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BYOD, Social Media and New Cloud Consumption Models

Bringing You the Workplace Revolution

Kids get sick, cars malfunction, pipes break, bad-hair days occur, and the list goes on. Life simply happens.  But thanks to technology, it no longer means the end of the world for that work day. With a rapidly growing change in workplace ideologies like BYOD (Bring your own device), and technologies like TelePresence, Jabber and WebEx, I have the ability to work almost anywhere at any time, even if things prevent me from getting to the office that day.

Given the explosion of social media technologies in the past few years, it only makes sense that BYOD is taking off like a firestorm—even among small businesses—as covered in two recent blogs,  ‘Business Ready: On the Go and in the Clouds’ and ‘Supersizing Your Small Business.’  In fact, the Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that two of five college students and young employees would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with BYOD, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility. So what about those at companies with very little flexibility when it comes to devices? Seven out of ten employees knowingly break IT policies on a regular basis, and three out of five believe that it is not their responsibility to keep the company secure. The bottom line: the workplace revolution is happening (and it’s being video streamed on your mobile device).

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Cisco Marks Strides in Telemedicine Technology, Market Acceptance at ATA 2012

Cisco Systems is presenting innovative new technology and an upbeat assessment of the 2012 telemedicine marketplace at the American Telemedicine Association annual meeting that opened Sunday at the San Jose Convention Center.
Cisco is spotlighting the latest Care-at-a-Distance solutions including the Cisco VX Clinical Assistant, a new mobile telemedicine device built expressly for medical environments and classified as a Class 1 medical device. Making its public debut at ATA is the Cisco TelePresence VX Tactical solution, a mobile video collaboration system designed in a ruggedized briefcase for field use. General availability for the solution is planned for June 2012.

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Texas Schools Build New Learning Models for STEM Subjects

You probably saw the headlines about the devastating tornadoes that swept through the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area a few weeks ago. Our hearts go out to those who suffered damage.

As the Lancaster area of the storm-hit region undergoes its recovery, I recently read that at least its public school students have much to look forward to in the months ahead. Lancaster schools recently announced a plan to create a “STEM District”—a union of schools committed to systematically changing teaching practices to promote state-of-the-art education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. It’s an exciting opportunity for the historically economically disadvantaged district to become a national model for teaching these critical topics. Read More »

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A Thoroughly Modern Government

From adopting more mobile communication to converting operational systems to cloud-based applications, the federal government undoubtedly has a modernizing makeover underway. Though challenges persist in terms of security and easing transitions, efforts to update technology help the government keep pace with the private sector and best serve its constituents.

These technology upgrades also open wide the doors to vastly expanded communication possibilities.  For example, let’s look at how the cloud lends itself to more streamlined, personal connections among colleagues, across agencies, and from government workers to their target audiences. I’ve written about agencies and officials using video and telepresence to forge in-person, real-time links for teleworking employees, to maintain continuity during business disruptions, even to conduct top-secret missions. Well, with cloud computing in the mix, telepresence can still perform all of its regular functions, but it does so in conjunction with access to scheduling mechanisms, global directories, and advanced media services that enhance video-hosted information-sharing. In essence, the cloud makes a critical communication tool like telepresence all the more powerful.

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The Engagement Factor & Collaboration

Have you ever sent an e-mail that’s been misinterpreted and it took a long time to sort out the miscues? I have. And I suspect that many of you reading this blog have too.

So, it wasn’t surprising to see that a recent study by the Economist Intelligent Unit found that 88% of business leaders feel that a significant misunderstanding will slow them down. And 75% believe that in-person collaboration is critical to their business success. Perhaps that’s because 54% consider gauging engagement and focus to be the most important part of communications. And you do that through a combination of visual and audio cues, such as facial expressions, gestures and body language, tone of voice.

In my own interactions I do believe this is critical, but in today’s world you can’t always be there in person. Read More »

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