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John Lewis Changes the Face of Shop Operations by Using Video

When John Lewis, a leading U.K. retailer, faced challenges with running its new, geographically distributed at home shops, Cisco IBSG knew that the problems could be solved through the innovative use of video technology. Within the retail industry, video collaboration has historically been regarded as a head-office capability, with the notion that video and mobile technology at the shop level were both too expensive to implement and too complex to use. This was an opportunity to prove otherwise and create a retail industry first.

 Maggie Porteous, head of at home for John Lewis, was challenged with helping the new teams get to know the new shop format and with bringing them together to share learnings and improve operations. And while she wanted the dispersed shop teams to be able to work together, frequent travel was time-consuming, costly, and, most important, meant time away from serving customers. 

 Working with John Lewis CIO Paul Coby, we chose two critical concepts to pilot for the core retail use cases:

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Reinventing the TV Experience

As the eyes of the world focus on London for the next two weeks, we expect to see a significant amount of media coverage around the role social media and online viewing are playing in shifting TV viewing habits.  Cisco is helping reinvent that TV experience with our Videoscape platform, which provides the technology to create a personalized and interactive multiscreen experience. We’re also a partner of NBC in a pretty cool demonstration around the future of TV at the Olympics.

This week, Cisco’s David Hsieh and Yoav Schreiber hosted a webcast to discuss how shifting consumer media consumption habits are having an impact on the business models of everyone in the business. They also delve into how Videoscape is allowing content owners, aggregators and service providers to compete in the emerging multi-screen market.

Check out the webcast here.

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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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