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Key Technologies Shaping the UC&C Landscape

August 13, 2013 at 9:22 am PST

This is the third post in a series from Dimension Data and Cisco Channels looking at user adoption and integration of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Findings stem from Dimension Data’s 2013 Global UC&C Survey, developed with ICT researcher Ovum and featuring responses from more than 2,700 participants in 18 countries across 20 vertical industries.

In a previous blog post based on this research, we heard that selling UC&C solutions had to be less about ‘flashy’ technology and more about a productive user experience. In this latest entry, Gavin Hill, Technology Director for Unified Communications and Networking at Dimension Data spoke with us about the evidence that the implementation of some technologies is no longer the end goal in UC&C but have become a ‘ticket to the game’.

“Part of the reason we ran the survey, was to find out what buyers and end-users thought would have the biggest influence on the UC&C landscape going forward. From the survey results, it was evident that video, instant messaging and presence weren’t considered priorities anymore,” said Hill.

He went on to explain, “From what we see in this space everyday, we believe that organizations now expect these capabilities to be embedded in UC&C technologies as a standard.  Read More »

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The Use and Impact of Social Media: A Blog Post

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In recent years, social media has become the staple of communication. I remember when I was only about 11 years old and I first discovered the wonder of Myspace. This tool (the first of its kind) led the way to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Social media opened up a whole new world of opportunity and how people communicate with each other and even businesses. However, the power of social media comes with a price if you do not know how to use it. That is why, when it comes to social media, a person must realize who their audience is and what they would like to portray. There are a few key points when deciding to use social media as a platform of communication:

  • Start with listening to your audience and observing their activity prior to engagement.
  • Create a strategic Social Media plan.
  •  It is also important to set goals that you want to achieve overall and pay attention to how social media plays into these goals that you have.
  • Set goals that map your overall objectives (personal/professional use).

When you’re using social media for personal use, you may have a different audience and a different reason for your posts than if you were using social media for professional use, where your views are projected onto the organization as a whole. In a professional setting, social media can be used as a tool for an organization to communicate with their customers. Customers may use this tool to express to the organization how much their products/services do for them, or possibly what they don’t do for them. There are also people who use social media purely to induce negativity, and they will be around no matter the platform. They are called “trolls” and it is best to avoid them and to pay them no attention.

Whether you choose to use your platform for business or personal use, it is always necessary to remember these tips:

  • Remember that whatever you post is most likely accessible to others as well.
  • What you post can end up on search engines and on other people’s news and activity feeds.

These have been the most important lessons that I have learned in my experience and utilization of social media. Listen, create a plan, set goals and be aware of your audience and the content that you are posting. These days where there seems to be a “no limits” attitude with sharing information, which has in turn caused people or businesses a lot of trouble. What important lessons have you learned about social media? Are there any mistakes that you’ve made on a social media platform that caused you problems? What advice would you like to give others on their usage of social media? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Think Of UC&C Like You Would ERP

This is the second post in a monthly series from Dimension Data and Cisco Channels looking at user adoption and integration of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Findings stem from Dimension Data’s 2013 Global UC&C Survey, developed with ICT researcher Ovum and featuring responses from more than 2,700 participants in 18 countries across 20 vertical industries.

In last month’s post, we talked about how sales of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) need to be less about flashy technology and more about the user experience – “one size” UC&C sales definitely do not fit all types of customers.

To Scott Cruikshank, director, converged communications, North America for Dimension Data, it goes even deeper than that.

“UCC is not a technology,” Scott says. “It is about improving communication and business process by leveraging technology tools. If we take a technology-first approach, we tend to look only at a particular silo of the UCC stack or limited applications for the technology.”

Read More »

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Smart Trade: Cisco Is Helping Revolutionize Legacy Trade Practices Around the World

Trade (also known as “commerce,” “financial transaction,” and “barter,” among other terms) involves the transfer of ownership for goods and services from one person or entity to another by receiving something in exchange from the buyer. A network that allows trade is called a market.

Trade originated with the start of communication in prehistoric times. Trading was the main facility of prehistoric people, who bartered goods and services long before the introduction of modern-day currency. Peter Watson traces the history of long-distance commerce to 150,000 years ago (source: The Mediterranean in History, David Abulafia, Getty Publications, 2011).

Practices in modern cross-boundary/country trade have remained relatively static for the past 150 years. The only widespread implementation of technology to facilitate trade has been the advent of phone, fax, and (since 2002) EDI – Electronic Data Interchange (source: “Integration of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): A Review,” Gengeswari, K. and Abu Bakar Abdul Hamid). More recently, widespread use of email has augmented phone- and fax-based communications.

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More mobile devices than people by the end of 2013 – is your business prepared?

By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per person. As the consumption of mobile devices increases, so does the need for businesses to change the way they work to reap the benefits. Investment in IT is vital if businesses are to take full advantage of new ways of working – with the best tools and solutions to achieve high levels of workforce connectivity.

The increase in mobile devices creates a great opportunity for businesses. A workforce using mobile devices allows for flexible working practices and more freedom to work whenever, wherever, making the workforce better connected. 82% of visitors to the Cisco Jabber Hub say improved productivity is a direct result of a better connected workforce. Better connections mean quicker decisions are made, improving employee response rates and decision making speed.

Businesses need to address the IT challenges of created by mobility and invest in the most suitable solutions for their business. Unified Communication solutions like Cisco Jabber integrate voice, video, instant messaging, presence, voice messaging and conferencing capabilities. It allows staff to choose the most suitable tools for their needs. This means the workforce can be productive from anywhere, on any device. Read More »

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