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Posts Tagged ‘Cisco’

Blending personal and work lifestyles via mobile poses security challenges

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

lockTwo global studies that provide a vivid picture of the rising security challenges that businesses, IT departments and individuals face, particularly as employees become more mobile in blending work and personal lifestyles throughout their waking hours, according to Cisco.

Here’s a finding that surprised us a bit at the TechJournal:

Despite popular assumptions that security risks increase as a person’s online activity becomes shadier, findings from Cisco’s 2013 Annual Security Report (ASR) reveal that the highest concentration of online security threats do not target pornography, pharmaceutical or gambling sites as much as they do legitimate destinations visited by mass audiences, such as major search engines, retail sites and social media outlets.

Where the malware really is

In fact, Cisco found that online shopping sites are 21 times as likely, and search engines are 27 times as likely, to deliver malicious content than a counterfeit software site. Viewing online advertisements? Advertisements are 182 as times likely to deliver malicious content than pornography.

Security risks rise in businesses because many employees adopt “my way” work lifestyles in which their devices, work and online behavior mix with their personal lives virtually anywhere — in the office, at home and everywhere in between.

Security implications of consumerization

CiscoThe business security implications of this “consumerization” trend are magnified by a second set of findings from the Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR), which provides insight into the attitudes of the world’s next generation of workers, Generation Y.

According to the study, most Generation Y employees believe the age of privacy is over (91%), but one third say that they are not worried about all the data that is stored and captured about them.

Gen Y lifestyles create security challenges

laptop userThey are willing to sacrifice personal information for socialization online.

In fact, more Generation Y workers globally said they feel more comfortable sharing personal information with retail sites than with their own employers’ IT departments — departments that are paid to protect employee identities and devices.

As Generation Y graduates from college and enters the workforce in greater numbers, they test corporate cultures and policies with expectations of social media freedom, device choice, and mobile lifestyles that the generations before them never demanded.

That lifestyle is entering work environments in greater numbers, spotlighting the future of work and how companies must consider competing for the next wave of talent.

Unfortunately, what the security studies show is the next-generation workforce’s lifestyles are also introducing security challenges that companies have never had to address on this scale.

Key Findings

Android Malware

  • Android malware encounters grew 2,577 percent over 2012. (ASR)
  • However, mobile malware represents only 0.5 percent of total Web malware encounters.(ASR)
  • These trends become especially significant considering the smartphone is the No.1 device among Gen Y workers over laptops, PCs and tablets (CCWTR)

Spam Trends

  • Spam volume dropped 18 percent from 2011 to 2012, with spammers working “banker’s hours” for a 25 percent drop in spam over the weekend. (ASR)
  • In 2012, the majority of spam was sent during the workweek — Tuesday was the heaviest spam day of the year. (ASR)
  • India is the top source of spam worldwide, with the U.S. moving from sixth in 2011 to second in 2012. Korea, China and Vietnam round out the top five. (ASR)
  • The top spoofed brands involve prescription drugs like Viagra and Cialis and luxury watches like Rolex and Omega. (ASR)
  • Spammers maximize the ROI of their efforts, targeting real-world events with specific and short-lived campaigns. (ASR)
    • January-March: Windows software, which coincided with the release of the Microsoft Windows 8 consumer preview.
    • February-April: Tax software during U.S. tax season.
    • January-March and September-December: Professional networks like LinkedIn, correlated with the desire for a career change during the beginning and end of the year.
    • September-November: Cellular providers around the release of the Apple iPhone 5.

The full report includes more on IT policy compliance, The Internet of Everything, Privacy Tradeoffs, malware encounters by country.

Read the Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report

Online Marketing Institute names the top 40 digital strategists

Monday, January 14th, 2013
LaSandra Brill

Cisco’s LaSandra Brill.

The California-based Online Marketing Institute has named its  the ‘Top 40 Digital Strategists,’ an annual list of leaders who have led the interactive marketing industry through innovation and education during the past year.

The ‘Top 40′ list is comprised of OMI educators, authors, and digital strategists, known for helping organizations improve digital campaign results and advancing the careers of marketers through speaking, blogging and teaching engagements.

The full list of ‘Top 40 Digital Strategists‘ is available on the Online Marketing Institute blog. They include:

Rohit Bhargava

Rohit Bhargava

Rohit Bhargava , Influential Marketing Group
LaSandra Brill , Cisco
Emeric Ernoult, AgoraPulse
Aaron Goldman , Kenshoo
Sundeep Kapur , NCR
Kent Lewis , Anvil Media
Brian Massey , Conversion Sciences
Jon Miller , Marketo
Michael Stelzner , Social Media Examiner
Ekaterina Walter , Intel
Todd Wilms , SAP

Each person provides industry insight on areas like social media best practicesB2B marketing and overall digital marketing trends in the OMI three-part blog series accompanying the announcement.

Net-go-round: connected TVs, car-to-car wireless, Felicia Day

Friday, January 4th, 2013

TVIn today’s Net-go-round: consumers are using connected TV apps and second screens in changing patterns of media consumpion.

Hotel meta-search firm Room 77 books a $30 million round, bringing its total capital raised to $43.8 million.

Cisco and NXP invest in a car-to-car wireless firm that could vastly increase traffic safety.

And CES promises a number of top musicians, Hollywood stars and TV personalities will attend its annual January event.

Consumers are using the built-in features on their HDTV at a high rate, with an increasing number gaining access to Web-enabled content directly through their televisions, according to new research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)

More than one in five U.S. adults owns a smart app-enabled HDTV and almost all (90 percent) use the apps available on their displays in some capacity.

In addition, more than four in ten HDTV owners connect their primary displays to the Internet, with 76 percent connecting at least one external device with smart app capabilities to their primary displays.

Half of all HDTV owners connect a video game console or a DVD/Blu-ray player to their primary displays.

Smart app users are most likely to stream video content from the Internet (61 percent), browse the Internet (56 percent) and view pictures (54 percent) using smart apps on their televisions.

