Norm Goes to Japan

July 27, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Tips & Tricks

Guess what? We finally closed the Japanese bank deal! It’s been a bumpy ride the past few months but on the bright side I’ve learned how to distinguish between about sixteen different types of hmmms. Let me back up a little. Prior to my first meeting with the bank’s executive team I sat down with my sales manager Tom to discuss our strategy. He explained that business was conducted differently in Eastern cultures than it was in Western cultures. In the first meeting, the initial focus is on establishing a relationship by understanding each other’s needs rather than simply discussing different products …

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As more and more business move their primary IT and other functions to the cloud there is one issue that is always present; security. It is similar to the early days of online shopping and banking when many consumers were concerned that anyone could gain access to their credit card number or bank account information. But, over the years we have learned that while online banking and shopping is not 100% bullet-proof (frankly nothing really is); it really is quite secure. With the move to the cloud, security is an ever-present topic for conversation, and it should be. There is a …

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Social collaboration, a combination of social media, visual collaboration and unified communications, is becoming a significant trend in business today. When used together, these technologies can improve products or processes and ultimately drive true innovation which has a direct impact on a firm’s bottom line. This is the final post in a series discussing the benefits of social collaboration. For part one click here. Customer needs are changing faster than the weather these days and companies have to find new ways to adapt; otherwise they will simply fade away. Pushing products or services upon customers, à la advertising or herded …

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With the advent of smartphones, tablets, and other consumer devices, employers are now dealing with a high demand from employees to not only allow BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) but also to provide the tools and support needed to integrate these devices into new and existing business technologies. One major area of interest is mobile video conferencing. Due to the many options available, it is important to define a clear strategy to ultimately drive usage and adoptions. While there are many areas of the business to consider, here are five key ones to begin with when defining your strategy. What’s the end game? It is …

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Knocking Down the Walls of Collaboration

July 23, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Cisco, Telepresence

In most organizations, highly interactive working sessions not only occur but are considered crucial to the business. Unfortunately, many times subject matter experts and other team members are located different offices. While video conferencing helps, it doesn’t quite offer the level of interactivity needed for high-pressure situations or critical projects. Picture this: it’s almost 7:30 pm in New York and the Tokyo stock exchange is set to open in about a half an hour; but first, there’s a quick strategy meeting with the Japanese office. There’s a long list of trades that need to happen plus the futures market is looking a …

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Stop Being Such a Video-phobe!

July 20, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Video Conferencing

I use video on a daily basis whether it’s to collaborate with colleagues, catch up with friends and family out of state or simply say goodnight to my husband when I’m out of town. There is something about connecting face-to-face with someone who is hundreds or thousands of miles away that still amazes me and I’m constantly trying to convert people I know into avid video users. Unfortunately, I’m still met with a significant amount of resistance from some people who have, what I deem as, irrational fears of video. Here are some of my favorites: People can (and will) spy on …

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“Last year was the worst year we’ve had in the history of disasters.” – Al Berman, Disaster Recovery Institute. That sounds pretty ominous, but what exactly does it mean? Organizations have been facing costly downtime and the frustrating task of getting systems back online and operations up and running in the aftermath of earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and more. A disaster can be as simple as a single building power failure or severe and horrific as the Japanese tsunami. Even if the event is isolated, the after effects can permeate throughout an organization, especially if employees are dispersed and required to collaborate remotely. What’s …

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If you are a small or mid-sized business owner, you probably know the secret to success lies in the quality of the relationships with customers. In an increasingly competitive corporate landscape where consumers have access to more information and more choices than ever before, small companies must build and maintain closer, more personal bonds with their clients. It is this customer-focused approach that helps small businesses please customers and increase revenue. Of course, most organizations recognize the importance of providing outstanding customer service, but small businesses are truly in the position to deliver. They can use video conferencing technology to not only …

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Collaboration, team work, relationships and communication; these are some of the latest buzzwords in business today. Companies are not only embracing the collaboration era but looking for ways to enhance communication and strengthen relationships between colleagues, business partners and even customers. The result: video enabled organizations. The benefits of video conferencing are undeniable and technological innovations have made video more accessible and easier to use than ever. As a result, organizations are adopting visual collaboration solutions at a rapid rate. However, while some organizations are creating a competitive advantage with stellar results; others see the equipment slowly collect dust. So, what makes the …

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The prevalence of cloud services has begun a heated debate among IT professionals and spurred two different types of thinking. One side consists of professionals that prefer to handle all IT components in-house and more or less resist the cloud. The other side consists of professionals who are embracing the cloud and prefer to outsource certain components to different experts. This leads to the challenge most IT professionals face; should we continue to do everything ourselves or embrace the cloud? Let’s start by further defining the two different positions. While some IT professionals fear the cloud because they believe it will steal part of, if …

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