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High Definition Video for the Masses

In my recent blog, From Cairo to Nairobi- Eye to Eye at the Touch of a Button, I explained how we are achieving massive cost savings and efficiencies at Cisco as a global organisation and more recently across the continent of Africa, thanks to immersive TelePresence.

In fact the vast majority of our sales force in Africa, 7 out of 10 employees, now have access to this flagship communication and collaboration tool at their local Cisco office. This means they can meet face to face in a life-size virtual meeting with colleagues, customers and partners across the globe without the need to travel, as if they were sat in the same meeting room just across the table from one another.  So what are we doing for the remaining 30% of employees on the continent who do not have access to this capability?

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5 Quick Video Interview Tips: Beginners Start Here


Need to conduct a quick interview for a blog post or press release. Use these tips to capture the sights and sounds needed to take your written content over the edge.

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Danish Network Operator Nianet Adds Video Conferencing via Cloud

With NAB in full swing this week, everyone is talking about delivering video services. Makes it a good time to discuss how Denmark - Nianet fiber networkCopenhagen (Denmark) based service provider Nianet has combined an extensive fiber deployment (100K+ km ) with a new investment in their IP network to offer video conferencing as a cloud service to business customers. For the small and medium sized business owner, you get big business productivity. Lease video conferencing on demand!

Nianet, which offers high-speed fiber communications throughout Denmark also distributes content from its sister company Waoo. They are now seeing the impact of companies increasingly producing their own video content, and therefore demanding faster and more symmetrical high speed data connections. The combination of fiber and high performance routers results in much faster speeds on both up and downstream.

Businesses have really taken video communication as an alternative to physical meetings, and the technology is now spreading also from dedicated telepresence rooms for desktops and mobile devices. This places greater demands on both up and downstream, and Nianet has chosen to expand its backbone with twelve Cisco ASR 9000 routers to meet the increasing traffic and quality needs.

We also offer video conferencing as a cloud service to companies that want to begin with HD video communications. It therefore becomes easier to implement a full videoconferencing setup since we provide the server space, management software and plenty of bandwidth,” says Rasmus Helmich, CEO of Nianet.

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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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IP SLA Video Operation Part 2 – How to use it? When to use it?

Last week, we introduced the new IP SLA Video Operation tool to assess the readiness of a network by generating synthetic traffic to mimic real applications. When you use IP SLA VO to generate simulated RTP traffic between two sites, you can use the medianet Performance Monitor feature to measure the performance of this synthetic traffic across the network. You can also use Mediatrace to discover the network elements on the paths between the two sites. For each network element discovered in the network path, Performance Monitor can collect metrics to detect potential capacity bottlenecks and proactively identify quality issues.

In addition to the obvious use for pre-deployment assessment, many enterprises understand that the network and applications are constantly changing so it is necessary to do continuous assessments. For example, after a major scheduled network maintenance or upgrade during non-business hours, you can use IP SLA VO to simulate real application traffic and assess the impact of the network changes to minimize potential business disruption or even downtime. Another example is prior to an important event, you can use IP SLA VO to stress test the network and verify that it can handle the rich media traffic without impacting existing application performance.

Whether you are doing an initial assessment for a new deployment, an expansion to an existing deployment, or ongoing operations, IPSLA VO, Performance Monitor and Mediatrace are effective tools to identify and proactively resolve rich media problems across the  network. Put this handy tool in your toolbox and you will like it.

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