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Scandinavian Minimalism Combined With Californian Approachability Wins Red Dot Award 2014

In the world of product design, the best intertwine form and function.  Design stalwarts Apple, Sony and BMW get it right; and we’re honored to be listed alongside them as Red Dot Award winners.

red dot

I’m proud to report that all the new Cisco video collaboration endpoints we unveiled during Enterprise Connect received the coveted Red Dot Award 2014 for product design:

This recognition is a rewarding validation for the no-compromise, design led approach we undertook when developing our newest video solutions. And just as important as the awards is the feedback I’ve received from the people who use our technology.

You let us know that you appreciate the attention to detail and unparalleled user experience. And our focus on harmonizing the technology with the human aspect of face-to-face communications. By combining Scandinavian minimalism with Californian approachability, I believe we’ve succeeded in letting the technology recede and emphasizing the connections between people. It’s about allowing people to connect with one another, anywhere, in a powerful way without distraction – from the browser to the boardroom.

Rounded edges, seamless fronts, light aesthetics, arresting audio and video impact Read More »

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Surviving the Conference Call: There is a Better Way

Wall Street Journal writer Sue Shellenbarger makes some great points in her recent article “Surviving the Conference Call.” She points out many of the downsides of not collaborating in person — people multitasking during calls, bad audio, the inability to build rapport.

I remember those days well. For me, they’re in the past because I use video on nearly every call I make, whether it’s a group conference call or a 1:1 conversation with a co-worker.

Shellenbarger reports that about 65% of all conferencing is still done via audio calls, according to Wainhouse Research. To some, video may seem like the future, but it’s really available and affordable here and now. It’s moving from an executive-only tool to something available to everyone.

At first I was surprised that Wainhouse predicts time spent in audio conferences in the U.S. will continue to grow 9.6% a year through 2017. But in context, it’s pretty slow growth compared to predictions for video conferencing (check out Figure 14).

True, video is a new concept for many of us. Just the idea of being heard and seen is a hurdle for some people. I used to hide from cameras at parties and now I use one throughout the day. The benefits quickly outweighed any awkwardness. I found right away that the ability to have eye contact with people and see their physical reactions during a conversation makes a significant difference in the communication. Read More »

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‘If You Build It, They Will Come’ – NOT!

baseball blog image_Frances_if you build it_2_28_14There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.
– Tommy Lasorda

Kevin Costner’s character in “Field of Dreams” hears the voice “If you build it, they will come” which drives him to convert his cornfield to a ball field, attracting legendary players to fulfill his ultimate fantasy baseball game.

When companies build video collaboration spaces, will employees rush to the field, eagerly start using these solutions, find immediate value and fulfill the dreams that justified this investment?  Not necessarily.

In our experience, companies need to drive video adoption by communicating the answers to the two most important questions that drive human behavior –  “Who says so?” and “Why should I?”

Regrettably, sometimes IT leadership takes the “Build It and They Will Come” approach, driving the design and deployment of an extensive video architecture without the right partnership with the lines of business.  Decisions about where to put video solutions – such as immersive TelePresence, multipurpose rooms and other endpoints – are often based on assumptions about Read More »

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Four Things That Will Rock Video Collaboration in 2014

It’s Hard to believe we’re already in February 2014. It seems like just yesterday we were making cloud collaboration predictions for 2013– forecasting that cloud and the demand for interoperability would drive innovation and help businesses harness the power of video.

Well, 2013 saw all of that and more happen in the world of collaboration. And I predict there will be more from the cloud, as well as other smart, cool and exciting video innovations in our (near) future.

Here’s what I predict is on the horizon:

Communications will be ever more visual, so you’ll use video with more people and in more situations – and cloud makes it more accessible.

The 2014 workforce isn’t a sedentary group – it’s mobile, global and social. And people won’t move for jobs anymore–jobs will become more flexible for people. I know. I manage a globally dispersed team and on any given day find myself visiting China and the United States, all from my office in Norway. Adaptive, intuitive and connected video solutions will continue to allow an innovative and collaborative workplace experience that can be accessed anywhere – from the boardroom to the browser. This year, the cloud will continue to empower workers with access to video anytime, anywhere and on any device, including new environments and use cases such as “always on,” real-time collaboration in research labs and lectures in global classrooms.

2014 will be the year that business quality video is expected by consumers during their online business interactions. We’ll see video solutions used extensively in Read More »

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Summary: A Love Letter to Video

valentine's day blog image 2_14_14Have you ever loved something so much you had to write a letter making your feelings known? We understand. At Cisco, we all feel a strong love for video and this Valentine’s Day Cisco Collaboration finally tried to put into words just how strong that love is.

It’s a unique kind of love, but there are some familiar themes.  Video makes our days better and our lives easier.  We have relied on video to be there for us throughout the years and our passion for video has not diminished, it has only grown stronger. Video has made some amazing stories possible and saved us time, money, and countless hassles.  Take a look at our love letter to video to see just how deep our love really goes.

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