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Cisco Sizzle – March Edition

Welcome to the Cisco Sizzle! Each month, we’re rounding up the best of the best froCisco_Sizzle_Finalm across our social media channels for your reading pleasure. From the most read blog posts to the top engaging content on Facebook or LinkedIn, catch up on things you might have missed, or on the articles you just want to see again, all in one place.

Let’s take a look back at the top content from March…

Tomorrow Starts Here
Explore how the Internet of Everything will change the way we work, live, play and learn.

Connected World Technology Report
Calling all IT professionals! Over two thirds of the IT managers agree that Big Data will be a strategic priority for their companies in 2013 and over the next five years as well. Do you agree? Is Big Data a strategic priority for your company?

Cisco on Fortune’s Most Admired
Once again, Cisco is honored to be on Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” List. Fortune tells us that the Most Admired list is the “definitive report card on corporate reputations.” Congratulations to our employees, and thanks to Fortune for the honor!

Understanding the Different Types of Wireless Routers
If your small business has grown and your workforce has become more m734216_10151813220863032_619814475_nobile, you may be considering adding wireless to your network. Cisco explains the basics so you can identify which wireless router best fits your needs.

TeleWork Week
If you telecommuted for a week, how much time do you think you would save?

Network Madness
Don’t worry network managers; we’ve got you covered. Find out about Cisco’s solutions to Network Madness.

Check out the Cisco Storify feed for even more great content!

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Finding the Right Collaboration Tools for the Right Roles

I collaborate, you collaborate, we all collaborate. An organizational chart may show hierarchy, but it doesn’t represent how people actually interact within – and beyond– an organization. Our roles don’t affect whether we collaborate, but do influence our needs, priorities, and the devices we use.

There’s a clear advantage to technology that empowers people to engage and creates a consistent user experience so that the interaction essentially the same – anywhere, on any device. Just as our roles differ, so do our collaboration priorities and device needs. But we don’t work only with others in our own role. We need to collaborate with people across the spectrum within an organization.

I use three or more devices to collaborate in a single workday. Frankly, you shouldn’t care. Before you and I talk, we shouldn’t need to take a mutual device inventory to figure out how to connect. If I don’t have to focus on what I’m doing to interact with you, I can focus on the conversation and the whole reason we’re connecting.

We’ve outlined five user personas to illustrate how collaboration technology can best serve the needs of people in different roles. Click through on a persona to get more information and to see the use cases that support their needs. Read More »

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Video Collaboration Helped Me Say Yes to the Dress!

I recently saw a blog post from my colleague on how video technologies like Cisco Remote Expert are completely revolutionizing the way we do things; for example, applying for your wedding license via video.

It was his blog that made me think about my own upcoming nuptials and the role that video collaboration played in my wedding planning. And while I didn’t apply for my marriage license via telepresence, I did however do something pretty cool that I wanted to share.

I don’t personally consider myself a bridezilla, no comment on what my bridesmaids and husband-to-be would say, but I did find myself in a tizzy regarding my wedding dress. Like any bride, I wanted the support of my closest family and girlfriends when I went dress shopping. However, I was on the hunt for a dress during a trip to my home state of Louisiana and my sister, who’s my best friend and maid-of-honor, was in Virginia.

She’s my older sister, so I’ve been asking for her opinion since I was a kid. When it came to my dress shopping, I was upset at the thought of not getting to share that moment with her. I had to think outside of the box to make sure she was there for the experience — and boy did I ever.

Read More »

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MEAR is leading the way

Potential growth area

South Africa: Potential growth area

The balance of power is shifting to emerging economies. Compared to stagnant Western markets, business growth and investment in the Middle-East, Africa and Russia (MEAR) continues unabated.

It’s a shift that’s amplified by technological advances. In under a decade, these seismic changes have levelled the playing field, opened the door to a global market and made rapid business growth a reality:

 

 

  • The connected world where we can work, play and learn anytime, anywhere and with anyone.
  • Virtualization made it easier to manage multiple servers and reduce physical computing power.
  • Computing power has exponentially increased capacity and processing speeds so we can do much more for a lot less time and money.
  • The cloud offers all the applications and storage businesses need minus the server infrastructure.

You’ll probably point out many other factors, but I picked these because they are particularly relevant to MEAR countries and their IT spending patterns. Specifically, they are backed up by Forrester research in 2012. This showed that over half of MEAR-based companies plan to invest more in mobility, analytics, security and collaboration.