Consumers are also looking for displays with built-in Wi-Fi and Internet browsing when purchasing a new HDTV, which trail only high-quality audio and video as the most important purchase factors of HDTVs. Approximately one in three consumers plans to purchase a new HDTV within the next 12 months.

Social networking common on second screens

mobile devicesAnother way many consumers are experiencing Web-enabled content for HDTV is through a second screen on a portable connected device. Social networking is the most common activity on the second screen.

Among HDTV owners who also own a tablet, two-thirds (67 percent) use their tablets for social networking while watching TV. Among HDTV owners who also own a smartphone, more than half (58 percent) are using a social network on that device while watching TV.

“We are living in an app-dominated world, whether it’s on your smartphone, tablet or television,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst at CEA. “Consumers want access to their apps at all times and they will use whatever device, TVs included, that offer the best and most convenient user experience.”

Popular musicians, Hollywood starts, TV personalities attending International CES

Popular musicians, movie stars and television personalities will promote the latest innovations shaping the consumer electronics industry during the 2013 International CES. Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the 2013 CES, the world’s largest annual innovation event, is scheduled for January 8-11, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Felicia Day

Felicia Day.

Actress Felicia Day will serve as the Entertainment Matters Ambassador for the Entertainment Matters at CES program. Entering its third year, Entertainment Matters at CES is designed by and for Hollywood’s film, television and digital communities.

For more see: Celebrity Guests Promote Latest Technologies

Cisco, NXP Invest in Cohda wireless to enable connected cars

CiscoCisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) have each made an investment in Cohda Wireless to advance intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and car-to-X communications.

Cohda Wireless is a leading specialist in wireless communication for automotive safety applications.

The companies say that this brings together the expertise of the three organizations to make the Internet of Everything a reality for the automotive industry, creating a safer and more enjoyable driving experience while improving the traffic flow.

Car-to-Car (C2C) and Car-to-Infrastructure (C2I) communications enable active safety systems that can affect 81 percent of all crash scenarios, as a result helping to reduce fatalities and injuries on the roads.

In addition to improving safety, car-to-infrastructure (C2I) communication holds great potential for intelligent transport system (ITS) management and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

For more see: Cisco, NXP invest in Cohda Wireless

Hotel mega search engine Room 77 keys in $30.3M round

Hotel metasearch engine Room 77 today announced it has closed $30.3 million in Series C financing with participation from new investor Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).

The company’s existing investors also participated, including Sutter Hill Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Concur Technologies, Felicis Ventures as well as Expedia’s founder Rich Barton, former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford and Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow.

This brings Room 77’s total capital raised to $43.8 million.

Room 77 instantly searches hundreds of travel sites at once to find hotels at the best price.

Based on internal analysis of more than five million hotel searches, Room 77 uncovered at least one lower price for travelers in two out of three searches, averaging $72 per stay.

Room 77 offers free Room Concierge service, which leverages the company’s proprietary room data, such as blueprints and simulated RoomView(SM) technology, to help travelers get in a great room when they book through Room 77.

To Gen Y, smartphones are like another bone in their body

Monday, December 17th, 2012
Gen Y is addicted to the smartphone and they use them everywhere.

Gen Y is addicted to the smartphone and they use them everywhere.

It’s 6 a.m. Your morning alarm shrills piercingly. You sit up groggily, stretch and yawn. It’s time to get ready for school or work — what do you do next? Get dressed? Take a shower? Brush your teeth? Not if you’re of the Gen Y generation.

Ninety percent of Gen Y surveyed worldwide said they check their smartphones for updates in email, texts and social media sites, often before they get out of bed, according to the 2012 Cisco® Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR.)

There are 206 bones in the human body, and the smartphone could plausibly be considered the 207th for Gen Y. Two out of five said they “would feel anxious, like part of me is missing,” if they couldn’t use their smartphones to stay connected.

Based on a survey conducted by InsightExpress of 1,800 college students and young professionals aged 18 to 30 across 18 countries, the report examines how Generation Y uses the Internet and mobile devices to connect with the world around them.

SocialNetworkingThe report reveals their behavior and attitudes about the creation, access and privacy of the enormous amounts of data being generated daily by smartphones, sensors, video cameras, monitors and other connected devices.

Mobile devices are just the beginning. As more and more people, processes, data and things join and interact on the “Internet of Everything,” the volume and potential value of all the data generated by those connections grow exponentially.

Key Findings of the 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report

The new morning routine: toothpaste, toilet paper and texting
Gen Y does not want to miss anything. Checking their mobile devices for text, email and social media updates is how they start their day — often even before getting out of bed. For this generation, information is real-time, all the time.

  • Nine of 10 respondents globally will get dressed, brush their teeth, and want to check their smartphones as part of the morning ritual for getting ready for school or work.
  • For employers, this is meaningful because it demonstrates that the workforce of the future is more agile, more informed and more responsive than any previous generation. They live to connect and communicate.


Me and my smartphone. From morning through night, Gen Y stays constantly connected.

  • More than one in four Gen Y respondents (29 percent) say they check their smartphones so constantly that they lose count.
  • Globally, one in five checks a smartphone for email, text and social media updates at least every 10 minutes. In the U.S., two out of five check at least once every 10 minutes.
  • One-third of respondents check their smartphones at least once every 30 minutes; in the U.S., that figure jumps to more than 50 percent.

Connected or addicted?

  • Sixty percent of Gen Yers subconsciously or compulsively check their smartphones for emails, texts or social media updates.
  • Of those, women are more driven to connect: 85 percent of women versus 63 percent of men find themselves often compulsively checking their smartphone for text, emails or social media updates.
  • Over 40 percent of respondents would go through a “withdrawal” effect and “would feel anxious, like part of me was missing,” if they couldn’t check their smartphones constantly.
  • Of those compulsive smart phone users, 60 percent wish they didn’t feel so compelled.

phone addiction infographic

Information Technology professionals are even more connected

  • Almost one third of IT professionals stated they check their smartphones “continuously.”
  • 40 percent of IT professionals said they check their smartphones at least every 10 minutes.

