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Meeting Hell: Stop Wasting Time

April 24, 2012 at 7:54 am PST

Like most business leaders, my most precious asset is time – and when I look at my schedule I’m spending about 80% of my time in meetings.  Some studies suggest the average knowledge worker spends around half their time in meetings.  When I measure my own personal productivity, by definition, there’s no more important place to look than these meetings.

We’ve all been in “meeting hell,” where we’re asking basic questions like, “Who called this meeting?” or  “What’s the agenda?” or “What are we trying to accomplish here?”

If you’ve ever asked these or similar questions during meetings, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Increased collaboration means increased interaction with others, which means more meetings. And, with more work being done collaboratively and in virtual settings, often with people in different time zones or even different countries with whom you haven’t spent a lot of time face to face, imagine the opportunities to be more effective. That’s why it’s absolutely essential for your teams to systematically make the most of your time together.

It’s a great feeling when you conclude a highly productive meeting--wouldn’t it be great if you could dramatically increase the productivity of all your meetings? With this goal in mind, we developed what we call the Clarity of Purpose model for meeting management, which involves four straightforward steps meeting owners can take to ensure collaborative sessions of any kind are as productive as possible.

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A Sneak Peak Behind the 2012 GRAMMY Awards

One of the tacit benefits of working for a technology provider is the access it provides to cool events. Like the 2012 GRAMMY Awards.

Here’s how it came down: Our esteemed partner, AEG Digital Media, needed a way to stream and monetize its production of GRAMMY Live, a three-day webcast covering exclusive events, parties, and red carpet interviews.

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New Age of Broadcast

It will not come as a surprise to anyone in the world of media and entertainment that we’re in a new age of broadcast. Take for a moment the success of premium video-on-demand portals over the last several years, like Hulu and Netflix, which indicate there is a viable market opportunity for long- tail content. Do you find that you are sitting on a library of content, but how do you tap into this revenue opportunity?

OK, you decide you want to be able to offer your library to your customers. Guess what they want to watch television when they want, and where they want—old and new content. But the road to what has been called TV Everywhere is littered with varying formats, new specifications and conflicting brands. Can you turn those vaults of older content into revenue? We believe that absolutely you can and are investing to research and development to make it possible.

When working on household projects we often hear how important it is to have the right tool for the job. Preparing media for TV Everywhere is really no different. For example, technology such as the Cisco Transcode Manager (CTM) gives you the right tools to turn your content library into on demand content for TV Everywhere. Whether you have hours of movies, television shows or broadcast content, you need a solution that can perform reliably, address your most strict requirements, and scale with your business. Cisco’s suite of Videoscape products and solutions also provides the ability to do just that (along with quite a few other capabilities).

Follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPVideo for the latest announcements and updates on Cisco and video.

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Cisco Pulse gets a pulse on the 2012 GOP debates: the power of voice recognition for video search

We collectively watch over 3 billion hours of video a month on YouTube alone.  And it’s not just crazy kitty antics or babbling babies:  among my video-related tasks this week, I learned how to change a faucet, caught up on some interesting TED talks, and reviewed the latest product meeting for an upcoming release.

Each of these required searching for videos, which for most of us means hunting and pecking. At best, we sort video by tags that someone has manually selected, and then drag the video scroll bar back and forth until we find the information we need.  Can you say, “time consuming”?

Another thing that some regard as time consuming, yet a civic duty, is listening to political debates.  Over the past nine months, the GOP candidates met head to head in over 20 debates to discuss a wide range of topics. But for viewers who weren’t able to tune in for each 90-minute debate …  imagine being able to instantly find every clip of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney talking about “immigration,” or to automatically parse each debate and identify who spoke about the “Supreme Court,” the “constitution,” or the “auto industry.”

With Cisco Pulse, Cisco’s video analytics solution, we used voice recognition to analyze each of the last four Republican debates. From January 19th through February 22nd, these debates featured the Republican candidates at the time: Romney, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Representative Ron Paul. (For a fascinating drill-down of what was said vs. what was reported, check out this blog from ActionNugget, a marketing insights firm.)

This is more than just speech-to-text technology. Using a Cisco voice recognition engine, Pulse is able to sort each video by top keywords and speakers. That means you can jump instantly to the specific segment of video you need, or browse entire libraries of video by content or speaker, instead of just manually entered tags. You can instantly see the top keywords for each video … who said what in context. The infographic below provides a snapshot of the findings from Cisco Pulse – a summary of topics from each debate and who said what.

(click for larger interactive image)

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Recognizing Communities Around the World: Part 1

During the past several years I have had the great opportunity to work with the  leaders from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the annual Community Policing Awards (CPA).  

For the 14th year, IACP and Cisco are proud to celebrate and pay tribute to departments worldwide practicing the community policing philosophy. These departments bring change, address crime and terrorism, and make their communities safe places to live, work, and play.

Please help us spread the word and encourage others to share their success.  The application deadline is midnight EST on June 3, 2012.

Community policing organizations from around the world can apply now for the opportunity to be recognized for the ways it has made public safety a priority through the use of collaboration, crime prevention, and partnership formation. Winners will be honored at the 2012 IACP Annual Conference in San Diego, CA.

The Chiefs leading the CPA committee are dedicated and each your do a great job recognizing the winners and also sharing best practices during a session at IACP.  Last year was fantastic and we expect IACP 2012 in San Diego to be even better! 

Please let me know if you know any communities that deserve to be recognized. 

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