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“One Size Fits All” is for Hats – Not Video

Once upon a time, not so long ago, high-end videoconferencing was a luxury item available mostly to the C-suite. It required special equipment. It was expensive. It wasn’t all that intuitive to use.  That was then.

Today, video is part of day-to-day communications – not just for high-powered business interactions, but also for personal connections. In a world of distributed workforces where colleagues are separated by miles and organizations hire where the talent is located, video has become the standard form of collaboration and communication as a way to keep the pace of innovation and efficiency needed to stay competitive. Unlike before, the equipment now ranges from specialized rooms with high-end, high-def equipment to tablets and smartphones that provide the needed level of quality and fidelity required to be useful to the users. How are we getting from pricey and exclusive to completely pervasive? Technology catches up to what we want it to do. It’s the Moore’s Law theory applied to all technology that is valuable in business – performance increases while the economics and footprint decreases.

When Cisco dove into the waters of video collaboration, the demand was from the boardrooms of the business world. Business was becoming more global, yet organizations were trying to reduce travel costs –a communications conundrum. How could we improve the videoconferencing experience? Read More »

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Why the “Social Employee” is Inevitable

November 25, 2013 at 8:30 am PST

I’m always astounded by two facts:  first, how few employees feel engaged with their organizations; and second, the number one reason people leave a job is their manager.   Ok, I’m astounded by one more fact:  75% of the companies on the Fortune 500 from 25 years ago aren’t on the list any more.

Said another way, a smaller percentage of managers are inspiring their employees to achieve greatness than those who aren’t – by a long shot.  It’s the tough reality.   That’s what makes The Social Employee by Cheryl Burgess and Mark Burgess such an interesting book to read.  (In open disclosure, my colleague Jeremy Hartman and I were asked to contribute a chapter on Cisco to the book.)

When I read how companies like Southwest Airlines, IBM and DOMO invest in social media to drive their employees to the priorities of the business, a light bulb when off in my head:  there is a galactic difference between alignment and engagement,

  • Alignment is driven by “what” you need to do;
  • Engagement is based more on understanding “why” something is important to do.

Unless you satisfy the “why” you won’t get to the “what” as fast or as effectively.  This is a mindset for Read More »

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UC and Video – Phones of the Future

What will phones in the future look like?  If our experience at Cisco is any guide, there will be more and more phones, and they will look like almost anything. They will all have two things in common:  they will all bring people together – and they will do it with voice and video.  Always video.

The video may be on a small screen that fits in your pocket, or expands to your pad or laptop, a bigger screen that fits on the desk, or screens that cover the wall bringing people, lifesized, to your meetings from around the world.

At Cisco, we’re using all of these “phones” (although only one or two looks at all like a phone), and they all work together to bring people together, face to face.  Some share more than voice and video, adding presence information and contacts and instant click to call or click to chat or click to share desktops

Here’s Rich Gore from Cisco IT, to give a quick look at these different “phones” in use at Cisco today.

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ACE Network: Bringing the Power of Video Meetings to Mobile BYOD Users

I spend a big part of my workday in virtual meetings, as an organizer, participant, or both. When I’m in my office, I can join those meetings from my desktop video endpoint, a Cisco TelePresence EX90, and enjoy the benefits of video communications.

But work isn’t necessarily a place that you go to anymore. I often work outside of my office, so the ability to easily join a video meeting from one of my mobile devices is critical for productive collaboration with colleagues. Read More »

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Integrated Collaboration Highlights and Updates from InfoComm 2013

What a great reception at InfoComm 2013! We had the opportunity to share with customers the innovations we are driving around conferencing to deliver better scale, quality and interoperability.  They are excited about what we are doing to make conferencing more affordable, while at the same time maintaining the high quality experience that they expect from Cisco.

It was fantastic to see such a high level of interest in our new pervasive conferencing announcements.  Here are a few highlights of what we demonstrated at the show:

  • Further increases in scale, enabling greater efficiencies and affordability – we now support up to 96 video systems in a single meeting and virtually unlimited participants through WebEx enabled TelePresence.
  • Simplified solution choice with a broader range of deployment options – now included is  virtualized software, and the new compact Multiparty 310 and Multiparty 320 appliance platforms.
  • Entry level packages for new customers – customers can now deploy a compact appliance solution, and start from one screen license.
  • Increased interoperability – we now provide support for interworking with H.264 SVC clients. Read More »

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