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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.

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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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A Magical Squared Moment

One of the problems we’re working to solve with Project Squared is to enable teams to work much more flexibly – any time, any place, any device. We believe that ad-hoc conferencing is a key part of this, which is why it features prominently in the application right now. I had a great experience – magical almost – with the app last week, and I wanted to share it with you.

A few developers, product managers, designers, and I were in a Squared Room, heatedly discussing the right user experience for a new feature we are considering adding to the app. The chat conversation was coming in bursts throughout the day. Around evening time in California, the discussion started up again. One of the participants was about to get in his car to drive home, so he took a gamble and hit the “call” button. It was actually quite late for me (I’m on the east coast), so I initially ignored the incoming invite, assuming others would as well. However, I saw that the call was still going on a few minutes later, so obviously something was going on. I was on my mobile, but figured I’d pop in and see what was happening. So, I clicked the join button.

When I joined, there was a heated discussion going. Four other folks were live in the call having an argument. The initiator of the call was still driving – thankfully his phone was lying down next to his seat and not in his hand! One of the others was outside a restaurant waiting to be seated. The other two were in a conference room in the office, working on some UX sketches on a whiteboard. We talked for about ten minutes, and actually made some good progress. The fellow in the restaurant reported a similar experience to mine – he initially ignored the request for the group call because he was at a restaurant. But seeing that the call was continuing, he jumped in to check it out.

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