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Immersive Telepresence Still Enthralls on Tenth Anniversary

This October will mark the 10th anniversary of the immersive telepresence segment – one that we pioneered with the Cisco TelePresence System 3000 Series.

And as if by kismet, on the eve of this tenth year, demand for immersive systems soared as never before. Just last month, we shipped the 1,000th IX5000 system, our latest-generation immersive telepresence product. This is the fastest ramp in the history of the immersive segment, happening within the first year of the IX5000’s introduction. That’s no small feat for a product with a $300K list price (a price that’s unchanged since the 2006 introduction, despite significant innovations.)

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What makes this milestone even more interesting is that some predicted the demise of the immersive segment just a couple of years ago. But we persisted despite the naysayers. Why? We were driven by the same vision we had 10 years ago:  To take a meeting table, cut it in half, and add 5,000 miles in between. And yet, it still feels like everyone is in the same room – life-sized, effortlessly, and almost magically.

As it was ten years ago, users today are awestruck the first time they experience immersive telepresence. For globally dispersed businesses, the benefits very quickly become real. Organizations become enthralled with how it can transform their business. Travel avoidance is an obvious benefit, but the immediacy of decision-making, the relationship- and trust-building, and the power to collaborate over thousands of miles are the true assets. This is why more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies have purchased our immersive systems. Read More »

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SX10 and Spark: A Connection in the Cloud

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about a Wainhouse review that evaluated the ease of use and deployment, and cost efficiency of the Cisco SX10 Quick Set for small group video meetings. I wouldn’t have thought when we introduced the SX10 a few years back that we would be able to do even more to reduce cost and simplify deployment, but we have. And we’ve done it with a connection in the cloud.

At our annual Collaboration Summit this week, we announced the new Cisco Spark Service, which will deliver messaging, meetings and call capabilities hosted in the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. As part of this development, the SX10 will be the first endpoint to be cloud-registered. It will also debut new intelligent software – the Spark Room OS software platform – to make the SX10 and other video endpoints even easier to install, use and maintain. Spark Room OS will be the operating system software for all video endpoints that connect to the Cisco Spark service in the cloud.

The SX10, together with Spark Service, will allow us to make another leap in bringing business class video to growing businesses by significantly lowering the threshold and cost of video adoption as well as improving the user experience. If you didn’t get a chance to see Rowan’s keynote at Collaboration Summit, I invite you to view it for an impressive demo of the SX10 registered to Spark.

Lowering threshold and cost of video adoption. Today, less than 7% of conference rooms are video enabled. This is because Read More »

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Raising Standards Through Collaboration

AJ September blog post 9 2015I spent last Sunday in a cold, damp changing room with 15 other forty-something parents. We were attending the first day of our FA Level 1 Soccer Coaching course.

It was fascinating! Our instructor really brought to life a framework for coaching the young footballers that we volunteers look after every Saturday between August and June.

But then he dished out the homework!  We were to work in teams to plan a training session that followed the FA framework. And we’ll be assessed on our work in a couple of weeks.

One of our first discussions was around how we would get together to develop our plan and divide up our responsibilities. Of course my immediate thought was to use Cisco Spark to set up a room to keep the conversation going.

I invited the other coaches simply via their email addresses. Very quickly we were up and running, exchanging ideas on what we would do, and which of us would lead each task.

But the collaboration didn’t stop there. Other Spark rooms have since popped up to share player appearance and performance stats, discuss team formations, write match reports and arrange transportation to and from fixtures. Read More »

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Take Productivity to New Heights

Getting Value from Improving Internal Communications

In my previous post, I considered how better access to information can save time, reach many more people, and create a happier, more engaged workforce. All these benefits flow from improving your organization’s internal communications.

In-person meetings are effective, but with today’s increasing reliance on mobility, remote workers, and distributed teams, it can be prohibitively costly to bring teams together. Not just from travel costs, but lost productivity too.

We need more effective ways to collaborate.

  • 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures according to Clear Company HRM.
  • 50% of business productivity is tied to effective collaboration, according to CEB.
  • Cisco generates $250 million (US) in travel savings per year using video

With globally dispersed teams, it’s not enough to rely on email and chats on video. Fast access to secure, collaborative video content across dispersed teams is paramount.

Video, audio, instant messaging, and clouds have come together to offer the right solution to enterprises. The ingredients for success are operational efficiency, employee effectiveness, and customer experiences. And all these need a focus on connecting people and technology.

You can realize substantial value if you do it right and eliminate the potential for miscommunication.

But how do you do it? Read More »

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“Clear and Differentiated” Video Wins the Day    

MQ for group video systemsSometimes when the essence of something is so eloquently captured, there’s no need to say it any differently. That’s how I felt when I read Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Group Video Systems report. In it, we feel Gartner confirms Cisco’s position as an established leader in the group video systems market who offers “a clear and differentiated set of devices, with form factors now available for virtually any meeting space.”

I have a theory on how we achieved a “clear and differentiated” product set – by finding the sweet spot between feature innovation, beautiful design, ease of use and deployment, and cost effectiveness. Concurrently, we’ve enhanced our infrastructure to make multiparty conferencing easier and more affordable. And we’re continuing our work to enable video interoperability in the cloud, especially with Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms. These are the hallmarks of our current portfolio and instrumental in our ability to gain market traction in large-scale deployments.

But beyond strengthening our own competitive position, I believe our strategy – bringing to market video solutions at the right quality and value – helped to encourage video adoption and growth for the industry overall. As we reported last quarter (FYQ3), we saw a 60 percent year-over-year unit growth. This is in share gained and also market expansion. That’s great news for Cisco, but it also serves as a good bellwether for the video market as a whole. The appetite for visual communications is clearly growing, and that’s good news for everyone.

What we’re seeing in Gartner’s most recent report has also been validated to me over the past 18 months since we’ve refreshed our entire video endpoint portfolio. Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive about the design, capabilities and direction of our product portfolio. So, between these two points of validation, it feels really good to know we’re delivering products that are having a positive impact on the market.

Let me know how our video products have positively impacted your work life – especially in clear and differentiated ways.

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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