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Which Collaboration Applications Are Right for Me?

As a member of the Sales Engineer Organization,  I spend lots of my time staying close to midsized customers observing how teams that do great work are leveraging applications to collaborate.   The number of choices available can make choosing the right tools an interesting journey.

Is there one solution to meet all needs? Midmarket organizations face these questions.   As I talked to several midsized companies this past year, I heard how improving team productivity is top of mind.  Keeping employees connected across their various workplace resources and devices is increasingly important.  Making customers happy with proactive service and quick response times is paramount to an organization’s success.

In the world of collaboration, consider the parallels between how online meetings and physical meetings take place.  Don’t you find it to be more effective to have the right setting for the meetings you attend in person?  A large group in a small space never works right.

For example, with physical meetings:

  • Large groups require large spaces, structured seating, the ability to share media, and the ability for participants to interact with presenters.
  • Fast moving small teams need rooms that are available on-demand and the ability to do real-time content tracking.

One-to-one interactions require privacy and rich-media sharing with the ability to call in additional participants as needed.

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Combining the Power of Cisco and Apple

In today’s world, technology is changing how we work every day. We’re always on the go – working from anywhere in the world at any time, and we’re increasingly dependent on our mobile devices to keep us connected. We want the best user experience regardless of where we are, and we want to know that we can always connect, that our connection is secure, and that our enterprise apps will simply work.

I’m thrilled about our new partnership we announced today with Apple. We are coming together to optimize Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, integrating iPhones with Cisco environments and providing unique collaboration capabilities on iPhones and iPads. Together, we will enable mobile apps and experiences that deliver the quality and experience we need while meeting enterprise requirements for management and security.pi_blog-graphic_500x524_083115

Our two companies share a common passion to create a vastly improved mobile work experience. We also recognize the enormous opportunity we have to bring together the leading mobile platform and the leading provider of secure networks and collaboration to make the mobile work experience what it should be. What makes this new partnership unique is that our engineering teams are innovating together to build joint solutions that our sales teams and partners will take jointly to our customers.

Joint Engineering Efforts

Cisco and Apple both have deep cultures of innovation, and each of us brings expertise in complementary areas. There is no doubt our engineering teams will deliver incredible results as they drive deep joint development.

Initially, our teams will focus on:

  • Delivering unparalleled performance and end-to-end solutions on Cisco networks and iOS devices
  • Extending the Cisco Unified Communications experience to the iPhone
  • Transforming team collaboration with iOS experiences on Cisco Spark, Cisco TelePresence, and Cisco WebEx

Strategic partnerships and co-development are both key pillars of Cisco’s innovation strategy. This relationship highlights the value and innovative customer solutions that result when we do both.

Shared Vision

Together, Cisco and Apple will help employees and businesses collaborate and innovate anytime, everywhere, with an amazing user experience every time. We will do this by delivering a high-performance mobile experience for every employee, and a powerful collaboration platform for every business. This partnership is made for today’s mobile, digital world and we could not be more excited about what is possible as we move forward together.

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Cisco IT’s User Experience Playbook: Content, Search, and Collaboration

Have you or one of your co-workers ever said “I can’t find my stuff!”? We’ve heard it a lot. Chapter 3 of Cisco IT’s User Experience (UX) Playbook is dedicated to never having to hear “I can’t find my stuff” again. 

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The Four Dimensions of Open

Last week, I posted about our Project Thor, our effort at creating a royalty-free next-generation video codec. This post generated lots of comments – which is great! But also illustrated that there is a lot of confusion about what it means for something to be open. I’d like to remedy that here and describe the four dimensions of open. Yup, four.

Dimension 1: “Open as in Open Source”

One dimension of open is whether the technology is available in open source form. Typically this means that the source code is available and that there is a license associated with it wherein the owner of the code makes it available for usage, distribution, and modification within other projects without charge. Cisco is typically favors the BSD license. It’s important to note that open source licenses are really about copyright: They tell you whether or not you can include this code in other projects and distribute it. Whether it really costs nothing overall — that’s the next dimension.

HAI68265Dimension 2: “Open as in Free”

The second dimension of open is whether the technology can be used in a form that does not require payment. Where things get interesting is when a piece of code implements something that is patented. In such a case, it may not actually be free to use the technology, because you need to pay a patent royalty fee to the patent owner. It’s totally possible for code to be open source (Dimension 1) but not free (Dimension 2). A great example of this is x264. This is an open source project – indeed available under the GPL license – but because H.264 utilizes patented technologies, any company that ships a commercial product using it has to pay patent license fees to the patent holders, in this case the MPEG-LA consortium. As a side note, the GPL license attached to x264 would also require a commercial product to open source its own code; but that’s a separate matter. Read More »

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What Future Do You See?

The future fascinates me. I grew up reading Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Kurt Vonnegut. And watching every sci-fi movie that came out. Robots, aliens, utopia, dystopia – I loved it all. Today, imagining what the future looks like is a big part of my job.

In June, I got to participate in a futurist session at Cisco Live where I had to make one prediction about what the year 2025 would be like. (See Ambient Computing below or watch the recording at 31:31.)

Now I have the chance to speak about the “Intelligent Future” at SXSW Interactive 2016 with my friend Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot (maker of the Roomba vacuum cleaner robot). Our panel, “Robots Taking Over at Work: Why It’s a Good Thing,” is in the running for the event. If you’d like to hear why we think robotics and augmented reality are on their way to the workplace, take a minute to vote using the SXSW Panelpicker.

I believe the world of tomorrow will be dramatically different from today.  Here are some of the futurist concepts that have been knocking around in my head lately:  Read More »

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