Unlike more mature companies, their spending isn’t being eroded by having to maintain and support legacy systems. This frees up budgets to completely replace or expand their IT in ways that improve their competitiveness. The top three areas that Forrester highlighted from 2011 to 2012 were mobile apps (spending increase of 47%), business intelligence (44%) and collaboration tools (41%).

Further research was carried out by Canalys in February 2012 of its online channel community – resellers, systems integrators, service providers and distributors. The results showed a positive outlook across MEAR despite ongoing economic uncertainty. Over half emphasized a move from capital expenditure to operating expenditure, with the highest demand for IT services expected from small to midsize companies (with 100-499 employees). As a respondent said, “Companies working their way out of the crisis by expanding.”

As more companies seek new technologies to secure future growth, our partner network across MEAR needs to be ready to help them become the technology leaders of tomorrow.

*Forrester, 2012, Forrsights: Cautious Optimism in 2012 IT Spending Plans – A BT Futures Report

*Canalys, 2012, Navigating through dramatic industry change

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Video Collaboration: As Easy As Voice

This blog is third and final in a series of blogs glimpsing into the future of video collaboration. The first blog was Video Collaboration: Better Than Being There.  The second blog was Video Collaboration: On Every Pane of GlassWe encourage you to read the series and let us know your thoughts.

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Let’s face it, there are times when many of us have had a challenging experience connecting everyone in a meeting with video. Delivering an improved experience is equally important for the end users as is for IT.

From the end user perspective, intuitive interactions, icon-driven interfaces, voice features in video phones, integrated help guides, and the availability of better applications that deliver consistent user video experiences across their many devices are all good things. This in turn makes the users less dependent on IT, and reduces the barriers for deployment. It is really simple — if a user likes what they use for these video experiences, then they will share it with other users and will help to onboard them. This leads to more people on the same platform, and as the video experience gets more broadly deployed, the benefits can be achieved by more people at more places. That is social networking 101. The BIG differences in the enterprise environment is that those new video experiences should be powered by an architecture and applications that deliver security, identity, quality, scale, reach and transparent integration with the rest of the IT applications the users require to work. But with the right architecture in place, the journey to a better video collaboration experience is well mapped and available from day 1.

From the IT perspective, these new video tools need to deliver business class, reliable, scalable, and highly integrated experiences. Video should be secure and video should be compliant. The software and hardware architecture should leverage the power of the network to make video as easy to turn up as voice. Having a single call control, conferencing, and management platform to administer all the services is key. Cisco is the only vendor in the market that can offer all these components (and the network layer integration). All these elements together help to make video a more effective business tool that drives video adoption and success.

We’re at a tipping point leading into the next wave of video innovation, delivering pervasive business benefits for users across the organization. Making video as easy as voice is a big step forward that spans the end to end user experience.

Cisco has been driving the waves of video innovation — helping businesses to empower, engage, and innovate — every step of the way:

  • From the first wave when we pioneered with the first architecture for voice, video and integrated data (AVVID) we helped to deliver video over the network as a communication tool.
  • Then Cisco drove the movement of video from a niche, optional communication vehicle for a few people, difficult to use, and IT support-intensive, to a one-touch, easy to use, IT automated, and fully integrated communications and collaboration tool that helped video to be the mainstream communication and collaboration tool we have today.
  • Right now we are working on driving the third wave of video innovation by making video fully integrated into business processes in order to leverage its power and reach as a business-critical application for all users — on every device and location. All powered by the intelligence of the network and the flexibility of our software. Our Medianet capabilities are paving the road for more pervasive video experiences for all devices and networks, based on open standards.

So if you believe — as I do — that video is here to stay, then dare to be bold and imagine what video can do for you and your business when video experiences can be better than being there, there is video on every pane of glass, and video can be as easy or easier than voice.

Learn about our video collaboration strategy and new recently announced pervasive video and conferencing solutions by watching our March 19 & 20 Collaboration Announcement Webcasts on demand now, including strategic overviews and demonstrations by Cisco leaders.  Then learn more technical details about the features and architecture that differentiate these new Cisco video, WebEx and unified communications solutions by attending our live April 16 Technical Briefing with Q&A.  I encourage you to learn more and register now now.

Roberto

 

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