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5 Reasons for Midsize Businesses to Use Video Collaboration

I’ve been talking for a while now about how effective video collaboration is and how video technology can enhance and improve the way businesses collaborate. Many of you may still think that videoconferencing is only for the larger companies with multiple locations and large budgets to cover a video technology investment, but I disagree.

Here are five reasons that that I think midsize businesses should consider using video collaboration.

  • Video Collaboration products are easy to use: At Cisco we design our video technology products to be intuitive and easy to use. This means the user interface in the smallest video endpoints works the same as the controls in the largest, so anyone can make a video call anytime they need to.
  • Video is becoming the norm: Many organizations are realizing the benefits and ROI of using video collaboration to extend their business boundaries. Meeting with partners and customers around the world – just like they are around the corner – have enabled organizations to do business in ways they never thought possible before.
  • Utilizing video can increase productivity and profits: Read More »

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Away by the Bay at Cisco Live!

May 20, 2014 at 7:08 pm PST

Wow! It’s been a whirlwind beginning to Cisco Live 2014. I’ve already met many partners and customers and we’re only about halfway through the week! Folks are excited to be part of such a huge event here in San Francisco.  In fact, check out this shot of folks streaming into the room for John Chambers’ keynote address yesterday.

Crowd ShotBefore John even took the stage, we’d already spent a lot of time talking with customers and partners about the new Solution Partner Program. This key piece of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem used to be known as the Cisco Developer Network (CDN). Arjun Lahiri, Senior Manager, Cloud and Ecosystem Strategy and Programs Group, took some time to really explain how CDN evolved into the Solution Partner Program and why those changes have occurred and how they affect partners. Be sure to read Arjun’s blog and get up to speed on the latest on the Solution Partner Program here at Cisco Live 2014. Read More »

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If You Want incredible Collaboration Experiences, IT Services Can Deliver

May 20, 2014 at 8:03 am PST

I must be in the right business. I’m a pretty easy-going guy, but one thing that gets me worked up is inefficiency. Lines at the store, info I need to enter again and again online, meetings that exist just to schedule another meeting…arrrgh. That’s why I am so excited by the direction coming from Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group. Simplifying work experiences. Removing clutter from the desk. Reinventing how we innovate and engage across corporate and physical office boundaries. That’s just what the DX80 desktop collaboration device, announced here at Cisco Live, is designed to do. Give me a DX80 bumper sticker, and I’ll put it on the back of my rental car right now (Sorry, Hertz).

I am not alone in my love of efficiency. In this age of “Pace of Change2,” the top of mind for every business leader is how to get more done faster. According to a recent CIO Insights Study, innovation, efficiency, and cost reduction are CIOs’ top business priorities, in that order (Cisco Strategic Marketing Organization, Nov. 2013). Collaboration holds the promise of greatly increasing productivity for organizations of all sizes, in every industry.

Technology-enhanced collaboration is more than a technical architecture or product. What do you think would happen if you put a DX80 on every worker’s desktop at your company? Without network optimization, training, and adoption services, there might not be much change in productivity. And how would you measure success?  Putting devices on a desk and making sure they are functional is not an effective measure of success.  Are they being used?  Is video being turned on every time?  Is it changing the way people work?  You need to measure whether use of the devices is resulting in the benefits you expected to see. And you’ll want to adjust your strategy and support structure based on what you’ve learned. Read More »

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Collaboration Notes from Cisco Live: Monday Recap

May 20, 2014 at 6:01 am PST

If you’re wondering what was up with Cisco Collaboration at Cisco Live today, then you probably weren’t here. Or you weren’t paying attention. Or Darth Vader wandering around Moscone South distracted you. Or maybe it was a unicorn. Because Collaboration is everywhere at this year’s Cisco Live.

Trust me and my wearable connection to the Internet of Everything. I can attest to two facts: I walked about 4.5 miles today and Collaboration was all over the place.

John Chambers kept me v-e-r-y busy live-tweeting collaboration commentary from his keynote. Big points of emphasis were architectural foundations and, my favorite, focusing on business outcomes as a driver of technology. In addition to his comments on Cisco’s commitment to re-imagining collaboration, the demos included the so-new-it-was-just-announced-today DX80 and Remote Expert.

Some of my notes. Strangely, they’re each fewer than 140 characters…

  • Demo: Remote expert. Bring tablet into train tunnel, connect w/ experts, share video. Fix the train!
  • “When you get 5% improvement in downtime in #manufacturing environment, you get 30% improvement in profits.”
  • “Rowan, I want this on my desk by the end of the week.” on the DX80.
  • Amazing innovation “at unbelievable speeds.” on developments from the Collaboration team.
  • Remote Expert is “hottest” application for customer care across organizations.
  • “It’s not the applications in silos, it’s the applications working together that create transformation.”
  • “Most CEOs are struggling to get the 5% to 10% of collaboration improvement they think they should get.”
  • “Last year, I said we’d become #1 in Security. This year, we’ll do the same in Collaboration.”
  • “They said we couldn’t spell telephony, but we knew how to get 65% marketshare, didn’t we?”

Today’s Collaboration Announcements
Cisco DX80 5.19.14For the Cisco Collaboration teams, the biggest deal of the day was the announcement of our latest products. Put simply, our goal is to bring exceptional collaboration to every room, every desk, and every pocket. And that’s what we’re doing. Read More »

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Exceptional Collaboration Gets Personal

Not too long ago, I was digging around in some old boxes and pulled out my old Motorola RAZR phone, along with a surprising number of other devices I used to carry around. What can I say? I’m a geek. In addition to my phone, I had a digital camera, a notepad & digital pen, an iPod, a GPS, a few spare memory cards and even a Palm Pilot. It struck me that in handful of years everything has changed. All the things I needed those devices for now exist in my smartphone – making my life simpler and easier. Peter Diamandis calls it dematerialization; I call it simplification, and use it as a backdrop for our collaboration technology strategy.

The ability of technology to simplify our experiences inspired our mission: to make collaboration simple. Consider that for all the promise of today’s collaboration technologies to make our lives easier, we are often frustrated by the fact that the most advanced products can’t seem to do the simplest of things; starting a meeting on time, connecting me with anyone anywhere, or allowing me to share my stuff easily. While technology companies race around to one-up each other introducing the next whiz-bang feature, they mostly overlook the one essential: what their product should do really well.

I joined Cisco with the purpose of delivering on this mission and bringing exceptional collaboration technology to everyone, everywhere: every room, every desk, and every pocket. The results of this focus have started to materialize in a set of announcements we started a few months back.

In March, we introduced the products that bring collaboration into every room in the enterprise: the SX10, MX200, MX700, and MX800 endpoints. These products are all about great collaboration experiences: engagement, simplicity, affordability – and award-winning design.

Today, we bring these elements to every desk with the Cisco DX80. It’s time to provide every worker—not just executives—with the tools that let everyone collaborate at a moment’s notice, without technology hassles. Read More »

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