They’re everywhere! Smartphones are used everywhere, even in the most private of places. The craving to stay connected means that the lines between work and social life/family life are blurring.

friendsPeople check for work updates and communicate at all hours from every place imaginable. Time is elastic: For Generation Y there are no clear markers between “the workday” and personal time — both blend and overlap throughout the day and night.

  • Is romance dead? Globally, 3 out of 4 respondents use smartphones in bed.
  • Don’t forget to wash your hands: Over a third use smartphones in the bathroom.
  • Set a place at the table: Almost half of the global respondents (46 percent) said they text, email and check social media during meals with family and friends. More than half of American respondents (56 percent) use smartphones during social meals.
  • Watch out! Dangerous as it is, almost one in five admits to texting while driving.

Not just text and email: The apps revolution

  • Nearly 70 percent of the Gen Y respondents said mobile applications are important to their daily lives.
  • More than half said they mainly use mobile applications for games and entertainment.
  • Yet one in four (27 percent) mainly use mobile applications for work.

How many apps do you need?  Vendors advertise thousands of applications in their app stores, but are those apps being used? Of all the apps being downloaded daily, a surprisingly low number are used on a regular basis.

  • The majority of Gen Y respondents (70 percent) report using fewer than 10 smartphone apps regularly.
  • Only one in four (24 percent) respondents said they use 10 to 25 apps regularly

Online friendship versus in-person: The online community knows no bounds of geography or time zones

  • Forty percent spend more time visiting online with friends than socializing in person.
  • Two-thirds of respondents said they spend an equal amount of time, or more, socializing online with friends than they do in person.
  • But there’s a gender difference: 38 percent of men worldwide spend more time in-person with friends than online, versus 29 percent of women.

Who are you really? Online and real-world identities aren’t the same.
Connecting online creates opportunities to stretch everyday boundaries and try out a new persona — but on the flip side, it can lay the foundation for deception. How much can you trust what you read online?

  • Four of five (81 percent) respondents believe that people have different online and offline identities.
  • Over a third of the respondents felt that most people have very different online versus offline identities.
  • When asked about themselves, only 44 percent said their online identity was the same as their real-world “offline” identity.

Will smartphones replace laptops in the workplace?
laptop userIn many parts of the world, smartphones now rival laptops as the single most desired device by 18 to 30 year-olds. It is seen as the most versatile and the most compact.

  • If they had to choose only one device, a third of the respondents preferred a smartphone, while slightly more than a third favored laptops.
  • Smartphones have surpassed desktop computers as the preferred workplace device from a global perspective.
  • Smartphones were rated twice as popular as a desktop PC and three times as popular as a tablet.

For the “always-connected” generation, a single mobile device will do, whether it is a personal device or a company-owned device, which creates challenges for the IT managers who must safeguard company assets and information.

  • While two out of five said their company’s policy forbids them to use company-issued devices for non-work activities, nearly three out of four (71 percent) said they don’t always obey those policies.
  • Two-thirds (66 percent) feel that “employers should not track employees’ online activities — it’s none of their business.”
  • IT professionals know that many employees don’t follow the rules, but they don’t understand how prevalent it is: Over half of IT professionals globally thought their employees obey the policy on not using work devices for personal use.

Online shopping — global Gen Y trend

  • Nine out of 10 Gen Y surveyed said they engage in online shopping.
  • Nearly three out of five (58 percent) report they regularly rely on customer reviews when deciding on online purchases; an additional 28 percent consult online reviews occasionally.
  • Fifty-seven percent — almost 3 out of five — are willing to share their email address with stores and online sites in order to receive notices about discounts and sales. But they are wary of sharing much more than that — few are willing to share phone number, home address or other personal data.

Fueling the world’s data

  • Almost 90 percent upload photos to share or store on Internet sites.
  • 62 percent upload videos to share or store on Internet sites.
  • Facing the world: 87 percent have a Facebook account, and one in 10 have Facebook always up.
  • 41 percent update Facebook at least once a day, and over one in five update Facebook several times a day.
  • 56 percent of respondents have a Twitter account, and 21 percent tweet at least once a day.

Top 20 most social CMOs in the Fortune 100 named

Friday, November 30th, 2012

GE’s Beth Comstock, number one on the Business Social list.

Only one in five CMOs on the Fortune 100 list are active participants in public social networks, according to  BusinessNext Social.

The members of the list –  compiled in the BusinessNext Social Top 20 Most Social CMOs in the Fortune 100 – have social credentials demonstrating that they understand what it takes to grow and influence their own networks by using new strategies, cutting-edge social media and mobile technologies and compelling content marketing to build highly adaptive, high performance social businesses.

The study was inspired by the increasing focus businesses are placing on social, and the leadership role marketing is taking in managing social media activities.

A recent study by The CMO Survey predicts that social media spending as a percent of rising marketing budgets is expected to increase from 7.6 to 18.8 percent over the next 5 years; Gartner Research predicts the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017. [ii][iii]

The senior-most marketing executives recognized for leading social by example include: 

  1. General Electric Company’s Beth Comstock (@bethcomstock,, CMO and Senior Vice President
  2. Google, Inc.’s Nikesh Arora (@nikesharora), Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer
  3. Apple, Inc.’s Philip Schiller (@pschiller), Senior Vice President, Worldwide Product Marketing
  4. IBM’s Jon C. Iwata (@coastw,, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
  5. SAP’s Jonathan Becher (@jbecher,, CMO
  6. Dell’s Karen Quintos (@KarenDellCMO,, CMO
  7. Exxon Mobil Corporation’s Ken Cohen (@ken_cohen) Vice President of Public and Government Affairs
  8. Microsoft’s Chris Capossela (@chriscapossela,, CMO
  9. Cisco Systems’ Blair Christie (@BlairChristie,, Senior Vice President and CMO, Government Affairs,
  10. Raytheon’s Pam Wickham ( @PamWickham1, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications

The entire list of The 20 Most Social CMOs can be found on the BusinessNext Social Blog.


