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Learn How Enventis Generates Leads and Sales with Virtual Tour Video

June 20, 2012 at 10:12 am PST

Did you know that 93 percent of B2B buyers use search to begin the buying process (Source: Marketo). What’s more is that most buying cycles are 70 to 80 percent complete before companies are even willing to engage with sales people (Source: SiriusDecisions).

With statistics like that, wouldn’t you want to ensure your online assets provide the most compelling information about your products and services? After all, the goal is to get prospective customers to the finish line, preferably with you.

Enventis, a Cisco Gold and Unified Communications Master Specialized Partner, did just that.

They know prospective customers have a lot of options when it comes to selecting a data center for their network, server, and storage needs. Enventis also knows those prospective customers would have to travel great distances to visit their facilities located in Edina, Minnesota. So they created a virtual tour to help save on travel time and money, while providing an accurate view of what their data center looks like.

Want to see their tour? Watch the video below.

I chatted with Enventis Senior Marketing Specialist Elke Zimmermann about the making of the Enventis Data Center Virtual Tour video, the results that came out of it, and tips for creating your own virtual tour.  Read More »

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Is Your Hospital Going Broke from Poor Communication?

A few years ago I surveyed around 500 hospital employees in all job categories and departments and asked what the biggest challenge to their workday was.  Three of the top six responses contained “communication”.  So today when I was reading an AHA report[1] on patient flow I was not at all surprised to see communication winning the top prize as the most pervasive and the hardest problem to fix -- taking 60% of the votes.  It outpaced the second runner up -- visibility to data – which came in with only 30% of the votes.

 “There is strong agreement that communications is the most difficult obstacle to overcome”

-AHA Report of the 2012 Patient Flow Challenges

Dr. Daniel Z Sands

Communication concerns were seen to impact discharge, inefficient patient handoffs and insufficient post-discharge contact with patients.  This is consistent with another study done by the University of Maryland on the impact of inefficient and poor communication, finding that U.S. hospitals conservatively waste over $12 billion annually as a result of communication inefficiency among care providers.  Interestingly, the study linked communication issues with increases in the length of hospital stays which has a direct impact on profitability – accounting for nearly 53 percent of that $12 billion annual economic burden.

Another study by Thompson Reuters demonstrated an indirect relationship between average length of stay (ALOS) and operating income -- the shorter the ALOS, the better the operating income[2].

Read More »

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Master Unified Communications Partner Alliant Saves the Day with New Phone System

May 15, 2012 at 11:42 am PST

A phone system that doesn’t work means business lost. After all, if you can’t interact with customers and staff, productivity goes down while frustration goes up.

When Oticon, a company that manufactures and distributes hearing aids in the U.S., first met with Cisco Master Unified Communications Partner Alliant Technologies, their phone system left much to be desired. Some of the challenges included the system’s lack of scripting support and its inability to integrate with other applications.

In this video, we hear from Oticon IT Director Lars Anderson who talks about his experience with Alliant and the process of setting up the company’s entire Unified Communications and Contact Center.

What was it like working with Alliant and how can customers find partners in their area with the specialties they need? Keep reading…
Read More »

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50 million Cisco IP phones, and Jabber Instant Messaging (IM) for everyone

In this post PC era, Cisco is taking another important step in advancing the collaborative workspace and making collaboration even more pervasive for customers around the world – regardless of device, application or operating system. Today we’re announcing that we are making presence and instant messaging (IM) capabilities and Cisco Jabber clients available to our Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) customers globally at no additional cost. Cisco believes that together presence, IM, voice and video call control provide the foundation for real-time communications.

For customers, with this development, Cisco is now providing a way to simply and cost effectively make presence and IM available to all users across a plethora of devices — including Windows, Mac, iPad, Cisco Cius, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android (later in 2012) — while also ensuring they’re deploying a unified communications client  that is BYOD-ready.  And let me emphasize, this isn’t just for those customers who happen to have a Cisco IP phone.  It’s for every employee in an organization.

For partners, this helps simplify and accelerate the deployment of presence, IM and mobile collaboration as part of a holistic, best-in-class, collaboration solution. Hence, presence and IM can easily become ubiquitous in the enterprise!

We feel presence and IM are the starting points of collaboration, not the final destination.

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Lessons on Cloud from the Enterprise Connect Conference

Another Enterprise Connect has come and gone; now that the booths have been rolled away and sales teams begin the process of doing follow up with prospects met at this year’s show, I had some thoughts about UC applications in the cloud.

Unified Communications services deployed from the cloud was all abuzz during the show; from Sprint announcing its Complete Collaboration suite to many vendors discussing how they are moving their contact center offerings to the cloud. Even analyst Zeus Kerravala offered his observations following a cloud panel he moderated during last week’s show.

Specifically, Zeus mentioned that one of the key takeaways he heard during his panel was when organizations are deciding when to implement a UCaaS model, they think about which UC service they currently don’t have and deploy it through the cloud. This had me thinking about what features an organization should look for as they explore the possibilities of a cloud collaboration model.

With our recent news with Sprint, we demonstrated to the market again that Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution or HCS was designed from them ground up to support the needs of today’s business savvy organizations. Read More »

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