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Innovation: Turning Childhood Dreams into Today’s Reality

 “All grown-ups were once children –though few of them remember it.”

— Antoine de Saint Exupery, The Little Prince

Recently, I attended one of my favorite events – the EG conference in Monterey, California. Speakers ranged from musicians to rocket scientists to pickpockets and everything in between. Embracing the theme of “everything is learning, learning is everything,” the presenters encouraged us to embrace our inner child’s imagination and curiosity. Amanda Hill, CBO of BBC Earth was a particular inspiration. She reminded me of many things that we here at Cisco are striving to achieve, especially as we reimagine the Internet of Everything (IoE), a world in which everything is connected.

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Hershey Teams Up with Cisco to Deliver Telepresence to Students in Ghana

I’ve always liked The Hershey Company. Before now it was mostly for the delicious morsels they stack candy shelves with, but now I’m even more impressed with the company because of what it’s doing for the underprivileged youth in both the U.S. and Ghana.

In the summer of 2012, Cisco’s own Ed Schermerhorn worked with Hershey to help deliver telepresence to 80 elementary students in the U.S. and Ghana. The goal of the project? To provide an enriched educational experience by creating a collaborative learning environment where students were provided with curriculum developed by teachers in both Hershey, Pennsylvania and Ghana.

It’s such an interesting story and quite an adventure Ed went on. To hear more about his journey, read about it first hand in Ed’s latest post: A Delicious Experience: Connecting Kids in Rural Ghana with Kids at Hershey’s via Telepresence

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Collaborations Innovators: Jerry Bruckheimer Redefines Hollywood Collaboration with TelePresence

It’s no secret that when people get together to collaborate, great things can happen. Nowhere is this more evident than in the stories of our customers. That’s why we are bringing their voice to the forefront in a new series called Collaboration Innovators. It’s our way of showcasing new innovative use cases of collaboration technologies and bringing some stories to light that inspire a different way of thinking about technology.

To kick off the series we are highlighting Jerry Bruckheimer, one of the world’s most successful and innovative film producers. Bruckheimer is using Cisco TelePresence to change the collaboration game in Hollywood by bringing on-set and remote directors, editors, and talent together to produce award winning films.

In Bruckheimer’s upcoming film Lone Ranger, Read More »

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The Importance of the Omnichannel in Financial Services

Technology has and will continue to be a key enabler across every product delivery channel within the financial services sector. You simply need to explore some of the newer bank branches, available applications within app stores or investigate online innovations inherent in many institutions’ web presence to see how engrained technology has become in the customer experience. While firms are making this transition in differentiated form factors and across different channels, the trend itself is clear and pervasive; underpinned by the “anywhere, anytime” mantra and the continued consumerization of technology.

These channel developments cut across all products, but all have one common element – enabling improved and increased collaboration between institutions, their clients, businesses and/or consumers to drive accretive revenue. While these developments have and will continue to deliver impressive initial returns, they are largely siloed by either a business unit and/or delivery channel. The true potential value can only be unlocked by enabling a seamless and contextual integration of the physical, direct and mobile channels – the evolution from multi-channel to omnichannel.

The omnichannel model enables the customer to choose how and by what method they want to conduct their business, be that in person, via a mobile device, from the home, online or with telephony. Cisco’s IBSG team has published a white paper that looks into the transformation of institutions from multi-channel to omnichannel. While the method of communication is important, the true differentiator in transformational channel evolution is the ability to integrate interaction. Institutions must be aware of the context and outcomes of customer interactions as customers move from channel to channel, product to product, or business line to business line.

From an institutional point of view, the value in the omnichannel impacts multiple factors. Read More »

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Delivering a Better Meeting Experience, for Everyone

Virtual meetings have become an increasingly important part of the workday. Companies rely on technology such as video and web conferencing to help geographically distributed teams collaborate and be more productive.

The common denominator in all of these virtual meetings is the conference call. It’s a fact that the quality of the audio usually dictates the quality of the meeting. Think about how many times people complain about the audio breaking up, being too loud or too soft, or simply asking to repeat questions or points discussed because the voice quality is just not good enough?

New Cisco Unified IP Conference Phone 8831

New Cisco Unified IP Conference Phone 8831

The new Cisco Unified IP Conference Phone 8831 – a new phone purpose-built for the conference room – solves many of these audio challenges. Now, each user joining a meeting can expect the best possible meeting experience, with high quality audio that is akin to being in the room itself. The traditional definition of a meeting has changed, and with it, the tools needed to have a successful meeting experience must evolve as well.

As anyone who has led a meeting knows, the key to a successful meeting is engagement. But employees won’t speak up and engage if they’re frustrated by the meeting experience – if they can’t hear others or aren’t being heard if they speak up themselves. Large meetings can sometimes suffer from a lack of productivity and results because of this lack of participation.

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