Taking a broader view of social media can change industries

Friday, July 13th, 2012

By Allan Maurer

Steve Nicholls

Steve Nicholls. is the author of the best-selling book “Social Media in Business” and has implemented advanced Internet applications for leading organizations including British Telecom, Ciena Corp., Detathree, and Inmarsat, among others. He is a social media trainer.

Businesses are rushing to get into the social media game whether they are ready for it or not, and that poses significant risks says social media trainer Steve Nicholls, author of Social Media in Business.”

Nicholls believes that the greatest risk of all is not to embrace social media because your competitors will be, but too many firms are taking a narrow view of it.

Take a broader view

“Lots of companies are hiring social media managers, but on a low level, usually in marketing.

“There is a lot of work to be done at that level, things that need to be done. But I take a much broader view. How does it affect your business strategy? How do you systematically make sure it is integrated across your business so that it does not undermine what you’re doing?”

There is not one blueprint for doing that, he adds. “It’s different for every organization.”

You need a clear picture

To get started, he suggests, “You need a clear picture of what it is you are trying to do and that has to be tied to your business goals. It may not be about how many fans you have. It might be perfect for your business, but for a lot of people it doesn’t do anything at all.”

If your objective is customer service, he says, “Then it’s good to have followers on Facebook and Twitter. But if your objective is for better internal or external communications, that might be a whole different thing.” For instance, a business can engage a community in new product decisions.

MorphsuitsExample: A small UK company, Morphsuits, which sells spandex suits that cover the entire body, head-to-toe like a superhero costume, has thousands of followers on Facebook. It asked its community what type of suit it should design next and had a contest that allowed is fans to design one. That suit is now their top-selling product.

“That’s the kind of thing you can do,” says Nicholls.


But, Nicholls says, companies need a framework to discuss social media throughout the entire organization, not just from a marketing or customer service standpoint. “It can be difficult to bring social DNA into some company cultures.”

It’s not just for kids

A friend of his works at a construction company and told him, re social media, “We banned it.” The friend said it was just games and people wasting time. “He still thinks it’s what kids do. He doesn’t have time for a Twitter account. If there is this mindset in your company that it is a waste of time, you are going to hit serious barriers and resistance.”

On the other hand, some companies use it to transform entire industries. “Look at what Groupon did in a recession. It took three elements, crowd buying, the promotional aspect of social media, and permission-based marketing and created the daily deals market. It used those technology tools to come up with a new business model.”

CiscoThen, there is Cisco. “They wanted to come up with a billion dollar idea,” Nicholls says. “They used their online platforms and offered $250,000 to the winning entry in a contest. They had entries from 150 countries and 8,229 ideas.”

So, Nicholls asks, “How many people are looking at social media that way? There are hundreds of ways to use these things and many that haven’t been done. As our knowledge of them increases, we’ll see more interesting things being done.”

A lot of companies, he notes, “Think, I’ve got a Facebook page, now I’m finished. It’s not as simple as that. Social media has to be a competency in your organization and you can’t have just one person looking at it.

We’ll follow up with Nicholl’s list of how to look at social media from a broader perspective and start or refresh your efforts next week.

Here’s more from Nicholl’s book on social media risks.



Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, boast the highest ranked small business portals

Friday, March 16th, 2012

At&tThe top three telecom operators have the  highest ranked Small Business portals out of a  ranking of 49 companies, According to strategy acceleration firm Compass Intelligence.

The year-end review examines more than 20 capabilities across four parameters over the four quarters of 2011.

The research shows that Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have built some of the most comprehensive and diverse experiences for  Small  Business  customers  in  2011.

Vendors  are  scored  and  ranked  each  quarter  in  terms  of  their  ability  to provide relevant online experiences that extend beyond e-commerce. Aspects, such as online learning, site design and  messaging,  in  addition  to  e-Commerce  capabilities  are  examined,  using  monthly  research  with  decision- makers in this market as guidance.

Creating a relevant experience a challenge

“Creating a relevant experience for the Small Business market continues to be a challenge – one which vendors are taking head on.  Today’s Small Business portals are cleaner and more elegant than ever. They are also starting to include improved content hierarchies and thought leadership tailored to this market,” says Kneko Burney, Founder &  CEO  of  Compass  Intelligence.

“By  creating  an  experience  that  is  architected  around  the  way  in  which  Small Businesses operate and/or their goals – vendors can position their solutions in more relevant ways – resulting in better conversion rates over time.”

The  research  conducted  in  2011  suggests  that  a  strong  self-learn  environment  coupled  with  simple,  intuitive navigation will result in an “ideal” Portal environment for this market.

Sean Rowe, Portal Researcher at Compass Intelligence  adds,  “Sometimes  less  is  more,  and  Small  Business  Decision-makers  want  to  spend  as  little  time possible researching and purchasing products. I expect to see a lot of focus on tools and capabilities that help with the sale of products, being incorporated into product pages rather than external resource centers.”

Key Findings include:

  • 2011 Top 10 – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Cisco, XO Communications, Dell, IBM, Windstream, cBeyond and CenturyLink
  • Best Practice this period: Theme-based Simplicity – a clean site experience built around contextual content relevant to the target segment.
  • Best Help & Support: Sprint offers an extremely intuitive Help & Support center, which incorporates multiple media types.
  • Best Learn Experience: AT&T’s InSite offers the most to Small Businesses wanting to develop and grow.
  • Best e-Commerce: Dell offers tools to help Small Businesses by providing comparison tables, user ratings and product images.
  • Click to here to download a summary of this period’s customer research

Frost & Sullivan names 2012 Excellence in Best Practices award winners

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Frost & SullivanFrost & Sullivan has named recipients of its 2012 Excellence in Best Practices Awards. The Excellence in Best Practices Awards are presented each year to companies that are predicted to encourage significant growth in their industries, have identified emerging trends before they became the standard in the marketplace, and have created advanced technologies that will catalyze and transform industries in the near future.

