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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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How Cisco IT Migrated 87,000 Voicemail Boxes in a Weekend

Changing voicemail systems–or the servers they run on–can be a big, time-consuming, and difficult task. Yet recently we did both.  We migrated our application platform from Cisco Unity 7.0 (2) running on Cisco 7800 Series Media Convergence Servers,  to Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 running as a virtual machine onthe Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform. What’s more, we completed the cutover of more than 87,000 voicemail boxes to the new platform in a single weekend.
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The Next-Gen Collaborator: Ready for a Mobile Workplace

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Eric Schoch, senior director for hosted collaboration  in Cisco’s Collaboration organization. Eric is responsible for hosted and “as a service” solutions, strategic pricing and licensing, and business development.

There is simply no denying the increasing importance of being connected. Generation Y in particular, who grew up with mobile devices affixed almost permanently to their hands, views connectivity as one of life’s fundamental resources.

The newest addition to the workforce considers their mobile devices as an essential workplace tool to managing their workload and connecting with their colleagues on the go. While sitting in a meeting or having lunch in the break room, you can almost visualize the text bubbles hovering over crowds of this generation of workers as fingers hammer away at phones and tablets, eyes glued to the shiny screens in their hands. BYOD

But this trend goes far beyond lunch hours and happy hours. As proven by Chapter Two of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, the next-generation workforce is demanding flexibility in their choice of devices in both the workplace and remote-work options, illustrating the importance of the Internet in workforce culture. Social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility, in the case of 30% of the study’s respondents, are more important when accepting a job than a higher salary.

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Building Solutions for Mid-size Businesses with Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Marc Ayers, Senior Manager of Product Marketing, discusses how Cisco designs and builds unified communications solutions for mid-sized businesses so they provide a lower total cost of ownership and investment protection.

Leading into upcoming developments about communications for mid-size businesses, we are conducting a series of interviews with members of our product teams so get their insights into unified communications from a mid-size business and Cisco perspective.

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Tracking Assets: RFID Meets Industrial Wi-Fi – Industrial Ethernet Book Part 1

I had the pleasure of meeting up with both Leo Ploner, Publishing Director, Industrial Ethernet Book (IEB) and Tom McNulty from the Chicago, US office recently here in Silicon Valley recently. I was pleased to see that Cisco had contributed to an article in the 65 / 35 Issue of the Industrial Ethernet Book around the topic of RFID and industrial WiFi – a topic close to my own heart in terms of previous blogs of mine (Intro to RFID, Continental Tire, Boeing, and John Deere).

The first Industrial Ethernet Book was published in 1999.  Since then it become an excellent  information source for industrial networking and communication technology, and aims to provide unbiased editorial views focused on both process and discrete manufacturing industries. The editorial content is aimed at end users, system integrators and vendors within factory automation and process automation.

The article starts with the recognition that “Increasingly ‘smart’ devices, which include radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and sensors that have advanced diagnostics, are contributing to the billions of devices now connected to IP networks. This proliferation of smart devices is referred to by some as the ‘Internet of Things’, and it is projected to grow to trillions of devices that will be connected using the emerging IPv6 protocol (ref1). For manufacturers, a growing number of connected smart devices promises to revolutionise portability, mobility, context-aware condition and use of critical assets.” Read More »

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