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Healthcare for all?

October 11, 2012 at 8:39 am PST

As we all just witnessed the presidential debates last Wednesday, the hot topic was Obamacare.  I knew this act was aimed at decreasing the number of uninsured Americans and reducing the overall costs of healthcare.  These high level goals sounded great until I bumped into an article this week that some popular casual dining establishments will no longer offer full time work schedules to employees starting in 2014 aimed to help address the cost implications health care reform will have on their business.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Obamacare was signed into law back in March 2010 with multiple provisions to be enacted over a 10 year period. A provision starting January 2014 states that companies with over 50 employees will be required to provide health insurance to employees working over 30 hours a week.  There is a punishment of $3,000 per each uncovered employee for companies who do not follow the law. Read More »

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Cisco Networked Video Strategy: The Cisco Difference in Video

Part 2 of a 4-part series

In part one of this series, Cisco Video Collaboration Group SVP Marthin De Beer kicked off our exploration of the new Cisco Video strategy unveiled at Cisco Live 2012 in San Diego.

Video drives more traffic than any other application on the network and it’s changing how people communicate, collaborate, and consume content and entertainment. By 2016, we forecast 86% of traffic on networks will be video.

Using video is about the optimal experience for the task at hand – it is about creating that in-person experience from immersive TelePresence, but also about creating the best possible experience when you are on the road participating via your iPad.

When it comes to video, Cisco does three things differently to ensure superior end-to-end video experiences with greater efficiencies:

  • Architectural Approach: The Cisco Medianet architecture delivers superior experiences and efficiencies by integrating video capabilities all the way from the network to the application. Cisco video endpoints use Medianet to discover and configure themselves, dramatically reducing deployment cost. Medianet infrastructure provides detailed performance information, which allows IT organizations to detect and fix problems in a fraction of the time required by traditional approaches. Medianet also helps companies leverage existing investments to build new capabilities more cost efficiently, such as adding recording and sharing to TelePresence or providing common call control for voice and video endpoints. Cisco’s advantage comes from the network, which allows us to build and manage systems that best “understand” network performance, complexity, interactivity, and capacity.  While Medianet provides compelling experience and total cost of ownership advantages today, we believe an architectural approach like Medianet will become absolutely required as video becomes pervasive.

Read More »

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The Power of Video Collaboration – Driving Business Growth, Innovation, and Productivity

A recent industry announcement affirms how important video communication is to the future of business-to-business collaboration.  As the global market share leader in telepresence and video collaboration solutions, we have always been firm believers that video calling should be as easy and ubiquitous as making phone calls.  We are highly encouraged by innovations that seek to spur user scale while simultaneously reducing costs and enabling new customers to experience the transformative power that only this technology can deliver.

In order to deliver on this vision and to extend the power of video collaboration to more people, Cisco has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy that is already producing results for end users.

Read More »

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Cisco Rated Strong Positive in 2012 Gartner MarketScope for Telepresence and Group Video Systems

I’m pleased to announce that Cisco has received a Strong Positive rating in Gartner’s 2012 MarketScope for Telepresence and Group Video Systems.  We believe Gartner’s MarketScope Report confirms a shift we see taking place across the video market – while customers are still investing in multiscreen deployments, they are also looking for other options in order to drive pervasive adoption across their organization.  These options can come in many flavors – less expensive room-based solutions, personal / PC-based options and one of the biggest trends – video being available on mobile devices.

Customer expectations for quality and reach remain high which does make it difficult for some players to address all segments while providing a seamless experience across all solutions.  We strongly agree with Gartner’s view that enterprise customers do desire dedicated room-based systems to anchor their video experience and because of this, we have continued to invest in this area of the portfolio.  We recently launched the Cisco TelePresence TX9000 Series which not only delivers the highest quality in-person immersive experience, but also features more advanced collaboration capabilities along with the ability to easily integrate users from multiple devices and applications into a telepresence experience.  This flexibility enables our customers to drive a pervasive strategy and quickly deploy video and telepresence to a broader number of users in their organization while also maintaining the highest quality experience for business critical sessions. Read More »

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Engineers, Researchers and Designers: The Geeks Behind Cisco’s Collaboration Technology

It’s a great time to be at Cisco. Earlier this week, Susie Wee, chief technology and experience officer (CTEO) for the Collaboration Technology Group, unveiled the “collaboration geeks”: the engineers, researchers and designers behind the technology, to a handful of press and analysts. We were excited (and a bit nervous!) to share how Cisco is approaching user experience (UE) and design. These changes aren’t just happening from the product side, but are also evolving our internal thinking about being more user-centric across the organization.

Have you ever heard of a CTEO? Probably not, because it is a new role that we created to address the importance of coupling user experience and technology. As CTEO, Susie is responsible for driving innovation and experience design in Cisco’s collaboration products and software services. The first step involved in making a cultural change is how we approach product design. But what does this mean for her team? Below is a short excerpt from our User Experience Day event.

At Cisco, we’re dedicated to changing the way we work, live, play and learn. We’re always looking to break down barriers among staff; one example is how we’re approaching user experience design. Our team is looking into principles, guidelines, and archetypes that represent an organizational-wide approach to user experience design. The design team really lays the foundation for growing the influence and scope of all the UE specialists into strategic conversations where user experience can impact what we design and how we design. We coined the term “XQ” as the eXperience Quotient of the organization. XQ is a tool and metric that we developed to measure our customer’s experience with our products and our user experience-centric development process.

Another example is how our engineers are thinking about their products from the user perspective and pulling in the user experience designers and my team (user experience researchers) as well. To showcase this at the event, engineers brought in a number of XQ demos to show this thinking firsthand: Read More »

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