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Bring a Teacher to Twitter

February 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm PST

Have you been doing your Twitter homework?

Educators are using social media to share their lesson plans and get new ideas.  If your favorite teacher is not already doing this, help them set up their Twitter account: description, photos; first tweet.

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Connecting the Customer Experience Through Social #CiscoListens

January 28, 2013 at 6:50 am PST

Integrating Social Media Channels into Existing CRM Systems and Processes

The year is 2024, and you just walked into a department store to return a pair of jeans. As you enter the store, the near field communication (NFC) chip in your smartphone tells the store who you are because you have enabled the privacy settings to do so. The store knows you’re an active fan on Facebook. You’re even classified as one of their ambassadors. You’ve been identified as a frustrated customer after posting a comment on the company’s Wall about your brand new jeans being defective. One of the sales representatives receives an alert message that you’ve arrived, and she’s waiting for you in the jean section, holding a new pair of the same jeans, in your size, ready to make an exchange. The NFC chip in your phone has already confirmed your identity, reducing the need to show a receipt, credit card, or drivers license. You’re out the door with a new pair of jeans faster than you’re able to post a raving review on their Facebook wall, reclassifying you as an advocate in their CRM system.

“They replaced my busted jeans without even asking a question!”

OK, the year is not 2024, Cisco doesn’t sell jeans, and I’ve only been able to use NFC once in the year I’ve had it on my smartphone. But haven’t you wished that the company you just called already knew the past phone, email, even Facebook conversations you’ve had with them so that you didn’t need to explain yourself to them again and again? Isn’t your time valuable, shouldn’t all of their systems talk to each other to create a better, not worse experience for you? Read More »

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#CoxCiscoTV TweetChat at CES and #PersonalTV Instagram Photo Contest

Guest Blog by Sarah Evans, Social Media Correspondent

Sarah-Evans

Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans) is the chief evangelist at Tracky and owner of Sevans Strategy, a public relations and new media consultancy. She’s the author of new book, [RE]FRAME: Little Inspirations For A Larger Purpose (published by SlimBooks). It’s her personal mission to engage and employ the use of emerging technologies in all communication that connects her with a rapidly growing base of more than 120,000 people. A “for good” advocate, Sarah worked with a local crisis center to raise more than $161K in three weeks via social media and is a team member of the Guinness Book World Record holding #beatcancer. Sarah can be seen in Vanity Fair’s Americas Tweethearts, Forbes’ 14 Power Women to Follow on Twitter and Entrepreneur’s Top 10 Hot Startups of 2010.

For the past few days I’ve had the privilege of serving as entertainment services provider Cox Communications social correspondent at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and working very closely with the Cisco team promoting the personal TV experience. TV is everywhere at CES. And it’s right on par. Nielsen says that Americans are actually watching more TV than ever – about 34 hours per week, in fact.

Cox and Cisco have been working very closely this week with joint announcements on the personalized television experience. Working with Cisco, Cox evolved their video services platform to deliver more personalized video experiences, offering their customers more of what they enjoy. While Cox customers have been able to watch 90 channels of live, linear TV on an iPad for more than a year now, this new app – powered by Cisco’s Videoscape Unity software and technology – expands the service to iPhones and iPods, adding significant improvements in navigation. Learn more about the announcement here.

It’s hard to miss the focus on hardware at CES, specifically on size and sharpness. However, I think the real story about TV at CES is what’s happening on the backend. And what’s the big innovation? The personalization, synchronization and socialization of video, with personal on the forefront.

To keep the buzz around TV going I moderated a #CoxCiscoTV Twitter chat to talk more about the idea of #PersonalTV with Cox Communications and Cisco executives. Our Twitter lineup was made up of:

  • Len Barlik, EVP of Product Development, Cox Communications (@Cox_PR)
  • Martin De Beer, SVP of Video and Collaboration Group, Cisco, (@MartinDeBeer)
  • Nick Thexton, CTO, Service Provider Video Technology Group, Cisco, (@CiscoSPVideo)

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Six Predictions for Cloud Collaboration in 2013

As we move into 2013 and attempt a glance further into the future, we see shifts in the conversation around cloud collaboration. I’ve outlined a few thoughts on what we can expect soon, over the course of the next few years, and in the future.

In 2013, we’ll see the cloud conversation shift to flexibility and agility as primary drivers of adoption.

“Businesses will have to provide an environment in which their employees are connected in ways they have never been connected before.”

As more companies understand the problems that arise in the collection of big data and the number of employees who work outside the office increases, cloud adoption will grow exponentially. Gartner data shows 71 percent of businesses adopted Software as a Service (SaaS) within the past three years, with three quarters of businesses planning on increasing SaaS spending. However, the reason companies increasingly invest in SaaS will shift. As a recent Forrester survey shows, a decreasing number of businesses are prioritizing lower costs as a reason to adopt SaaS, while an increasing number of businesses are focusing on “business agility” as a reason to deploy a SaaS solution.

In order to compete effectively in the future, businesses will have to provide an environment in which their employees are connected in ways they have never been connected before – connecting employees to customers, partners, and suppliers real time, anytime, anywhere, and providing context to these collaborative sessions.  This can only be accomplished through leveraging an increasing set of collaborative technology, and exposing the most relevant data across the traditional mediums of voice, video, and chat. Cloud accelerates the roll-out of this technology consistently across entire companies and their business partners, so they can improve the efficiency of their decision-making and the quality of their customers’ experience. As the cloud and macroeconomic factors increase the speed of business and collaboration, businesses will look to the cloud to as a means to deploy the growing set of integrated collaborative tools and gain a competitive edge.

As cloud collaboration moves beyond early adopters in 2013, hybrid models will proliferate and customers will increasingly demand a seamless, uncompromising user experience between the cloud and the customer premises.

“More than 50 percent of enterprises began cloud migrations in 2011.”

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Bringing Up the Social Media Baby

According to a Nielsen study, social media is no longer in its infancy.  No kidding.

During the November military confrontation between Israel and Hamas, social media played a very grown-up role.  What distinguished it from past politically-charged social media exchanges was the participation of state and pseudo-state spokespersons.  Official announcements were issued by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigade via Twitter and Facebook in near real-time.

  • The IDF announced the initiation of the military campaign via Twitter, and tweeted in caps that it had “ELIMINATED” Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike.
  • The Brigade responded with threats of retaliation; both sides posted minute-by-minute updates as the fighting unfolded.

The evolution of social media into an official communications venue should come as no surprise.  It follows a time-honored pattern of disruptive ideas and technologies gaining acceptability as they move into the mainstream.  The Nielsen Social Media 2012 study tells us that 30 percent of individuals’ mobile device time is spent accessing social media.  That qualifies as mainstream.

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