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Live from New York – It is Cisco Retail at NRF January 15-17, 2012

January 16-17, 2012 marks the 101st National Retail Federation Annual Conference and Expo in New York and Cisco Retail team and myself will be there.  You can find out what Cisco will be showing at the event and get sneak peeks of the preparations for the show throughout the week through our coverage on Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, LinkedIn Group, YouTube and Cisco Retail blog.

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Four Ways Social Software Collaboration Technology Can Change Higher Education

New media and collaboration technologies have the potential to transform higher education in terms of the classroom, the learning process, the relationship between students and instructors, and how institutions conduct academic research. While much of the industry discussion revolves around use of consumer tools and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, Cisco’s educational customers also see tremendous opportunity to increase student engagement and drive their own institutional strategies with “enterprise class” social software as well.

Since Cisco first announced Quad, we have had conversations with dozens of colleges and universities regarding the role enterprise social software and Cisco Quad can play in transforming education. Cisco Quad is an enterprise collaboration platform that brings people together to share ideas and content, collaborate on projects, and interact using chat, voice or video, regardless of where people are located.

Below, we’ve outlined four ways in which educational institutions are telling us enterprise social software is helping, or can transform the way learning, research, and academic advisement is crafted, delivered and consumed:

1. The 24/7 interactive classroom: Instructors often struggle to deliver a collaborative environment for their students that is secure and supports multiple access methods such as mobile.  Technology like Quad can enable students to interact in a secure, policy-based manner that extends the classroom conversation beyond physical walls. Courses partially or wholly targeted at off-campus students can similarly benefit from enhancing the class-like experience for remote students. For example, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the cross country MBA students based in the US, England, India and other countries are using Quad to create virtual working groups, find people with common interests, share files or videos with other students working on similar projects and instantly start video conferences or chat sessions. Quad provides students with the ability to interact, ask questions and share ideas with professors/faculty/tutorial assistants anytime, as opposed to only during fixed faculty office hours. It can also drive improved accountability on team projects, as content and comments are tracked in activity feeds and in project communities by both participating students and faculty leads.

2. Serendipitous Research: Quad contains several features, such as an activity feed that compiles microblog posts from students and staff and allows a snapshot view of a person’s current activities. These dynamic updating functionalities can facilitate broader cross-departmental collaboration, for students and researchers alike. Security features ensure that research that needs to be confidential is shared in a secure and safe manner.  As researchers update their statuses with exciting discoveries or frustrating problems, or create posts, upload videos or otherwise document their work, this content becomes accessible to hundreds of fellow university researchers through activity feeds and searches, making it possible for providential inter-disciplinary connections to be made and new insights to be generated. Read More »

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The Social Soap Box: The Year of Twitter

Twitter recently held its “Come See What We’re Building” Press Conference where it unveiled a new, simpler version of Twitter. While my Cisco blogger credential was not enough to get a press invitation to the event, I was able to attend their Twitter for Marketers Conference where I was joined by other corporate brands such as @Disney, @Starbucks and @Intel. As part of the opener, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Co-Founder Jack Dorsey highlighted some of the year’s major events that happened on Twitter first. From the most heartfelt stories like how Twitter connected people affected by the Japan earthquake, to Burberry’s innovative Twitter campaign,  I was reminded why marketers and communicators alike love and care so much about Twitter.

At Cisco, we also have our own milestones and major events made possible by Twitter. Here’s my first attempt at an “info” graphic of Cisco’s Twitter Year in Review:

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Cisco Systems Ranked #1 Most Engaged Brand on Twitter

Thanksgiving is a special time of the year when we take the time to voice our appreciation for the people in our lives and reflect gratefully on everything we have. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our @CiscoSystems Twitter handle managers for keeping us all in the know and congratulate them for being recognized by CommPRO.biz as the number one Most Engaged Brand on Twitter. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Marketing Update: Priorities, Campaigns, Social Media, and More

Last week, we held a TweetChat with Cisco’s new Global Partner Marketing VP Amanda Jobbins.

During the hour-long Twitter session, we covered a lot of ground–Amanda’s Partner Marketing priorities, new campaigns for partners, what she heard on her listening tour with partners, and ways that Cisco is helping partners use social media.

We also learned some interesting factoids about Amanda and how she’s adjusting to life in the United States after living in the U.K.

If you missed the chat, we’ve got a recap of what was discussed, including Amanda’s answers to some great audience questions. This is the first of many discussions Amanda plans to have with partners and wants to continue the dialog to ensure that marketing programs reflect what partners need. You can send along questions and comments to her directly @amandajobbins.

We started the chat off with a few interview questions for Amanda to warm up, then answered audience questions:

Q1: What are your key priorities for Cisco Partner Marketing?

@amandajobbins: I have 5 goals: brand/value, online/social communities, marketing enablement, demand marketing, & ecosystem.

Two additional driving principles: communications & partner insight.

Q2: Cloud is the word on everyone’s lips…how are you helping partners market cloud? Read More »

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