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Cisco TelePresence-as-a-Service Makes In-Person Collaboration Even More Accessible for All

In this global economy, the people you deal with are more dispersed than ever. Yet at the same time 75% of business executives consider in-person collaboration an imperative. The survey that revealed that figure is an interesting read, and validates experiences that we’ve all encountered first-hand. How many times have you experienced communications that were misinterpreted or failed to engage participants effectively, negatively impacting relationships, projects, and business outcomes? As the pace of business gets faster and more complex, how do you: get everyone on the same page; scale resources to be in more places at once; and maintain face-to-face relationships with widely dispersed colleagues, customers, agencies, partners and advisors?

Visual collaboration is the next stage for many businesses as they put in place collaboration strategies to drive even higher levels of productivity for their business. However, for some organizations the up-front costs — to deploy the technology, train or acquire the right IT skill set, and provide the needed consistent level of inter-connectivity — can be barriers preventing them from accelerating business impact through video.

With our October 16 announcement, customers now have more choice in how they consume visual collaboration with Cisco TelePresence-as-a-Service (TPaaS). Cisco TPaaS places the Cisco TelePresence infrastructure in the cloud, powered by Cisco’s best-in-class architecture and network and managed by trusted Cisco certified partners. With this as-a-Service offering, there are even more flexible options for the deployment of telepresence and the acceleration of business impact through video. With Cisco TPaaS delivered from the cloud, organizations experience a predictable OpEx model, simplify operations (including interoperability with legacy video solutions), reduce risk of technology obsolescence, free IT resources to focus on core and strategic initiatives, and gain capabilities to scale based on business demand.

Expanded Cisco TPaaS service options help users:

Meet any time with an in-person experience. New “rendezvous” meeting options provide a personal conference bridge which can be used to meet securely with your colleagues, customers and partners — no scheduling required.

Work the way they want/need to work. With cloud-based Cisco TPaaS, it is simpler and quicker for businesses to scale video and telepresence to those specific people who can create the greatest impact using video. Companies simply provide or lease the video and telepresence endpoints needed to meet users’ varying needs — from immersive in-room solutions to desktop to employees’ personal mobile devices. A qualified Cisco partner handles the rest.

Customize and control their meeting environment. New active meeting management options enable real-time meeting controls to help users create the appropriate atmosphere for the topic and attendee profile. For example, hosts can quickly and easily manage participant add or drops, creating personalized messages, changing the layout, muting background conversations, securing meeting access, extending a scheduled meeting or capturing a meeting roster.

In our November 14 webcast, our Cisco product experts will provide more detail on Cisco TPaaS and other cloud collaboration announcements, and also provide some guidance on finding the right deployment model for your business. Hope you can join us.

Mark

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Collaboration in a Post-PC World Part One: Meet the Team

The workplace has moved beyond the PC as the only means to work. Influenced by their consumer experiences, employee expectations for collaboration have reached new heights. Collaboration must meet the needs of the mobile workplace -- including extending beyond the corporate issued laptop to their device and platform of choice. Anywhere you go collaboration is top of mind for business executives and knowledge workers alike, and they are no longer willing to accept a work environment in which stepping away from your PC turns you into a second-class contributor.

This is putting a lot of pressure on technology leaders from the CIO and the VP of IT, to the VP of Applications. They’re being tasked with creating and supporting a mobile, social, visual, and virtual workspace that unlocks the potential each person brings to the table. People working together can achieve extraordinary things. Today’s challenge for technology and business leaders alike is how to best bring them together over distance as participants in a global economy. The crux of the challenge is to empower people to work their way – where, when and how they want – without limits. How do you architect a solution that supports the way people in a wide variety of roles want to work and on their device of choice? How do you provide a user experience that can engage them all in a way that brings out and connects their expertise and enthusiasm to fuel creativity and innovation? How do you empower, engage and innovate to unlock the potential in each person?

To get an idea of the scope of this challenge, check out our new at-a-glance “Collaboration in the Post-PC Era”  graphic  Read More »

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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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