As an enthusiastic football (U.S. translation: soccer) fan, I watch my two young sons playing youth-football every week. Not surprisingly it was only a matter of time before someone asked me to help coach. To keep up the pretence I actually knew something about football; I started scanning around for coaching tips and drills. After a while I came across an e- book called “KISS: Keep it Simple Soccer: How to coach youth soccer” by John Fraher.
In it is a quote from legendary Dutch footballer, Ruud Krol: “Michels [coach] taught us always that simple football is the best. It is also very difficult to play simple football.”
This got me thinking about the oft-quoted business principle “Keep It Simple, Stupid” and how it applies to collaboration technologies.
I’ve only been focused on marketing midsize collaboration solutions for a few months. Already I’m delighted by stories I hear from our customers talking about how our solutions enable their teams to work in new and exciting ways.
But I occasionally hear people say things like, “that’s all great for large enterprises, but it’s too complex” or “it’s not affordable for small to medium sized businesses.”
Well, the good news is that is not the case. We’re simplifying things. And there are many examples of smaller organizations using collaboration technology to bring people together, with amazing results. Take Switzerland’s 60-employee Intercantonal Reinsurance, which is seeing a 10-20% improvement in employee efficiency with Cisco Business Edition 6000.
I’ve worked in midsized businesses for a large part of my career. The relevance of collaboration technology and the opportunities it offers for growing businesses are just as great as for larger enterprises – if not greater. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, coach, collaboration, conferencing, enterprise connect, football, midsize, soccer, TelePresence, video
Video is a hot topic for Cisco collaboration right now. On Wednesday, we announced a series of new products that help businesses of every size make high-quality video accessible to every employee. At Enterprise Connect next week in Orlando, Florida, Rowan Trollope, who leads Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, will be a keynote speaker and discuss why video is so important to the collaboration experience and the new way we work.
In fact, many other companies are also seeing the high value of video to the enterprise today and are entering the video market. With so many options to choose from, how do you determine the right video solution for your company? I’d say it depends on a number of things: the experience you are seeking, the business results you want to achieve, and how flexible you need your collaborative architecture to be.
For example, would you like to do real-time video communications with your customers using WebRTC? Do you plan to put on webcasts and virtual events at your company to save on travel costs? Will you deploy private or hybrid cloud models to achieve more architectural agility? Are mobile video apps part of your BYOD strategy? Maybe you would like to do all of these things.
An important part of achieving an exceptional collaboration experience is integration. For users to have a productive and seamless experience, you must implement a fully converged solution and take steps to ensure user adoption. Cisco Services helps that “delightful” experience emerge on a browser or in the boardroom by putting technology and complexity in the background.
The integrated video experience Read More »
Tags: Cisco, Cisco Mobile Advisor, collaboration, enterprise connect, Rowan Trollope, services, TelePresence, video
In my last blog I talked about how optimization is shifting from a post-deployment activity to a regularly scheduled maintenance priority. Have we seen this shift in action? Yes, and it makes a big difference in how well your IT team can stay ahead of the curve to keep up with changing business requirements.
Case in point: A financial services company had teams all over the world, and conferencing was part of the company’s culture. Because of the popularity of video conferencing, conference rooms had to be scheduled hours or even days in advance. Wait times like these were unacceptable for urgent meetings. For a sales team, meeting delays can literally be a deal breaker. That’s why this financial services company decided to add on-demand video conferencing to its collaboration tools.
Responding quickly to unanticipated needs like this requires an understanding of the performance capabilities of your collaboration infrastructure. If you’ve taken a systemic approach to your collaboration performance, you’ll not only be able to respond to new requirements but you’ll be able to anticipate them.
This customer used Cisco’s Collaboration Optimization Services to keep their collaboration solution running at Read More »
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, optimization, services, TelePresence, video conferencing
There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.
– Tommy Lasorda
Kevin Costner’s character in “Field of Dreams” hears the voice “If you build it, they will come” which drives him to convert his cornfield to a ball field, attracting legendary players to fulfill his ultimate fantasy baseball game.
When companies build video collaboration spaces, will employees rush to the field, eagerly start using these solutions, find immediate value and fulfill the dreams that justified this investment? Not necessarily.
In our experience, companies need to drive video adoption by communicating the answers to the two most important questions that drive human behavior – “Who says so?” and “Why should I?”
Regrettably, sometimes IT leadership takes the “Build It and They Will Come” approach, driving the design and deployment of an extensive video architecture without the right partnership with the lines of business. Decisions about where to put video solutions – such as immersive TelePresence, multipurpose rooms and other endpoints – are often based on assumptions about Read More »
Tags: adoption, baseball, change management, Cisco, collaboration, End User, services, TelePresence, video
It’s Hard to believe we’re already in February 2014. It seems like just yesterday we were making cloud collaboration predictions for 2013– forecasting that cloud and the demand for interoperability would drive innovation and help businesses harness the power of video.
Well, 2013 saw all of that and more happen in the world of collaboration. And I predict there will be more from the cloud, as well as other smart, cool and exciting video innovations in our (near) future.
Here’s what I predict is on the horizon:
Communications will be ever more visual, so you’ll use video with more people and in more situations – and cloud makes it more accessible.
The 2014 workforce isn’t a sedentary group – it’s mobile, global and social. And people won’t move for jobs anymore–jobs will become more flexible for people. I know. I manage a globally dispersed team and on any given day find myself visiting China and the United States, all from my office in Norway. Adaptive, intuitive and connected video solutions will continue to allow an innovative and collaborative workplace experience that can be accessed anywhere – from the boardroom to the browser. This year, the cloud will continue to empower workers with access to video anytime, anywhere and on any device, including new environments and use cases such as “always on,” real-time collaboration in research labs and lectures in global classrooms.
2014 will be the year that business quality video is expected by consumers during their online business interactions. We’ll see video solutions used extensively in Read More »
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, intelligent proximity, predictions, TelePresence, video, video collaboraiton, video communication, videoconferencing