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IT Company Provides Personal Touch

In this final installment of our four-part customer testimonial, we take a look at Valley Sleep Center’s relationship with Invision Technology Solutions. The Cisco certified partner took the time to educate Valley Sleep Center employees about the latest technological innovations while also understanding their needs to build the right network. To further optimize the buying experience, the partner helped Valley Sleep Center utilize advantageous Cisco financing options. As a result, the company was able to upgrade affordably. We hope you enjoyed this customer case study. What can the right network do for your business?

Part One of the Valley Sleep Center

Part Two of the Valley Sleep Center

Part Three of the Valley Sleep Center

Watch Part Four>>

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Four Ways Social Software Collaboration Technology Can Change Higher Education

New media and collaboration technologies have the potential to transform higher education in terms of the classroom, the learning process, the relationship between students and instructors, and how institutions conduct academic research. While much of the industry discussion revolves around use of consumer tools and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, Cisco’s educational customers also see tremendous opportunity to increase student engagement and drive their own institutional strategies with “enterprise class” social software as well.

Since Cisco first announced Quad, we have had conversations with dozens of colleges and universities regarding the role enterprise social software and Cisco Quad can play in transforming education. Cisco Quad is an enterprise collaboration platform that brings people together to share ideas and content, collaborate on projects, and interact using chat, voice or video, regardless of where people are located.

Below, we’ve outlined four ways in which educational institutions are telling us enterprise social software is helping, or can transform the way learning, research, and academic advisement is crafted, delivered and consumed:

1. The 24/7 interactive classroom: Instructors often struggle to deliver a collaborative environment for their students that is secure and supports multiple access methods such as mobile.  Technology like Quad can enable students to interact in a secure, policy-based manner that extends the classroom conversation beyond physical walls. Courses partially or wholly targeted at off-campus students can similarly benefit from enhancing the class-like experience for remote students. For example, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the cross country MBA students based in the US, England, India and other countries are using Quad to create virtual working groups, find people with common interests, share files or videos with other students working on similar projects and instantly start video conferences or chat sessions. Quad provides students with the ability to interact, ask questions and share ideas with professors/faculty/tutorial assistants anytime, as opposed to only during fixed faculty office hours. It can also drive improved accountability on team projects, as content and comments are tracked in activity feeds and in project communities by both participating students and faculty leads.

2. Serendipitous Research: Quad contains several features, such as an activity feed that compiles microblog posts from students and staff and allows a snapshot view of a person’s current activities. These dynamic updating functionalities can facilitate broader cross-departmental collaboration, for students and researchers alike. Security features ensure that research that needs to be confidential is shared in a secure and safe manner.  As researchers update their statuses with exciting discoveries or frustrating problems, or create posts, upload videos or otherwise document their work, this content becomes accessible to hundreds of fellow university researchers through activity feeds and searches, making it possible for providential inter-disciplinary connections to be made and new insights to be generated. Read More »

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Mythbusters: Can you rely on VoIP for Your Business?

When it comes to making technology decisions for your small business, there’s a lot of information to sift through. Sometimes, determining whether that information is accurate can be difficult. To help you separate fact from fiction, we’re launching a new monthly series called Mythbusters, in which we’ll tackle a common technology misconception.

In this first Mythbusters, we set the record straight about voice over IP, or VoIP, and whether it’s reliable for your business. Once upon a time, no business that wanted reliable phone service would have considered switching from a traditional analog phone system, or private branch exchange (PBX), to an IP-based solution. The call quality was inconsistent, including jitters (clicks and other undesired audio effects), delays, and drop outs.

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How Does a VoIP Phone Call a Non-VoIP phone?

One of the most common questions for small businesses when considering upgrading to an IP-based solution is: How does a voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone can call a non-VoIP phone? The answer: There’s a gateway unit that makes the connection back to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). It’s not as complicated as it may sound.

Watch the video to learn more!

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Don’t Risk Your Business on a Consumer-Grade Voice Service

Learn how to find a business-class hosted voice service that will support your company without breaking your budget

The market is crowded with providers that offer inexpensive or even free hosted voice services—all of them claiming to be the ideal telephony solution for small business. But many popular Internet-based public phone services, such as Skype and Google Voice, are more appropriate for people making personal calls from their homes to families and friends.

As a small but growing company, you need a business-class voice service that will support your business and your customers; however, you also need to be conscious of the cost, balancing the price with the quality of the service. Here are five things to look for—and look out for—when choosing a hosted voice service.

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