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What an Orchestra and a Mobile Device have in Common

Orchestras are often used as metaphors for all sorts of things--organizational structure, planning sessions and even families.

Have you been to the symphony recently? Musicians sit in a regimented ordering around the stage. The concertmaster sets the tune. The conductor lifts the baton. And then, with the pull of a bow across a string, or breath across a mouthpiece, the music begins. Throughout the performance, each section of the orchestra plays a specific part – either separately or together – to create a harmonized work of art.

The prestigious Czech National Orchestra, known for its versatility, lived up to its reputation during a recent performance (for a new BNP product called Hello Bank!). They put their instruments – some hundreds of years old – aside in favor of newer, more common instruments: smartphones and tablets.

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Get Converged User Access Management

Cisco Prime Infrastructure is a network management tool that helps accelerate the rollout of new services. It also provides highly secure access and management of mobile devices, making bring- your-own-device (BYOD) access a reality for corporate IT. Tightly coupling client awareness with application performance visibility and network control, Cisco Prime Infrastructure helps ensure an uncompromised end-user experience. Deep integration with the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) further extends this visibility across security and policy-related problems. It presents a complete view of client access issues with a clear path to solving them.

Whether you are well-versed with Prime Infrastructure and want a sneak peek at Prime Infrastructure 2.0 (yes, 2.0) OR you’re new to Cisco’s network management suite and just want to feel out the options, join us at our webinar June 5th (Click to Register) to learn about how Unified Access streamlines converged user access management. We have lined up an early preview of the latest Cisco Prime Infrastructure that we’ll showcase in action with a live demonstration.  Read More »

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Collaboration Patterns That Accelerate Your Business

This is my fourth blog in a multi-part series.  In my first blog, I introduced insights from Cisco’s Collaboration Work Practice Study and how people value collaboration in the work environment.  In my second blog, I discussed the importance of building trust-based relationships and networks to make collaboration work for you.  In my third blog, I share how you can turn human interactions into business results.  In today’s blog, I discuss patterns of collaborative behaviors and how to leverage them to better support collaborators.

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Collaboration can happen at anytime.  Some would describe it as chaotic.   But interestingly enough, through all the collaborative interactions we observed, we saw patterns in the “chaos” -- patterns that did not just exist in organizational silos, nor were they simply associated with a job role or personality type.   Throughout the day, people play a variety of roles and experience different types and modes of collaboration.   They go from online to offline, in a virtual meeting to meeting over coffee, have an ad-hoc chat in the break-room and attend a global Cisco TelePresence meeting.

If we pay close attention to the behavior patterns of collaboration we can learn how to better support collaborators and create a more seamless experience. This is where process, technology and the physical and virtual workplace can complement the human behaviors that occur during collaboration.

Accelerating Collaboration through Catalysts and Connectors

“Not everyone is comfortable with collaborating virtually. [A catalyst’s] outreach encourages participation and makes the experience rich and meaningful.”   -- Study Participant

In our study, we found that certain types of people play an essential role in not only Read More »

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Cloud and Law Enforcement (Part One): U.K.’s Facewatch Service Benefits Police, Businesses, and Citizens

This is the first in a two-part blog series that examines the opportunities that cloud-based services offer to law enforcement agencies—along with the challenges of this fundamental shift in the way information resources are managed.

Police forces have a well-established culture of owning and managing systems directly founded on concerns about security and control of access to information. Three trends, however, make this position unsustainable:

  • Traditional models for acquiring and running systems, which slow the pace of innovation
  • Pressure to reduce costs
  • Increasing need to form partnerships with other police agencies, public-sector bodies, and the private sector. Partnership depends on information sharing and open approaches to developing systems.

One of the most radical—and successful—cloud-based public-safety and security services is Facewatch. Using a network-based model, Facewatch provides an online reporting tool that allows U.K. businesses and citizens to report crimes and attach video evidence. The service enables crime victims to cancel credit cards instantly through Facewatch’s partners; allows users to share images of wanted people; and provides a channel for feedback from the police on the outcomes of cases.

Facewatch offers immediate benefits to the public, businesses, and law enforcement:

  • Citizens: ease of reporting and rapid management of associated processes
  • Businesses: less time required to deal with incidents
  • Law enforcement: reduces or eliminates the need to interact directly with premises to recover video footage

For all users, there is greater transparency about processes and reporting on outcomes, as well as the ability for communities to share information about wanted persons and crime trends.

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Turning Human Interaction into Business Results

This is my third blog in a multi-part series.  In my first blog, I introduced insights from Cisco’s Collaboration Work Practice Study and how people value collaboration in the work environment.  In my second blog, I discussed the importance of building trust-based relationships and networks to make collaboration work for you.  In today’s blog, I share how you can turn these human interactions into business results. 

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Engage.  We use the word engage every day. It’s rich with meaning and covers a wide spectrum of relationships. We are engaged with our families, colleagues, and customers; engaged with an idea, a process, or an initiative.  And when engaged, people are passionate and committed.

At its core, collaboration is people interacting with people. In the global Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, employees told us that successful collaboration depends on encouraging natural human interaction, enabling participation and engagement, and fostering a collaborative culture.

“You really need to focus on the people aspect first. Get individuals to feel engaged and continue to be engaged. I think too many times we rely on the technology.” – Study Participant

In my previous blog, I discussed the importance of not losing sight of the “human element.”  Taking the time to build relationships leads to trust, which is fundamental for collaboration. To turn human interactions between collaborators into concrete results, companies must Read More »

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