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Bringing Flexibility to Manufacturing through Mobile Collaboration

February 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm PST

Manufacturing’s evolving workforce has introduced both challenges and opportunities to the manufacturing industry. With the increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets in the workplace, manufacturers are seeking ways to leverage their newly-connected workers to enhance the impact of the enterprise network and adapt to the needs of its employees and customers. The reasoning is simple. Deploying mobile collaboration technologies on the plant floor adds value by connecting factory product experts with R&D, sales and even maintenance teams that are off-site. Until recently, plant floor engineering resources were “off the grid,” detaching product knowledge and real-time production status from enhancing global operations, sales, and customer support.  Adding these previously untapped workers to the network brings exciting collaboration opportunities from reducing plant floor downtime to sharing best practices across the manufacturing enterprise.  This new level of connectedness can also go beyond internal uses to benefit customers and partners who rely on manufacturing efficiency and information sharing.

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Cisco and Singlewire Bring New Paging Capabilities to Cisco Unified Communications Manager

February 21, 2013 at 9:02 am PST

Cisco is pleased to announce that with the release of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) 9.1, we will include new paging functionality with all new CUCM orders.  This paging functionality will be provided by one of our long-standing development partners, Singlewire Software (formerly Berbee) and will help enhance the paging/notification capabilities available within CUCM.  We have received a number of requests for basic paging functionality and this offering allows our partner/customer base to meet customer paging requirements in an easy to deploy way.  Details are outlined in Singlewire’s press release, which can be found here.

Singlewire has enjoyed a successful partnership with Cisco in the past and has more than 4,000 CUCM customers running InformaCast today in 50 countries.  We believe this tightly integrated model greatly strengthens Cisco’s Enterprise and Mid Market Unified Communications offerings. This complete bundled offering allows Cisco partners to close deals in verticals where Advanced Notification is required: for example, industries such as education, manufacturing, hospitality, or transit.  Partners can leverage these new paging and notification features to change the sales conversation, using the most comprehensive notification solution to meet customer needs with a single vendor/product solution for voice and emergency notification.

The advanced features provide great sales conversation starters to set your Cisco UC system apart from your competitors. Included with this are features like:

  • Pre-recorded/scheduled broadcasts, such as school bells or shift changes
  • Notification to Jabber IM users
  • Triggered notifications- M2M input/output (This includes notifications and alerts for panic buttons, door locks, and lights to name a few.)
  • Integration to existing overhead paging systems and IP Speakers
  • 911/emergency call monitoring, alerting and recording

With this announcement, we are able to offer the basic paging aspects of Singlewire’s well-known InformaCast offering at no cost to our CUCM customers. Read More »

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Collaborating with Cisco WebEx Cloud

Over the last six months, I’ve talked with numerous customers and partners. One thing is clear: People get it. Connecting employees, vendors, partners, and customers — so they can work together with no barriers — makes sense. It saves money and time, and builds relationships.

It seems like overnight we landed in a post-PC world — a place where working from anywhere, anytime is how it is every day. Two technology trends are driving this new work-style while embracing the existing IT landscape: cloud-based applications and smart mobile devices.

Cloud-based services are already familiar in the consumer world — with music, storage, and social media — and in the business world with customer relationship management (CRM) and other transactional applications. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) model offers well-known benefits to IT — such as rapid deployment, flexibility to meet changes in demand, and the ability to shift costs from capital to a predictable operating expenses — all while providing an “always on” service that is available anytime, anywhere.

I keep coming back to that: anytime, anywhere. It is the touchstone for this new work model. Smart mobile devices are the perfect complements to cloud-based services. We can have consistent access to information from different devices and locations throughout the working day. Check email, join a conference call, or participate in a video conference — all from your smartphone, notebook, tablet, or desktop. Whether you are on the road, in the office, or at home — place doesn’t matter. The Cisco WebEx cloud collaboration applications are hosted on the Cisco WebEx Cloud, a platform that supports nearly two billion Read More »

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Tomorrow starts MEAR

The land of opportunity

The land of opportunity

Without Cisco, the internet would be very different.

It’s unlikely that billions of people would be online; myself included. The web would be less robust, not as social and we probably wouldn’t be on the verge of The Internet of Everything – and the endless possibilities it will create.

We haven’t spent the last 27 years only building technology. By enabling businesses with the right tools and helping to connect 1.2 billion workers, we’ve stayed at the forefront of building entrepreneurial capacity worldwide. Our networks enable people to work better, and keep in touch anywhere and at any time. And now we’re playing our part in connecting an estimated 50 billion machines and devices by 2020*.

Against a backdrop of global recession, we’re supporting emerging economies and the next generation of entrepreneurs. In fact, across the Middle-East, Africa and Russia (MEAR) a staggering 37% of the population is under 15 years old – the consumers, business people and leaders of the near future – and 47% are living in urban environments. These are all statistics that I’m personally very excited about, as they provide massive opportunities.

As well as the sheer scale, the diversity, infrastructure challenges and newness of these markets mean that mobility and collaboration are absolutely key to business growth. So with that in mind our partner-led activity in MEAR is vital to our overall success – MEAR is simply an unmissable and untapped channel. And our network of 2,100 partners and 10,000 partner account managers across 84 countries are vital to catching this wave.

I want 2013 to be a fresh start for supporting our partner-led activities. We’ve proved we can transcend national, geographical and cultural boundaries to build strong relationships. That’s exactly what we need to do with our partners, starting now.

So please feel free to share your thoughts and comments on how we can work more productively together with our partners.

 

*The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), 2011

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BYOD or BYOWD?

This is the second in a multi-part series of blogs comparing and contrasting the Microsoft and Cisco approaches to providing enterprise collaboration in the post-PC world. The first blog from Cisco SVP and GM, Rowan Trollope, discussed the differences between a purpose-built architecture and a desktop-centric approach that needs third party extensions to make a working enterprise-class system. Today’s discussion will focus on how the two companies are approaching the trend towards “Bring your own device” (BYOD) to work.

BYOD or BYOWD?

There’s no question that in the Post-PC era, the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) movement has had a dramatic impact in the workplace. Not so long ago IT spent considerable time and money provisioning and servicing identical black laptops for thousands of employees. Now it is becoming more common to see people walking through the door with a MacBook, a Galaxy S3 or an iPad to work, and nobody looks twice. You don’t need a crystal ball to see where this trend is going.

Recent estimates show that over 200 million Read More »

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