Awarded companies included:

Click to view table full screen
Acuo Technologies – 2011 North American Medical Imaging Informatics Product Leadership Award
Agilent Technologies – 2011 Global Oscilloscopes Company of the Year Award
ALI Solutions – 2011 North American Outbound Customer Contact Solutions Customer Value Enhancement Award
Amdocs Management LTD. – 2011 Global CSP Billing – Rating & Charging & Other Core Billing Market Share Leadership Award; 2011 Global CSP Billing – Total Billing Market Share Leadership Award
Avaya – 2011 Global Unified Communications Technologies Customer Value Enhancement Award; 2011 North American Enterprise Session Management Product Differentiation Excellence Award
Avistar Communications – 2011 Global Desktop Videoconferencing New Product Innovation Award
BK Medical Analogic Ultrasound Group – 2011 North American Surgical Ultrasound Product Differentiation Excellence Award
Celestica - 2011 Global Aerospace & Defense EMS Customer Value Enhancement Award
CenturyLink – 2011 North American Connected Home Landline Customer Value Enhancement Award; 2012 North American Retail Mid-Band Ethernet Services Customer Value Enhancement Award
Cisco – 2012 Global Satellite Transponder Technology Innovation Award
Clarity International - 2011 Global Network Services Business Quality Management Technology Innovation Award
Compuware Corporation – 2011 Global Cloud-Based Application Monitoring Company of the Year Award
Comverse – 2011 Global Communications Service Provider Billing Product Line Strategy Award
Contact Solutions – 2011 North American Hosted IVR Applications Product Differentiation Excellence Award
Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc. – 2011 North American Clinical Diagnostic Tools New Product Innovation Award
DigiCert, Inc. – 2011 North American SSL Certificate Customer Value Enhancement Award
DigitalRoute - 2011 Global CSP Billing Mediation Competitive Strategy Innovation Award
Electro Rent Corporation – 2012 North American Rental, Used and New Test Equipment Sales Company of the Year Award
Enterasys Networks – 2012 Global Network Access Control Customer Value Enhancement Award
ForeScout Technologies, Inc. – 2012 Global Network Access Control Technology Innovation Award
Getaround – 2011 North American Carsharing Enabling Technology Award
GreatCall - 2011 North American mHealth Customer Service Leadership Award
HealthOneMed – 2012 North American Medication Management Systems New Product Innovation Award
Heckmann Corporation – 2011 North American Private Commercial Fleet Green Excellence Award
Hipcricket – 2011 North American Mobile Marketing Customer Value Enhancement Award
InterCall – 2011 North American Audio Conferencing Service Market Share Leadership Award
Interstate Battery System of America, Inc. – 2011 U.S. Automotive Technicians’ Choice: Overall Best Brand of Automotive Batteries
LifeSize Communications - 2011 Global Enterprise Video Webcasting Solutions Customer Value Enhancement Award
Michelin Americas Truck Tires – 2011 North American Wide-Base Truck Tires Product Line Strategy Award
Monitronics International - 2011 North American Residential Alarm Monitoring Company of the Year Award
MPDV Mikrolab GmbH – 2011 Global Manufacturing Execution Systems Customer Value Enhancement Award
NAPA – 2012 United States Automotive Technicians’ Choice: Overall Best Program Distributor for Replacement Parts
Nuspire – 2011 North American Managed Security Service Providers Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award
OpenText Corporation – 2011 Global Digital Media Management and Workflow Company of the Year Award
Pedigree Technologies - 2011 North American M2M-Based Fleet Management Software New Product Innovation Award
PGi – 2011 North American CSP-Based Videoconferencing Services Product Line Strategy Award
QlikTech, Inc. – 2011 North American Health Data Analytics Technology Innovation Award
Recognition Technologies, Inc. – 2011 North American Speaker Verification Biometrics New Product Innovation Award
SafeNet – 2011 Global Software License Management Product Line Strategy Award
Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – 2011 North American Finished Heparin Product Quality Leadership Award
Senscient, Inc. – 2011 North American Gas Detection Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award
Siemens Enterprise Communications – 2011 Global Unified Communications Technologies Healthcare Product Line Strategy Award
Somnetics International, Inc. – 2012 North American Sleep Disordered Breathing Product Differentiation Excellence Award
Symantec Corporation – 2011 U.S. Cyber Security Managers’ Choice Award: Most Trustworthy Brand of Website Certification
Toon Boom Animation Inc. – 2011 Global Animation Software Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award
Tridium – 2011 North American Integrated Building Systems and Services Customer Value Enhancement Award
Velocent Systems – 2011 North American Mobile Broadband Service Assurance Customer Value Enhancement Award

Intel, Apple, Cisco, provide top tech experience & products, report says

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

IntelIntel, Apple, and Cisco, provide the best product and relationship experience in the tech industry, according to a  new research report published by Temkin Group, Tech Vendors: Benchmarking Product and Relationship Satisfaction of IT Clients, rates the experiences delivered by 60 large technology providers.

The research, which is based on a survey of 800 IT professionals from companies with at least $500 million in annual sales, examines how large enterprises rate IT vendors’ products and relationships.

Looking across the two key areas, products and relationships, Intel, Apple, and Cisco earned the highest average ratings. While the average rating across all 60 tech vendors was 50%, eight vendors fell below 40%: Compuware, Wipro, Capgemini, Tata Consulting Services, Unisys, Novell, Qualcomm, and SunGard.

The research uncovered a wide range of experience delivered by tech vendors when it comes to both products and relationships,” states Bruce Temkin, author of the report and Managing Partner of Temkin Group.

To evaluate the relationship experience provided by tech vendors, Temkin Group asked IT professionals to rate the companies in four areas: cost of ownership, innovation, account team support, and technical support.

CiscoThe vendors with the highest relationship ratings are Intel, Apple, Cisco, Google, Microsoft servers, and IBM IT services. The tech vendors that received the lowest relationship ratings are Compuware, Wipro, and Unisys.

To evaluate the product experience provided by tech vendors, Temkin Group asked IT professionals to rate the companies in four areas: ease of use, features, flexibility, and quality.

The vendors with the highest product ratings are Intel, Apple, Cisco, Microsoft business applications, Microsoft desktop software, Microsoft servers, Google, Oracle database software, Oracle business applications, and VMWare.


