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Maximizing Mobile Collaboration for the Post PC Era

Almost every customer that I speak to is looking at the opportunity that new mobile devices – smart phones and tablets – bring to increase collaboration and drive new business capabilities.  And consistently, customers are asking these five questions:

  1. How closely will the UC capabilities on my mobile device not just meet, but exceed the experience on my desktop?
  2. Will users be able to make and receive calls on their mobile devices anywhere in the world as if they were using their desk phone?
  3. Is video to the mobile device available at all, and if so is it really “business-ready” or is it more of a poor imitation of the TelePresence experience?
  4. Are Wi-Fi access points evolving to better handle the increased traffic and usage patterns that come from adding mobile devices on the network?
  5. If I choose a cloud provider for UC-as-a-Service, will that in any way limit my ability to deliver UC capabilities to a mobile device?

For Cisco, these questions are easy to answer because mobility and user experience are not an afterthought.  Our collaboration development philosophy is people-centric – that is driven by the user experience.  And in the post PC era where tablets and mobile phones are primary work devices for many during each day, that experience must not just be equivalent to the desktop – but maximize the unique opportunity that these new form factors provide.  This is a fundamental change in the user experience model and Cisco is maximizing the potential of this new class of mobile devices.
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Customer Perspective: 5 Retail Trends Driving Wi-Fi

This is the type of post that gets me excited. Today, I’m happy to feature a special customer guest author: Andrew vonNagy, CCIE #28298 (Wireless), and currently Technical Architect for a Fortune 50 retail company. Many of you may know Andrew from his active blog, Revolution Wi-Fi,  or his Twitter feed: @revolutionwifi. Stay with us over the next two weeks as Andrew offers his take on the intersection of Retail and the Wireless LAN industry.

Retail Wi-Fi networks have long been dominated by inventory management applications and services that enabled a more productive workforce and leaner operations. However, brick-and-mortar retail is being disrupted due to the explosive growth from pure e-commerce competitors offering [often] lower prices and a more personalized shopping experience. In addition, the e-commerce sales channel offers deeper product information, community reviews, and greater levels of localization and customization that resonate with consumers.

Brick and mortar retail must adapt to compete in this new environment. A key component of this adaptation is delivering new IT solutions while leveraging the physical assets of the storefront, mixing the benefits of in-store product “touch-and-feel” with the personalization of e-commerce shopping. Merging these two worlds together will create an enhanced shopping experience through the use of mobile Internet devices, often connected through Wi-Fi networks.

This week, we will cover the first of 5 trends driving Wi-Fi growth and new capabilities in retail organizations:

Trend 1: Consumer Interaction and Business Analytics

Physical retailers have the most influence over consumer purchase decisions in the store, when they are standing in front of the product they are weighing whether or not to buy. Historically, this has been through in-aisle marketing and signage. However, customers are increasingly equipped with mobile Internet access and turning to external sources of information in real-time while within a retail store. This has been coined the emergence of the “smart shopper”. These external sources of information are much more comprehensive than what the retailer can provide through traditional in-aisle marketing and signage, and this leaves the physical retailer at a big disadvantage.

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Connect to your colleagues through the cloud, no matter where you are

Most of us cannot imagine our lives without our smartphones. When it comes to business, it’s no secret that most employees consider their smartphone their alternative to access work resources when away from their laptop or desktop. With this in mind, Cisco extends a number of additional services through HCS including one of the more popular collaboration features, enterprise dial, through something we’ve just added to our HCS portfolio called IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) integration.

Through this network integration of fixed to mobile, service providers offering our HCS portfolio can leverage their own infrastructure to differentiate and drive fixed mobile convergence and thus extend enterprise dial to its customers’ end users.

So what does this all mean?

Mobile Service Providers will now be enabled to deliver business call features onto all mobile devices, without being dependent upon the device being ‘smart’ or ‘client enabled’.  These features include, single number reach, seamless call transfer and mid call transfer.

Another valuable benefit from IMS integration is that it facilitates access of multimedia and voice applications from wireless and wireline terminals. For example, this means if you are a smartphone and traditional mobile phone user away on business in China, and someone rings your desk-line, the call will now transcend through the network seamlessly and reach your mobile. Read More »

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Is it Too Early to Be Talking About Mobile World Congress?

Last month, a colleague stopped me and said, “Kit, it’s only November. Isn’t it too early to be discussing Mobile World Congress?” My answer, as you might have guessed, was an emphatic “no!”

This will be my 11th Mobile World Congress (MWC) and, for those of us actively engaged in the mobile space, it is the event of the year. It brings over 60,000 members of the mobility community—vendors, service providers, analysts and the media—all under the same roof for four full days to innovate, collaborate and shape the future of the industry.

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Watch the NBA D-League Score with Cisco WebEx [video]

Sixteen teams in different locations participated in this year’s NBA Development League Draft using Cisco WebEx as their connection to players and coaches to see and be seen! From California to Texas, to Nevada to Maine, everyone was connected either by computer or mobile device to experience the excitement of the draft.

The draft was held on November 3, 2011. It was a two hour event with eight rounds and a total of 128 picks. Participants joined WebEx from their homes, office and a few were at draft parties in restaurants. Those with webcams were able to share their reactions while others could watch from their computer or mobile phones – even iPads!

The event opened with Read More »

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