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Collaboration Evolution: Why Your School Should Migrate to Next-Generation Communications Systems

In today’s digital world, communication platforms matter. In a recent Cisco Government blog post we looked at how antiquated communication systems hold back government agencies. The same holds true for educational institutions.

Legacy TDM and Centrex systems are costly to manage and limit collaboration, precluding schools and universities from truly embracing the advantages that next generation communications has to offer. As the advantages of voice over IP (VoIP) systems become well-known and widespread, more colleges and schools are making the transition and network administrators, students, teachers and parents are reaping the benefits. Read More »

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Collaboration Evolution: Why it’s Time to Upgrade to VoIP

Communication is key, yet too many government agencies voice platforms are living in archaic times.

As government agencies are turning to collaboration technologies like voice, video and mobility to increase efficiency and lower costs, many are faced with outdated voice platforms like Private Branch Exchange (PBX) and Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) .  However, the shift to VoIP enables organizations to modernize their communications platform for more robust communication applications, while significantly reducing operating costs.

VoIP provides significant net savings by allowing the management of managing one unified network and no longer needing to sustain a legacy phone system. It also provides enhanced features and VoIP services that improve the user experience. Advanced call routing, image transfer, phone portability, as well as integration with other collaboration applications, such as voicemail delivery via email, voice call button on email are examples of functionality users have come to expect. Read More »

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Increase Employee Engagement: How to Do It, Why It Matters

When everything seems focused on numbers – dollar signs, production output, development timelines – some organizations focus even more tightly on digits. It’s a logical reaction, but a risky one if it’s at the expense (so to speak) of human aspects like employee engagement.

Employees are consistent when asked what contributes most to their satisfaction, according to research from BlessingWhite: Among eight options, nearly 50% put their top two choices as “more opportunities to do what I do best” and “career development opportunities and training.” The lower their engagement level, the higher they rank “greater clarity about what the organization needs me to do,” which supports related findings, including:

  • Trust in executives appears to have more than twice the impact on engagement than trust in immediate managers.
  • Executives have to demonstrate consistency in words and actions, communicate often in depth, and align business practices and behaviors throughout the organization.

Read More »

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Cisco Video Collaboration Helps INTEGRIS Health Save Lives

We’ve seen Cisco TelePresence making a difference in health care. Most recently, it helped connect Children’s Hospitals with the North Pole for the holidays, and now its uses have extended to saving lives.

There are few things in life that are more important than your health and the health of your loved ones. Lack of time has become a major factor in people not seeking out the medical care they need. Therefore, health care providers have had to keep up with this ongoing issue and find ways to ensure patients receive the care they need.

Oklahoma’s largest health care system, INTEGRIS was one of those providers. Faced with the challenge of delivering the quality they desired, INTEGRIS was looking for an effective way to connect hospitals throughout the area to increase employee collaboration and improve patient care. With the help of Cisco collaboration technology, Cisco TelePresence and Cisco Jabber, INTEGRIS has established a life-saving program that has decreased stroke mortality rates and increased access to health specialists.

Read more on how INTEGRIS is leveraging Cisco to drive innovation in health care: “Cisco Collaboration Comes to the Rescue for INTEGRIS Health.”

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Revisiting the Evolution of Business Process

In my last blog, I discussed re-engineering your business processes with social collaboration. Prior to the availability of social collaboration tools, businesses re-engineered processes for automation, taking advantage of repeatable steps in order to cut out manual steps and wasted operation.  Adding social considerations opens the possibilities of collaboration, especially for the knowledge worker who needs to largely work person to person in order to exchange information, create content, and communicate across the globe.

We’re now on the brink of a new phase of business process evolution and it is coming with the Internet of Everything (IoE). This phase will be a combination of the first two phases, automating knowledge exchange, introducing machines into collaborative interactions with people, and using experience to continually learn and adjust processes on the fly. I am excited by the potential.

I envision a more immersive experience in my day to day processes, one where the collaboration tools are doing their job so well that the functionality is transparent to me after a few instructions and interactions. I can still provide tweaks to the instructions, but largely, the tools learn from my actions and predict where my attention is needed and with whom I need to connect for the proper expertise and at the proper time. Here are a few ideas that Cisco is kicking around: Read More »

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