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Expanding Business Video: What IT thinks about

Business video projects are highly visible and, if well planned, can showcase the strategic value of IT to your organization. Many organizations plan to eventually adopt multiple Business Video tools, such as:

  • Telepresence for collaboration, interviewing, and sharing centralized experts with customers;
  • Conferencing for team meetings and customer training;
  • Digital signage for advertising and employee news; and,
  • Internal web portals for training videos on demand.

When you begin considering just how using video in these ways can transform your business, it is important to understand the impact it will have on IT.  Engaging with a strong service partner like Cisco will help you to identify the architectural considerations as you plan, build and manage these projects. Read More »

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Network Effects Video Documentary – Transmedia Storytelling

Over the past year we’ve been (quietly) working on a video documentary that has nothing to do with Cisco products, solutions, launches or events. Our goal was to use storytelling and video imagery to showcase the amazing impact that the telecom network is having on the socio-economic status of communities around the world. Through the work of local service providers, community leaders, and dedicated volunteers the changes are phenomenal to witness.

We enlisted the help of Dr. Steven Shepard of USC’s Institute for Communications Technology Management program to narrate the videos. Dr. Shepard shared some wisdom from his 25 years of experience as  a veteran of the telecommunications industry, networking and education. He traveled with us and interviewed telecom executives from various businesses, as well as many interesting characters he happened upon during the journey. Six videos were created for the series.

  1. Network Effect
  2. Pioneers of the Network
  3. A Network Built for Mom
  4. Reaching the Unreachable
  5. Phone Company In a Box
  6. Looking Forward

We invite you to watch this documentary during its television broadcast debut exclusively on ShortsTV.  (This channel is currently only available to subscribers of AT&T U-verse and DirectTV.) Once the promotion is completed (at the end of July), the documentary will be available on YouTube. As a sneak peak, here is one of the episodes.

A Catalyst for Social Change

The stories told are great examples of an aspect of social media that is often missing – social impact, changing lives, empowering people to be their best. These stories go beyond individual products, or solutions but dive into the power of being connected. A stone mason whose neighbors skip meals one day a week to pay for a satellite dish to promote his business. Delivering reading lessons via SMS to teach young women to read thereby enabling them to get better jobs. Thousands of micro-businesses increased sales over 30 percent while reducing costs because of access to telephony services housed in shipping containers. Hearing the impact and creativeness of those who use the telecom network is what drove our mission.

As these videos evolved we used our Connected Life Exchange (CLE) blog to promote the series.  We started CLE  for the purpose of experimenting with the then new transmedia multi-platform storytelling approach to communication. In March, CLE was selected as the runner-up finalist for Best Corporate Blog by B2B magazine.

Clearly this type of multimedia storytelling, editorial essays, and the ability to make human connections, without a self-promotional agenda, is the best example of authentic social marketing in action.  BtoB Magazine remarked:

“The whole package is refreshingly non-promotional and often fascinating. Cisco continues to innovate in the suddenly red-hot field of content marketing with an approach to thought leadership that emphasizes actual thinking”

What examples of inspirational story telling have you seen? Do you think a more subtle approach is better at reaching your target audience? When is it best used, and why?

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Consumers Are Ready for Omnichannel Banking—What About Banks?

Have you  walked into a retail store lately and seen someone use his or her phone to “scan” a product’s bar code to get immediate access to reviews from consumers who have bought the product? This customer might also (to the chagrin of retail store owners) be looking for cheaper prices offered online or in a physical store around the corner!

This is the new “omnichannel” reality that retailers have to face nowadays—one where virtual and physical channels come together to enable in-store access to web-based customer reviews and price comparisons, while also taking some physical store capabilities to the virtual channel (for example, Remote Deposit Capture in banking). Read More »

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Video Helps Schools Reach and Teach Students More Effectively— Despite Tighter Budgets

By Joel Barbier, Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Educators face a number of challenges, from increased pressure to improve student performance on standardized tests to shrinking state and local budgets. In addition, instructors are leaving their classrooms for better opportunities, and students’ learning skills are tuned more to social media and new technologies than to traditional educational models. These challenges require that institutions transform the way they retain talent—and the way they reach and teach students.

Although they have used recorded videos for many years to introduce new experiences to students, and some have started employing web-based video technologies to save travel costs, most educational institutions do not understand the critical role video can play in scaling resources to improve education quality despite budget constraints. Read More »

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Where Cloud and BYOD Meet, Opportunities Abound for Service Providers

The explosive growth of mobility has had a transformative impact in recent years. Increasingly, it is viewed not just as an industry force but as an overall economic lever, driving expansion on a GDP level.

This was a core theme of the 2012 Canadian Telecom Summit, which I attended last week in Toronto. Certainly, Canada itself is a prime example, and there was much discussion about the vital role mobile video and data have played as key enablers in Canada’s economy as a whole.

My presentation and panel at the Summit focused on the opportunities afforded to service providers by this unbridled appetite for mobility, especially from a business-to-business perspective. In particular, I discussed the intersection between cloud and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement. This evolution, I believe, will be a critical catalyst, ensuring the continuation of mobility-driven productivity and economic growth.

The fact is, service-provider-delivered business-to-business cloud services have not Read More »

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