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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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When Your Collaboration Infrastructure Starts Making Odd Noises

December 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm PST

If your car is overdue for a tune-up, it may let you know in unexpected (and unsettling) ways — rough handling, sluggish acceleration, and even an odd (“that can’t be good”) noise from under the hood. If you’re like me, you don’t want to find yourself waiting on the side of the road for a tow truck. You schedule your car for regular tune-ups to make sure your tires aren’t worn, the wheels are aligned, no fluids are leaking, and the engine is performing to the right specifications.

Just like your car, a collaboration infrastructure needs regular tune-ups. In fact, just like your car, a collaboration infrastructure will let you know that it’s not running optimally. But by the time you actually notice the performance problems with collaboration applications, the odds are that those problems have already started causing issues with your end-users.

Traditionally, optimization has been looked at (even by Cisco in the early days) as the final step in the deployment cycle. But IT projects queue up so fast that optimization for the last project may not happen because the next project is already underway. Today, however, we look at optimization in an Read More »

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Five Best Practices To Get ROI From Video Solutions

In my experience helping customers  implement video solutions, their goals are usually to increase efficiencies, reduce expenses and even generate new lines of business. Cisco Collaboration Change Management Services (CCMS) helps customers accelerate adoption of collaboration solutions to achieve your targeted business goals. CCMS has a global team of experts in change management, communications, training, governance, marketing, operational processes and adoption analytics ready to help.  View this video to learn how one company realized the full benefits of their video solution.

Overall, our team has noticed there are 5 common traits among successful customers:

  1. An organization’s strategic objectives drive how, where, and why video is used
    Customer A’s strategic objective was to aggressively expand in emerging markets over the next 3 years.  This strategy was widely communicated and cascaded into operational goals throughout the company.  Significant investments were made to increase the size and quality of the sales teams in the Brazil and China sales offices.  Additionally, the customer purchased Cisco TelePresence video units for these offices to accelerate growth. The ‘boardroom ROI’ for this investment would be realized by achieving the expansion goals in Brazil and China.
  2. A business unit sponsor leads the deployment (not IT), communicates their vision, and sets expectations about how video will make a difference. Read More »

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