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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014 at 9:03 am PST

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner 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:

We are getting really, really close to Cisco Partner Summit 2014. I have not started packing yet, but I will start planning that out soon. Oh never mind, who am I kidding? I am the world’s worst procrastinator when it comes to packing. I’ll probably still be stuffing things into my bag on the way to the airport.

Regardless of my lack of planning when it comes to what I’ll be wearing in Las Vegas, we have put together a great social media plan for our partners heading into this year’s Partner Summit. We have already shared with you our general kickoff information and the social media contests for this year. This week we have some more Partner Summit information for you, but first, let’s talk about the latest post from Richard McLeod. Read More »

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Surviving the Conference Call: There is a Better Way

Wall Street Journal writer Sue Shellenbarger makes some great points in her recent article “Surviving the Conference Call.” She points out many of the downsides of not collaborating in person — people multitasking during calls, bad audio, the inability to build rapport.

I remember those days well. For me, they’re in the past because I use video on nearly every call I make, whether it’s a group conference call or a 1:1 conversation with a co-worker.

Shellenbarger reports that about 65% of all conferencing is still done via audio calls, according to Wainhouse Research. To some, video may seem like the future, but it’s really available and affordable here and now. It’s moving from an executive-only tool to something available to everyone.

At first I was surprised that Wainhouse predicts time spent in audio conferences in the U.S. will continue to grow 9.6% a year through 2017. But in context, it’s pretty slow growth compared to predictions for video conferencing (check out Figure 14).

True, video is a new concept for many of us. Just the idea of being heard and seen is a hurdle for some people. I used to hide from cameras at parties and now I use one throughout the day. The benefits quickly outweighed any awkwardness. I found right away that the ability to have eye contact with people and see their physical reactions during a conversation makes a significant difference in the communication. Read More »

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Creating the Next Generation of Collaboration Experiences

If you’ve been following Cisco Collaboration recently, you’ve probably noticed we’ve been changing things up…and I don’t mean just a little. Truth is, we’ve been busy completely reimagining collaboration and setting the foundation for a revolution in the industry.

We’re listening to users who have told us that they are frustrated with today’s tools and, more importantly, these tools limit their ability to work the way they want.  We are building collaboration tools that are simple, elegant and beautiful. Tools that get out of the way, reduce friction and let you work the way you want.

I am proud of the technology we announced today.  It represents the largest single change to Cisco’s collaboration portfolio since the initial launch of TelePresence and every stitch of it meets the “new Cisco Collaboration standards”—meaning you will love the attention to detail and want to use it.

We have an uncompromising approach to the user experience that includes the delivery of incredible video experiences from the boardroom to the browser and all the spaces in between. Cisco’s affordable endpoints for spaces and organizations of all sizes and all use cases will make that happen. And when we can get these experiences into the hands of users, amazing things will occur.  We truly believe that these next gen tools will let users work the way they want to work.

As proud as we are of these new offerings, here’s the very best part:  Read More »

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Open New Opportunities with Amazing Collaboration Experiences

March 12, 2014 at 5:01 am PST

As a Cisco Collaboration partner, you are always looking for new ways to reach more buying centers and dazzle your customers with an engaging collaboration experience. Today, Cisco announced new innovative solutions to help you do just that. This is our most significant video launch in many years, and we are changing the game with great experiences for any screen, from the browser to the boardroom. Rowan Trollope’s blog describes our unique approach to developing collaboration solutions that customers will want to use each day. But, of course, collaboration is about more than just video. We have big enhancements to packaged solutions and cloud capabilities, as well. Together, our new advancements will not only help accelerate your sales, but help you deliver greater business outcomes and drive value for your customers.

Make Collaboration Simple and More Affordable

In order for more people to use collaboration as an essential part of their workday, it must be simple to use. Our new innovations such as the Cisco TelePresence SX10, Cisco TelePresence MX200 and MX300  products break down barriers to video adoption and make it affordable to turn every conference room into a videoconference room. For example, the SX10 is a simple, easy to deploy new system that turns any standard flat panel monitor into a videoconferencing system, letting you demonstrate how video can boost the productivity of any meeting. This can enable access to new budgets and new conversations across customer organizations. Read More »

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Clouds Are Everywhere, But Which Cloud for Collaboration?

Which cloud is best for Collaboration?  Simple -- the one that fits your needs. With so many cloud options out there offering a variety of different services, it’s easy to get confused. When making a decision, consider what is essential to collaboration in your business. How do users want to experience the services? What are their needs?  Let’s break it down using me as a use case:

  • Conversations & Conferencing -- I am heavily reliant on voice and video. I need it on all my devices, with no compromises on availability, security or quality.  About 40% of my day is spent in web or video conferences, with one or many people  (I guess this is why WebEx is the second largest business SaaS service!).  For me, I must have a reliable service that performs regardless of how it is deployed.  If my company has chosen the cloud for strategic or financial reasons then that is kind of irrelevant to me – I just want it to work…  and work well.
  • Email, IM and Content -- IM enables me to get information when I need it.  If not, I typically get it from a document sharing space.  Happily, I am spending less time in email these days.  So for these types of collaboration tools I am more interested in what the cloud has to offer.  Decisions made by IT have a material impact on me and my working environment.  Here at Cisco I jump at the chance to be on a trial or pilot of a new technology.  Not only do I get to play with all the new toys, I get ahead of the pack and get access to new productivity tools that make me more effective…  they help me.
  • Customer Services -- I like to choose how and when I interact with people.  I also like to help myself first, and then call out for help as required.  So I like to do business with organizations that allow me to do this.  If they don’t, I generally try to avoid doing business with them.

For most organizations, Read More »

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