The tech vendors that received the lowest product ratings are Compuware, Capgemini, and Wipro.

Highlights from the eight evaluation criteria:

  • GoogleCost of ownership: Two tech vendors received ratings of 60% or higher – Google and Intel.
  • Innovation: 16 tech vendors received ratings of 60% or higher, while four were above 70% – Apple, Intel, Cisco, andGoogle.
  • Account team support: Seven tech vendors received ratings of 60% or higher, led by Apple, Intel, and Cisco.
  • Technical support: Nine tech vendors received ratings of 60% or higher and only Intel is above 70%.
  • Product ease-of-use: 13 tech vendors received ratings of 60% or higher and two are above 70% – Intel and Apple.
  • Product features: 17 tech vendors received ratings of 60% or higher and two are above 70% – Cisco and Intel.
  • Product flexibility: 12 tech vendors received ratings of 60% or higher and only Intel is above 70%.
  • Product quality: 17 tech vendors received ratings of 60% or higher and four are above 70% – Intel, Apple, Cisco, andAdobe.

This report can be accessed from the Temkin Group website at or from the blog, Customer Experience Matters, at

Tech “geek” dads both cool & more engaged with family

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Geek dadHear the word “geek” and visions of someone overly intellectual and socially awkward may come to mind. When that “geek” is also a “dad” the image may very well be a middle-aged man wearing black socks with sandals and a pocket protector, but new thinking may be changing all that for the better.

A new survey by Cisco’s (NASDAQ: CSCO) Home Networking Business, maker of Linksys products, finds that today’s geeks are cooler, connected and more engaged fathers than people may realize.

A “geek dad” is a father who is enthusiastic about technology and knowledgeable about the latest innovations. The Confessions of a Geek Dad survey* conducted in December byAnswers Research, found that 71 percent of geek dads say they spend more time doing activities with their kids than their fathers did with them.

Today’s geek dads have a wide variety of interests, including being music lovers (82 percent), outdoor enthusiasts (65 percent), all-around fix-it guys (79 percent), gaming fanatics (78 percent) and sports buffs (77 percent). In fact, 70 percent of geek dads say their kids think they are cool because they’re a tech geek.

And when called a “tech geek” by their kids, 87 percent say that makes them feel proud or humored. Also, most geek dads (69 percent) say they’re cooler than other dads, attributing their coolness factor to creating a home where their kids’ friends love hanging out (75 percent).

These statistics are part of a new wave of fathers who are using technology to connect with their families to create fun and memorable traditions and are more confident in their own abilities as parents.

“Today’s generation of fathers has grown up fed on a never-ending evolution of technology, from the touch-tone phone to Atari and Apple,” said Clay Nichols, self-proclaimed geek dad and blogger at

Geek dads create unique experiences

“Throw in the proliferation of tech in everyday life, and it’s not surprising to see a new class of dads who are able to translate tech knowledge, passion and expertise into unique experiences that are redefining family time.”

“It’s about embracing a new reality. You can be just as excited about new technology and what you can do with it, as when you were a teenager — and that’s what keeps you cool,” said Nichols.

Interestingly, the survey showed that 72 percent of geek dads (especially younger ones age 24-39 at 79 percent) say they’re more excited about teaching kids how to use tech tools than the traditional workbench tools their dads taught them. In fact, 93 percent of geek dads say they assist their kids with their tech toys with nearly 80 percent saying they’re always one of the first of their friends to buy new tech products.

“We recognize that technology in the home can create meaningful experiences with kids, whether it’s editing videos together, playing games or researching shared passions,” said Elizabeth Jones, senior marketing manager, Cisco Home Networking Business Unit.

“Geek dads are more confident and we want to fuel their connectivity with home networking solutions that connect all their new tech toys with ease and performance.”

The survey showed that slow Internet (25 percent) and Wi-Fi connectivity issues (19 percent) are the top frustrations geek dads face when it comes to home technologies. Cisco says its  new Linksys E4200V2 Maximum Performance Wireless-N Dual Band Router, might be the answer to that,  geek dad or not, users get maximum streaming speed for HD/3D quality video streaming, superior wireless coverage, and faster USB hard drive disk performance for streaming media.

Only 4 technology vendors deliver excellent customer experience, survey says

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

MicrosoftOnly four technology vendors deliver excellent customer experience, according to  new research report published by Temkin Group, 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings of Tech Vendors, rates the customer experience of 60 large technology providers.

The research, which is based on a survey of 800 IT professionals from companies with at least $500 million in annual sales, shows that only four technology vendors deliver excellent customer experience: Microsoft business applications, Cisco, IBM SPSS, and Microsoft servers. The research also shows a strong connection between customer experience and the purchasing plans of large companies.

Tech vendors that deliver a better customer experience will capture more IT spending from large companies,” states Bruce Temkin, author of the report and Managing Partner of Temkin Group.

The Temkin Experience Ratings are based on analyzing customer interactions in three areas:

  • Functional: Can customers do what they are trying to do?
  • Accessible: How easy is it for customers to do what they want to do?
  • Emotional: How do customers feel about those interactions?

While four of the companies earned overall “excellent” ratings, nine others led by Compuware, Capgemini, and Fujitsu received “very poor” ratings.

The research also examined purchase momentum – the net percentage of companies that plan to buy more from a vendor in 2012 – for each of the 60 companies.

The technology vendors with the highest purchase momentum are SAS Institute, Apple, Cisco, Microsoft business applications and Microsoft servers. At the other end of the purchasing spectrum, Compuware, Alcatel-Lucent and Sybase have the lowest purchase momentum.

Temkin Group charted the Temkin Experience Ratings and the purchase momentum data for all 60 companies. This analysis uncovered a strong connection between customer experience and future purchase plans.

According to Temkin: “The tech sector has a long way to go in delivering great customer experience, but there’s loyalty at the end of the rainbow.”

