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Identity Management: It’s About You, Not Your STB.

In an age where we routinely view content on our STBs, laptops and handheld devices, service providers are revisiting a fundamental issue – how to define their subscriber base. For decades, subscribers have been associated with the STB sitting in their homes. But as subscribers watch content on an ever-broader range of devices, that model is creeping into obsolescence.

Cisco’s Videoscape Identity Management platform offers service providers a means of managing subscribers that reflects the new reality. The model is oriented toward the subscribers themselves; the devices they use for viewing are no longer integral to their identity. Conceptually untethering subscribers from their devices has a liberating effect on the user experience: the content they have on one device can be viewed on another, and as far as subscribers are concerned, it matters not all at what that device is, what room of their house it’s in, or even where in the world they are. They can even pause what they’re viewing on one device and resume playback from the exact same point on a different device.

Looking at things from a service provider perspective, the newfound ability to target subscribers individually on any device opens a world of monetization opportunities, either by providing entirely new services or enhancing existing features. Below are six new features service providers can offer subscribers as a result of this shift: Read More »

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Videoscape + Cloud Services = Cisco SaaS Advantage

At CES this year we announced the expansion of Videoscape to the cloud. By launching Videoscape Cloud Software and Videoscape Cloud Services, we are empowering our customers with flexibility and agility to provision and scale infrastructure on demand, service velocity to introduce new functionality more rapidly, and cost optimization from more manageable and predictable cost structures.

For some of you, reading about Cisco + Cloud Software is nothing new; Videoscape is yet another example of how we are taking our industry proven and robust software capabilities and making them available for implementation as cloud software applications. Been there, done that.

Yet we have raised some eyebrows with Cisco + Cloud Services. What experience does Cisco have delivering software as a service (SaaS), and what service provider video/media entertainment provider expertise do we have operating SaaS models?

In today’s blog, I will answer the question of why our customers should feel confident with Cisco as their Cloud Services partner by pointing to Cisco’s established SaaS leadership as well as our domain expertise in the service provider video and media/entertainment space. In a follow up blog, I will address Read More »

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Putting the User Experience First at Enterprise Connect

Today in my keynote at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, I talked about what really matters -- the user experience with collaboration.  And, when you look at the experience that’s offered today, and you talk to end users, you realize today’s tools do not match the way people want to work.

People today want the collaboration experience to be as good on the go as it is in the office. They want it to be simple, incredibly intuitive and work across just about any device they care to use, from the boardroom to the browser and everywhere in between.

Our mission is to get amazing yet affordable collaboration into the hands of more people.  We are working on this every day.  Our recent announcement—the single biggest refresh our video portfolio has ever seen—is just one example of how we’re doing that. But, we’re not just looking at how Cisco can change the game. We are always looking at other companies that have a similar mindset and trying to see how we can do great things together.

Today, I had the pleasure of being joined onstage by Rajen Sheth of Google. We announced an exciting collaboration that I think Read More »

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Reimagining Collaboration: Using Video as the Currency for Trust

At Enterprise Connect this week, I will be hosting the session “Use Video Collaboration as a Tool to Become a Trusted Advisor to Your Business.” I will be joined by Jeremy Stubbs, VP of business development from Sabre Holdings, and Matt Benefiel, Chief Court Administrator from the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. In addition to these panelists, you will hear first hand from two customers about the video collaboration strategies they’ve used to differentiate themselves by strengthening trust relationships.

Using video collaboration to help build trust with colleagues, customers and partners has been my passion for most of the past decade. What better way to make a deep connection than to look at someone in the eyes and say, “I’ve got you covered.” Short of being physically in the room and shaking hands when you say this, high-definition video is today the most effective communications tool to impart this message.

The set of technologies we’re introducing this week is all about making video collaboration so compelling that trust and confidence can be easily exchanged – and at every level, not just the corner office. As Rowan Trollope says in a previous post, we’re “reimagining collaboration.” What this means is we’re making video more consumable:  easier to use and access, offering the right quality and features for business efficacy, and more affordable so that they can extend to every part of the organization and companies of all sizes. Read More »

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Keep It Simple: Collaboration Lessons from Coaching Kids

Andy blog - soccer imageAs an enthusiastic football (U.S. translation: soccer) fan, I watch my two young sons playing youth-football every week. Not surprisingly it was only a matter of time before someone asked me to help coach. To keep up the pretence I actually knew something about football; I started scanning around for coaching tips and drills.  After a while I came across an e- book called “KISS: Keep it Simple Soccer: How to coach youth soccer” by John Fraher.

In it is a quote from legendary Dutch footballer, Ruud Krol:  “Michels [coach] taught us always that simple football is the best. It is also very difficult to play simple football.”

This got me thinking about the oft-quoted business principle “Keep It Simple, Stupid” and how it applies to collaboration technologies.

I’ve only been focused on marketing midsize collaboration solutions for a few months. Already I’m delighted by stories I hear from our customers talking about how our solutions enable their teams to work in new and exciting ways.

But I occasionally hear people say things like, “that’s all great for large enterprises, but it’s too complex” or “it’s not affordable for small to medium sized businesses.”

Well, the good news is that is not the case. We’re simplifying things.  And there are many examples of smaller organizations using collaboration technology to bring people together, with amazing results.  Take Switzerland’s 60-employee Intercantonal Reinsurance, which is seeing a 10-20% improvement in employee efficiency with Cisco Business Edition 6000.

I’ve worked in midsized businesses for a large part of my career. The relevance of collaboration technology and the opportunities it offers for growing businesses are just as great as for larger enterprises – if not greater. Read More »

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