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Barry O’Sullivan: 2012 Collaboration Predictions

This week in No Jitter, Cisco Collaboration Senior Vice President and General Manager Barry O’Sullivan looked into his crystal ball and elaborated on his predictions for 2012.

In an excerpt, Barry predicts:

“1. Post PC-era will explode

2. Video will break through

3. Contact Centers will evolve as customers choose to interact with companies in radically new ways

4. Companies will use the cloud and desktop virtualization to provide collaboration capabilities across the enterprise

5. Social business processes will become mainstream for many.”

Read Barry’s predictions in more detail and the follow-up answers Barry gave to Eric Krapf’s questions. I trust you’ll enjoy reading the article.  Send in your predictions for 2012 for collaboration, video, social software, and contact center.

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HCS: Now bringing flexible customer collaboration to an SMB near you

I’m pleased to announce that customer collaboration solutions are becoming available in the cloud with the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution for Contact Center (HCS) in early 2012. These solutions are optimized for companies with 500-1,000 agents, with emphasis on scalability, simplicity, flexibility, and speed.

Scalability allows the technology to be deployed to a wide range of customers. Thus, powerful customer collaboration solutions can scale based on the specific size and makeup of the customer. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all contact center solutions; now if you’re a small to medium-sized business you can cater to your customers’ needs and concerns with the same tools as a large one, and at vastly accelerated speed.

Midsize businesses often do not have the resources to deal with complex IT systems, which is why simplicity is paramount. With the simplified management of a cloud-based contact center solution, SMB’s IT departments can focus their time on more urgent matters.

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The UK Press Perspective on Customer Collaboration

As I’ve blogged recently, we are in the midst of a significant push in the UK contact center market.  Customers, partners, and key influencers have validated that we have the right strategy, vision, and ability to execute to make a real change in the market.  Coming out of my visit to the UK, are two articles published this week that do a great job of explaining how we are competing in the market.

First, Neil Davey in mycustomer.com, details a conversation that he and I had along with Andy Chew, one of our senior collaboration sales leaders in Europe.  The full article/interview is here: http://www.mycustomer.com/topic/social-crm/ciscos-plots-aggressive-customer-collaboration-expansion-uk/133446#

Additionally, Alex Blyth in the lead story of “Fifty Reasons to Love Call Centres” a special supplement in Saturday’s London Times, outlined a number of changes in the customer service market, including our perspective that self-service should be used appropriately, but is not a catch-all for all customer requests.  The supplement can be found Read More »

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Driving Global Growth in Customer Collaboration

Today I’m boarding a flight to London, where I’ll spend the next few days meeting with analysts, consultants, and the press to highlight how the United Kingdom is a key growth area for Customer Collaboration and Cisco’s contact center business in general.  I’ll also be spending time with key customers and partners as we continue to focus on their success in customer collaboration.  I always enjoy meeting with our customers, so I’m really looking forward to having a “fireside chat” with UK-based SpecSavers, who have proven very successful with our customer collaboration solutions.  In the end, customer successes like this are what’s fueling Cisco’s rise to the top.

Of course, we have seen significant customer successes across all of our geographic theaters, with lighthouse customer wins, major shifts in partner mindshare and wallet share, as well as awards and other recognition.  Along with these key global proof points, we have seen that the foundation for our march to #1 has already been strongly set in North America, where our market-changing delivery of Customer Collaboration has been affirmed by the press and industry analysts.

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When is a Visit from the Fire Marshall a Good Thing?

Our recent Americas Customer Collaboration Partner Sales Summit in Natick, MA brought together nearly 300 partners and Cisco attendees for two days of product updates, live demos, best practice sharing, networking, and interactive discussions.  Over the course of the event, some key discussion points included the clear shift in the contact center market toward Cisco, and the power of Cisco’s full Collaboration portfolio in helping to deliver Customer Collaboration solutions.

This annual event has become so popular--and the general demand for expertise in Cisco contact center solutions is so great --that our meeting room was filled beyond capacity by partners eager to work with us.

Although we didn’t in fact receive a visit from the Natick fire marshall, if we had it would have only underscored that all the momentum in the contact center industry is clearly with Cisco as we continuing driving to #1 in the market.

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