As we start a new fiscal year, I’ve been reflecting on the year we’ve just completed – particularly as it relates to video collaboration. We delivered innovation across our portfolio that enables customers to enjoy a seamless video experience from the browser to the boardroom. And the latest set of analyst reports validates this.
My greatest satisfaction, of course, comes from our customers. But when industry watchers also take notice, it has a really nice ring. In each of the latest video reports from these top analyst firms, Cisco is recognized and evaluated:
Cisco TelePresence is designed to create a virtual reality, to make you feel like you’re face-to-face with people, no matter how far away you are in the world. That used to take a lot of complex, standardized, in-room design, color, lighting and deployment. We had to custom-build the rooms, put in special lighting and tables, and more. Each new room was an added expense. I have to admit, though, the end result was awesome. Working with people over immersive telepresence, I pretty much forget the technology after a few minutes, and I’m not really aware of anything but being in the same room with the people in front of me.
A friend of mine recently joined the rest of us in the 21st Century by getting his first smartphone. Although it was a long time coming, he’s now tweeting, checking Facebook, and tracking his favorite baseball team, the Colorado Rockies, like the rest of us.
Although my friend isn’t a techno-grouch by any means, the way consumers use smartphones to interact with companies is driving a transition in the customer care industry. Not only are consumers increasingly communicating with businesses via new mechanisms such as mobile, but they’re interacting for new reasons. Using the web and social media, today’s consumers learn much more about products and services before they reach out to a business to ask a question or resolve an issue. Gone are the days of “one size fits all” contact centers. Expert, personalized customer care is now the rule rather than the exception.
Modern Customer Collaboration (or Customer Interaction, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, or even “contact center”) solutions are meeting this challenge by evolving to address not only my friend’s new-found customer service requirements, but the ongoing needs of consumers who stepped into the 21st century long before he did.
Support for current and future mobile applications is critical. Just about every company Read More »
Cyber security risk management and compliance for industrial control environments -- especially in the Oil and Gas Industry, and the ability to connect experts for mission critical communications and collaboration are key areas that Cisco is addressing with two new services-lead solutions.
We’re living in changing times. Cyber attacks are on the increase and critical infrastructures are under threat. Just finding oil and extracting it economically is becoming increasingly difficult. These two factors are top-of-mind for the oil and gas executives I talk to. Whether it’s an Integrated Oil Company (IOC) like Royal Dutch Shell, or an Oil Services company like Halliburton, many companies are under pressure to secure their infrastructure to protect against cyber, geo-political or operational threats and reduce risks associated operational challenges.
You’ll remember from my recent post: High Energy at Cisco Live in San Francisco, where Alan Matula, EVP and CIO of Shell talked to John Chambers at Cisco Live about how Shell and Cisco were partnering to secure critical infrastructure. Alan talked about how the changes in the oil and Gas industry -- in particular the new non-traditional methods (hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” and horizontal drilling) mean that hundreds, even thousands, of drill sites may be needed, rather than the more modest half dozen or so that were required in the past.
As the processes required become more complex, and the Internet of Everything enables improves workflows that were not possible in the past, organizations need more visibility into their business and need to have tools that will positively impact the bottom line by protecting against risks, improving efficiency and lowering site downtime.
That’s were the Cisco Secure Ops and Cisco Collaborative Operations solutions come in.
It actually provides “Critical infrastructure security as-a-service” and uses a convenient service wrapper and attaches a set of service level agreements. What it does is support cyber security risk management and compliance for industrial control environments. It addresses risks using a combination of people, process and technology before, during and after a risk or security event takes place. It’s made up of tightly integrated Cisco and third party products and services.
It is designed to be “dropped in” to brownfield or greenfield environments and delivers unparalleled capabilities and security control mechanisms.
The integration extends into commercial arrangements with automation suppliers for services like qualified patch lists and anti-virus updates.
The business benefits are:
Business leaders gainsituational awareness for security maturity and compliance within various parts of the business.
Site leadership and management benefit from reduced management complexity and increased consistency across individual sites, leading to optimized operational costs.
Site technical leaders are provided with a technical solution to help manage security and compliance on a per-site basis as well as valuable tools to increase it through standardized interfaces and capabilities
Corporate risk and compliance leaders receive near real time information on operational risks associated with cyber-security threats and adherence to compliance policies.
It’s actually a collaborative portal that combines voice, video and data collaboration in a single, secure view. It’s an ‘always-on’ style of collaboration that can bring in multiple technologies like Cisco Video Surveillance Manager; Cisco IPICS; landline; mobile; two-way radios and remote speaker integration; chat functionality; WebEx and multiple application sharing. All on a single pane of glass (well, in an ops room that could be a huge wall screen!).
What it’s designed for is operations personnel working in distributed networks and lets remote experts help guide operations in real-time, afford greater reach per expert resource and minimize miscommunication driving faster, better decision making. It can combine multiple feeds, and individuals and feeds can ‘come and go’ as required during a collaboration period. In the case of an Oil Services Company, that could be weeks or months!
The business benefits for this solution are:
Platform enables communication between stakeholders at all times.
Remote Experts can be instantly connected with on-site personnel using voice, video or data.
Solution creates opportunities for workforce development and training, safety improvements, and risk mitigation
Whilst related solutions, many customers may start implementing one before the other depending on their particular circumstances. Remember this is largely a services offering, so customers have the comfort of knowing that Cisco, along with our partners, are ‘bringing this together’ for them to address key business issues.
We have a little problem at Cisco: not enough TelePresence. This may sound strange since Cisco IT has installed over 1600 TelePresence endpoints already, which gives us about one TelePresence unit for every 50 employees. Utilization of these units is still greater than 60% worldwide (and some are in private offices or homes, which drives up utilization in the shared units). This means that it’s hard to find an available TelePresence room near you when you need it. Read More »