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Continuing the Evolution of Video

Enterprises have made major investments in video endpoints and continue to do so—with good reason. Would you personally want to attend a two-day strategy meeting via iPhone or Skype? I doubt it. There is a place and a time for room-based systems, and our customers not only understand and appreciate that—they invest accordingly.

At the same time, it is important to note that hardware costs have come down, and new pricing models and financing are available too. Bottom line: our customers can video-enable their organizations or their home offices for remote workers, with a desktop system that delivers a high-quality video experience for as little as $25/month.  Customers can also deploy larger integrated systems for a more immersive experience for as low as $350/month. These price points bring boardroom video capabilities to a user spectrum across the company.

With all the talk of clouds and services, we see an even bigger opportunity for customers to get more out of their hardware investments.  We are modifying our endpoints to work seamlessly with the collaboration devices people choose to use on their personal time. Case in point: Read More »

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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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A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Competition is the sign of a healthy market; and the recent increased cadence of venture investment focusing on startups in the video market underscores what Cisco knows well: video plays a key role in business today, and will play an even bigger role tomorrow.  As the old idiom goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.  As video becomes more pervasive in the enterprise, the opportunity for an industry to rally around the movement might create more competition. But in the end, it is about driving more innovation and better economics so that we all win – customers, partners and vendors.

The opportunity to change and influence the way that people collaborate, engage with one another, and communicate is exactly why I decided to join Cisco and lead the Collaboration marketing team.  One of the things that has struck me recently, however, is that the perception in the market is that Cisco is only delivering solutions geared at the absolute high end of the market.  The fact is that Cisco was a high-end pioneer in the video market with innovations around immersive telepresence; absolutely true.  No one will refute that. The little known fact is that Read More »

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Scandinavian Simplicity Meets Californian Approachability

Form, function and value do not have to exist independently when it comes to video conferencing. And we’ve just proven that with the latest generation Cisco TelePresence MX300 G2. At our Collaboration Summit conference last month, we unveiled the second-generation MX300 G2 video endpoint.  Snorre Kjesbu eloquently described it as Scandinavian simplicity meets Californian approachability to create this beautiful, full-featured product, which comes to market with a lower list price than its predecessor.

Let’s talk first about the lines of this product:  sleek, rounded edges, completely seamless, light and inviting. Humanizing elements bring the users closer together even though they’re thousands of miles of apart. And the Touch 10 is our easiest-to-use interface to date. It follows the same light design of the MX300 G2 with larger real estate for an even richer experience.

But our excitement goes beyond just the new look and feel of the MX300 G2. The new system is designed so that customers can more easily adopt video – making it more compelling, usable and accessible. The MX300 G2 is a fully integrated unit with a 55” LED screen, speakers, camera and microphones tuned to work perfectly together. New image sensors and optics enable a great picture without specialized lighting. While the new dual display feature lets you add a second screen for a rich content sharing experience. This gives you greater focus on content when you need it and reserves the entire system real estate for video. Read More »

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Five Best Practices To Get ROI From Video Solutions

In my experience helping customers  implement video solutions, their goals are usually to increase efficiencies, reduce expenses and even generate new lines of business. Cisco Collaboration Change Management Services (CCMS) helps customers accelerate adoption of collaboration solutions to achieve your targeted business goals. CCMS has a global team of experts in change management, communications, training, governance, marketing, operational processes and adoption analytics ready to help.  View this video to learn how one company realized the full benefits of their video solution.

Overall, our team has noticed there are 5 common traits among successful customers:

  1. An organization’s strategic objectives drive how, where, and why video is used
    Customer A’s strategic objective was to aggressively expand in emerging markets over the next 3 years.  This strategy was widely communicated and cascaded into operational goals throughout the company.  Significant investments were made to increase the size and quality of the sales teams in the Brazil and China sales offices.  Additionally, the customer purchased Cisco TelePresence video units for these offices to accelerate growth. The ‘boardroom ROI’ for this investment would be realized by achieving the expansion goals in Brazil and China.
  2. A business unit sponsor leads the deployment (not IT), communicates their vision, and sets expectations about how video will make a difference. Read More »

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