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Collaboration Technologies – Taking the Labor out of Healthcare Communications

Like most families, we are looking forward to the long Labor Day weekend.  It will be filled with family, ribs, beer, some yard work, and yes, some Cisco work.  And this year we will have a new guest.  The latest member of the Barney family, Hayden, arrived just in time to celebrate Labor Day weekend.  Although I am sure her mother is not looking back fondly on her recent labors, the rest of the family is.  And we are all grateful for the healthy little girl.

But I will have to tear myself away from Hayden, ribs, beer, and yard work for, yes, Cisco work.  But that won’t be as painful as it sounds.  Thanks to the advanced technologies at Cisco I can work from home.  The way I ‘labor’ has definitely changed.  I can collaborate over videoconference on my Cisco Telepresence EX-90 with a few of my colleagues to finish up a project while never leaving my house. I live in Ohio, and while my team is located in San Jose, for a few hours on Saturday it will be as if they are all at my house – except they have to get their own beer.

Cisco has changed the way we labor in many important ways, but no more so than when it comes to clinical care.  Cisco has created a platform with unified communications and video-based collaboration that is transforming the patient experience and clinical processes by bringing together physicians, specialists, therapists, patients and families together.  This collaboration can take place quickly without anyone getting into a car, train, plane or boat.  And it becomes stunning when you think about how this can impact the care of a child.

Imagine your child needs cardiac surgery.  And he needs a specialist.  But that specialist is several hours away from your home.  At the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, Co-Medical Director Professor Martin Elliott, a pediatric cardio-thoracic surgeon uses information and collaboration technologies to improve the quality of care and the experience for the child and its family in a very meaningful way.  Listen to Professor Elliott discuss the experience for the medical team, the child, and the family as they prepare the child for surgery.


Collaboration technologies can improve not just the pre-surgical experience, but the follow-up care as well.

For the past 14 years, Dr. Patrick Byrne from Greater Baltimore Medical Center Johns Hopkins University has been making annual trips to countries in the developing world, volunteering his services to correct cleft and lip palate deformities in children. However, in many countries, including Nicaragua, the required post-surgical speech therapy care is simply not available. Using WebEx technology, Dr. Byrne and team can now provide that specialized treatment remotely for the first time ever. Within just three months of speech therapy conducted via WebEx, the doctors saw significant improvement in patients’ speech. The online meeting technology also proved the perfect tool to train local providers on best practices for follow-up procedures.  Listen in…




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Summer’s Ending – But You Can Still Work Free From the Office

I always dread summer coming to an end.

Sure, it’s not like the old days when summer meant no school and running around free, but like most people, summer still makes me feel like I have more personal time and freedom. It must be the extra daylight.

Even if I can’t have the feeling of summer, it makes a huge difference to me if I can  work in different ways – from home or even handling some to do items from the car.

One of the best things about the new, free version of WebEx, is that having a host account (yes, it’s free) means you can host a WebEx on your mobile. And that means I don’t have to be tethered to your computer.

Get your own free, basic WebEx account here.

In 2007, Cisco commissioned a study: Understanding and Managing the Mobile Workforce that looked at ways to really grasp how mobility was emerging. Of course, since then, “going mobile” has really become the norm.

In that study, they found:

Successful mobile workers tend to be resilient extroverts. They are open to new experiences and highly adaptable. And, contrary to the stereotype of the harassed and disoriented road warrior, they are supremely organized and independent-minded. With the right kind of tailored support, their productivity and adaptability make them superlative operators in an era of increasing demands and constant change.

In 2007, the Cisco study cited a prediction that “within two years, one quarter of the world’s working population will be mobile workers.” Not to freak anyone out but this was BEFORE Apple’s iPad was even released!

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WebEx and Higher Education

This morning, like most of mornings, I woke up, checked my calendar, and joined a WebEx meeting. After introductions and pleasantries, I listened and conversed with three of my colleagues. Then, at the top of the hour, the conversation concluded, and the group dispersed hurriedly to attend their next meetings. Employees repeat this process almost all day every day.  This is how work is done at Cisco.  Now, after having been a part of the process for nearly two months, I’m dreading the return to the seemingly archaic way that I work and collaborate with others at school.

This year, I will be a junior at the University of Oregon, and I’m working towards a degree in International Studies with a focus in Business- Marketing. Currently, I’m working as an intern for Cisco’s education marketing team. Read More »

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The big questions for BYOD in Asia

The phenomenon of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has definitely become a top of mind issue for CIOs and end-users alike. No discussion in IT circles is complete these days without this topic coming up. IDG says that as many as three quarters of the workforce in Asia already engage in some form of BYOD with 66% of Asians owning at least one smart tablet device. Clearly, this is changing the way we work, live, play and learn. The big questions for the community are:

  • Is BYOD here to stay?
  • How do we maximize this trend
  • What are the things to look out for?


According to the latest Cisco Connected World Technology Report, between

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Telepresence Accelerates Product Development for Customers of All Sizes and Across Industries

In my last post I talked about how telepresence is moving beyond the boardroom and being used in unique ways to add value, impact business process, and extend well beyond the basic function of travel cost savings to deliver better and more innovative results.  Cisco TelePresence is giving customers of all sizes and across all industries a competitive edge by improving the quality of products, speeding up review cycles and accelerating time-to-market.

A great example of this in the mid-market is Coraid, a storage technology provider based in Redwood City, California. Coraid is using multiple Cisco collaboration solutions, including the Cisco TelePresence EX Series and Quick Set C20 endpoints, Cisco Jabber along with Cisco WebEx Telepresence to foster communications between its headquarters in Silicon Valley and product development office in Georgia. In a field where moving quickly to stay ahead of the competition is crucial, telepresence enables Coraid to go-to-market faster with new offerings and to continue to pave the way as innovators.  This has given them the ability to also move up-market and engage with larger, Fortune 500 companies to grow their business. See the impact Cisco has had in their organization in this recent video.

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