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New Network Solutions Deliver Greater Capabilities for Borderless Network Management

This week, a New York Times article focused on retailers and their efforts (or lack thereof) to develop mobile sites and apps to enable anytime-anywhere shopping. One statistic that caught my eye in the article: 85 percent of consumers expect to be able to shop using their smartphones and expect that experience to be at least as good as shopping on a computer. Yet, the article reports that: “By mid-2010, according to the Acquity Group, just 12 percent of the top 500 United States online retailers had sites compatible with mobile browsers, while just 7 percent had apps.”

Whether you’re an IT professional, a business decision maker, an employee, a consumer or customer, the topics of mobile productivity and the connected experience matter, regardless of which side of the fence you’re on.

And that’s why I’m excited to announce our latest launch. As headlines continue to tout the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, businesses need to ensure that they can allow secure access for anyone on any device and deliver rich applications (like video and voice) reliably—all while providing seamless integration across all elements.
In addition, when you factor in emerging cloud trends, the ability to deliver voice and video applications over any device becomes even more critical—not to mention complex from a management standpoint.

Today we’re adding more powerful capabilities to the Borderless Network Architecture to help IT administrators ensure success. Three new major solutions for Borderless Networks help make the network architecture work seamlessly, reliably, and securely to address growing trends and expectations.

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No Voice? No Problem

Guest Post from Bonnie Ho, Collaboration Product Marketing Manager at Cisco:

28. That is how many days I’ve worked in complete silence…not saying a single word.  As a product marketing manager here at Cisco, my days are typically filled with back-to-back meetings and talking regularly for 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week. I know you’re probably wondering two things: Why did I do this? Or more importantly, how was I able to do this?

I was recently diagnosed with vocal cord nodules, which is a mass of tissue that grows on the vocal cords due to strenuous voice practices. Those who use their voice constantly are susceptible to getting this, including teachers, singers, politicians and apparently Cisco product marketing managers.

My doctor recommended 4 weeks of complete voice rest to allow the nodules to shrink away and fully recover. Being the social person I am, and knowing how my job requires me to talk constantly, how was I ever going to survive in the workplace without talking for 28 days?

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Public vs. Private IP-Based Voice Systems

Skype and Google Voice may seem like attractive, inexpensive options, but business-class IP phone systems offer secure service and investment protection.

I recently wrote about private IP PBX phone systems and the benefits they offer to small businesses, including cost savings compared to traditional PBX systems, easier deployment, and expandability. For small businesses on a tight budget, a free IP phone service, such as Skype or Google Voice, may seem like a more attractive option than having to shell out cash for a business-class IP phone system.

Similar to a private IP PBX, Skype and Google Voice are easy to deploy and offer a variety of voice and data features. In addition, there’s no cost involved up front; they’re free to download. However, both services use the public Internet to make and receive calls, and therefore pose risks in call quality and network security.

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Creating new collaboration solutions for the mid-market

Yesterday at Cisco’s Partner Summit in New Orleans, Cisco announced a new unified communications solution for mid-size customers: the Cisco Unified Communications  Manager Business Edition 3000. The CMBE3000 is uniquely designed to meet the needs of these growing mid-size customers without sacrificing functionality or mobility.

To find out more, listen to Roberto De La Mora, Senior Director of Worldwide Collaboration Solutions Marketing at Cisco, as he describes the CMBE 3000 and what it means for customers and partners.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhrqvlxKF9Q

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Innovation is key to becoming a ‘people-centric’ business

When I think of “Inclusion and Diversity”, I automatically think about creating a diverse and inclusive workforce environment: providing all employees with learning and development opportunities, ensuring employees with disabilities have the right tools and resources and educating all employees on how to work with people with disabilities, sending out regular communications on techniques for how to strengthen inclusion and diversity in the workplace and so forth.

Reading this article from UTalkMarketing.com this morning over a cup of coffee made me question my own definition of “Inclusion and Diversity.” I came to the conclusion that my view on this subject was far too narrow – I was focussing on it from a purely internal perspective and needed to think outside of the box and include an external perspective too. Inclusion and Diversity isn’t just about making your diverse workforce feel included; it’s also about ensuring that your customers feel included AND that their voices and their business needs lie at the heart of your business.

The author of this article, Chris Beswick, argues that businesses need to develop a relationship with their customers, look at the world from their perspective and appreciate the problems they face and the things they aspire to. Instead of focussing on their own products and services, businesses need to put greater focus on their customers’ problems and tensions – it’s not “what you do”, i.e. what you sell; what you provide, but rather “how you do it”, i.e. how you fuel innovation and differentiation.

Yet Beswick argues that true customer-centricity is only possible if you first become people-centric. In his words the only way you can provide an exceptional end-to-end customer experience is to ensure that everyone in your organisation understands how to collaborate on solving your customers’ problems.

How do you extend Inclusion and Diversity to your customers? Share your thoughts below.

Do you have an Inclusion and Diversity story to share? Please send it to idblog@cisco.com.

To read the full article click here

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