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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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Privacy v. Productivity: The CIOs Role in Shaping Future of Work Policies

According to Cisco’s 2014 Connected World Technology Report, the future of work will be more flexible and collaborative than ever before. In this two-part blog series, Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, explores how the IT and business landscape is changing based on this new research and how organizations can prepare. Read the first blog in the series, The Future of Work & Collaboration, here.

We are facing a generation of knowledge workers who have essentially grown-up online. Most of the future workforce will have an online presence from the day they are born – being online is as natural as breathing and its fundamental to their social and work lives. These “digital natives” also don’t see a tradeoff between security and privacy: they want the access they want when they want it.

This changing tide in the workforce means that CIOs must empower the next generation of workers with the latest applications to enable them to work how they want to personally – whether that’s on a corporate-owned device or not. Workers need access to the right collaboration tools at the right time; and if they don’t have those tools, they’ll find them on their own – outside the structure and purview of the enterprise.

For organizations to succeed in this future work environment, Read More »

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Put People First: Using Video to Enhance Relationships

AP11495How can you make the most of every opportunity to delight your existing client base?
How do you identify new areas to expand your business?
How can you improve employee engagement?

These are just a few of the challenges that organizations face today.

Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2014 survey explores “two major themes underlying this year’s trends: globalization and the speed and extent of technological change and innovation.” The survey authors also describe the challenge of employee retention and engagement as — after leadership — the second-most urgent issue for the organizations surveyed.  The challenge is not simply identifying and keeping staff, but creating a “passionate and compassionate” place for them to work.

In its own survey, Virgin Media found that 78% of U.K. employees believe that companies need to offer “anytime, anywhere” work flexibility to attract and retain staff.

Therefore, with increasing globalization and the need to support flexible working environments to retain and nurture talent, we rely more on collaboration technology to build strong relationships with colleagues, customers, and partners.

Create the Environment for Good Connections

How can you ensure that employees stay connected with colleagues and with customers and partners? Read More »

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Where Do Your Teams Work?

Lately we’re hearing a lot about the end of traditional workplace hierarchies. Organizations expect employees to do more within smaller teams, and to do it faster. People want the freedom to rapidly move between projects and to collaborate with others inside and outside their organizations with fewer restrictions or privacy concerns. And they want to work from everywhere.

According to the 2014 ZK Research Unified Communications Purchasing Survey, 48% employees now spend at least 30% of their time away from their primary workspace and 71% of organizations regularly collaborate with individuals outside their company.

Today’s collaborators – what I call “agile workers” – are transforming the enterprise.  They are creating and sharing ideas and content rapidly, and interacting with colleagues inside and outside their organization from anywhere.  They work at their own pace and they want to use the devices of their choice.  Gone are the days of being in an office on a 9 to 5 schedule.  So even while organizations invest in collaboration tools to improve how people work at work; employees bring their own devices and apps to the workplace to be more productive, individually.  What we’re missing is a way to improve productivity for both the individual and the team, using the same, simple solution.

Think about your day. Despite all the new technologies available, do you default to the familiarity of e-mail and audio conferences? Do you feel that you work better with your teams inside your company or with others outside your organization? Do you feel more productive at the coffee shop or at your office?  Read More »

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What’s New from Cisco IT?

If you’ve seen the short introductory video to Cisco on Cisco, then you know that Cisco IT shares stories with customers. But – what kind of stories?

Well – let me turn that around. What stories would you like to hear? Because we have some good ones. And if we don’t have content to point you to, we’ll build it. Just let us know what you’d like to hear about.

For example:

COLLABORATION:

Cisco IT has some great stories to share about transforming Cisco into a global collaborative environment, based on two major cultural changes: mobility and video.

Read More »

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