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Making it Easier for You to do Business with Us – Fixed Price Professional Services from Cisco

Professional services, Consultancy Services, Advanced Services – call them what you will.   I can hear you say:   “On No!  Complexity”.  “Now I need to work a Statement of Work”.  “I need help to get my project on time, can’t this get easier?”  “I need to get my legal contracts team involved.”  “Why can’t you just tell me a price?”

Common reactions from some of you who will engage any (and I mean any, not just Cisco!) professional services organization (for example,  Cisco Services or one of our many partners) to help bring additional experience, expertise and resources to your projects.  The good news is, where appropriate to your requirements, this complexity has been substantially reduced, with Fixed Price services from Cisco, available now for many of our most popular products and solutions.

I will confess: this is not new  – in fact we (quietly) first released such Fixed Price services back in 2009, to support the Cisco Unified Computing System deployments! – and if we’re honest, we’ve not talked much about them and how successful they’ve become, with many, many customers taking advantage of these quick-to-engage expert services.

These services have really made it easier for customers and partners to do business with Cisco, delivering a number of significant advantages to our customers and partners, as illustrated below.

 

Cisco Fixed Price Services - Characteristics

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Announcing MSI on CTS, Cisco EX & C Series

In the coming weeks, Cisco will begin shipping the latest releases for the Cisco TelePresence endpoints, which has important implications for those customers looking to roll out a medianet-enabled infrastructure. With the new release, the Media Services Interface (MSI) will ship by default, enabling both the Media Monitoring and Media Awareness solutions for these endpoints. For network administrators, utilizing Media Monitoring in networks managed by Cisco Prime Collaboration Manager and other certified 3rd party management tools, it will now be possible to proactively monitor the network contribution to the end-user’s quality of experience. Being able to monitor key performance metrics (such as packet loss, jitter and delay) will enable network administrators to quickly identify if network service is adversely impacting experience and—in conjunction with Mediatrace—provide them with the ability to dynamically gather the end-to-end diagnostics needed for rapid problem resolution. Quite often, one of the biggest operational challenges with rich media conferencing is detecting and troubleshooting intermittent network quality issues. Often the end user has to complain to the IT department, the video administrator then tries to locate the problem, and by the time they engage the network administrator, the problem has disappeared. This leads to the two operations groups wasting hours trying to be at the right place at the right time to pick up their issues. With Performance Monitor now on both the network and on the endpoints, the operations team can proactively identify the issues and dynamically gather the necessary diagnostics as the problem occurs, rather than attempting to manually gather them after the problem has disappeared. With support in these high value applications, administrators can expect to reduce operational costs and maintain high levels of customer service. Read More »

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Collaborative Technologies: A Key Tech Initiative during Obama’s Second Term

As President Barack Obama preps for his second term in office, we’re look out for what technology trends will matter most for government agencies and video technology has made the list.

Over the next four years we expect to see collaborative technologies, like Cisco TelePresence, transform the federal workplace. As businesses continue to adopt video technology and social platforms as a way to encourage efficiency and collaboration, the public sector will follow suit.

For more federal IT trends that we think will matter most during Obama’s second term, take a look at our very own Kerry Best’s post “With Second Term Ahead – What Tech Initiatives Matter Most for Government Agencies in 2013”.

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Cisco helps launch Dialogue Cafe in Melbourne, Australia

Last week, The Hub Melbourne launched Australia’s first Dialogue Café. Dialogue Café is home to a high-definition video conferencing network specifically designed to facilitate dialogue between people from across the world to address social issues. The Hub Melbourne’s first Dialogue Café exchange will be with Cleveland, Ohio for a discussion on social enterprise business models. National Australia Bank (NAB) helped fund the project and we contributed by providing state-of-the-art Cisco TelePresence.

See the press release and video from the launch of the Dialogue Café here.

Dialogue Café will allow Australians to meet face-to-face with a diverse group of citizens around the world to informally discuss ideas that address social, environmental and economic issues, such as youth literacy and the job skills required for work in the 21st century. The concept is a vision of individuals from different cities and cultures around the world to collaborate and share experiences, to learn from each other and to work together to make the world a better place.

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The Power of “In Person” for Customer Relations

We’ve noted it before: in-person matters for business relationships and market success. People build trust, respect and rapport by engaging with each other on a face-to-face level, allowing for nuance, body language and tone to bring conversations to life. It’s these conversations that drive business growth and raise profits.

These important in-person ties extend from colleague-to-colleague interactions to all points of contact between businesses and their customers, partners and clients. When discussing substantive content—the use of a product, qualifications for a service, the benefits of doing things a certain way—people want immediate, accessible, convenient, understandable expertise, and they want the delivery of this knowledge to feel personal.

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