Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

Cisco Helps NxtGn and Telarix Deliver IPv6-enabled Video Solution

We’ve talked about how the Internet is forecast to carry a million minutes of video every second in the next few years, and how Cisco’s Elastic Core solution will help the core infrastructure carry that load. But a scalable and flexible core is only one piece of the puzzle that network operators need. Who else is helping to make a video-centric future a reality?

One place to look is a solution that’s been developed by Miami, FL based NxtGn and Virginia-based Telarix. We wrote about NxtGn’s affiliate Next Communications last year, they’ve been successful in wholesale voice communications, in part due to in-house technology paired with an off-the-shelf Cisco ASR 1000 router performing Session Border Control functionality. Packing a softswitch and an SBC that can handle 16K voice or HD video calls in half a rack has enabled them to minimize their costs in a relatively low-margin market. Telarix isn’t as well known outside of the carrier market – they specialize in what is known as “interconnect business optimization” – basically the back-office components to handle billing, auditing, and traffic routing between carriers. While the concept of billing and auditing might make your eyes glaze over, if carriers can’t figure out how to bill for services rendered you can imagine they view that as a really bad thing.

What NxtGn and Telarix have Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

What the Holiday Season is All About – Cisco Connects the North Pole to Children’s Hospitals

Throughout the years, I’ve been able to witness some great examples of technology’s ability to connect people when it really matters.  Now, with Christmas lights everywhere and the holiday season upon us, it’s the time of year where wishes really do come true.  And no one is better suited to spread holiday cheer than Santa himself – that’s why Cisco established the Santa Connection program.

   
In its sixth year, the program aims to connect Santa with young patients unable to leave the hospital and allows them to “virtually” visit Santa. Through Santa Connection, Cisco engineers set up Cisco TelePresence solutions via iPad, laptop or cart in children’s hospitals across the globe. These children are then able to share their Christmas wishes with the man himself “in-person” over high-definition video and Santa’s elves are on hand in the hospital to give gifts.  What a great way to put smiles on children’s faces. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Santa uses Cisco Technology to Visit Sick Children

Has your child visited with Santa yet?  Then you know the excitement of hearing that jolly laugh and the “Ho Ho Ho” that accompanies Santa’s twinkling eyes.  But, what about the children who are hospitalized over the holidays and unable to visit with Santa at the local mall?

Santa uses Cisco video solutionsDuring December, Santa is using Cisco video collaboration technologies to visit children at 31 children’s hospitals throughout the US.  The hospitals use iPads with Jabber, video monitors, and webcams in hospital playrooms to connect children with Santa at his North Pole workshop.  Cisco TelePresence mobile carts are wheeled into hospital rooms so that children who are confined to their rooms can share holiday wish lists with Santa and get updates on their favorite reindeer.

Now in its 6th year, the Cisco Santa Connection allows Santa to remotely connect with hospitalized children, many of whom would not otherwise have been able to see Santa. Cisco is proud to be able to touch the lives of these children with the hope and happiness of a personalized visit with Santa using Cisco technologies.

Read about Santa’s first virtual stop at Children’s of Alabama and view the full list of participating children’s hospitals.

Tags: , , ,

Satisfied Customers Aren’t Necessarily Loyal Customers

Retention Trumps Satisfaction

For about a decade, JD Power and Associates has been asking consumers to rate their satisfaction with insurance companies on a simple scale of 1-5. This summer, a study of the auto insurance industry found satisfaction, as measured by this simple survey, to be at an all-time high (2012 U.S. Auto Insurance Study).

Logic might suggest that high customer satisfaction should yield high retention and less price sensitivity, but as is often the case, reality is more complex. It turns out that satisfaction is mere table stakes, and retention is a much more difficult job. Other factors, such as choice of channel and bundling or cross-selling, contribute much more directly to loyalty than this simple score from 1-5 indicates.

In general, today’s consumer wants to use convenient channels such as Web and mobile for simple, low value transactions such as making a payment or updating an address. Those channel preferences shift however, as complexity increases and a more high value interaction with a knowledgeable professional is required. There is very often a point at which a personal, face to face interaction is by far the most efficient way to complete a transaction.

Preferred Channel Service

Source: JD Power & Associates, 2012 U.S. Auto Insurance Study

Today’s insurance buyers must choose between a direct channel insurer where the customer experience is based on Web and phone interactions, and the traditional agency channel based on relationship and face to face (or at least one to one via phone) interaction. The gap between these two models is wide. Neither model currently spans the array of channel choice and interaction model necessary to provide both convenience and intimacy. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Personal Telepresence Expands Capabilities with Cisco Unified Communications Integration

There are a lot of things possible with just a touch of a finger, including video collaboration, thanks to the Cisco TelePresence EX Series. Since its inception, this family of personal telepresence solutions for the desktop has enabled employees to instantly collaborate face-to-face, whether separated by a hallway, a street, or several time zones. Now, tighter integration with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) brings rich telephony features to the popular EX Series for a powerful voice and video solution.

The EX Series is simple to deploy and creates an in-person experience right from your desktop, so that you can enable faster decision making, enhance relationships and improve efficiency. It also seamlessly integrates with CUCM so you can more easily collaborate, for example receive and retrieve voicemail on your EX system, or receive telepresence calls on your mobile phone and then transfer the call to the EX once you return to the office. These and other rich telephony features are now available as a CUCM software upgrade (TE 6.0) for the EX Series.

Check out the video below and see how you can streamline your communications and start reaping the rewards.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,