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“One Size Fits All” is for Hats – Not Video

Once upon a time, not so long ago, high-end videoconferencing was a luxury item available mostly to the C-suite. It required special equipment. It was expensive. It wasn’t all that intuitive to use.  That was then.

Today, video is part of day-to-day communications – not just for high-powered business interactions, but also for personal connections. In a world of distributed workforces where colleagues are separated by miles and organizations hire where the talent is located, video has become the standard form of collaboration and communication as a way to keep the pace of innovation and efficiency needed to stay competitive. Unlike before, the equipment now ranges from specialized rooms with high-end, high-def equipment to tablets and smartphones that provide the needed level of quality and fidelity required to be useful to the users. How are we getting from pricey and exclusive to completely pervasive? Technology catches up to what we want it to do. It’s the Moore’s Law theory applied to all technology that is valuable in business – performance increases while the economics and footprint decreases.

When Cisco dove into the waters of video collaboration, the demand was from the boardrooms of the business world. Business was becoming more global, yet organizations were trying to reduce travel costs –a communications conundrum. How could we improve the videoconferencing experience? Read More »

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A Few of my Favorite Things: Video and the Internet of Everything

Once again, the holiday season is upon us. It’s a time to reconnect with friends and family, share memories and relax.

Unfortunately, today’s busy world prevents many of us from physically being together during this special time of year. But these days, the Internet of Everything is starting to be able to bring more people, things and traditions together through immersive mobile video and telepresence experiences.

Video Drives Experiences

Gone are the days of trying to capture memories with old-school video cameras. New waves of cloud-based, mobile, and video applications and machine-to-machine connections are documenting our lives in cool new ways. These are much more useable and sharable, and fun. These applications and connections are also contributing to the explosion of mobile data traffic. In fact, because mobile video content has much higher bit rates than other mobile content types, mobile video will generate much of the mobile traffic growth through 2017, according to Cisco VNI.

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A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Competition is the sign of a healthy market; and the recent increased cadence of venture investment focusing on startups in the video market underscores what Cisco knows well: video plays a key role in business today, and will play an even bigger role tomorrow.  As the old idiom goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.  As video becomes more pervasive in the enterprise, the opportunity for an industry to rally around the movement might create more competition. But in the end, it is about driving more innovation and better economics so that we all win – customers, partners and vendors.

The opportunity to change and influence the way that people collaborate, engage with one another, and communicate is exactly why I decided to join Cisco and lead the Collaboration marketing team.  One of the things that has struck me recently, however, is that the perception in the market is that Cisco is only delivering solutions geared at the absolute high end of the market.  The fact is that Cisco was a high-end pioneer in the video market with innovations around immersive telepresence; absolutely true.  No one will refute that. The little known fact is that Read More »

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Scandinavian Simplicity Meets Californian Approachability

Form, function and value do not have to exist independently when it comes to video conferencing. And we’ve just proven that with the latest generation Cisco TelePresence MX300 G2. At our Collaboration Summit conference last month, we unveiled the second-generation MX300 G2 video endpoint.  Snorre Kjesbu eloquently described it as Scandinavian simplicity meets Californian approachability to create this beautiful, full-featured product, which comes to market with a lower list price than its predecessor.

Let’s talk first about the lines of this product:  sleek, rounded edges, completely seamless, light and inviting. Humanizing elements bring the users closer together even though they’re thousands of miles of apart. And the Touch 10 is our easiest-to-use interface to date. It follows the same light design of the MX300 G2 with larger real estate for an even richer experience.

But our excitement goes beyond just the new look and feel of the MX300 G2. The new system is designed so that customers can more easily adopt video – making it more compelling, usable and accessible. The MX300 G2 is a fully integrated unit with a 55” LED screen, speakers, camera and microphones tuned to work perfectly together. New image sensors and optics enable a great picture without specialized lighting. While the new dual display feature lets you add a second screen for a rich content sharing experience. This gives you greater focus on content when you need it and reserves the entire system real estate for video. Read More »

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‘Tis the Season to be Shopping. Will Video be the Tipping Point in Your Purchasing Decision?

“’Tis the season” as they say.  Soon you will hear the count- down of how many shopping days left until Christmas.  Like it or not, the biggest retail shopping day of the year takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving.  But, what I really get excited about is Cyber Monday.  I don’t know about you, but I plan to do the majority of my shopping online.  I am not new to online shopping of course.  I have been using it out of necessity as a working mother without an abundance of extra time and will continue to use it for a variety of reasons including…

I don’t have to beat the crowds for those BIG sales, I can compare prices instantly on a single site, I usually can finagle free shipping by using coupon codes or just taking advantage of holiday incentives, and I can get my shopping done in a matter of minutes versus the hours I would have spent had I actually gone to the store.

I will say that the shopping experiences I have had to date have been pretty good.  But, they could still improve.  For example, there have been several occasions where I have had questions about an electronics product (like a computer) and wanted to ask someone who really understood the features of the product.  I wanted to have that real-time experience where I could have a back and forth conversation with a “human.”  I don’t want to just look at the picture of the computer and guess by the description whether or not it was the right purchase to make.  Another time I was ordering a chair for my home office online and wanted to make sure I had the right style and color to match my room.  So I called the support line and had to describe my room, desk dimensions, and wall color etc. In the end, Read More »

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