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Cisco Extends TelePresence to Rugged and Remote Locations

Not so long ago, OJ Winge unveiled Cisco’s mission to ensure the “Power of In-Person” experience to everyone and high-quality, lifelike video would be delivered to all users and environments in any organization.

Cisco continues to enable and extend telepresense throughout organizations worldwide for any environment. Our latest technologies – the new VX Tactical endpoint, ISDN Link and ISDN Gateway – allow telepresence more deployment flexibility in new locations regardless of environment or connection options.

Cisco TelePresence VX TacticalThe new Cisco TelePresence VX Tactical is a ruggedized mobile endpoint built for “in-person” conversations with other members of their team no matter where they are in the world. Portable and ruggedized, the VX Tactical offers the benefits of mobility through a hard case-style form factor that is ideal for use in military, emergency response, oil and gas, and construction environments where field work is often required. The VX Tactical features a high-impact plastic shell with an aluminum interior frame to provide structural strength, and is designed to be water-, sand-, chemical- and corrosive-resistant. It can be used virtually anywhere – in a Humvee, tank, fire truck, even on an oil rig – so that, anywhere you can get an Internet connection whether it be IP, Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G or satellite, you have TelePresence with you.

Speaking of flexible connections, there are many areas of the world where ISDN is the only option, or where connection to external networks such as V.35 is required. For example, small branch offices of banks located in smaller cities across the globe may only have ISDN connectivity, which previously limited customers’ choices in the telepresence endpoints they could select.  This has kept many of our customers on the MXP platform – but with the new Cisco TelePresence ISDN Link, a  compact appliance that provides ISDN and external network connectivity, our customers can upgrade to our latest products: Cisco TelePresence EX, MX, SX and C Series endpoints. The ISDN Link is a great companion product to the VX Tactical, which is often deployed in remote locations where ISDN is the only connection option.

While the ISDN Link is used for ISDN connectivity with one or two endpoints,  the new ISDN Gateway would act as a network resource for ISDN connectivity for multiple endpoints. ISDN Gateway completes the connectivity for customers with a dispersed network. The ISDN Gateway products support all Cisco TelePresence endpoints to enable a collaborative and secure ISDN network for a HD telepresence solution no matter where the customer is located in the world.

So no matter whom you want to talk to, where they reside, whether they use IP or ISDN, you will be able to connect in seconds and experience HD video.  The solutions continue to support new use cases as we continue to build out our telepresence technology that brings people together anywhere, anytime.

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The Power of In-Person takes Healthcare to New Levels

My last doctor’s visit, I sat in the office for about an hour past my scheduled appointment before being called into the back.  I grumbled about the service, how my time was wasted, and how typical this was of the industry.  These are the things we all love to hate about the doctor; they seem to always be running behind schedule, and they have completely illegible handwriting.  These are also the things we take for granted, living in or nearby a city with easy access to care.

Imagine, however, you live in the rural part of your state, which represents “about 20 percent of America’s population,” and yet “less than ten percent of physicians practice in those communities” according to the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) (2011), linked with the Department of Health and Human Services.  Your complaints would likely extend beyond the waiting room, and certainly carry much more weight. 

With its partnership with Cisco, the Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth (GPT) was able to transform the way their state practices medicine, giving healthcare access to the underprivileged and underserved populations whose needs were being overlooked.  Local doctors can consult with specialists in the city center; children can receive psychological care through high quality video; and a person suffering from a stroke can be assessed by a neurologist in a matter of minutes in order to receive the proper medication to avoid further damage.  

With the power of in-person via Cisco TelePresence, GPT has not only implemented a system that has made the lives of Georgians easier, setting the bar high for healthcare providers across the United States, but they have changed the lives of their doctors too.  Georgia’s doctors and specialists can extend their reach while remaining close to top Universities and research centers, honing their practice to deliver better care.  

 Read more about Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth here.

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Technology Helps College Get Bigger in Texas

It’s one thing to use technology. It’s another to take that technology and do something extraordinary with it – especially when that involves something that benefits others. Each year, IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program recognizes organizations that use “visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change.”

This year, one of those organizations happens to be Lone Star College System, a community college in Texas (naturally) that has integrated collaboration technology from Cisco to reach more students and improve the overall learning experience for an increasingly diverse student population.

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Lone Star College serves more than 85,000 students at five campuses and ten learning centers in a service area of 1400 square miles. Oh, and the student population is growing by approximately 20% each year.

So what do you do if you’re the CIO at a school with the goal of becoming recognized as the best community college in the nation? You find the technology to meet your goals. Some of the highlights: Read More »

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Don’t call our enterprise video customers innovative.

The WSJ reported on Wednesday that the word “innovation” is suffering from irrelevance due to overuse.  So I’m not going to call these customers “innovative”; instead, let’s call them cutting-edge, visionary, pioneering, creative, inspired.

On June 4, 2012, in Washington, D.C., Computerworld will recognize the achievements of the men, women, organizations and institutions around the world whose visionary applications of information technology promote positive social, economic and educational change as part of the Computerworld Honors Program.

We are extremely proud that two of our enterprise video customers are being recognized as Laureates at this year’s Gala:

Read More »

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From Candy Smuggling to Collaboration Services: Sharing in the Modern World

This past Mother’s Day, I was remembering how my mother used to encourage sharing.  Like most parents, I limit my daughters’ intake of sugar. However, whenever my mother came into town, my efforts would go right out the window. She would arrive on our doorstep, with large amounts of candy smuggled in her luggage. Her goal: to spoil the girls.  Resistance was futile, but she showed them that giving can be as much fun as receiving and encouraged them to share their contraband.

In today’s connected world, sharing information has never been easier. Not too long ago we had to wait months to finish a roll of film, and then waited days to have it developed. Now, we can send videos and pictures almost instantaneously with our cameras and phones. Not only has this changed our personal lives, but has also allowed us to now work our way to collaborate and streamline business.  With services like WebEx or TelePresence, demonstrated in the new film Battleship, experts across the world can communicate and share data as if in the same room. Using this and other collaboration technology like Cisco’s Jabber, anyone can now use their choice of device to access information instantly.  Over the next few weeks, a series of Cisco videocasts will show how incorporating, capturing, transforming, and sharing videos for business can be done easily by anyone.

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