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Which Collaboration Applications Are Right for Me?

As a member of the Sales Engineer Organization,  I spend lots of my time staying close to midsized customers observing how teams that do great work are leveraging applications to collaborate.   The number of choices available can make choosing the right tools an interesting journey.

Is there one solution to meet all needs? Midmarket organizations face these questions.   As I talked to several midsized companies this past year, I heard how improving team productivity is top of mind.  Keeping employees connected across their various workplace resources and devices is increasingly important.  Making customers happy with proactive service and quick response times is paramount to an organization’s success.

In the world of collaboration, consider the parallels between how online meetings and physical meetings take place.  Don’t you find it to be more effective to have the right setting for the meetings you attend in person?  A large group in a small space never works right.

For example, with physical meetings:

  • Large groups require large spaces, structured seating, the ability to share media, and the ability for participants to interact with presenters.
  • Fast moving small teams need rooms that are available on-demand and the ability to do real-time content tracking.

One-to-one interactions require privacy and rich-media sharing with the ability to call in additional participants as needed.

blog midmarket 2015 Read More »

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Cisco Spark: Room for Everyone

My mom…one of the best moms out there in my book.  She plans our fun family reunions, plays a mean game of golf, and keeps a busy household in order.  And she’s also a successful businesswoman with a very full plate.  She runs marketing and advertising for a small business and is an active member of the community.  She is constantly multitasking – jumping between projects and meetings on a host of different topics.  She is “collaborating” all the time.

As a marketer of collaboration products, I can’t help but analyze how people work – especially folks that may not know about all the great collaboration technology out there.  My mom happens to be one of those people.  I’ve actually seen her drive to the office to review some creative designs or spend an hour composing a long email when some simple messaging could have helped her get to the point faster.  And despite her ability to multi-task as any good mom can, I’ve noticed that she often puts small tasks on hold while over-rotating on a key deliverable, later ending up behind schedule because she’s “catching up.”  But all of this is not for a lack of familiarity with technology.  She definitely holds the role of the Chief Technology Officer for our family (sorry dad)!

Until we launched Cisco Spark, Read More »

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Gartner Recognizes Cisco as a Leader for UC for Midsize Enterprises

gartner image 6_15Cisco positioned highest in “ability to execute” among Leaders in the first ever Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications for Midsize Enterprises, North America.

Many midsize organizations are seriously exploring solutions to replace maxed-out, expensive-to-maintain, and/or end-of-life PBXs. They’re weighing what they may need to support their future communications. This new Magic Quadrant from Gartner, published in May, is the first to look specifically at the unified communications requirements of midsize organizations with between 100 and 999 employees.

Phone System or Full UC&C Suite?

Many midsize organizations talk to us about deploying a new phone system. But most I talk to are balancing a much wider range of evolving challenges.  For example, those may include how to:

  • Empower an increasingly mobile workforce
  • Transform team working
  • Increase employee engagement

It’s important to consider vendors that not only fulfill your initial needs, but enable you to evolve. You need a solution that will scale as you grow and your priorities change. We feel that Cisco Business Edition 6000, which Gartner evaluated, features all the essentials. Read More »

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Cisco Helps Spark New Zealand Serve Up The Voice Of The Future

 

Spark New ZealandRemember when voice was the original mobile network use-case? It was a much simpler time, with more network control, greater profit, and fewer competitors. Fast forward to today and like the rest of the Service Provider industry, mobile voice communications are changing, and changing very rapidly. Mobile networks must provide a cost-effective, rich user experience.

According to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), by the close of 2014 there were 360 mobile operators that had commercially launched LTE networks and service in 124 countries. Of those mobile operators only 14 had a commercially launched voice over LTE (VoLTE) service. Voice continues to be the most popular Read More »

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Tropo Opens New Revenue Opportunities

As the need for constant connectedness and mobility explodes, it’s becoming increasingly clear the collaboration market is taking off. We’re in a race to transform the way we work and communicate. We’re talking about a $53 billion opportunity, and it’s just beginning.

Building on our March 17 announcement of Cisco Spark, on June 1, we made a huge leap forward with the official acquisition of Tropo, a team that has built one of the world’s leading open communication platforms.

Since then, I’ve been happy to see the analysts and other industry experts embracing this move.

As Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst with ZK Research, put it, “The company’s calling card has been its ability to leverage smaller purchases. It drops the talent and technology into the Cisco machine, and gains a market-leading or sometimes market-defining position from it.” (May 7, 2015, No Jitter)

Zeus is right. Tropo will allow us to define the external platform for Cisco Spark which will transform Spark from a standalone app into something much bigger – like a set of capabilities that a developer could add to other apps.  But as partners, you’re probably wondering how Tropo fits into our overall strategy and what it means for you.  Read More »

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