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Engineers, Researchers and Designers: The Geeks Behind Cisco’s Collaboration Technology

It’s a great time to be at Cisco. Earlier this week, Susie Wee, chief technology and experience officer (CTEO) for the Collaboration Technology Group, unveiled the “collaboration geeks”: the engineers, researchers and designers behind the technology, to a handful of press and analysts. We were excited (and a bit nervous!) to share how Cisco is approaching user experience (UE) and design. These changes aren’t just happening from the product side, but are also evolving our internal thinking about being more user-centric across the organization.

Have you ever heard of a CTEO? Probably not, because it is a new role that we created to address the importance of coupling user experience and technology. As CTEO, Susie is responsible for driving innovation and experience design in Cisco’s collaboration products and software services. The first step involved in making a cultural change is how we approach product design. But what does this mean for her team? Below is a short excerpt from our User Experience Day event.

At Cisco, we’re dedicated to changing the way we work, live, play and learn. We’re always looking to break down barriers among staff; one example is how we’re approaching user experience design. Our team is looking into principles, guidelines, and archetypes that represent an organizational-wide approach to user experience design. The design team really lays the foundation for growing the influence and scope of all the UE specialists into strategic conversations where user experience can impact what we design and how we design. We coined the term “XQ” as the eXperience Quotient of the organization. XQ is a tool and metric that we developed to measure our customer’s experience with our products and our user experience-centric development process.

Another example is how our engineers are thinking about their products from the user perspective and pulling in the user experience designers and my team (user experience researchers) as well. To showcase this at the event, engineers brought in a number of XQ demos to show this thinking firsthand: Read More »

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Change the way you think: BYOD at Interop Vegas 2012

Cisco ISE, NCS, part of Cisco BYOD Solutoin

Navigating the BYOD onboarding process

I am not a car person. When asked to describe a vehicle, I start with color and the number of doors. Then I stop talking. However, for a short time, I worked for a luxury autos website. I could pick out a Maybach on the streets of Manhattan, I knew when Tesla was launching a new model and I could tell you which James Bond movie featured a vehicle other than an Aston Martin.

Now that I spend my days thinking about wireless networking and mobility, I’ve realized that my perception of Vegas has completely changed as well. Plans used to revolve around restaurants, craps tables and night clubs. Now, as I get ready to head to Interop Las Vegas 2012, I find myself wondering about the network. With thousands of participants simultaneously trying to gain connectivity with all of their mobile devices, I think about mitigating network interference, being prepared for high density and maintaining security for the participants and vendors at the event.

If you’re headed to Interop and these are things you wonder about as your network is growing, here is a heads up on the demos and speaking sessions that you cannot afford to miss.

Go Beyond BYOD with Cisco Demos Drop by our Interop Cisco booth (#1127)

 

Tuesday

May 8

11:00– 11:15 AM

Wednesday

May 9

4:30– 4:45 PM

Go Beyond BYOD with Cisco Solutions. IT can now go beyond simply connecting mobile end devices; it can safely extend the right level of access in every situation with a unified security policy while ensuring an optimized, simply-managed experience for users with diverse device, security and business requirements.

Tuesday

May 8

10:15– 11:15 AM

The Guide to Holistic BYOD Avoid turning “Bring Your Own Device” into “Bring Your Own Disaster.” Learn about the critical steps for planning a successful BYOD design and implementation.

Tuesday

May 8

2:30– 3:15 AM

iPads on your network? Real Secure Mobile Solutions PANEL: The proliferation of mobile devices and tablets is changing the IT landscape. Join us in conversation with customers for insights in setting policies, kinds of access being granted, user expectations and management. This special customer panel will discuss how they are effectively managing the flurry of mobile devices and tablets in their networks.

Thursday

May 10

11:30 – 12:30 PM


How BYOD is Driving Change in the Campus Network
The drivers of change in the campus network include the requirement to support a significant increase in video traffic, the need to support the movement of virtual machines within the campus data center and the burgeoning movement to bring your own device (BYOD). The panelists in this session will discuss technologies and design options that you can use to redesign your campus LANs.

Check out our Insider’s Guide to Interop for a list of great events covering Borderless Networks – everything from BYOD, to WAN Optimization and Cloud Connectivity! Thanks to Lauren for the great scheduler!

And if you were wondering, my car is a goldish, tan, four-door. And (just for fun) these are 007′s cars… not quite the same thing. Maybe one day!

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Great Tips for Using Video Conferencing to Demo Your Product

March 14, 2012 at 8:58 am PST

Online meetings are a great day to deliver a product demo. They can save time and money, but doing a great job requires you adapt your skill set so you do a terrific job.

In addition to the marketing and public relations skills you already have, you’ll need to learn to embrace the tools you have for the online demo and then pump up the volume on your “wow” factor since having a nice lunch afterward isn’t on the agenda.

Lessons from the Front

Software product manager Gopal Shenoy writes about his recent experiences conducting three demos during online meetings. Two went well and the third “was an outright disaster”.

The bottom line: You can choose to avoid doing the homework to your own peril or spend the time during discovery to start building effective relationships with your prospects.

Nate Westheimer at Innonate offers some firsthand tips (and examples) for pulling together a great demo.

It pains me when people come to demo and, instead of putting on a magic show — showing off how humans (themselves) and software interact — they try to inspire the audience through their words and by speaking about their ideas; or, just as bad, they flip through a bunch of preloaded tabs in an effort to “show” the product, as if pre-loaded tabs are any better than PowerPoint slides.

Technology Do’s and Don’ts

1. Find out some basics before you set up the WebEx.

Will they be in an office, a conference room? Are there likely to be distractions? Do what you can to help them control their experience so you will be heard and you’ll have their attention. Dialing in on a phone line is probably optimum for them to hear every nuance (it also helps if you decide to record the meeting).

Read More »

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Here’s the Best Way to Share via WebEx [video]

March 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm PST

If you are using WebEx for your video conference, one of the things you may want to do is share information that’s on your computer.

Many people share their desktop -- which means your attendees can see everything happening on your computer. This can present problems if you don’t remember to shut down other applications while you are sharing your desktop. But there are ways to limit what is visible by sharing a document or an application.

Here’s a quick look at your choices [watch video]. Read More »

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Cisco Ready for Mobile World Congress 2012–First Look at Our Demo Plans

We are already well into the planning phase for Mobile World Congress 2012, which will be upon us sooner than we think – and here’s some advice: book your flights soon! And please do come by to visit Cisco in Hall 8, Stand A111 to learn how you can M.O.VE your mobile networks to meet the challenges of and profit from the still-rapid growth in mobile data consumption. We will demonstrate several innovative Mobile Internet solutions that can help you launch new services and business models while optimizing your mobile network to lower costs. We promise to make these demonstrations immersive and engaging, and even hands-on if you’re willing to try! Read More »

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