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Customer Spotlight: Idaho Transportation Department Creates Cohesive Communications Environment

While Idaho isn’t a very populous state, with only 1.5 million people, it stretches across 83,000 million square miles. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is responsible for all transportation-related efforts in that area, from highway construction to the Department of Motor Vehicles. But with only 1,800 employees, that can be a real challenge! As ITD employees crisscross the state to ensure all transportation is running smoothly, they rely on a host of communications tools to stay connected with the department headquarters in Boise and other workers on the road.

Despite the amount the customer relied on communications tools to function, the department didn’t actually have a unified communications environment. Instead, employees just used whatever communications tools were available, purchasing and deploying new tools as they needed them. The result was a hodgepodge of tools that didn’t all fit together well and made for both inefficient communication and negative financial repercussions.

To control costs and create an easy and cohesive communications infrastructure, ITD went looking for a unified communications (UC) environment to address the challenge. After an internal audit and careful research, ITD chose to deploy a suite of Cisco collaboration tools, which included voice, video, data communications, IP phones, a call management system, Cisco WebEx, and Cisco Jabber.

Now, all of ITD’s employees have a suite of communications tools that work together seamlessly, are user-friendly, and expand the opportunities for employees to collaborate. The UC environment has also reduced long-term IT costs for the department and given them a successful model of how to quickly and successfully roll-out new communications in the future.

To read more about how Idaho Transportation Department is reaping the rewards of their new UC environment, check out the full case study. You can also go here to learn more about how Cisco collaboration tools can help your agency.

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The Myth of Greenfield Technology Environments

This is part of a series on the evolution of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud platform, exploring the technical and design principles behind its unique architecture.

In the last post in this series, Jens Meggers talked about the huge importance of user experience, and how essential it is to simplify, connect, and delight. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is increasingly essential to delivering those three ingredients.

A true SaaS platform can provide continuous delivery, enabling rapid updates of software to make constant improvements on those ingredients. It also enables A/B testing and metrics-driven software development, which can ensure that the product is in fact delivering a great user experience.

The problem is that all of that works fine and well for companies that can get a complete collaboration solution from the cloud. But – the reality is – these types of greenfield environments are not all that common. Most companies have a huge amount of on-premises software. In fact, most of them have a huge amount of on-premises software that provides collaboration functionality. IP PBXs (like our own Unified Communications Manager), email servers, corporate directories – these all exist en-masse on-prem. And for many companies, these products work and work well, with quite a bit of life left in them. Consequently, even for a company that is excited about the user experience that SaaS can deliver, it’s not clear how to get there because they aren’t greenfield. Read More »

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Cisco Excels in Latest Gartner Telephony Reports

Thirteen is a lucky number for Cisco Collaboration.   For the 13th year in a row, Gartner shows Cisco as a leader in its 2015 Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony, positioning Cisco highest in execution and furthest in vision for corporate telephony among all eight vendors.

Gartner blog image _ Patty M _ 10_2015

Similarly, Cisco is also included in the Gartner Critical Capabilities in Corporate Telephony.  Released this week, the report takes a closer look into the eight vendors represented in the Telephony Magic Quadrant.  And in it, Cisco earns the highest product scores in 3 of 4 critical capabilities for telephony.

Some highlights from the Critical Capabilities report include Gartner giving Cisco the highest product score among all the vendors in the following 3 Use Cases: Read More »

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Cisco Products Receive Highest Scores in 3 of 4 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications

The evaluation is complete. And we think Cisco Unified Communications scored well. Very well, in fact. Just released, the 2015 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications is a product-centric overview of UC vendors.

The report digs deeper into the vendors represented in the 2015 Magic Quadrant for UC. In Gartner’s words, it’s “intended to help organizations define their requirements and select specific products that match their needs as aligned with one of the use cases.”

In the report, Gartner evaluates the effectiveness of vendors in addressing user needs in four primary use cases. Cisco received the highest product score in three out of the four:

  • Full UCC with Strong Telephony Requirement
  • Full UCC with Strong CollaborationRequirement
  • Ability to Offer Hybrid Solutions

Not to worry, Cisco UC scored third highest in “Ability to Work with Complementary Vendors.”

gartner telephony image 8_2015 Read More »

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Cisco Named as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2015

Cisco Unified Communications Delivers a Full Experience

As I read the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications by Bern Elliot and Steve Blood, August 10, 2015, one word stood out: full.

full:  adjective – not lacking or omitting anything; complete

It’s a word that Gartner mentions when describing leaders.

“Leaders have a full UC offering and strong market presence, and demonstrate success in the field. They have a strong presence in related markets to expand their footprint in UC. These vendors and their channel partners have experience delivering UC to a broad range of enterprise types and into most geographic regions.”

We believe our position as a leader for unified communications in this year’s report reflects that fullness. This is especially evident in our position as furthest to the right for “Completeness of Vision.”

cisco UC MQ blog - thomas mccafferty 8_2015 Read More »

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