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Transform the Way Your School Collaborates with New Service Models

After more than 15 years of working in the telecommunications and IT industries, I’ve seen firsthand how people use technology to make a difference and change lives. While there are innovative uses of technology across all industries, nothing continues to impress me more than how collaboration technologies are reinventing education.

As we’ve seen time and time again technologies like video and mobile devices are enhancing 21st century learning. But no matter what technology schools and educators are using, the delivery of services matters. Thanks to the cloud, schools can deploy advanced collaboration technologies with increased financial and operational flexibility.

With Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), organizations can implement unified communication applications while saving money by switching from a capital expenditure model to an operational expenditure model. The flexibility of the cloud enables customers to accelerate rollouts, improve business agility, lower maintenance and utility costs all while continuously delivering services.

Take for example Perspectives Charter Schools, which serves more than 2,300 students across several Chicago communities. When Perspectives Charter Schools made the shift from an on-premise unified communications system to a cloud collaboration solution they lowered monthly costs, simplified system maintenance and improved administrative efficiency. With Cisco HCS, Perspectives’ monthly bill is now 25 percent less than their previous monthly costs for phone lines, maintenance, software support contracts and repairs. But while the total cost of ownership for communications has dropped, the quality of services hasn’t. The schools have added new collaboration capabilities such as voicemail-to-email and single number reach help make staff members more accessible.

And they’re not the only ones…

Alamance-Burlington School System in North Carolina made the same shift from on-premise to the cloud for voice services and experienced much of the same benefits. With Cisco HCS they’ve lowered the overall cost of their voice system by eliminated the need for one connection for each school and freeing up the IT team. Not only are they saving money, they are also increasing collaboration. The switch to the cloud gave students and faculty access to more advanced collaboration capabilities such as video and instant messaging.

Alamance-Burlington School System and Perspectives Charter Schools’ use of Cisco HCS are classic examples of doing more with less. Powered by the cloud they can both deliver the advantages of Cisco’s collaboration solutions with the financial, operational and strategic benefits associated with the cloud.

Is your school ready to start benefiting from the cloud?

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Justice Goes Digital in Collin County

March 18, 2013 at 5:26 am PST

Over the years, I’ve seen how telepresence technologies revolutionize the way organizations of all sizes do business, but one area where I’m really excited about the potential is within the court system.

Here in Collin County, north of Dallas, our local court system is pushing the envelope when it comes to video technology. In addition to conducting felony pleas via video, a centrally located video system in the courthouse connects attorneys with their clients without having to a make trip to the county jail. Not only does the county’s telepresence technology increase efficiency and cut transportation costs for both attorneys and detainees alike, but it also fosters collaboration and innovation within the justice system. The county’s presiding judge uses the technology to connect with lawyers and judges across the country to share best practices and innovative solutions.

Watch this video featuring the judge, IT directors and attorneys, to see how Collin County is benefiting from telepresence…beyond a reasonable doubt. Read More »

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Telepresence Etiquette

December 12, 2012 at 6:50 am PST

“Elbows off the table,” “say please and thank you”; these are just some of the words I used to hear growing up. Over the years I’ve learned how important manners are in presenting yourself to others in the best way possible.

That’s why Cisco TelePresence has put together a few tips on telepresence etiquette to ensure you’re showing your BEST side in any video interaction.

Watch the video below for tips on how to optimize your video experience!

 

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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.

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Four Virginia Universities Give Telepresence an A+

November 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm PST

Educators have put telepresence to the test and it’s passed with honors.

In 2011, four Virginia universities joined together with one objective--to transform higher education.

The partnership, dubbed 4-VA, includes members from George Mason University, James Madison University, University of Virginia and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The 4-VA’s goals are admirable and ambitious: To make higher education more affordable, expand the number of degrees awarded in the state and strengthen member institutions--individually and collectively.

Almost a year after inception, the consortium has made serious headway on its  mission to revolutionize Virginia’s higher education system through collaboration technologies. This is a great video on the program:

How’d they do it’? The crux of its success was the ability to leverage resources across all four campuses. With Cisco TelePresence, members can easily share instructional and academic resources via high-definition, real-time video that creates a life-like setting. Read More »

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