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Essential Skills for Today’s Unified Communications Operations Staff

Just a decade ago, supporting enterprise voice services was simpler, our voice operations support scope was smaller, and one person could be proficient in everything you needed to know for voice operations. But as IP telephony capabilities grew into Unified Communications, the skills our engineers had to be proficient in grew exponentially.

Today, we support UC systems and collaboration platforms, both on traditional hardware and now on virtualized server platforms (Cisco UCS). We still support phones and softphones, but now we also support mobility services, video phones and mobile devices like the Cisco Cius, voice and video conferencing, menus of phone-based services, and ever-more sophisticated customer support tools in our contact centers. There are now so many things within the scope of the UC systems that we manage that it would be extremely difficult in an enterprise the size of Cisco to be an expert in everything. So, individuals on our voice operations team need to specialize.

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Cius: The Inside Story

November 18, 2011 at 8:31 am PST

I have to be honest and tell you that we did not approach this particular show with an attitude of ‘Yeah!  CIsco has a tablet.’  But I am still being honest when I say…that all changed.  This is that story.

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Medical Manufacturer Delivers 24/7 Customer Service

BBC Biochemical, which manufactures materials for diagnostic and medical research lab testing, shares a facility and communications system with sister company Medical Diagnostics Lab (MDL). Together, they serve customers around the clock and around the world. However, the archaic phone system used by the two companies was hindering their ability to answer urgent calls from doctors and customers. A Cisco unified communications solution helped BBC and MDL improve both customer service and operational efficiency.

Watch the video to learn more!

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Migrating a Cisco UCM Cluster to UCS from a Small Village

Upgrading a critical enterprise call processing system to a completely new virtualized server platform sounds pretty tricky. Doing it from 5,000 miles away, in the public square of a sleepy Spanish village using your laptop and a VPN connection over the free municipal WiFi service sounds … well, maybe a little crazy. Recently, I did just that, migrating our Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) cluster in Johannesburg, South Africa to the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform from the small village in Spain where I was vacationing.

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Collaboration in the Cloud: Here to Stay

This certainly has been a monumental year for Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solutions (HCS), as many service providers such as Verizon and Orange Business Services, embraced the cloud and the potential services that can come with it. In the case of  their business customers, these service providers now offer them a slew of unified communications tools (such as video conferencing and mobility solutions ) through the cloud to allow  their employees to communicate and collaborate wherever they are and on whatever device.

Even our partners are seeing the value that collaboration via the cloud can offer its customers; as one of our channel partners, Neutral Tandem, announced yesterday. As an expert in operating and managing IP networks, Neutral Tandem introduced the first cloud-based collaboration service in the United States specifically developed to be resold by Cisco’s Value-Added Reseller (VAR) community and System Integrators (SIs). The service, based on Cisco’s HCS, will enable VARs/SIs to deliver a full suite of unified communications and collaboration applications.

I guess you can say that cloud collaboration is in full swing as it continues to gain traction steadily in the market. Read More »

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