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The Correlation Is Clear: Measuring Collaboration Is Directly Tied to Better Adoption of Collaboration Tools

At Collaboration Summit, Cisco announced a number of exciting new technologies designed to make collaboration simple, fun, and intuitive. My friend Rowan Trollope who leads Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, is working hard to “make technology in the office better than what you have at home.” With Cisco Expressway, Intelligent Proximity, and Jabber Guest, a few of the new products Cisco just unveiled, we are breaking down the barriers between the home and work, creating a seamless experience for staying connected. And in Rowan’s words, “You haven’t seen anything yet.” Rowan and his team are dead set on perfecting the usability aspect of our collaboration technology – making it beautiful, affordable, and easy to assemble – and my services team has the charge of perfecting another: extracting its value.

According to a 2013 Forbes Study Cisco commissioned to understand business executives’ attitudes towards collaboration, we found those who see the greatest value in collaboration technology are the ones who use it the most. Heavy users, or collaboration “leaders,” perceive a strong correlation between using collaboration tools and achieving transformational business metrics in areas like productivity, knowledge sharing, customer satisfaction, cost control, and more.

From a services perspective, collaboration success is dependent on two things: Read More »

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Medianet in Action

I recently wrote a blog discussing the Value of Medianet in which I listed the benefits and associated costs of adoption. Remember that in simple terms Medianet enables a granular QoS policy and also provides a systematic approach for video troubleshooting. In this article I’m going to provide an example of Medianet in action as it has been my experience that most people, at least initially, struggle to visualize the impact Medianet has on the day to day operations of a Cisco collaboration solution running over a Cisco networking infrastructure.

In my previous blog I said that “Medianet reduces operational support costs.” I’m now going to attempt to show you how.

The first thing we can enable is edge monitoring, which allows the IT team to centrally check upon the health on any given endpoint and also ascertain its call status. Take a look at this video below:

As useful as it is, end point monitoring is only of limited benefit when problems start to occur. Electronic confirmation of what impacted end users are seeing is not what is actually required. We need a way to proactively troubleshoot issues as soon as they appear. The combination of Medianet enabled applications communicating with a Medianet enabled network, which is overseen by an intelligent management application is the means by which Cisco provides this. Read More »

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Another Great Team Halloween Party Using Video Collaboration

Another successful Halloween party at Cisco thanks to Cisco TelePresence and WebEx.  I lost my title as first place winner this year to someone dressed as an Outhouse, yes folks, an Outhouse.  And everyone else stepped up their game too and some even adding additional elements like dancing and props.  I feel fortunate to be part of such a great team and look forward to our 3rd Annual Collaboration Solutions Marketing celebration next year.  I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween!

Click for more photos

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From Product Strategy to Implementation

Looking at the history of video collaboration there are a few identifiable transition points.  The introduction of audio and video delivery over IP networks created opportunities for widespread affordable deployments and the video conferencing market began to expand.  The scale of deployments, however, was in general neither large nor pervasive.  In 2006/2007 new offerings (like the CTS 3000 from Cisco’s TelePresence team) introduced highly reliable, full HD (1080p), full motion (30fps) experiences with a level of simplicity making it operable by any user irrespective of technical knowledge.  As Full HD became available across the breadth of video conferencing platforms, the whole market rapidly doubled over the following two to three years.  This created another market pillar in collaboration.

Push the clock forward 6 or so years to today…

The distinction between video conferencing, unified communications and web conferencing is now very blurred:

  • The user community has matured.  They are no longer satisfied with connecting over audio, video or content.  They want to achieve the startup experience of small, tightly connected teams across a geographically dispersed workforce.  This means leveraging all of the above features where and when needed, in a simple and intuitive way.
  • IM, presence, audio, video and content collaboration are becoming Read More »

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Summary: TelePresence for SMBs: It isn’t just for the big guys anymore

If you’re in an SMB company you might think of telepresence as a tool built for enterprise, something that would be nice to have for your small business but just out of reach. You’d be wrong.

Video conferencing solutions like Telepresence and even web-based technologies like WebEx are more affordable than ever, making them a viable option for SMBs.

Read my full article for a closer look!

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