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Collaboration is Hot: What IT Professionals Can Learn at the Internet of Things World Forum

IoTWF for blog smallIn partnership with our industry steering committee members and sponsors, Cisco will host the Internet of Things World Forum, to be held October 29–31 in Barcelona, Spain. This exclusive event will bring together business and global thought leaders from across industries, technologies, and geographies who are passionate about igniting innovation and accelerating the advancement of the Internet of Things for their organizations.

Not surprisingly, there are several exciting sessions of interest to those of us involved in Communication and Collaboration technologies. If you need help maneuvering through the conference’s collaboration landscape, here are a few recommendations: Read More »

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Finding the Right Collaboration Tools for the Right Roles

March 29, 2013 at 9:21 am PST

I collaborate, you collaborate, we all collaborate. An organizational chart may show hierarchy, but it doesn’t represent how people actually interact within – and beyond– an organization. Our roles don’t affect whether we collaborate, but do influence our needs, priorities, and the devices we use.

There’s a clear advantage to technology that empowers people to engage and creates a consistent user experience so that the interaction essentially the same – anywhere, on any device. Just as our roles differ, so do our collaboration priorities and device needs. But we don’t work only with others in our own role. We need to collaborate with people across the spectrum within an organization.

I use three or more devices to collaborate in a single workday. Frankly, you shouldn’t care. Before you and I talk, we shouldn’t need to take a mutual device inventory to figure out how to connect. If I don’t have to focus on what I’m doing to interact with you, I can focus on the conversation and the whole reason we’re connecting.

We’ve outlined five user personas to illustrate how collaboration technology can best serve the needs of people in different roles. Click through on a persona to get more information and to see the use cases that support their needs. Read More »

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The new manufacturing workforce enabled by Cisco Unified Access

July 31, 2012 at 4:34 am PST

My eldest nephew is a recent college graduate.  He lives in Boston and walks to work, which is less than 2 miles from his apartment.  When I was his age, I commuted fifty miles in bumper-to-bumper traffic to get to work (uphill, both ways)!

Young, skilled workers who want to live, work and socialize locally are pushing companies to locate in cities.  Many employers are accommodating the hiring demands of the new workforce, as a means to recruit and retain new talent.

An estimated 10 million manufacturing jobs are currently unfilled due to a growing skills gap.  As the talent pool shrinks, companies are paying close attention to what the next generation of skilled workers wants – all with the end goal of employing, retaining and keeping workers away from the competition.

Watch the video that I refer to later in the blog

An undeniable truth is that these young workers, and most of their not-so-young co-workers, want the freedom to use their own personal smartphones and tablets at work. And more than ever, they want to use them from anywhere, even when they’re on the move. This mobile BYOD desire is causing an avalanche of new devices (15 billion by 2015), applications and cloud-based services.

Business and IT leaders are paying attention.  A May 2012 Cisco IBSG Horizons Study reveals that IT is saying yes to BYOD. A whopping 95% of respondents say their organizations permit employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace.  Have a look at Peter Granger’s blog to learn about how manufacturers are implementing BYOD.

Working according to our own terms does present a variety of new business and IT infrastructure challenges. And thanks to Cisco Unified Access, employers can safely accommodate the demands of the new workforce, and enhance their own business productivity in the process. 

The new workforce’s insistence on working their way may not only change the way we do business; it just might ease that bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic!

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Telephony Integration on EX Series Cisco TelePresence Systems

At InfoComm 2012 product manager Darrick Deel discussed the exciting new features of the TE 6.0 Software release for the EX Series which resulted from tighter integration with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM).

In this video, Darrick demos new voicemail capabilities and shared line enhancements that enable users to receive telepresence calls on their mobile devices and then transfer the call to the EX console once they return to the office. These new capabilities of TE 6.0 improve Cisco’s TelePresence portfolio and provide greater support to the mobile worker.

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TelePresence Provisioning 2.0 – a new paradigm in large scale provisioning of fixed and mobile video endpoints

The trend to increase workforce mobility has accelerated, more customers are proactively empowering employees to work wherever and whenever they have access, to increase productivity and streamline their business. This growing number of employees being set up with video-enabled tablet devices and video endpoints however has added to the burden of IT management; especially massive user, device and phone book provisioning from hundreds of devices to tens of thousands of devices—and across geographic regions and firewalls.

Specifically for telepresence, IT resources have been focused on helping an increasing number of mobile and remote users configure and personalize their devices, endpoints settings, and preferences. Fueled by this demand, Cisco is excited to introduce Cisco TelePresence Provisioning 2.0.

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