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What the Holiday Season is All About – Cisco Connects the North Pole to Children’s Hospitals

Throughout the years, I’ve been able to witness some great examples of technology’s ability to connect people when it really matters.  Now, with Christmas lights everywhere and the holiday season upon us, it’s the time of year where wishes really do come true.  And no one is better suited to spread holiday cheer than Santa himself – that’s why Cisco established the Santa Connection program.

In its sixth year, the program aims to connect Santa with young patients unable to leave the hospital and allows them to “virtually” visit Santa. Through Santa Connection, Cisco engineers set up Cisco TelePresence solutions via iPad, laptop or cart in children’s hospitals across the globe. These children are then able to share their Christmas wishes with the man himself “in-person” over high-definition video and Santa’s elves are on hand in the hospital to give gifts.  What a great way to put smiles on children’s faces. Read More »

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Santa Takes Cisco Technology on Virtual Sleigh Ride Across U.K. and Ireland

For many children, visiting Santa Claus, sitting on his lap, and telling him what they want for Christmas is a highlight of the holiday season. But for a sick, hospitalized child, participating in this tradition can be impossible.

Thanks to Cisco technology and a network of Cisco volunteers, hundreds of hospitalized children in the U.K. and Ireland have a chance to visit with Santa each year – in the most high-tech way possible.

One of eight volunteer Santas in the 2012 Connected Santa program in the U.K. and Ireland

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Santa uses Cisco Technology to Visit Sick Children

Has your child visited with Santa yet?  Then you know the excitement of hearing that jolly laugh and the “Ho Ho Ho” that accompanies Santa’s twinkling eyes.  But, what about the children who are hospitalized over the holidays and unable to visit with Santa at the local mall?

Santa uses Cisco video solutionsDuring December, Santa is using Cisco video collaboration technologies to visit children at 31 children’s hospitals throughout the US.  The hospitals use iPads with Jabber, video monitors, and webcams in hospital playrooms to connect children with Santa at his North Pole workshop.  Cisco TelePresence mobile carts are wheeled into hospital rooms so that children who are confined to their rooms can share holiday wish lists with Santa and get updates on their favorite reindeer.

Now in its 6th year, the Cisco Santa Connection allows Santa to remotely connect with hospitalized children, many of whom would not otherwise have been able to see Santa. Cisco is proud to be able to touch the lives of these children with the hope and happiness of a personalized visit with Santa using Cisco technologies.

Read about Santa’s first virtual stop at Children’s of Alabama and view the full list of participating children’s hospitals.

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Mobility and Virtualization in the Next-Generation Workplace

I’m one of the lucky ones. Many of my peers work in companies that aren’t as forward looking about IT as Cisco is. Where they struggle to keep up with the demands of today’s employees, I’m fortunate to work in an environment that offers workspace flexibility and access to telepresence, web conferencing, and a social platform based largely on the employee’s choice of device.

That’s not to say that we’ve got it all figured out at Cisco. As I onboard new college graduates, I, too, find myself struggling to meet their expectations. I think we’ve entered a phase in which all business and IT leaders will lag slightly behind the workplace expectations of the new generation.

To better understand this fundamental shift, we recently commissioned Forrester Research to look specifically at mobility, virtualization, and other enterprise-level technology initiatives.  Read More »

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Personal Telepresence Expands Capabilities with Cisco Unified Communications Integration

There are a lot of things possible with just a touch of a finger, including video collaboration, thanks to the Cisco TelePresence EX Series. Since its inception, this family of personal telepresence solutions for the desktop has enabled employees to instantly collaborate face-to-face, whether separated by a hallway, a street, or several time zones. Now, tighter integration with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) brings rich telephony features to the popular EX Series for a powerful voice and video solution.

The EX Series is simple to deploy and creates an in-person experience right from your desktop, so that you can enable faster decision making, enhance relationships and improve efficiency. It also seamlessly integrates with CUCM so you can more easily collaborate, for example receive and retrieve voicemail on your EX system, or receive telepresence calls on your mobile phone and then transfer the call to the EX once you return to the office. These and other rich telephony features are now available as a CUCM software upgrade (TE 6.0) for the EX Series.

Check out the video below and see how you can streamline your communications and start reaping the rewards.

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