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From the Front Lines: How IT Is Taking Advantage of the Cloud Today

The cloud is here and here to stay. No one expects a wholesale move to the cloud overnight, but I’ve been hearing recently from numerous customers whose journeys are well underway, and some common themes are emerging as businesses explore various deployment models. Business agility, flexibility and balance sheet liquidity will drive cloud adoption, and, as the popularity of hybrid models increases, users will demand a seamless end-user experience between the cloud and on-premise systems.

A few weeks ago, I included these themes in my predictions about the future of cloud collaboration. This week I had the chance to speak with two Cisco customers about why issues such as flexibility, cost savings and user experience drove them to deploy cloud collaboration technologies and other cloud solutions. Sheila Jordan, senior vice president, communication and collaboration IT, co-hosted the discussion with me and offered her insights from an IT perspective. She also recapped the discussion, sharing some specific tips for how IT managers can best take advantage of the cloud.

John Jackson, vice president of global infrastructure and vendor management for D+M Group, said that he can relate easily to the prediction about business agility, flexibility and cost when thinking back to his company’s decision to move to the cloud. D+M Group employs people in several different operating divisions around the world and grew through a series of acquisitions, leaving the company to globalize shared-services IT team that did not previously exist. Read More »

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First Impressions: End User and IT Experiences

First impressions matter. Whether you’re trying to get a job, make a sale, or go on a second date, you know that the first things you do and say are critical. Studies say you have between 2 seconds and 2 minutes to make a first impression. When you download a new app for your tablet or phone, how much time does it have to make its first impression on you?

When IT departments make technology decisions, the path to end-user adoption is a key concern. The relative ease or difficulty of setting up and maintaining the back-end infrastructure or cloud service is one thing, but the means by which end users first experience the solution and get started using it is perhaps even more important.

IT needs products that are easy to roll out and that provide end users — their customers — with a delightful first impression. That’s why Cisco considers not just the end user experience and the IT administrator experience, but the places where they intersect, such as in the deployment of solutions to a large end-user community.

A tangible example of this attention to experience is Read More »

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Desktop Virtualization and Cloud: Fueling a New Collaborative Workspace and Creating a New User Experience

January 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm PST

Have you stopped to think about how much your desktop has evolved over the past 5 years? Many elements from it have evolved, some have disappeared, and others are still there as they were before. But why haven’t they all changed at the same pace? To me, the answer is in the quality of the experience those elements provide, and the possibility to have your full desktop environment on whatever device you choose.

Take, for example, the personal computer. For many of us, that device became mobile years ago without sacrificing much performance but adding a lot of convenience and new capabilities. Many of us use a smartphone and the availability of new touch-screen computing devices, such as tablets, have considerably changed the way many people interact with applications and information.

But it does not seem to me that we are looking at the “convergence” of those devices into one “universal device” that will replace all those three and deliver the features, capabilities, and convenience we enjoy from all three form factors. Why?

From the user experience perspective, the mobile revolution helped us to be “free” from fixed office locations but it did not provide ease of use, flexibility and capabilities for all the use case scenarios that traditional desktop accessories offer. Most users (me included) would struggle to Read More »

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Paper (and Other Things) That Come Alive #TomorrowStartsHere

December 10, 2012 at 6:40 am PST

Here is something fun you can do today with your smart phone or tablet. It’s an app that brings the Internet of Things alive from a newspaper or screen.

How to get it:

1. First, go grab a copy of today’s global Wall Street Journal and find the Cisco TOMORROW Starts Here ad, which is in the center of section A. ( From your computer, you can also print or view a copy of the ad.)

2. Download the Cisco app (available for iPhone, iPad and Android) from Cisco.com/app or from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

3. Start the app and touch the Wake up an Ad icon.

4. Press Start to wake up the ad.

(Again, if you don’t have the actual ad you can also print or view on the screen a copy of the ad from your computer.)

5. Point your phone or tablet at the ad

 

6. Choose “Newspaper Spread” when the translucent overlay appears.

7. Enjoy playing with the interactive experience!

We’ve gotten some fun comments from Cisco employees during the testing, including these two:

 SO cool! My kids actually watched the videos with me (ages 5-1/2 and 4); their verdict: “OOOH, look — the people are MOVING!!!”

Wow! It’s just like Hogwarts!”

Enjoy!

 

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 4): Is This the Year of VDI?

October 10, 2012 at 12:31 am PST

In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, EMC’s Craig Chapman (@virtualchappy) and WWT’s Joe Onisick (@jonisick) discuss the evolution of VDI, the business drivers of competing IT architectures, and keeping the core user experience front and center.

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

What’s your vote? Is this the year of VDI? Do you agree with Craig and Joe? Post a comment here, ping them on Twitter, follow @CiscoDC, join the conversation!

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