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Video Conferencing is Free and Seamless in WebEx Meetings

In WebEx Meetings, we have a feature that allows you to video conference that easily mimics the ebb and flow of natural conversation. We call it Active Speaker.

Get your free WebEx Meetings account today.

Active Speaker pushes the video image of the person speaking to lead position so you can actually follow the conversation via webcam. This means the person talking is the one you see featured.

This works especially well in theatre mode. In the screen shot below, you can see Wolfe Blizter’s video image is featured above the others because he’s the one talking (this was during a CNN election event earlier in the year). In this case he has four other guests (you can get up to six*) shown in the view. As you talk, the featured adapts and changes to show who is talking (watch this video to learn more).

This is a fun, lively way to host an online discussion – with everyone engaged using their web cams. Now you can let the conversation take the lead – brainstorm, negotiate, laugh.

Once you get your account, be sure to turn on your camera.

When you start your meeting, Read More »

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Cisco Unified Communications 9.0 – Bridging Systems to Connect Collaboration Experiences

Interoperability. This is a broadly used term in the industry, and at Cisco, we often talk about it in the technical context of the IT stack. However, let’s take a step back and focus on what we want to achieve through interoperability—connecting the right collaboration experiences to the right devices and users.

With Cisco Unified Communications (UC) 9.0 we deliver a series of enhancements that bridge systems, resulting in increased interoperability to enable these critical collaboration experiences.

Many of you are familiar with email-style calling, aka URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) dialing, available if you use our current Cisco TelePresence endpoints. With Cisco UC 9.0, you can now use URI dialing beyond video endpoints. Choose whatever you prefer—an email address or phone number—to Read More »

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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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