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When It Comes To UC&C, One Size Does Not Fit All

This is the first post in a new series from Dimension Data and Cisco Channels looking at user adoption and integration of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Findings stem from Dimension Data’s 2013 Global UC&C Survey, developed with ICT researcher Ovum and featuring responses from more than 2,700 participants in 18 countries across 20 vertical industries.

We’ve all heard that selling UC&C solutions has to be less about flashy technology, and more about a comfortable, productive user experience. In other words, are video sessions, presence and other UC&C functions as easy and convenient to use as a traditional voice call? But user adoption of UC&C isn’t by any means the last step in a UC&C implementation. It’s actually a lot closer to the first step, as Neill Hart puts it.

“We don’t have to worry about user adoption with most other areas of IT,” says Hart, converged communications director for Dimension Data Europe. “If you put in a firewall on a Sunday night, for example, it’s at work the next morning and the user probably isn’t even aware it’s there. With most technologies, the user doesn’t even worry about it. But with UC&C, it’s everything. If I’m not entirely comfortably with technology, then I can find a way of not using it.” Read More »

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Delivering a Better Meeting Experience, for Everyone

Virtual meetings have become an increasingly important part of the workday. Companies rely on technology such as video and web conferencing to help geographically distributed teams collaborate and be more productive.

The common denominator in all of these virtual meetings is the conference call. It’s a fact that the quality of the audio usually dictates the quality of the meeting. Think about how many times people complain about the audio breaking up, being too loud or too soft, or simply asking to repeat questions or points discussed because the voice quality is just not good enough?

New Cisco Unified IP Conference Phone 8831

New Cisco Unified IP Conference Phone 8831

The new Cisco Unified IP Conference Phone 8831 – a new phone purpose-built for the conference room – solves many of these audio challenges. Now, each user joining a meeting can expect the best possible meeting experience, with high quality audio that is akin to being in the room itself. The traditional definition of a meeting has changed, and with it, the tools needed to have a successful meeting experience must evolve as well.

As anyone who has led a meeting knows, the key to a successful meeting is engagement. But employees won’t speak up and engage if they’re frustrated by the meeting experience – if they can’t hear others or aren’t being heard if they speak up themselves. Large meetings can sometimes suffer from a lack of productivity and results because of this lack of participation.

Read More »

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Deploying Extension Mobility Globally

Cisco employees are moving towards a mobile collaborative office environment – within the workplace. We sit where we like and log into the nearest phone, using extension mobility. But when we traveled to different Cisco offices around the world, we couldn’t log in to the Cisco IP phone:  extension mobility only worked at certain limited locations within our home region.

Now, employee phones can essentially follow them to any Cisco office worldwide because Cisco IT deployed the Extension Mobility Cross Cluster (EMCC) feature on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM).

Read More »

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Cisco Continues Mobile Innovation with Updated WebEx Meetings for Android App

We are proud to announce Cisco WebEx Meetings for Android version 3.0, available today in the Google Play store. Web conferencing is one of the leading applications being used on mobile devices.  With over four million mobile downloads, WebEx is the leader in mobile conferencing.  Supporting iPhones and iPads, Android smartphones and tablets and the new BlackBerry 10, WebEx has broad device support with the strongest feature set.  Our WebEx app allows users to start, join and schedule, and host WebEx meetings.  In the meeting, users can quickly connect audio, chat with participants and see shared content in both portrait and landscape orientation.  We continue to invest in and introduce new functionality for WebEx Meetings on mobile platforms and our user base continues to grow.  On Android alone we have seen a 248 percent year-over-year growth.

 

Cisco WebEx Meetings for Android

WebEx Meetings for Android

IDC estimates that by 2015 the number of mobile workers will reach  Read More »

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Is Manufacturing Coming Back to the US?

Manufacturing Exports up over past 18 months for USA.

Douglas Burtnick of Aberdeen Asset Management was heard on NBR recently talking about how the US export story is really interesting, and often overlooked by those not focused on the manufacturing industry. He said…

 “Companies are seeing external demand for anything from machinery, to electronics, to chemicals, and they’re starting to think about where they really want to manufacture those products. That’s a big deal, because this is the first time in several decades that we’ve actually thought about manufacturing coming back to the US.”

Clearly that affects Aberdeen’s investment philosophy, but he also points out how the phenomenon will affect different regions in the US, and the types of products that will be built here.

This is a significant change from companies going overseas to look for lower costs. So what’s caused the change? Most agree that there are three major reasons.

  • US Manufacturing  is humming

    . US Manufacturing is humming

    The first is to do with the issues of distance, communications and language. Transportation costs are significant. Whilst communication and collaboration techniques from companies like Cisco enable real time connected manufacturing, meaning that manufacturing is becoming more connected, this makes the US itself more connected. Overseas transportation costs of materials and goods themselves  can still be significant, and a clear target for reduction.

  • The third area has been well articulated by commentators. Read More »

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