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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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NBA Gets a Slam Dunk with Cisco TelePresence

Telepresence is travelling outside of the boardroom and onto the basketball court—not only changing how the NBA conducts business, but also how its fans consume sports information.

Similar to the transformation happening in the workplace, the rise of mobile devices and online access is changing how we experience and interact with sporting events. Attuned to these changes, the NBA is committed to collaboration technologies–like Cisco TelePresence and WebEx–to enable new forms of effectiveness and innovation, while positively transforming the fan experience. And they are making an impact; NBA TV had its highest viewership ever during the 2011-12 season, and NBA.com and its team sites already have more than 140 million video streams this season.

How’d they do it? By providing fans with the best experience possible and creating compelling content. Each week, NBA TV communicates with sports analysts, journalists, experts, and players via telepresence, allowing them to bring fans the latest news and updates from around the league. These video interviews are then loaded to NBA.com for fans to view on demand. Read More »

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Video Calling: The Case for Interoperability

Video is quickly becoming the dominant form of communications.  According to Cisco’s most recent Visual Network Index (VNI), people are increasingly spending more time on the Internet communicating with video.  For video to become a pervasive natural communications alternative, it is crucial for consumers and businesses alike to use standard-based technologies that work seamlessly together to deliver a connected-product experience.  Interoperability is the key to realizing the full potential of video calling; I see a future where video is at the center of our personal and professional relationships and where video calling is as easy as a phone call.

The Case for Interoperability Infographic

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