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Maximizing well-being through technology

While many wish to prevent illness and combat health issues, Healthways is proactively promoting well-being through their commitment to “making the world a healthier place—one individual at a time.” Based in Franklin, Tennessee, Healthways has been operating for over 30 years in delivering health expertise to organizations and reducing health-related costs.

Customers use a web-based technology platform from Healthways called Embrace to collaborate and manage personalized health support. Since beginning, the number of users accessing Embrace has increased significantly – which means that Healthways must keep up with the demand. Rather than attempt to continue supporting their legacy infrastructure, Healthways decided to use Cisco® Technology to reinforce their infrastructure and get four times the capacity – therefore allowing access and providing services for all 10 million users.

In addition, by implementing the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS), based on Intel® Xeon® processors, to increase capacity and strengthen the data center’s architecture, Embrace has realized an 18-20 percent reduction in power and cooling costs and a 20 percent decrease in hardware and licensing costs.

To learn more about their newly-found IT advantages, read Healthways’ story from Unleashing IT.

 

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“Your call is important but we’re not in right now – leave a message…”

This is the fifth in a series of blogs comparing and contrasting the Microsoft and Cisco approaches to providing enterprise collaboration in the post-PC world. The first blog discussed the differences between a purpose-built architecture and a desktop-centric approach that needs third party extensions to make a working enterprise-class system. The second blog discussed how the two companies are approaching the trend towards “Bring your own device” (BYOD) to work. The third  blog discussed how the two companies deliver voice and video. The fourth blog examined true cost to deploy. Today’s blog addresses enterprise class support.

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These days, workers at enterprise organizations depend on real-time collaboration solutions to get their jobs done.  The solutions need to work 24/7, and if something goes wrong, it’s imperative things get fixed fast. In a world where customers view 100% uptime as the only acceptable Service Level Agreement (SLA), solid customer support means everything. While we could all live without email for a day or two, few businesses could function without working telephones for that long, or would trust ‘crossed-fingers’ while the CEO meets with an important customer over a video link.

At Cisco, we feel that support for business critical solutions should not become a guessing game of “who you gonna call”.  In fact, we think the right way to handle support is to offer the option of ‘”one-stop” responsibility for the entire system — from the software to the endpoints, switches, gateways, security and compute hardware, and other technologies as required.

After all, given the vast array of offerings today from a multitude of vendors, the chances are slim that the wide range of components used in collaboration will all have the same management interfaces, diagnostic, and testing routines to determine where an issue lies when a problem arises. We also know that even if you are able to track down the root cause of the problem, some third parties may have very limited specialist support staff and escalating issues can be incredibly challenging. We prefer that our customers spend their time driving their business, versus spending countless hours trying to resolve problems where finger pointing is the name of the game.

As my colleague Rowan Trollope blogged recently, we feel Microsoft’s approach is very different. First off, a Microsoft Lync enterprise deployment requires Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – March 22, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.

Off The Top

It was a big week for collaboration and unified communications discussion as Enterprise Connect took place in Orlando. Cisco as usual had a lot to talk about, including what Richard McLeod, senior director, worldwide collaboration sales, described as very important enhancements to the Cisco telepresence portfolio.

Specifically, Richard notes, Cisco Telepresence is now Webex-enabled, and partners are also getting their first look at the DX360, the latest addition to Cisco’s desktop conferencing line. Both announcements represent upsell opportunities for Cisco collaboration partners and their customers, as Richard and other executives noted to CRN, Channelnomics and other press.

“Revisit your customer base and start briefing them today on the new capabilities,” Richard urges partners. “Use video in every customer interaction to demonstrate the value and ease of adding video to meetings. Train your sales teams to identify the right video tool for each customer’s use case, which will increase customer satisfaction. And go the extra mile to ensure customer adoption by offering end-user training and creative best practice documentation.”

Read More »

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The Secret to Mobility in a Multiple Device World

The Internet of Everything is all around us. People are connecting on the go in new ways, and they expect fast, secure network connections that follow them anywhere and everywhere —at work, at home, at play, at the mall, at the gym, or even at the ballpark.

Not so long ago, getting on the Internet was a static experience. It was a desktop PC tethered to the company network, or for the elite the “double, double, toil and trouble” of a modem firing up, followed by a long wait for a sluggish home connection.

The new era of mobility takes computing beyond the PC’s limitations, surpassing it by a long shot. It’s becoming less about devices than what you can do as the workspace evolves, offering adaptability and choice based upon who you are, where you are, and what you need to accomplish. Whether it’s a quick phone call, a web conferencing session, instant messaging, or file sharing, removing the limitations of location and devices lets organizations work together better and make decisions faster.

What is driving these changes? When people think of mobility, they usually focus on the devices used to access the net. Slick new smart phone displays, multi-touch tablet screens, and futuristic industrial designs are definitely eye-catching. Consumers are snapping up these new devices, and companies are embracing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. But what’s happening behind the scenes and on the screens is just as important—if not more important.

Read More »

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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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