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New Cisco IT Blog Series: Collaboration is Good Dog Food

January 16, 2013 at 10:30 am PST

Have you ever wondered where the saying “Eating your own dog food” came from? According to Wikipedia it originated from an Alpo Dog Food television ad (circa 1970′s) where Lorne Green professed to feed his own dogs Alpo. Even better, in 1988 the president of Kal Kan Pet Food was known to eat a can of their dog food at shareholder meetings! Now that is what I call commitment! Simply put, eating your own dog food is “…when a company uses its own product to demonstrate the quality and capabilities of the product.” At Cisco, our version of eating our own dog food is called Cisco on Cisco.

My job is to lead IT Collaboration projects and consulting engagements that drive the adoption and usage of Cisco’s social enterprise software platform WebEx Social. For this reason I thought it was appropriate to call my new blog series Collaboration is Good Dog Food. Get ready for a hearty helping of Collaboration sprinkled with a little WebEx Social. Read More »

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BYOD & Mobility: Transforming the Public Sector

January 16, 2013 at 7:24 am PST

As we’ve all seen, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) made its way rather quickly into the public sector, and the challenges of implementing within government agencies has been well documented. In order to help agencies face these challenges, GovLoop recently conducted a survey & released “Exploring Bring Your Own Device in the Public Sector”. The report highlights challenges for implementing a BYOD initiative and best practices, and it also provides insights from industry and government experts related to mobility and BYOD.

Included in the report, David Graziano, Director, Security and Unified Access, U.S. Public Sector, Cisco, recently spoke with Pat Fiorenza of GovLoop on the current state of BYOD in government. David stressed that while challenges still remain for BYOD it’s one of the most important trends impacting government agencies. He advised that agencies must embrace BYOD and act on it along with their other mobility initiatives.

Not only does BYOD optimize business lines to workforce productivity and morale, but it’s becoming a necessity for recruitment, as a new demographic of employees enter the workforce and expect to be mobile and access information on any device, any time anywhere. Read More »

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Improve Decision-Making: Collaborate to Evaluate

January 15, 2013 at 7:30 am PST

This is the third of a four-part series. Parts 1 and 2 introduced decision-driven collaboration and engagement. The final post will explore the execution element.

Good strategic decision-making rarely involves the flipping of coins or rolling of dice, although such techniques can come in handy when the outcome defines nothing more than your dinner menu. Business decisions of larger impact require a process that incorporates deeper consideration and more detailed information. Cisco IBSG calls this “Decision-Driven Collaboration,” and emphasizes the need to improve decision-making by improving collaboration, connecting people and empowering them to work together more effectively. This incorporates three core elements that build upon one another: Read More »

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Predictions for Customer Care in 2013 and Beyond

In the past year, we’ve seen how social, mobile and video have presented new opportunities to deepen the way companies and customers interact for more efficient and intelligent customer care. As we begin 2013, I wanted to offer up a few predictions on how technology innovations will continue to help organizations build strong relationships and better consumer experiences in 2013 and beyond.

This year, mobile and video will come together to simplify customer service interactions– As video is becoming commonplace, we’re seeing companies look for ways to bring in the right customer service expert instantly. Cisco is currently trialing technology to connect consumers with video experts via mobile devices both in-store or on the road. By pulling intuitive information based on location and what detail the customer has recently looked at on the web or mobile device, this technology will route customers to the right expert to help them get the additional detail they need in a simpler and more efficient manner. Imagine, accessing a paint or decorating expert with just one click in the paint aisle at your neighborhood hardware store or even while you’re outside painting your house.

In the next few years, marketing and customer service responsibilities will merge – Consumers are talking about brands all over the web in places like Twitter and Facebook, sites which have over 500 million and one billion active users respectively. Traditionally, social media has been owned by marketing but with people asking service questions in new social channels, companies will need to merge some of these responsibilities between the call center and marketing. Read More »

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One Address to Reach them All?

January 11, 2013 at 8:59 am PST

I once attended a customer meeting quite a few years ago where someone in the room stated that, “regardless of the collaboration channel employed, unified communications should provide everyone with a single identity to make it really easy for customers to reach the company’s employees”. I remember agreeing that although a worthwhile goal, providing users with a solitary identifier was not going to be technically feasible due to the fact we didn’t address emails with a phone number and we unfortunately had (and still do have) the “PSTN” (Public Switched Telephone Network) to deal with.

Has anything changed? I’d really like to know if anyone in the industry is predicting that we’ll ever be able have a unique global communications address, or like me, you have the opinion that the current multi-identity status quo will continue for the foreseeable future. In our current electronic communications world most of us have a minimum of two to three identities. I’m globally reachable via a couple of Cisco E.164 telephone numbers, one for my desk phone and the other for my mobile. I also have a corporate URI (Universal Resource Identifier), which most people would recognize as my email address, but nowadays also represents me as an instant messaging entity as well as associating me with three personal video endpoints. I think people naturally know when it is appropriate to use asynchronous (email or IM) communications or synchronous (telephony or video) communications, which is why we’ve all just accepted the evolution of different identities for different types of dialogue. What’s recently blurred the situation is the wide scale adoption of video URI dialing within enterprises and across the Internet resulting in a more complex addressing environment for our real time interactions. Do I call someone on their telephone number or their video URI, or should I send them an instant message to ask them?

For Cisco the answer has been Read More »

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