This report can be accessed from the Temkin Group website at or from the blog, Customer Experience Matters, at

Tablets displacing smartphones as workplace device of choice

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012


2012 is seen as a year in which enterprise-grade tablet computing will undergo significant change, according to Cisco.

It commissioned Redshift Research to survey 1500 IT managers and executives in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain to assess attitudes, fears and hopes for tablet form-factor mobile devices (“tablets”) in the workplace.

Redshift polled IT managers and executives in a wide variety of global companies of all sectors and sizes. All respondents are either primary IT decision makers or play a key role in the decision process for all IT products. Sole proprietors were excluded from the study. Field work was conducted in late 2011.

Key findings include:

Tablet Demand

  • Tablets vs. smartphones: which win? Globally, IT departments report employees place one tablet request for every three smartphone requests today.
  • Which countries lead? Of the countries surveyed, the US and France are tied for tops — each report a tablet is requested by 21% of the workforce. Senior executives are most likely to be issued a tablet in the US (38%) and least likely to be issued one in the UK (27 percent).
  • Who’s most excited? Spain tops the list, with 90% of IT managers believing the tablet will become more popular in the next two years.
  • “Uber-connected sales guys.” Tablets are significantly more prevalent amongsalespeople in Germany (31%) than in all other countries (21% on average).

Fears And Wants

  • Tops in security concerns? The U.S., the country with the most experience managing tablets, also ranks #1 on the “security issue”: 75% of US IT managers said new rules must be established around security and device usage. 
  • What about app access? Nearly half (48%) of all IT managers surveyed agree that access to company applications should be restricted for all employees. Canada and UKwere the top countries in wanting to see restricted access on tablet form-factor devices (55% and 56%, respectively).
  • Custom apps? IT managers universally agree that custom tablet applications would benefit their business.
  • Top “want list” features? Globally, three-quarters of IT managers indicated email and document sharing are “must haves.” About half agreed or strongly agreed that these are desirable: video conferencing, IM, access to company databases and seamless synchronization with other business devices. 


  • Turning a blind eye to BYOD. Globally, 48% said their company would never authorize employees to bring their own devices (BYOD), yet 57% agreed that some employees use personal devices without consent.
  • 51% of the respondents reported the number of employees bringing their own devices to work is on the rise.
  • Using personal devices without consent was highest in the US (64%) and lowest in Germany (49%).
  • Access to company servers was highlighted as a “huge problem” of the “bring your own device” to work phenomena as was lost/stolen devices (64% globally).
  • Globally, 44% say that handling BYOD issues diverts IT attention from other important projects.

Immersive in-store experiences capture tech-savvy consumers

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Cisco screen

A new survey identifies new ways for retailers to “catch” and “keep” channel-hopping customers to revitalize brick-and-mortar stores.

Conducted by Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) — the company’s global consultancy — and Cisco’s retail marketing team, the study surveyed 1,000 U.S. and 1,000 U.K. shoppers. Among the research’s many key findings was that retailers must respond to technology-savvy consumers by creating digitally-rich, easy-to-use, technology-based experiences in the store to expand basket size and increase margins.

These experiences “mash up” physical retailing with the best of rich online content. Cisco’s retail solutions will be showcased at NRF booth 851.

The study revealed three specific shopping behaviors: (1) the influence that digital content has on consumer buying decisions, (2) how consumers engage in cross-channel shopping behavior, and (3) how consumers use technology while shopping. In addition, the survey polled shoppers about what kinds of technology-based experience prototypes they would like to use in stores.

These cross-technology experiences, also known as “mashops” get their name because they “mash up” the virtual and physical worlds to create a new way to shop.

Influence of Online and Off-Line Information Sources
The survey found that digital content can frequently trigger consumers to buy. Bringing online digital content into the store is especially powerful in influencing buying decisions at the point of sale.

  • Nineteen percent of respondents were influenced to make a purchase with digital “inspiration” triggers
  • Thirty percent use online videos to choose the right product or service
  • Fifty-one percent of U.S. respondents now use or want to use an in-store kiosk for self-service of accessing web-based content
  • Forty-two percent of U.S. respondents use or are interested in using video screens or video walls within the store to make buying decisions
  • Forty percent of U.S. respondents use or are interested in using mobile phones for in-store digital content delivery
  • Thirty-five percent of U.S. respondents indicated current use or interest in using tablets for in-store digital content delivery

Cross-Channel Shopping Behavior
Internet ubiquity, personal technology adoption, and e-commerce growth have produced a new consumer behavior — cross-channel shopping. In this environment, consumers hop from one channel to another throughout the shopping journey looking for the best deal. For retailers that have achieved success through traditional practices (price, product, promotion and placement), cross-channel shopping demands a new approach to win customers.

The survey discovered that cross-channel shopping behavior is prevalent and desired by most consumers, with nearly 74 percent of all respondents conducting online research before making in-store purchasing decisions.

  • Fifty-three percent of shoppers reported current activity or interest in conducting research at an in-store kiosk and making their purchase immediately in the store
  • Forty-five percent reported current activity or interest in conducting research with a mobile device and then making their purchase in the store
  • Forty-four percent reported current activity or interest in conducting research with a mobile device and then making their purchase on a PC

Technology-Based Experiences
The survey also explored the types of innovative experiences retailers could provide to meet these new consumer behaviors by asking participants about five technology-based experiences they may want to use during the course of their shopping. The feedback shows how consumers want to use technology to make more informed and quicker decisions at point-of-purchase.

Immersive Experiences — The survey asked shoppers about their use of a more immersive shopping experience, where by standing in front of a large, full-length screen, they could select and “try on” clothing and accessories virtually. They also could view items such as furniture, lighting, and blinds in a virtual room setting.

