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Cisco Captures A Leadership Position in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications

I’m pleased to announce that Cisco has received recognition as a Leader in Gartner’s newly-released 2012 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (UC).  In this report, Gartner analyzed the current enterprise UC market, and named Cisco as a market leader based on Cisco’s completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Gartner’s Unified Communications Magic Quadrant reflects the rapidly changing needs of today’s knowledge worker.  Recent research from a Cisco IBSG Horizons study showed that a striking 95% of businesses are allowing employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace. This includes smartphones, tablets and other personal devices that run on a variety of platforms. Highlighting this trend, Gartner closely evaluated UC options that work across multiple mobile platforms, and that provide support for open standards and interoperability with other solutions.

According to Gartner’s Bern Elliot and Steve Blood, “Enterprises wish to avoid ‘closed gardens’ and weak support for standards to ensure choice and control. Support for standards is a critical consideration, as enterprises wish to integrate their UC deployments with business partners, customers, business applications and third-party products.”

Support for multiple platforms

Cisco helps businesses address this growing need by providing a full suite of UC solutions for mobile devices across a variety of deployment options, including Apple, Android and other popular operating systems. For enterprises juggling a deluge of new employee devices and corporate platforms, the ability to provide full UC client support – including video, instant messaging (IM), presence and web collaboration – across a multi-vendor environment is critical.

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Cisco at GSX: Stocking the Collaboration Toolbox with the Right Tool for Every Job

August 30, 2012 at 4:55 am PST

Which tool is more important: a stud finder or a hex wrench? You don’t need to be terribly tool-savvy to know there’s a place and a time for each to shine; a stud finder would come in handy to hang a heavy shelf but be useless when adjusting a bike derailleur.

When it comes to employee collaboration, the “go-to tools” are multiplying as the workspace is changing.  Some employees still do the bulk of their work from behind a desk at company headquarters; others split their time between the office and more on-the-go locales; still others need “full mobility” with access to the best software collaboration offerings available so work can happen in coffee shops, airplanes, hotel rooms—wherever.  To support these shifts in the way work gets done, Cisco announced some big changes to its unified communications licensing scheme this week at its virtual sales conference, GSX.

With today’s announcement, Cisco is now:

- offering software-only licensing. Prior to this, getting Cisco unified communications meant acquiring a license and a Cisco phone. No more; now, Cisco’s UC offerings can be managed and deployed as a true software platform. While many will still choose to start with a hardware phone, others will choose another device, like a PC, a tablet or even a smartphone as their main communication and collaboration tool. It is now up to you. Read More »

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Collaboration Technologies – Taking the Labor out of Healthcare Communications

Like most families, we are looking forward to the long Labor Day weekend.  It will be filled with family, ribs, beer, some yard work, and yes, some Cisco work.  And this year we will have a new guest.  The latest member of the Barney family, Hayden, arrived just in time to celebrate Labor Day weekend.  Although I am sure her mother is not looking back fondly on her recent labors, the rest of the family is.  And we are all grateful for the healthy little girl.

But I will have to tear myself away from Hayden, ribs, beer, and yard work for, yes, Cisco work.  But that won’t be as painful as it sounds.  Thanks to the advanced technologies at Cisco I can work from home.  The way I ‘labor’ has definitely changed.  I can collaborate over videoconference on my Cisco Telepresence EX-90 with a few of my colleagues to finish up a project while never leaving my house. I live in Ohio, and while my team is located in San Jose, for a few hours on Saturday it will be as if they are all at my house – except they have to get their own beer.

Cisco has changed the way we labor in many important ways, but no more so than when it comes to clinical care.  Cisco has created a platform with unified communications and video-based collaboration that is transforming the patient experience and clinical processes by bringing together physicians, specialists, therapists, patients and families together.  This collaboration can take place quickly without anyone getting into a car, train, plane or boat.  And it becomes stunning when you think about how this can impact the care of a child.

Imagine your child needs cardiac surgery.  And he needs a specialist.  But that specialist is several hours away from your home.  At the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, Co-Medical Director Professor Martin Elliott, a pediatric cardio-thoracic surgeon uses information and collaboration technologies to improve the quality of care and the experience for the child and its family in a very meaningful way.  Listen to Professor Elliott discuss the experience for the medical team, the child, and the family as they prepare the child for surgery.

 

Collaboration technologies can improve not just the pre-surgical experience, but the follow-up care as well.

For the past 14 years, Dr. Patrick Byrne from Greater Baltimore Medical Center Johns Hopkins University has been making annual trips to countries in the developing world, volunteering his services to correct cleft and lip palate deformities in children. However, in many countries, including Nicaragua, the required post-surgical speech therapy care is simply not available. Using WebEx technology, Dr. Byrne and team can now provide that specialized treatment remotely for the first time ever. Within just three months of speech therapy conducted via WebEx, the doctors saw significant improvement in patients’ speech. The online meeting technology also proved the perfect tool to train local providers on best practices for follow-up procedures.  Listen in…

 

 

 

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Six Success Factors for Unified Communications Solutions

August 27, 2012 at 10:53 am PST

On August 29, I’ll be joining Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research for an on-line briefing on his research regarding Cisco and Microsoft Unified Communications products and services. While making my preparations for the webcast it got me thinking about how customers should approach Unified Communications strategies, investments, and projects irrespective of any vendor-related decisions. In discussing Unified Communications solutions with customers, I recommend that they keep six success factors firmly in mind in charting course for highly effective solutions.  Read More »

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Avoiding Silos: Integrating Social Business and Unified Communications

Many in the media have observed that this year’s Enterprise 2.0 conference represented an inflection point in the industry. There is growing interest in how organizations can move beyond stand-alone community sites and leverage social collaboration to “get work done” within business processes. We see the same trend. Discussions Cisco had with attendees, as well as discussions heard during many of the conference sessions, have shifted from a debate about tools to a transformational conversation regarding social business. The transition from a technological focus to one that examines business value requires leadership teams to act more strategically to avoid social silos.

At the June Boston event, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel session,”Integrating Unified Communications and Social Business“, that addressed a critical foundation of this new conversation. Moderated by Irwin Lazar, VP and service director, at Nemertes, the panel examined how social collaboration and unified communications can be integrated into a seamless experience to “get work done”; how companies can best address business and IT management issues; and what organizational changes need to be considered to solidify planning around all forms of collaboration. The clear message coming out of the panel discussion was that “social + UC” is a market convergence trend that will change how organizations examine current and future enterprise collaboration platforms. We agree. Cisco WebEx Social has been designed from the ground-up to include instant messaging, presence, voice, video, and conferencing as core platform capabilities. Below are other highlights and reflections from the panel discussion: Read More »

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