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Getting a Grip on Data in Motion to Understand How We Collaborate

Cisco Collaboration Services is offering an exciting new service called Organizational Network Analysis (ONA), which we’ve developed to help companies give meaning to that massive amount of data generated by email, instant messaging, web conferencing, TelePresence, and other collaborative tools. ONA quantifies how people use these social tools to predict how creative, innovative, and productive they are within the teams they work.

Of course, companies have been investing in these sorts of technologies for many years with the belief they would encourage more collaboration among workers and make communication faster and easier. But, until now, there has been no way to measure the true impact of these collaborative tools. Yes, there have been various ways to capture metrics including inventories of tools, surveys of users, and benchmarking, which measures employees’ real use of tools and compares it with best practices.

Take a look at this “It’s the Connections that Matter Most” infographic which helps illustrate the meaningful insight ONA finally brings to light.

I recently had a great conversation with Dr. Peter Gloor from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and two of my colleagues from the Cisco collaboration practice, Dave Bauhs and Stori Hybbeneth, about this breakthrough service, how it came to be, and what organizations can gain from it.  I invite you to read the transcript now:  Read More »

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Cisco TelePresence TX9000 Wins Prestigious Design Award

On the one-year anniTX9000 iF awardversary of its debut, the Cisco TelePresence TX9000 Series has been awarded the prestigious iF (International Forum) award for outstanding design, the same award that has been given to design stalwarts like Sony and BMW. With a brand new industrial design, the TX9000 was brought to market as the new benchmark for immersive telepresense, offering the state-of-the-art telepresence experience and high-intensity collaboration. The TX9000 has resonated well with our customers both in form and function, so we are even more pleased to learn that it has also been validated by one of the industry’s leading authorities on design.

The key design philosophy behind the TX9000 is its humanizing technology – in other words, to make this three-screen immersive telepresence system so natural, comfortable and easy to use that it just fades into the background to let the human interactions take center stage. Rounded corners, fluid lines, integrated facial lighting, intuitive touch screen user interface and ideal camera/screen placement make the TX9000 both pleasing to the eye and touch, while high-definition video and spatial audio creates an “in-person” experience that’s as close to being there as you can get. What this enables is a strong connection between people – for high-intensity collaboration — rather than a connection of technologies. By putting people at the center of our collaboration solutions we humanize every interaction and by delivering a consistent user experience across the entire Cisco TelePresence portfolio — from the software client to our three-screen immersive system — we make it easier for our users.

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Apprenticeships Fill the Skills Gap in the UK

Apprenticeship programs can be an effective way to employ new IT talent as well as train and develop current IT staff with relevant skills for business success. For most companies, improving business processes at all levels, from manufacturing to sales, is contingent on efficient implementation of technology. Possessing an innovative, well-trained IT staff can become a source of competitive advantage.

Check out this short video about how apprenticeship programs can help develop the necessary IT talent required by companies today and into the future.

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How Partners Can Simplify Collaboration and Videoconferencing For Customers

While the use of collaboration across organizations continues to grow, there have still been a few barriers to adoption. Cisco is breaking down one of those barriers with this week’s announcement of simplified pervasive conferencing.

I’m excited to share that Cisco TelePresence is now WebEx enabled. This is another milestone in our effort to simplify the delivery of highly scalable, affordable multiparty collaboration for voice, video and web conferencing. Enabling conferencing on any standards-based video device is critical for people-centric collaboration, and helps companies focus on connecting people across any device and enabling productive conversations across teams, without technology getting in the way.

What does pervasive conferencing mean for Cisco partners?  Read More »

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The Changing Enterprise Desktop Environment

Today’s workplace is radically different from ten or even five years ago.  Work has changed. The way people work has changed, and technology needs to be in synch with these changes. In the office, people still want access to traditional conveniences, including a desk phone.  They also want access to high quality video from the desktop, and, some want to use many of the capabilities they use every day on their smart phones.  It’s the whole “consumerization of IT” in action.

At Enterprise Connect 2013 this week, Cisco is debuting our latest addition to the enterprise desktop: the DX650. The DX650, orderable globally today, is an Android based phone that delivers traditional voice functionality, high-definition 1080p video, and many features commonly associated with today’s smartphones  straight to the desktop.

And, on top of the Android operating system, we’ve added Cisco software, which provides better security, quality of service, manageability and higher fidelity audio and video. In short, this new disruptive technology is doing for the desk phone what smartphones did for mobile devices. Imagine – a smartphone experience for the desktop where users will never have to worry about battery life or dropped calls.

New capabilities include:

Cisco DX650

Cisco DX650

  • High quality video: In addition to extending the 1080p high quality video experience to the desktop, users can also dial directly into a TelePresence meeting or connect to any standards-based video endpoint from the device.
  • Smartphone capabilities at the desktop: The phone has many “smart” features or attributes, including a familiar Android user interface, instant access to critical applications and the ability to create multiple unique user profiles. Each profile can easily integrate with the user’s email and calendar as well as a full directory of contacts and speed dials. Applications such as Cisco Jabber, WebEx, and AnyConnect come preloaded on the phone.
  • Cloud-readiness: This new phone enables users to access on-premises or cloud-based applications. Given that this is a fully compatible Android device (Compatibility Test Suite certified), users can now access enterprise applications such as customer service portals or CRM solutions from the DX650’s built in browser. Or, they can view content and share video with colleagues through cloud collaboration applications such as Cisco WebEx, available natively on the phone or through the Google Play store.
  • Teleworking: We’ve also ensured that the DX650 supports multiple connectivity options. The DX650 can connect to the network wired or wirelessly. It also has a built in VPN client so remote users, working from home or in branch locations, can access their enterprise applications as needed.

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