Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Education

Transform the Way Your School Collaborates with New Service Models

After more than 15 years of working in the telecommunications and IT industries, I’ve seen firsthand how people use technology to make a difference and change lives. While there are innovative uses of technology across all industries, nothing continues to impress me more than how collaboration technologies are reinventing education.

As we’ve seen time and time again technologies like video and mobile devices are enhancing 21st century learning. But no matter what technology schools and educators are using, the delivery of services matters. Thanks to the cloud, schools can deploy advanced collaboration technologies with increased financial and operational flexibility.

With Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), organizations can implement unified communication applications while saving money by switching from a capital expenditure model to an operational expenditure model. The flexibility of the cloud enables customers to accelerate rollouts, improve business agility, lower maintenance and utility costs all while continuously delivering services.

Take for example Perspectives Charter Schools, which serves more than 2,300 students across several Chicago communities. When Perspectives Charter Schools made the shift from an on-premise unified communications system to a cloud collaboration solution they lowered monthly costs, simplified system maintenance and improved administrative efficiency. With Cisco HCS, Perspectives’ monthly bill is now 25 percent less than their previous monthly costs for phone lines, maintenance, software support contracts and repairs. But while the total cost of ownership for communications has dropped, the quality of services hasn’t. The schools have added new collaboration capabilities such as voicemail-to-email and single number reach help make staff members more accessible.

And they’re not the only ones…

Alamance-Burlington School System in North Carolina made the same shift from on-premise to the cloud for voice services and experienced much of the same benefits. With Cisco HCS they’ve lowered the overall cost of their voice system by eliminated the need for one connection for each school and freeing up the IT team. Not only are they saving money, they are also increasing collaboration. The switch to the cloud gave students and faculty access to more advanced collaboration capabilities such as video and instant messaging.

Alamance-Burlington School System and Perspectives Charter Schools’ use of Cisco HCS are classic examples of doing more with less. Powered by the cloud they can both deliver the advantages of Cisco’s collaboration solutions with the financial, operational and strategic benefits associated with the cloud.

Is your school ready to start benefiting from the cloud?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Cisco Partners Are Embracing Hosted Collaboration

March 14, 2013 at 9:56 am PST

True collaboration solutions offer communications and collaboration capabilities on any device, at any time, and from anywhere. That’s been the case for some time, and never more true than now as customers embrace hosted collaboration as a key consumption and delivery model.

Here at Cisco, we’re constantly refining our efforts to make hosted collaboration not only easy for customers to use, but also easy for partners to sell. And I’m happy to report that Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) is delivering for Cisco partners on our promise of “no compromise” cloud collaboration.

You’ve probably seen the recent industry reports, including researcher Gartner’s favorable assessment of how HCS adoption is accelerating. But Cisco’s momentum with hosted collaboration is showing up all over the place. With a robust global network of 40 HCS partners, we are leading a market shift toward cloud through which we could see several million HCS seats sold and delivered by the channel this year alone.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the Front Lines: How IT Is Taking Advantage of the Cloud Today

The cloud is here and here to stay. No one expects a wholesale move to the cloud overnight, but I’ve been hearing recently from numerous customers whose journeys are well underway, and some common themes are emerging as businesses explore various deployment models. Business agility, flexibility and balance sheet liquidity will drive cloud adoption, and, as the popularity of hybrid models increases, users will demand a seamless end-user experience between the cloud and on-premise systems.

A few weeks ago, I included these themes in my predictions about the future of cloud collaboration. This week I had the chance to speak with two Cisco customers about why issues such as flexibility, cost savings and user experience drove them to deploy cloud collaboration technologies and other cloud solutions. Sheila Jordan, senior vice president, communication and collaboration IT, co-hosted the discussion with me and offered her insights from an IT perspective. She also recapped the discussion, sharing some specific tips for how IT managers can best take advantage of the cloud.

John Jackson, vice president of global infrastructure and vendor management for D+M Group, said that he can relate easily to the prediction about business agility, flexibility and cost when thinking back to his company’s decision to move to the cloud. D+M Group employs people in several different operating divisions around the world and grew through a series of acquisitions, leaving the company to globalize shared-services IT team that did not previously exist. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s A World of Many Clouds — And That’s Great for Collaboration

October 11, 2012 at 5:12 am PST

It is well understood that collaboration is helping companies execute business strategies. It improves productivity, enhances teamwork, improves decision making, and compresses time to market — whether employees and team members are in the same building or halfway around the world. Now, video and mobility solutions are taking collaboration to the next level. The business benefits of enabling people to communicate more naturally — anywhere and at any time — are clear and being realized by many.

Furthermore, the desire to consume collaboration services from the cloud is increasing as many of our customers discover the multiple benefits of extending the reach of collaboration services across their businesses in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.  Customers are optimizing resources and gaining even more business and IT agility. They are enhancing business continuity and reducing risk of technology obsolescence while maintaining full visibility and control. End users are increasingly demanding  a consistent, rich user experience across the latest applications on their choice of devices.

Cloud collaboration is an integral part of Cisco’s Collaboration strategy, and Cisco’s focus is to provide customers with flexible choices on how they deploy collaboration so they can accelerate it across their business.  Cisco offers different deployment models to meet various customer use cases, including:  Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cisco Captures A Leadership Position in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications

Cisco has received recognition as a Leader in Gartner’s newly-released 2012 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (UC)! Find out more at Lynn Lucas’, Senior Director of Collaboration Marketing, blog below.

http://blogs.cisco.com/collaboration/cisco-captures-a-leadership-position-in-gartner-magic-quadrant-for-unified-communications/

Tags: , , , , , , , ,