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Smartphones are business tools, too

Learn how you can make employees more productive with their mobile devices

Smartphone usage—and the expectations around smartphones—are changing rapidly. Average smartphone usage nearly tripled in 2011, and by the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth. By 2016 there will be an estimated 1.4 mobile devices per person. Given the rise of smartphones, it’s not surprising that people rely on their mobile devices for more and more of their daily interactions, including business communications, whether at work, at home, and on the road. In a Cisco report, 46 percent of people surveyed expect to be able to access their corporate network from their personal mobile device.

However, there’s more than just flexibility accompanying the BYOD trend. These shifting expectations about connectivity also come with a host of decisions for small business. For example, do you have the network infrastructure in place to enable your employees to use their mobile devices for business communications? Do you have a wireless device usage policy? Are your VPN connections secure? And when your employees do connect to the workplace via a mobile device, do they have access to products and tools to help them do their jobs?

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It’s Not Enough to Be Connected

I attended Enterprise Connect for the ninth time this year, but it was the first time I delivered a keynote address. With the advances in technology today I could have delivered my keynote via TelePresence from Oslo, my home town in Norway. But I chose to attend in person because in this case face-to-face was the best way to tell my story.

I spoke to how “It is not enough to be connected.” This may sound strange coming from me, especially since I represent “the” networking company, but Cisco has evolved, as technology, businesses, and customer needs have evolved. Just being connected is not enough to drive the next levels of productivity. So, we need to think beyond connectivity. Read More »

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Bring Your Own SaaS to Work (BYOS)

The popular trend to “bring your own device” (BYOD) to work is not surprising to those who are informed about the recent past. This phenomenon was preceded by savvy employees that would introduce useful consumer-grade software applications to the enterprise – without the approval of gatekeepers within the corporate IT organization.

The early adoption of online instant messaging, wiki and blog platforms are noteworthy examples of where many corporate IT departments have been slow to embrace online collaboration applications. Moreover, when the approved enterprise-grade vendor has been chosen and the “solution” is deployed, sometimes it’s inferior to the consumer-grade offering.

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Trends Affecting Your Strategy for Business Video

Consider your enterprise communication strategy. Now consider the role of video in that strategy. Is video critical, best effort, nice to have, or outside the scope of your communication strategy?

Business video comes in different flavors, shapes and sizes and there is no one answer for everybody.  Your video requirements will vary depending on the size of your company, what you want to do with video, and how you want to do it.  Let’s examine different types of business video and how the latest trends are impacting the future strategies of business video as it relates to communications across mobile and social platforms.

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Technology for Business Sake

Nothing irritates me more than technology that goes unused.  Shiny things, cool bells and whistles, and technology features don’t excite me unless I see people using the technology to transform their business and gaining true return on their investment.

I often ask customers, “What is more important to you, get the cheapest deal or realizing the benefits the technology can offer?”  Do you choose something because it is free or something that delivers a solution to your needs?  Often I’ve seen people choose cost over benefit, to deeply regret it later; spending valuable time not realizing the productivity benefits.

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