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Maximizing Mobile Collaboration for the Post PC Era

Almost every customer that I speak to is looking at the opportunity that new mobile devices -- smart phones and tablets -- bring to increase collaboration and drive new business capabilities.  And consistently, customers are asking these five questions:

  1. How closely will the UC capabilities on my mobile device not just meet, but exceed the experience on my desktop?
  2. Will users be able to make and receive calls on their mobile devices anywhere in the world as if they were using their desk phone?
  3. Is video to the mobile device available at all, and if so is it really “business-ready” or is it more of a poor imitation of the TelePresence experience?
  4. Are Wi-Fi access points evolving to better handle the increased traffic and usage patterns that come from adding mobile devices on the network?
  5. If I choose a cloud provider for UC-as-a-Service, will that in any way limit my ability to deliver UC capabilities to a mobile device?

For Cisco, these questions are easy to answer because mobility and user experience are not an afterthought.  Our collaboration development philosophy is people-centric -- that is driven by the user experience.  And in the post PC era where tablets and mobile phones are primary work devices for many during each day, that experience must not just be equivalent to the desktop -- but maximize the unique opportunity that these new form factors provide.  This is a fundamental change in the user experience model and Cisco is maximizing the potential of this new class of mobile devices.
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Simplifying Global Voice Operations

Cisco IT has deployed voice infrastructure around the world in order to handle our 1+ million voice calls per day with high levels of quality and reliability. We used to manage this infrastructure with four separate regional teams: one managing the Western part of North America, another managing Eastern North America and Latin America, the third Europe/Middle East/Africa, and the fourth Asia/Pacific. But we found that this regional organization led to inconsistent operations because the regional teams had different ideas on how things should be done and they applied our corporate standards in different ways.

Our early lack of global consistency led to inefficiency in our support operations.   We would have people from different time zones trying to help troubleshoot problems and be unable to support an unfamiliar configuration.  And this meant that our regional teams had to provide around-the-clock support by themselves – which led to sleepless nights and frayed nerves.
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Technology Roundup: Unified Communications

These resources can help you choose the right UC solution to improve collaboration, productivity

In this always-on world, even small businesses are expected to be reachable anytime, anywhere. With unified communications (UC), you can be. UC makes it easier to communicate and collaborate with coworkers, customers, and partners in real time. It increases employee productivity and efficiency, and improves the ability to make accurate decisions and enhance customer service.

In this latest installment of our Technology Roundup series, we provide the resources to help you determine how UC can help your small business and which components might be most useful for your company.

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CloudVerse: How Does Cisco Collaboration in the Cloud Tie In?

Today, Cisco introduced CloudVerse, an end-to-end solution to build, manage and connect clouds. Cisco revealed how it sees the cloud: one in which it enables the world to operate more simply not just from one collective cloud but rather a world of many clouds where the organizations can choose how their cloud solutions are developed whether it’s a highly secure private cloud, a more open public cloud or a hybrid. Within these various cloud environments, IT is delivered as a service and end users can collaborate dynamically and consume content on-demand.

With Cisco’s network based cloud solutions serving as the foundation, Cisco also introduced new enhancements and functionalities to its ever growing Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). The Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers.  Just last week, Fujitsu’s Andy Stevenson, executive director of their hosting and network services group discussed how they’ve combined their experience and expansive network to develop anew hosted offer, the Fujitsu Cloud Connect service.. Fujitsu’s new service helps employees collaborate more efficiently on any device using a uniform suite of Cisco collaboration technology available on demand.

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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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