I am thrilled to announce that Cisco IT’s Virtual Events service has been selected by InformationWeek as one of the top 500 technology innovations in the U.S. for 2013. Specifically, Virtual Events came in at #152.  It is always gratifying to receive industry recognition – both for the technology innovation as well as visibility for the hard-working IT team behind it.

InformationWeek Editor-in-Chief Rob Preston has this to say about the winners:  “The theme of this year’s InformationWeek 500 is ‘digital business.’ Every enterprise is now a digital business – or needs to become one fast. The organizations in our ranking are leading the way.” The full listing of winners can be found at www.informationweek.com/500.

As you may know, Virtual Events is one of Cisco IT’s most engaging collaboration offerings, powering company meetings and events.  It showcases a wide range of Cisco technologies, including the Cisco network, TelePresence, WebEx Social, Cisco TV, Jabber, Show and Share, and Digital Signage. Through our moderated chat capability, Virtual Events drives significant employee engagement. In the past quarter, we have added popular features to the moderated chat function, including the ability to “like” a chat comment and to search comments based on topic.

We enable virtual events for both internal and external activities – such as powering Cisco’s Virtual Partner Summit and, most recently, our Global Sales Experience meeting.  These events range from Cisco Live, Cisco’s company meeting, PR sessions, hosted WebEx webinars and an external event – the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change.

Virtual Events is a fantastic collaboration tool. We measure its success by enabling real-time collaboration for a geographically dispersed audience; by extending participation and reach to more users while saving on travel costs; and finally, by customer evaluations – our customer satisfaction trends are higher for Virtual Events than live event customer satisfaction scores! Here is a sampling of some of the comments we received for Virtual Events during our global sales meeting:

  • “You used to have to attend in person to feel the energy – the virtual experience this year is incredible!”
  • “I’m streaming Cisco Global Sales Experience live from 38,000 feet!! Loving Cisco’s Anywhere, Any Device capability!”
  • “I can’t believe the power of the collaborative platform used for this meeting. Amazing!”
  • “How would we do our Global Sales event without a chat window? Love this format!”

Knowing that we’ve had such success with the program, it is indeed exciting that Virtual Events will be available to our customers.  Just this week, we announced our expanded partnership agreement with INXPO, a leading provider of online platforms used for virtual events. Our relationship with INXPO will allow us to immediately expand our ability to solve our customers’ biggest collaboration challenges by integrating multiple Cisco solutions, including WebEx and TelePresence, into a single online platform experience.

Drawing on our own experience hosting large global events, this expanded partnership will allow our customers to use their existing investment in Cisco technologies and provide an enhanced user experience. 

Happy Collaborating!