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Collaboration: Top of Mind at Cisco Live

Last week we wrapped up the US version of Cisco Live in San Diego, California. Of all the events Cisco hosts worldwide, Cisco Live is potentially the most anticipated among our customers, partners, and staff alike. It’s truly amazing to have 17,000 users all in one place and it gives me an exceptional opportunity to hear firsthand about your concerns, interests, and strategies.

I heard two themes from you last week.  From Read More »

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Cisco Collaboration and Unified Communications Customers: We’re Listening

Listening to customers is a top priority for Cisco. I spend a lot of time with customers and their valuable input has directly influenced the strategic direction of our core collaboration platform.

What I’ve learned is that customer needs vary based on the perspectives of three distinct groups within the enterprise: Read More »

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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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