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New Year’s Resolution: Digital Diet

January 11, 2013 at 10:15 am PST

Today’s students are connected. This past holiday break, I was reminded just how much Gen Y (18-30 year olds) requires anytime access to the tools in their life.

I came to the realization that board games and cards may become a thing of the past.    If you don’t have a smartphone and/or tablet, you’re considered old school.  I do have one of the two so I’m only half old school.  Smartphones and technology have come a long way.  I still have a bunch of physical maps in my car from when I first moved to California.  I honestly don’t remember the last time I touched that stack of maps with built in navigation and point to point map applications in my phone that’ll take me where I need to go without having to plan the physical route myself beforehand. Read More »

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Reinventing Wealth Management with Technology-Enabled Video Services

The wealth management industry continues to face many challenges as it recovers from the financial crises of the past few years. And while financial markets have recovered most of their losses since 2008, investor confidence has not yet returned and volatility remains high.

Against this backdrop, investors now have access to a wide variety of investment information online, including analyst research, detailed company and sector financial reports, and data visualization tools previously available only to financial advisers. The combination of poor market performance, availability of information, and low-cost business models that put the investor in control are calling into question the fundamental value proposition of wealth management firms and their financial advisers.

To better understand the mind-set of wealthy investors, we conducted our first wealth management survey in January 2011. An important finding was uncovering a relatively young wealthy investor group we called “Wealthy Under-50s.”

As we shared the findings with our customers, new questions arose including:

  •  Is there a desire for technology-enabled interactions among younger wealthy investors?
  • Given that many clients value face-to-face meetings with their advisers, how often would they use a high-quality video option?
  • Is there a “right way” to deploy technology-enabled services and capabilities?
  • Would video services convince wealthy investors with no adviser to hire one?
  • What are the main barriers to the adoption of technology-enabled services?

To answer these questions and provide additional insights about wealthy investors, we conducted our second survey 18 months later, in April 2012.  The findings show rapidly shifting attitudes about wealth management and technology-enabled services. Specifically, we found:

  • After only 18 months, the behaviors and attitudes of the Under-50s in the first survey now extend up to age 55 (“Wealthy Under-55s”).
  • Although Wealthy Under-55s meet more often with their financial advisers, they are less satisfied with those interactions than older investors.
  • Wealthy Under-55s want more personalized investment recommendations, access to more diverse opinions and expertise, and more frequent access to their financial advisers than they currently receive.
  • Wealthy Under-55s believe that technology-enabled services that feature video-enabled access to financial advisers would provide them with better advice and more satisfying interactions than they receive right now.
  • Wealthy Under-55s are much more willing to change advisers.  Twenty-percent of them indicated they were likely to change their primary adviser in the next year, compared to only 4 percent of investors over the age of 55.

And perhaps most important for financial services firms looking to capture a share of this market, Wealthy Under-55s are willing to move at least some of their assets to firms that provide these services (57 percent in the United States, 54 percent in Germany, and 51 percent in the United Kingdom). Read More »

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Four Virginia Universities Give Telepresence an A+

November 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm PST

Educators have put telepresence to the test and it’s passed with honors.

In 2011, four Virginia universities joined together with one objective--to transform higher education.

The partnership, dubbed 4-VA, includes members from George Mason University, James Madison University, University of Virginia and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The 4-VA’s goals are admirable and ambitious: To make higher education more affordable, expand the number of degrees awarded in the state and strengthen member institutions--individually and collectively.

Almost a year after inception, the consortium has made serious headway on its  mission to revolutionize Virginia’s higher education system through collaboration technologies. This is a great video on the program:

How’d they do it’? The crux of its success was the ability to leverage resources across all four campuses. With Cisco TelePresence, members can easily share instructional and academic resources via high-definition, real-time video that creates a life-like setting. Read More »

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Telepresence in the World of Many Clouds

As my colleague Roberto De La Mora recently wrote, the cloud is the place to collaborate in today’s business world. Whether your organization needs private, public or hybrid cloud environments, Cisco and our broad network of partners can provide solutions that best suit your business needs.

And what if your collaboration needs include telepresence? Where does telepresence fit into the cloud?

With Cisco, telepresence fits into your cloud infrastructure wherever and however you need it. According to Forrester, “videoconferencing innovation today is geared toward extending connectivity…through cloud-based services or new lower-cost on-premises deployment models.”

Read More »

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The Power of Video Collaboration – Driving Business Growth, Innovation, and Productivity

A recent industry announcement affirms how important video communication is to the future of business-to-business collaboration.  As the global market share leader in telepresence and video collaboration solutions, we have always been firm believers that video calling should be as easy and ubiquitous as making phone calls.  We are highly encouraged by innovations that seek to spur user scale while simultaneously reducing costs and enabling new customers to experience the transformative power that only this technology can deliver.

In order to deliver on this vision and to extend the power of video collaboration to more people, Cisco has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy that is already producing results for end users.

Read More »

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