After more than 15 years of working in the telecommunications and IT industries, I’ve seen firsthand how people use technology to make a difference and change lives. While there are innovative uses of technology across all industries, nothing continues to impress me more than how collaboration technologies are reinventing education.
As we’ve seen time and time again technologies like video and mobile devices are enhancing 21st century learning. But no matter what technology schools and educators are using, the delivery of services matters. Thanks to the cloud, schools can deploy advanced collaboration technologies with increased financial and operational flexibility.
With Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), organizations can implement unified communication applications while saving money by switching from a capital expenditure model to an operational expenditure model. The flexibility of the cloud enables customers to accelerate rollouts, improve business agility, lower maintenance and utility costs all while continuously delivering services.
Take for example Perspectives Charter Schools, which serves more than 2,300 students across several Chicago communities. When Perspectives Charter Schools made the shift from an on-premise unified communications system to a cloud collaboration solution they lowered monthly costs, simplified system maintenance and improved administrative efficiency. With Cisco HCS, Perspectives’ monthly bill is now 25 percent less than their previous monthly costs for phone lines, maintenance, software support contracts and repairs. But while the total cost of ownership for communications has dropped, the quality of services hasn’t. The schools have added new collaboration capabilities such as voicemail-to-email and single number reach help make staff members more accessible.
And they’re not the only ones…
Alamance-Burlington School System in North Carolina made the same shift from on-premise to the cloud for voice services and experienced much of the same benefits. With Cisco HCS they’ve lowered the overall cost of their voice system by eliminated the need for one connection for each school and freeing up the IT team. Not only are they saving money, they are also increasing collaboration. The switch to the cloud gave students and faculty access to more advanced collaboration capabilities such as video and instant messaging.
Alamance-Burlington School System and Perspectives Charter Schools’ use of Cisco HCS are classic examples of doing more with less. Powered by the cloud they can both deliver the advantages of Cisco’s collaboration solutions with the financial, operational and strategic benefits associated with the cloud.
Is your school ready to start benefiting from the cloud?
Tags: cloud, collaboration, Collaboration in the Cloud, E-Rate, ERate, HCS, higher ed, hosted collaboration, K-12, managed services, TelePresence, videoconferencing, voip
This is the first blog in a multi-part series. In upcoming posts, I delve deeper into the study and how technology is changing the way we work together.
Collaboration. It’s defined as “the act of people working together to reach a common goal.” Simple, right? But today’s technology era brings new dimensions to how we work together. We collaborate across time zones, across cultures, across personalities and behaviors, and all across a multitude of mobile devices, from smartphones and laptops to tablets and more.
And the scope and reach of technology will only get bigger and become more complex. As technology essentially makes the world smaller, the value and impact of collaboration increases — from the amount of projects you can undertake, to the productivity of employees, to the speed of implementation.
Collaboration has always been a core component of our culture at Cisco. And just as we use and optimize our technology to solve challenges and bring business benefits to our customers, we study our own organization to better understand the human behavior of collaboration and how it affects employee productivity, workplace efficiency, and business results.
We recently completed the Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, a qualitative, ethnographic, global research study that provided us with insight to how we collaborate at Cisco. Our findings Read More »
Tags: Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, collaboration, culture, leadership, research
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, he took Cisco TelePresence EX90s behind the scenes to help with movie production. Armed with life-like, instantaneous video collaboration, Bruckheimer was able to review film dailies with editors and post-production staff in Los Angeles while he was on-set in New Mexico. Once location shooting had wrapped, several more units played an important role in post-production.
Learn more about how Jerry is using collaboration to innovate by reading the full blog: Collaborations Innovators: Jerry Bruckheimer Is Redefining Collaboration in Hollywood And Puts TelePresence in the Spotlight.
Tags: Cisco TelePresence, collaboration, Jerry Bruckheimer, Lone Ranger, TelePresence
Recently at Enterprise Connect 2013, Tony Intrabartolo, Managing Engineer, Cisco TelePresence and Collaboration, and Richard Hayes, Technical Marketing Manager, Collaboration Endpoints, teamed up to discuss the Cisco TelePresence TC 6.1 software update.
TC 6.1 adds the entire portfolio of capabilities announced in the TE 6.0 software update to the C, SX, MX and Profile Series. These features include message waiting indicator, shared line support, single number reach and enhanced conferencing, which are enabled by the Cisco Unified Call Manager 8.6.2 release. This means Cisco TelePresence users will have a consistent experience and access to a broader set of capabilities, including all features in CUCM, across the entire Cisco TelePresence product line, from multipurpose to personal units.
Check out the video below to see Tony and Richard discuss some common scenarios and business benefits these new features offer and how they would play out in an average work day. For example, your Cisco TelePresence endpoint (EX, MX or SX Series) can now be one of the devices where you can be reached through your phone number or even through your Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). The result is a seamless telepresence experience no matter where you are or what technology you are using.
The software update also Read More »
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, CUCM, software update, TC, TelePresence, uri
Today has been one of those days. I knew it was going to be a rough day when I hadn’t properly set my alarm this morning. The switch was in the middle between “on” and “off” and the middle equates to “off”. Fortunately, my internal clock was still ticking and by some miracle I woke up not much later then my semi-set bedside alarm was supposed to wake me. It’s amazing how quickly I can move when this happens. It must be the adrenaline rush that comes with the realization that I am now behind schedule on getting ready for work. This morning I was scheduled for a customer presentation. I have a 50 minute commute when there’s no traffic, I pad an additional half hour for rush hour. I was running about 10 minutes behind, but I could still make it on time if traffic was cooperating.
Traffic was not cooperating, at least not for the first leg of my commute. On the second leg of my commute traffic was moving nicely and I recovered some time. As I approached my half way mark (isn’t it something how many landmarks we have for our daily commute?) I saw that I was still 5 minutes ahead. I’m not panicking yet. I take the exit for the third leg of my commute and things are looking good for about 5 seconds, then traffic slows to a crawl and many times to a complete stop. Now I start to panic. I grab my mobile phone and send an e-mail to the presentation program manager letting her know I will need to reschedule 10-15 minutes later. If you happen to be a member of California law enforcement this is not an admission of guilt to the “hands-free” law. As I neared the presentation site, I used Jabber IM on my mobile phone to provide an update to the program manager (while stopped and not driving) and received an immediate response that everything was set. The new expectations were communicated and the customer filled the available time by going to the Cisco store. We had a great presentation.
Right after, I had a meeting to attend a couple buildings down, so I hustled over and got there just after start time. Only thing was, this was a virtual meeting. The only people in the conference room were the presenters. My laptop was back in the car two buildings over. However, the conference room was equipped with a display screen on the wall. The presenter sharing the content slides was able to display them on the in-room screen as well. I was now able to fully participate in the presentation by viewing the content as I listened.
Immediately after the presentation ended I had another call scheduled. I’m in a completely different building and without a workspace. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, Cisco Jabber, collaboration, TelePresence