As if desktop virtualization wasn’t complicated enough… let’s throw unified communications in there, and really roll the dice (sticking with the Vegas theme) with getting your small pilot/PoC off the ground. Right? Well traditionally, yes, but we’ve actually seen this movie before – one that tells a very similar story of convergence at the desktop that resulted in a major transformation in how enterprises leverage the intelligence in the network to bring two previously disparate worlds together (this reads better with the voice-over guy they use in Hollywood trailers). Read More »
Whether you work at a specialty boutique firm or a large global enterprise, video is having a profound impact on the way we do business in today’s digitally connected world. Nowhere is this more visible than at a global architecture firm like Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF).
Headquartered in New York City with offices in six global locations, KPF exemplifies the workplace of the future—that is, one that allows virtual teams to work together anytime, anywhere. My Cisco co-worker Diane Davidson recently had the pleasure of visiting KPF’s New York office, where she was able to see their collaboration infrastructure firsthand. Not only do they have an environment that allows project teams to work together from any location at anytime, they also have video on every end point—from desktop video phones, laptops, tablets and smart phones to room systems. According to James Brogan, AIA Director, Firmwide Technology, that’s because face-to-face communication is absolutely critical to the firm’s success.
Cisco IT maintains about 21 Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) clusters to support 150,000 hardware phones and 51,000 software phones used by our global employees, contractors and contact center agents. In general, Cisco IT likes to stay up to date, and upgrades to most major releases of the Cisco UCM as soon as possible – frequently this occurs before the code is available to our external customers. We do this to take advantage of new features and to help the product developers identify needed improvements before the release is made available to customers.
“Use it. Know it. Sell it.” That’s what Ken Snyder, emerging technology solutions manager at partner CDW, has to say about the Cisco Cius, the ultra-portable enterprise tablet that’s changing the way that businesses work.
With its integrated Wi-Fi, 4G data, 720p HD video, and interoperability with Cisco TelePresence systems, not to mention its inclusion of one-click access to WebEx meetings and AppHQ, the new application ecosystem built specifically for Cius, the Cius can be a powerful tool that can help customers collaborate and work from remote locations, both seamlessly and securely.
The Cius enables multiple opportunities for partners to drive sales, offer professional services and expand their customer base, according to Richard McLeod, Cisco’s senior director of collaboration sales in the Worldwide Partner Organization. He says there are opportunities for partners to upgrade their customers’ networks, particularly since it cuts across Cisco’s technology architectures: Collaboration, Data Center and Virtualization, and Borderless Networks.
And that’s definitely what I heard when I chatted with Ken, as well as with Steve Reese, director of solutions marketing for partner Nexus IS, Inc., about their experiences using the Cius and selling it to customers. Ken and Steve also offered advice to partners looking to include in the Cius in their portfolio.
Seamless Team Communications, Anywhere Read More »
Today’s “office” is vastly different from what it was even 10 years ago.
Workers are no longer bound by their stationary desktops and LAN lines, but “offices” are literally set up anywhere with laptops, “smart” devices (tablets and smart phones) and Internet connections. Just as offices are easily set up anywhere, at any time, so should business collaboration solutions be as easily accessible.
Today, Orange Business Services launched their new Unified Communications “as a service” (UCaaS) model, or “Business Together as a Service.” This new portfolio of tools, which is based on Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), includes telephony, unified messaging, IM with presence and conferencing. One of the key benefits of this new cloud-based model is that it gives employees access to UC applications on the fly whether they’re looking to do a brainstorm from a coffeehouse or a last minute conference call while waiting for their flight.