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Using Mobility to free you from the desktop – What we’ve gained by deploying Cisco Unified Mobility

A lot of our employees, especially salespeople, seem to work everywhere except at their desks. Reaching them used to mean making multiple calls to multiple numbers, and leaving messages at each one.  And waiting for an important phone call sometimes meant that you were tied to your desk until it came through.

Now, with Single Number Reach (SNR) — a feature of Cisco Unified Mobility —  I can receive business calls wherever I want to  be reached at the moment­--at my desk, at home, or on my mobile phone. And if I can’t answer, Cisco Unified Mobility gets all my messages sent to a single voicemail box.  There’s also a Mobility feature that lets me transfer calls from my office phone to my mobile phone, and back again – without anyone on the other end knowing I’ve changed phones.   This helps when I pick up an important call at my desk, but need to take care of something that takes me away from the desk phone.  Sometimes I’ve got to get in the car and can use my Bluetooth headset to finish the conversation.

My current SNR profile is configured to route calls to my mobile inside of normal working hours, and then to push them to voicemail on weekends.  I even have an access control list (ACL) to allow my manager’s calls to pass through to the mobile number at any day/hour.  He does respect normal work hours but we do know emergencies happen from time to time and it is important to be accessible.

All of these Cisco Unified Mobility features were made available to 80,000 phones in our company, by activating them on in our eighteen production Unified Communications server clusters around the world. The truly impressive thing about the Cisco Unified Mobility service is that it can scale to companies of any size.  The benefits to the individual user apply no matter if you are an 8 or 80,000 person company.  Mobility benefits the individual most.

From our deployment activity, we learned valuable lessons for our customers about implementation decisions, feature adoption by users, and the resulting business benefits.

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How are Cisco and Verizon Working Together to Enable Collaboration in the Cloud?

Earlier this week, Eric Schoch, Senior Director for Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solution business and Roberta Mackintosh, Verizon’s Director of Unified Communications and Collaboration hosted a ‘Collaboration to the Cloud’ discussion over TelePresence and WebEx with journalists and analysts in Boston, Florida, New York, Washington and Toronto.

Eric and Roberta expanded on each company’s vision for collaboration in the cloud and gave details on their partnership to offer Unified Communications and Collaboration services. Verizon has integrated Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) and now offers an enterprise unified communications and collaboration platform which can be tailored and customized for its customers. The platform can be deployed as cloud-based only or as a hybrid of a cloud service and on-premise offering. In phase one of the deployment, some of the applications included are voice, video, instant messaging, and presence based such as Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Mobility, Cisco Unified Presence, Cisco Unity Connection, and Cisco WebEx Meeting Center (hosted by Cisco).

View the video to hear more about:

o   Why I should care about cloud collaboration as a service provider?

o   Why are service providers essential for collaboration in the cloud?

o   How is Verizon currently deploying collaboration solutions via the cloud?

o   What are the collaboration deployment issues that are facing enterprises?

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Tailoring Unified Communications to Fit Your Small Business

These 3 steps will ensure you get the right solution to meet your needs now—and in the future.

A unified communications (UC) solution means different things to different people. In a broad sense, it integrates your voice and data networks. It can show up as a simple integration of your email with your voicemail into a single messaging inbox. It can be far more complex with presence and instant messaging technologies, fax, SMS, video and web conferencing applications all tying employees together. Or, you can have a UC solution somewhere in between—one that is tailored specifically to the needs of your small business.

No matter which components you choose, all unified communications solutions offer the same benefits to your employees: they can reach one another on the first try, they can be more productive, and they can collaborate more effectively. As a result, UC can reduce network and communications costs.

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Innovation: Coke benefits from Cisco in the Warehouse with UC Voice Picking

April 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm PST

I was reminded by a colleague who visited the Promat 2011 event recently of a case study that catches the imagination whenever we talk about it. My colleague had met up with the folks from Datria at the event. Datria were showing the Cisco and Datria Unified Communications (UC) Voice Picking Solution that Coca-Cola Refreshments U.S.A. (CCR) uses (CCR used to be called Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. before acquisition) in 100 locations or more to date.

Coke fork-lift truck drivers Use these Cisco phones with headsets to pick products more accurately and drive more safely.

For years Coke used a manual pick system Then they moved to a semi-automated one that could deal with full pallets, but then, with more and more products being added, Coca-Cola Refreshments U.S.A (CCR) found that it needed a better system to handle mixed pallets and make less shipment errors. Enter Cisco and Datria.

Way back in 2007, CCR began looking for differentiating technologies, techniques and methodologies that would improve order accuracy. A combination of Cisco, Datria and SAP proved the best solution as CCR chose the Cisco and Datria Warehouse Unified Communications Voice Picking Solution.The benefits have proved phenomenal for CCR.

As their order profile changed CCR could no longer rely on a manual system to deal with mixed cases (80% of the order volume is now mixed pallets). CCR needed to have order accuracy rates of over 99.5% to get preferential supplier treatment from customers like Walmart. The Voice picking solution gives CCR 99.8% overall accuracy and 100% in some locations. And there’s more… Read More »

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Cisco Partner Tata Communications Takes TelePresence to the Cloud

March 23, 2011 at 10:33 am PST

Telepresence and videoconferencing services (both hosted and managed) will reach a whopping $1.2 billion(US) worldwide by 2016, according to ABI Research.

Cisco partner Tata Communications is riding that wave and shares insights in a recent FastChat video with MSPmentor Editorial Director Joe Panettieri.

In the video below, Joe interviews Greg Brophy, Director of Product Management at Tata. Greg shares ways that the company is using the cloud to help its customers connect globally using Cisco’s TelePresence technology. He also shares a recent customer win and what he sees are key trends among his customer base.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erszpHxrf8U&

Wondering how can you plug into Tata Communications’ infrastructure? Read More »

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