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Reinventing Conferencing

What kind of a world will you live in three years from now? How about five? Will your personal robot pour you a drink after your self-driving car delivers you home? That’s where we’re headed, and it’s a pretty quick trip: self-driving cars are already on public roads and you’ll soon be able to buy that humanoid robot.

Cisco’s Collaboration team thinks a lot about the future—not just about how we’ll get around and get our drinks, but about how we’ll connect and collaborate. We’re passionate about the future of collaboration, about giving the world collaboration tools that are every bit as smart as those self-driving cars and whiskey-pouring robots.

Where we’re at: today’s challenges
Before we talk more about the future, let’s talk about where the industry is right now. Over the years, various vendors have given us audio conferencing, web conferencing, and video conferencing. Each of these technologies were introduced at different times, and have matured at different paces—with audio being the tried-and-true veteran, video conferencing the relative newcomer and web being the thing that came somewhere in-between.

Herein lies the problem: Read More »

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Give Your Customers One Conferencing Experience

October 6, 2014 at 5:00 am PST

Too many of us attend frustrating meetings filled with background noise, dropped connections, attendee roll call and large presentation files that are emailed only after it’s too late. Fortunately, the right technology can turn a bad meeting into an engaging, productive experience.

Imagine if you could deliver to your customers a simple, single experience that incorporates audio, web, and even room-based video conferencing with access from any device?  Now you can!  Today, Cisco is unveiling the new WebEx. In Rowan Trollope’s blog you can learn how this massive update lets users join meetings up to 30% faster, has an elegant new user interface, and boosts productivity with tons of new functionality. It reinvents conferencing by bringing together all different types of conferencing—web, video and audio—into one seamlessly integrated meeting, so the host no longer has to worry about the conferencing preferences or the devices each participant will use to join. With WebEx, meeting attendees join quickly, use high quality video for more engaging discussion, share content to ensure everyone is on the same page, and always know who is speaking thanks to active speaker features.  You can even mute that person working from home with the barking dog in the background.

What does this mean to you as a Cisco Collaboration partner? By providing one conferencing experience to your customers, you can deliver a better overall experience and drive greater adoption across each customer site. The more your customers embrace and use WebEx each day, the more value they can realize from collaboration. And, in turn, the more solutions and services you can deliver. More WebEx usage can lead to more sales of our new video endpoints such as the Cisco DX 70, Cisco DX 80 and Cisco TelePresence SX10 Quick Set because they all work seamlessly together. Read More »

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Simplify Sales with Remote Product Demonstrations

I spent the last eight months on the front lines of the virtual demo world for Cisco. Working from our headquarters in California, I met with people from all over the world to demonstrate our latest products — without a single plane trip. Using collaboration technology sales teams can avoid travel expenses, sell more, and increase productivity.

Most significant business purchases require some form of travel. Companies need to send sales experts out in to the world to demo their products. Or, depending on the products or the situation, customers often travel to the vendor’s site. Although travel involves expense and time, personal interaction is important to customer relationships. Travel can make the sales process more cumbersome and time consuming. But without travel, you limit the degree of direct engagement you might have before a customer makes a buying decision.

How Can Remote Demonstrations Add Value to the Sales Process?

Remote product demonstrations are providing companies with a less-expensive option to engage with customers. And the best part of it is that neither customers nor your technical experts have to travel as much. Just as video is changing the nature of meetings, it’s also a fitting solution Read More »

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Mud, Lightning and Collaboration

GlastonburyDespite having spent most of a weekend stood in mud, rain and thunderstorms at the Glastonbury festival, I’ve spent time since happily reflecting on some of the amazing collaboration between performers over the three days.  Aside from the various bands, whose members (presumably) work closely together all the time to perfect their sound, there were some fairly unlikely partnerships on display too.  Dolly Parton and Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi rocking to “Lay Your Hands on Me” for example. Or Ed Sheeran and Rudimental ripping it up in the middle of an electrical storm.

These combinations got me to thinking about how businesses with very different skill sets and competencies frequently come together to collaborate.  For small to midsized businesses the ability to collaborate effectively with partners, suppliers and customers is often critical to success.

Many organizations collaborate specifically to accelerate growth and innovation.  According to the Plante Moran 2013 Innovation Survey  of 4,225 business leaders,   94% of respondents felt that Innovation was important to sustainability and growth. And three quarters felt that collaborating would increase their chances of success with innovation, with the majority open to sharing financial risk and reward.

“Collaboration was considered a possible jumpstarter for innovation among three out of four of the respondents to the innovation survey.” Plante Moran 2013 Innovation Survey

Read More »

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One meeting, One experience, for Global Collaboration

Do you ever get to the end of your working day, and realize that you have no idea whether the sun has been shining, or it has been pouring with rain all day?  Sometimes, it is only when I’m in video meetings that someone else will actually notice for me that the sun is shining outside my window! Talking to colleagues in the U.K. while I was visiting San Francisco for Cisco Live brought this point home.  In the U.K., the persistent cloud cover had disappeared, giving way to one of the UK’s rare heatwaves. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, temperatures dropped, and we huddled in jackets and sweaters. It wasn’t meant to be this way!

Did you make it to Cisco Live?  If so, I hope that you had a chance to get to some of the great keynote sessions. My favourite was from Rowan Trollope, in which he demonstrated Cisco’s new video collaboration endpoints.

The new products are making video collaboration simpler and more cost-effective than ever. His demo included an illustration of Read More »

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