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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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Telecommuting – A Working Dad’s Perspective

For the majority of my IT career, I’ve been very fortunate and grateful for the various technologies Cisco provides that allow me to effectively manage and juggle my professional and personal life.  As a first time father to a beautiful and precious one-year-old girl, the flexibility to work anytime and anywhere is a tremendous benefit! While any parent with kids knows no day or week is really typical, I’d like to share with you a typical week in the life of how collaborative/mobile technologies helps me stay productive while also retaining some level of sanity.

Read More »

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Activate the IT Transformation with Cisco Unified Access: Part 1

With the ever growing demands placed on IT organizations to “do more with less” it is becoming apparent that the way we deploy the network infrastructure, how we administer policies and how we manage the whole thing needs to evolve.

Why is IT spending so much time maintaining separate wired, wireless and VPN networks? We need to focus on the business that is banging on the door telling you to support more mobile and wired devices, more bandwidth hungry applications and extend that support well beyond the walls of corporate facilities.

How can we simplify how IT operates and still deliver a high-performance, high-quality connected experience? Cisco Unified Access can help! We announced the webinar series earlier this week, and part 1 is just around the corner.

In next Wednesday’s webinar (CLICK TO REGISTER) we will discuss:

  • The industry perspective regarding challenges surrounding, BYOD, Mobility and the Internet of Everything
  • The latest Cisco technology that can help you simplify and optimize you network
  • How a unified access network can improve performance and operations
  • Deploying consistent and contextual policies will improve access control and enforcement
  •  How reducing operational complexity can accelerate device deployment and end user problem resolution.

Read More »

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MEAR is leading the way

Potential growth area

South Africa: Potential growth area

The balance of power is shifting to emerging economies. Compared to stagnant Western markets, business growth and investment in the Middle-East, Africa and Russia (MEAR) continues unabated.

It’s a shift that’s amplified by technological advances. In under a decade, these seismic changes have levelled the playing field, opened the door to a global market and made rapid business growth a reality:

 

 

  • The connected world where we can work, play and learn anytime, anywhere and with anyone.
  • Virtualization made it easier to manage multiple servers and reduce physical computing power.
  • Computing power has exponentially increased capacity and processing speeds so we can do much more for a lot less time and money.
  • The cloud offers all the applications and storage businesses need minus the server infrastructure.

You’ll probably point out many other factors, but I picked these because they are particularly relevant to MEAR countries and their IT spending patterns. Specifically, they are backed up by Forrester research in 2012. This showed that over half of MEAR-based companies plan to invest more in mobility, analytics, security and collaboration.

Unlike more mature companies, their spending isn’t being eroded by having to maintain and support legacy systems. This frees up budgets to completely replace or expand their IT in ways that improve their competitiveness. The top three areas that Forrester highlighted from 2011 to 2012 were mobile apps (spending increase of 47%), business intelligence (44%) and collaboration tools (41%).

Further research was carried out by Canalys in February 2012 of its online channel community – resellers, systems integrators, service providers and distributors. The results showed a positive outlook across MEAR despite ongoing economic uncertainty. Over half emphasized a move from capital expenditure to operating expenditure, with the highest demand for IT services expected from small to midsize companies (with 100-499 employees). As a respondent said, “Companies working their way out of the crisis by expanding.”

As more companies seek new technologies to secure future growth, our partner network across MEAR needs to be ready to help them become the technology leaders of tomorrow.

*Forrester, 2012, Forrsights: Cautious Optimism in 2012 IT Spending Plans -- A BT Futures Report

*Canalys, 2012, Navigating through dramatic industry change

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Inflection Point: Cisco Sets the Pace of Mobility Innovation

At Cisco, we take very seriously our ability to anticipate and catch market transitions. A few years ago, we saw a market transition that would affect our Service Provider customers in the area of Mobility. With 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi deployments rising, the world was clearly shifting from Coverage, Capacity to Services… and the importance of customer experience rising amongst operators worldwide. As a result, we set in motion a new strategy for our Service Provider Mobility Group (SPMG). The key to our strategy was to develop an architecture that would enable Service Providers to offer a differentiated experience to their customers.

Our Mobility CTO Paul Mankiewich refers to the new mobility operator requirements as “the Grand Challenge.” The inflection point is here. Not only do our key SP customers recognize it, but our competitors are also seeing the tremendous business opportunity represented by the “Grand Challenge,” especially as it relates to emerging Monetization use cases that are propelling the market’s rapid growth.

Our vision to Read More »

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