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Flexibility – The Key to Video Collaboration

In my previous blog I talked about the transitions that are coming in the collaboration market.  This drives the need for intelligent video collaboration – a consistent user experience across a portfolio of endpoints and platforms.  Any-to-any connectivity is fundamental.

From a deployment perspective, there are two solutions in the market – on-prem and cloud services – balancing between flexibility and operational control.

An example of the successful reach of cloud solutions for collaboration is Cisco’s WebEx conferencing solution with more than 2.3 billion minutes of meetings per month.  On the other side of the spectrum, operational continuity and security has driven major investments in on-premise solutions.  For example, Cisco’s on-prem collaboration solutions are used by 95% of the Fortune 500s, and span every market sector.

Clearly, both on-prem and cloud are needed.  The critical question is how do these worlds connect without any burden on the users.  The breakthrough for providing flexibility is to connect these two worlds together.  Read More »

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Cisco Brings Joy for One Very Special Family Reunion

Every year for the last seven years, Cisco and its Santa Connection program have brought video collaboration technologies to hospitals across North America for child patients to virtually connect with Santa Claus in the North Pole.

The children get the opportunity to ask Santa what they want for Christmas either by video chatting on iPads using Cisco Jabber or through Cisco TelePresence and mobile carts. For these children, it’s a chance to enjoy the holiday season during their hospital stay.

Cisco Santa Connection 2013This year, Santa visited U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital virtually on December 12, and spoke with several of the kids – each with unique requests for what they wanted for Christmas.

But one boy named William, who’d been staying at U.C. Davis due to a recent injury, asked Santa for something really special. When it was his turn, he told Santa that all he wanted for Christmas was for his father to come home from Cairo, Egypt.

William’s father has been stationed overseas in the military, but little did William know that his father had been granted leave to come home to see him. So Cisco and U.C. Davis thought they could make their reunion extra special.

On December 19, during William’s dad’s flight back from Cairo, Cisco asked Santa to make a special visit to see William. Santa then brought an iPad to William’s bedside for a call with his dad. Santa told William his dad was currently at the embassy of Cairo – only the call “mysteriously” dropped.

Santa then told William instead to close his eyes and wish for his Dad to be there in person. And just seconds later, William’s dad came through the door!

Needless to say, William, his dad and the rest of the family were overjoyed to have everyone together again.

We were so pleased that Cisco, the U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital staff and Santa helped to make William’s wish come true just in time for Christmas!

 

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Continuing the Evolution of Video

Enterprises have made major investments in video endpoints and continue to do so—with good reason. Would you personally want to attend a two-day strategy meeting via iPhone or Skype? I doubt it. There is a place and a time for room-based systems, and our customers not only understand and appreciate that—they invest accordingly.

At the same time, it is important to note that hardware costs have come down, and new pricing models and financing are available too. Bottom line: our customers can video-enable their organizations or their home offices for remote workers, with a desktop system that delivers a high-quality video experience for as little as $25/month.  Customers can also deploy larger integrated systems for a more immersive experience for as low as $350/month. These price points bring boardroom video capabilities to a user spectrum across the company.

With all the talk of clouds and services, we see an even bigger opportunity for customers to get more out of their hardware investments.  We are modifying our endpoints to work seamlessly with the collaboration devices people choose to use on their personal time. Case in point: Read More »

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Collaboration Without Borders: Saving Money, Helping Patients

The next wave of the Internet is driving the most disruptive change in history. Powered by mobile devices and apps—collaboration technologies that seamlessly allow people to work across multiple video and mobile devices—people are using technology to share ideas and opinions, and to reach the people and resources they need at any given moment. For the young Millennials who have grown up with the Internet, life flows seamlessly between the physical and virtual worlds. For professionals and executives, the Rolodex file of old has transformed into an online network for real-time, multi-person, topic-focused collaboration, not just as individuals but also in their enterprises.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is accelerating this trend, creating real business value through the networked connection of people, process, data, and things. Earlier this year, Cisco® research identified $14.4 trillion in Value at Stake for the private sector that will be created or migrated among companies in the IoE economy over the next decade. Collaboration, video, and mobility will contribute 55 percent of this value—or $7.9 trillion in private sector Value at Stake by 2022.

Large global organizations are using collaboration, video, and mobility technologies to reach across time zones and organizational borders to spur innovation, solve complex problems, accelerate business processes, and reduce travel costs. These companies are investing in collaboration solutions because they can see direct benefits to their business—both in growing their top-line revenues and reducing costs to improve profitability.

In a recent survey by Forbes, more than 90 percent of respondents at companies that lead in collaboration technology adoption said that pervasive and extensive collaboration generates profound or disruptive innovation and enables efficient business processes. More than three-quarters of respondents agreed that collaboration accelerates business results and creates a competitive advantage.

Read More »

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Santa’s Special Connections

Since they graced the covers of The Saturday Evening Post, the illustrations of Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker have created many of the Christmas holiday season’s de facto images. For many families, the reality of their Christmas celebration doesn’t match the picture-perfect, however. That’s especially true when the family member with the strongest belief in Santa has pressing questions like “how will Santa find me if the hospital has no chimney?”

The good news is that as he readies for Christmas, Santa is taking extra time to visit with children who are hospitalized this season. Instead of just making a quick stop on his whirlwind worldwide delivery route, he’s checking in with some of these very special children from his communications headquarters at the North Pole. Not content to have one of his shopping mall stand-ins do the work, he has personal face-to-face videoconferences with kids who can’t leave the hospital. Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, posted a great video of Santa’s visit from earlier this week.

Connected Santa is a collaboration in which volunteer elves visit hospitals to help make the connection between children and Santa. Using Cisco TelePresence and Jabber technology, the elves conference a child with Santa so they can have the ever-important conversation about good, bad, and wish lists.

Just the other day I Read More »

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