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Tomorrow starts MEAR

The land of opportunity

The land of opportunity

Without Cisco, the internet would be very different.

It’s unlikely that billions of people would be online; myself included. The web would be less robust, not as social and we probably wouldn’t be on the verge of The Internet of Everything – and the endless possibilities it will create.

We haven’t spent the last 27 years only building technology. By enabling businesses with the right tools and helping to connect 1.2 billion workers, we’ve stayed at the forefront of building entrepreneurial capacity worldwide. Our networks enable people to work better, and keep in touch anywhere and at any time. And now we’re playing our part in connecting an estimated 50 billion machines and devices by 2020*.

Against a backdrop of global recession, we’re supporting emerging economies and the next generation of entrepreneurs. In fact, across the Middle-East, Africa and Russia (MEAR) a staggering 37% of the population is under 15 years old – the consumers, business people and leaders of the near future – and 47% are living in urban environments. These are all statistics that I’m personally very excited about, as they provide massive opportunities.

As well as the sheer scale, the diversity, infrastructure challenges and newness of these markets mean that mobility and collaboration are absolutely key to business growth. So with that in mind our partner-led activity in MEAR is vital to our overall success – MEAR is simply an unmissable and untapped channel. And our network of 2,100 partners and 10,000 partner account managers across 84 countries are vital to catching this wave.

I want 2013 to be a fresh start for supporting our partner-led activities. We’ve proved we can transcend national, geographical and cultural boundaries to build strong relationships. That’s exactly what we need to do with our partners, starting now.

So please feel free to share your thoughts and comments on how we can work more productively together with our partners.

 

*The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), 2011

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BYOD or BYOWD?

This is the second in a multi-part series of blogs comparing and contrasting the Microsoft and Cisco approaches to providing enterprise collaboration in the post-PC world. The first blog from Cisco SVP and GM, Rowan Trollope, 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. Today’s discussion will focus on how the two companies are approaching the trend towards “Bring your own device” (BYOD) to work.

BYOD or BYOWD?

There’s no question that in the Post-PC era, the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) movement has had a dramatic impact in the workplace. Not so long ago IT spent considerable time and money provisioning and servicing identical black laptops for thousands of employees. Now it is becoming more common to see people walking through the door with a MacBook, a Galaxy S3 or an iPad to work, and nobody looks twice. You don’t need a crystal ball to see where this trend is going.

Recent estimates show that over 200 million Read More »

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What Really Matters in Collaboration

On the eve of Microsoft’s first Lync User Conference, I think it’s a great time to start a frank and direct conversation about what’s changed in collaboration and, because of those changes, what’s really important for IT decision makers to consider as they evaluate collaboration vendors and solutions. This conversation, which I’m confident will spark a lively and healthy debate, will last for weeks and will include input from a variety of Cisco Collaboration leaders.

So, to start, what has changed in collaboration? At the macro level, I would argue that collaboration has evolved from a tolerated office tool into the single most important technology investment that an organization can make. Why? Because the next breakthrough levels of performance and productivity needed in business won’t come from a better-looking web portal or a bigger Inbox — they’ll come from the ability to tap into the collective knowledge and creativity of our people.

But, here’s the catch: not all collaboration solutions are designed to help people engage the way they want to engage, and they’re also not architected from the ground up to cater to IT’s needs and requirements.

Customers tell us time and again that a modern collaboration platform needs to deliver more than the basics like IM, conferencing and VoIP.  It needs to offer flexibility and choice in support of trends such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), high-quality video, and cloud-based deployments (private, public, hybrid, and hosted). The modern collaboration platform needs to be usable not just by office workers but by anyone, from physicians to customer care agents, executives, mobile and desk-less workers. And it needs to be as complete of a solution as possible — including the underlying infrastructure, a wide choice of compatible endpoints, and world-class support and maintenance — to maximize business and IT value.

Which brings me back to Microsoft and Lync. We believe Read More »

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Look Out for Risks that Can Impact Your Collaboration Practice

As you may have seen in my colleague Rowan Trollope’s blog, Cisco is kick starting a conversation about what’s changed in the collaboration market and what’s really important for IT decision makers to consider as they evaluate collaboration vendors and solutions.  This is clearly important for Cisco customers, but it’s also a critical topic for our partners. As a Cisco partner, you want to guide your customers to the right collaboration decisions that will solve real customer problems and maximize value.

Following are a few key considerations for partners to look out for in today’s changing market:  Read More »

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Survey Reveals Key Considerations in Collaboration and It’s Not First and Best on Windows

Every day I hear from customers who want to make collaboration more pervasive across their organizations. How do they take advantage of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)? Does it make sense to move some solutions to the cloud? What about video?

Those are all good questions, but as my colleague Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM of Cisco Collaboration Technology Group, said today, this is just the beginning. Cisco commissioned a global survey of 3,320 IT leaders from nine countries (U.S., Canada, U.K., Sweden, Germany, India, Russia, New Zealand and Australia) to find out what’s really top of mind for them. The survey, conducted by Redshift Research, revealed some interesting observations, not only about what matters to IT leaders, but about the differences between Cisco’s and Microsoft’s approach to collaboration. Here are some of the top findings: Read More »

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