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So You Think You Can Telecommute?

The recent weeks of teleworking controversy has been interesting to follow for anyone passionate about collaboration technologies. There is no doubt that teleworking offers significant work/life balance benefits, as exemplified by Cisco´s own Angie Mistretta in her recent blog post. On the other hand, it is equally evident that companies that do not invest in the right tools or training for effective remote collaboration aren’t realizing the true potential and benefits of teleworking.

Being part of a leadership team with people scattered from the Russian border, through Oslo, Boston, Texas and California has made it very clear to me that a lot of innovation, time and money would have been lost if we did not have the proper collaboration tools. Simply said, bringing all the right people into the same office is generally not an option in a global operation.

In my team, the primary tool for collaboration is the Cisco TelePresence EX series personal systems; we all have endpoints on our desks at the office and at home. This is essential to us because, be it late night or early morning, the number of overlapping hours when we are in our respective offices are just too few. Personal telepresence ensures in-person communications within the team whenever we need to meet, and it also allows us to attend other meetings over telepresence at any hour ensuring we’re able to capture all of the details and have maximum impact.

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Video Collaboration Helped Me Say Yes to the Dress!

March 28, 2013 at 10:13 am PST

I recently saw a blog post from my colleague on how video technologies like Cisco Remote Expert are completely revolutionizing the way we do things; for example, applying for your wedding license via video.

It was his blog that made me think about my own upcoming nuptials and the role that video collaboration played in my wedding planning. And while I didn’t apply for my marriage license via telepresence, I did however do something pretty cool that I wanted to share.

I don’t personally consider myself a bridezilla, no comment on what my bridesmaids and husband-to-be would say, but I did find myself in a tizzy regarding my wedding dress. Like any bride, I wanted the support of my closest family and girlfriends when I went dress shopping. However, I was on the hunt for a dress during a trip to my home state of Louisiana and my sister, who’s my best friend and maid-of-honor, was in Virginia.

She’s my older sister, so I’ve been asking for her opinion since I was a kid. When it came to my dress shopping, I was upset at the thought of not getting to share that moment with her. I had to think outside of the box to make sure she was there for the experience — and boy did I ever.

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Transforming the Retail Experience with Video Collaboration

It’s happened to you many times – you’re in a store desperately trying to find a clerk to give you more information about a product you intend to purchase. But no such luck. Cisco is changing that with its Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail.

Rob Lloyd - Remote ExpertA recent article recapping a keynote at last week’s Enterprise Connect with Cisco’s Robert Lloyd, highlighted how Cisco wants to make the customer experience not only easier, but more enjoyable. What’s the overarching goal? Making sure the customer has a highly-personalized experience and is equipped with information to make their final purchase decision.

Once retailers get that prospect into a store they can’t afford to risk losing sales from customers left unsatisfied with the service they receive. Cisco’s Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail enables retailers to provide customers with consistent, fulfilling and positive shopping experiences. Using real-time, life-like video from screens positioned throughout stores, experts, can connect via video to share documents, videos, websites and any other content helpful to customers. This access to experts can reassure them about quality, functionality and how it might fit individual customer needs.

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Video – It is a Buyer’s Market

Enterprise Connect Crowd at Collaboration BoothAs I walked the halls of Enterprise Connect last week for the 7th or 8th year in a row (who’s counting??), I noticed that video is still one of the key themes across many of the vendors.  A few years back, it was introduced as the “next killer app” and while some think the sizzle has gone down, I would argue it is just heating up. Look at initiatives like WebRTC, one of the hot topics at the show.  You couldn’t go to a panel or discussion without hearing or seeing how video will play a major role in the development of this space.

The reality is, our buyers are demanding more and more when it comes to video.  It is no longer about meeting or boardroom-based video endpoints, it is now about getting video on any device a user has access to, being able to integrate the video experience with more traditional conferencing experiences, delivering video-based content across an organization, and oh yeah, doing all of this without killing my network and for an affordable price.

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Cisco TelePresence TX9000 Wins Prestigious Design Award

On the one-year anniTX9000 iF awardversary of its debut, the Cisco TelePresence TX9000 Series has been awarded the prestigious iF (International Forum) award for outstanding design, the same award that has been given to design stalwarts like Sony and BMW. With a brand new industrial design, the TX9000 was brought to market as the new benchmark for immersive telepresense, offering the state-of-the-art telepresence experience and high-intensity collaboration. The TX9000 has resonated well with our customers both in form and function, so we are even more pleased to learn that it has also been validated by one of the industry’s leading authorities on design.

The key design philosophy behind the TX9000 is its humanizing technology – in other words, to make this three-screen immersive telepresence system so natural, comfortable and easy to use that it just fades into the background to let the human interactions take center stage. Rounded corners, fluid lines, integrated facial lighting, intuitive touch screen user interface and ideal camera/screen placement make the TX9000 both pleasing to the eye and touch, while high-definition video and spatial audio creates an “in-person” experience that’s as close to being there as you can get. What this enables is a strong connection between people – for high-intensity collaboration — rather than a connection of technologies. By putting people at the center of our collaboration solutions we humanize every interaction and by delivering a consistent user experience across the entire Cisco TelePresence portfolio — from the software client to our three-screen immersive system — we make it easier for our users.

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