous growth in our business together.

This year, I want to focus on helping you sell all the incredible collaboration solutions within our completely refreshed portfolio, by providing you with simple tools and programs to sell collaboration differently. I’d like to challenge you to make one of your New Year’s resolutions to utilize the many incentives and programs that we recently announced which are specifically designed to help you grow your business. Read More »

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4 Ways Video Conferencing Makes a Difference

4 Ways Video BenefitsIt’s not an industry-specific thing. Video conferencing can provide business benefits no matter the industry. Retailers and financial institutions are employing video to interact with customers. Medical professionals are consulting with one another across distance. Manufacturers are addressing production issues more quickly and thoroughly.

Where the need for interaction exists, so does the potential for video conferencing to add value. Once upon a time, suggesting a meeting over video was folly. It was too complicated, expensive, and it required equipment housed in the hallowed halls of the executive wing (and maybe an IT guru).

Now it’s on my smartphone, tablet, and laptop. My kid can figure it out. Hurdles cleared. Check.

A recent Forbes Insight article, “Boost Innovation with Video Communications,” outlines eight ways video can provide business advantages. Here’s my take on four of them.

1. Reduce travel costs.
Making video conferencing available up and down the org chart not only reduces travel, but it removes distance as an impediment to collaboration. Although I’ve decreased my personal business travel, I work with far more people outside of my primary work location than I ever have before. And our collaboration is more successful.

Read More »

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“Who Can it Be Now?” is No Longer a Legitimate Question in the Call Center

blog image ZT call center 1_2015In 1982, the Australian group Men at Work reached the #1 spot on the Billboard music charts with a song titled “Who Can it Be Now?” The accompanying early MTV-era video proved to be extremely popular, portraying a visitor to an apartment peering through a keyhole. And it didn’t hurt that lead singer Colin Hay had a very interesting set of eyes to feature in the short. In case you haven’t seen this classic, check it out here:

Unfortunately, the very same paradigm hinders today’s customer-experience strategies. We invite customers to our businesses, and when they arrive we often ask the equivalent question: “Who are you?” This is still true in today’s contact centers, where customers are asked to self-identify through any number of authentication processes.

What’s difficult to grasp is that many Read More »

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