  • Forty-six percent wanted to “try on” items
  • Forty-four percent wanted to coordinate items such as furniture, clothes, and accessories
  • Twenty-nine percent wanted to view/buy available products

Product Viewer — This technology-based experience provides shoppers with a large, interactive display to browse or look for specific products. The screen shows “go withs,” customer ratings, “likes,” and directions to products within the store. The most popular features included:

  • Forty-five percent liked the ability to compare products and pricing
  • Thirty-two percent enjoyed having access to detailed product specs
  • Twenty-nine percent were inclined to “like” products on the screen
  • Twenty-seven percent liked having directions to more easily locate products in the store

Shelf Help — Shoppers were asked about what information they preferred to have delivered either through interactive digital displays at the shelf level, or via an employee’s tablet or shopper’s smartphone. With this option, they could receive expert advice through self-service guided selling or via video-chat with a remote expert.

  • Forty-three percent of shoppers wanted to compare products and prices
  • Forty percent wanted to compare prices at a leading retailer
  • Thirty-one percent wanted detailed product specs
  • Thirty percent wanted a guide for selecting the best products

Personal Mobile Shopper — Retailers could also provide shoppers with a personal greeting on their mobile devices as they entered the store, and customized offers based on past transactions as well as “likes” on the retailer’s Facebook page.

  • Forty-nine percent liked the ability to compare products and prices
  • Forty percent liked the ability to opt in/out
  • Thirty-seven percent liked retailers to “push” offers for big purchases
  • Thirty-six percent liked directions to products in the store

Shoppers Favorites — Finally, shoppers were asked about how they would use a large in-store, high-definition, and constantly-updated display that showed new products, top sellers, and most “liked.” products within the store.

  • Forty-four percent liked up-to-the-minute special offers
  • Forty-three percent liked what’s new in the store
  • Forty-one percent liked limited-time specials
  • Thirty-two percent liked directions to products in the store

Internet as important as air, food and water to young professionals

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

CiscoDemonstrating the increasing role of the network in people’s lives, an international workforce study by Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) revealed that one in three college students and young professionals considers the Internet to be as important as fundamental human resources like air, water, food and shelter.

The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report also found that more than half of the study’s respondents say they could not live without the Internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives” — in some cases more integral than cars, dating, and partying.

These and numerous other findings provide insight into the mindset, expectations, and behavior of the world’s next generation of workers and how they will influence everything from business communications and mobile lifestyles to hiring, corporate security, and companies’ abilities to compete.

The findings will be presented by Cisco executives during a free Internet TV broadcast at


  • The second annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report examines the relationship between human behavior, the Internet, and networking’s pervasiveness. It uses this relationship to provoke thoughts around how companies will remain competitive amid the influence of technology lifestyle trends.
  •  The global report, based on surveys of college students and professionals 30 years old and younger in 14 countries, provides insight into present-day challenges that companies face as they strive to balance current and future employee and business needs amid increasing mobility capabilities, security risks, and technologies that can deliver information more ubiquitously — from virtualized data centers and cloud computing to traditional wired and wireless networks.

Key Findings

Internet as One of Life’s Fundamental Resources

  • Air, Water, Internet: One of every three college students and employees surveyed globally (33%) believes the Internet is a fundamental resource for the human race — as important as air, water, food and shelter. About half (49% of college students and 47% of employees) believe it is “pretty close” to that level of importance. Combined, four of every five college students and young employees believe the Internet is vitally important as part of their daily life’s sustenance.
  • Life’s Daily Sustenance: More than half of the respondents (55% of college students and 62% of employees) said they could not live without the Internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives.”
  • The New Way to Get Around: If forced to make a choice between one or the other, the majority of college students globally — about two of three (64%) — would choose an Internet connection instead of a car.

The New Social Life: Internet over Love and Friendship?

  • First Love: Two of five college students surveyed globally (40%) said the Internet is more important to them than dating, going out with friends, or listening to music.
  • Social Life 2.0: Whereas previous generations preferred socializing in person, the next generation is indicating a shift toward online interaction. More than one in four college students globally (27%) said staying updated on Facebook was more important than partying, dating, listening to music, or hanging out with friends.

The Use of Mobile Devices for Accessing Information…and the End of TV and Newspapers?

  • Importance of Mobile Devices: Two-thirds of students (66%) and more than half of employees (58%) cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives.”
  • Continued Rise of Smartphones and Mobility: Smartphones are poised to surpass desktops as the most prevalent tool from a global perspective, as 19% of college students consider smartphones as their “most important” device used on a daily basis, compared to 20% for desktops — an indication of the growing trend of smartphone prominence and expected rise in usage by the next generation of college graduates upon entering the workforce. This finding fans the debate over the necessity of offices compared to the ability to connect to the Internet and work anywhere, such as at home or in public settings. In the 2010 edition of the study, three of five employees globally (60%) said offices are unnecessary for being productive.
  • TV’s Decline: Both surveys indicate that the TV’s prominence is decreasing among college students and young employees in favor of mobile devices like laptops and smartphones. Globally, fewer than one in 10 college students (6%) and employees (8%) said the TV is the most important technology device in their daily lives. As TV programming and movies become available on mobile devices, this downward trend is expected to continue.
  • Paper Route’s Dead End? Only one of 25 college students and employees (4%) surveyed globally said the newspaper is their most important tool for accessing information.
  • Saving Trees: One of five students (21%) have not bought a physical book (excluding textbooks required for class) in a bookstore in more than two years — or never at all.

Influence of Social Media — And Distractions in Daily Life

  • Facebook Interaction: About nine of 10 (91%) college students and employees (88%) globally said they have a Facebook account — of those, 81 percent of college students and 73% of employees check their Facebook page at least once a day. One of those three (33%) said they check at least five times a day.
  • Online Interruption or Disruption? College students reported constant online interruptions while doing projects or homework, such as instant messaging, social media updates and phone calls. In a given hour, more than four out of five (84%) college students said they are interrupted at least once. About one in five students (19%) said they are interrupted six times or more — an average of at least once every 10 minutes. One of 10 (12%) said they lose count of how many times they are interrupted while they are trying to focus on a project.
  • Work Is Life: In a sign that the boundary between work and personal life is becoming thinner, seven of 10 employees “friended” their managers and/or co-workers on Facebook, indicating the dissolution of boundaries separating work and private life. Culturally, the United States featured lower percentages of employees friending managers and co-workers — only about one in four (23%) — although two of five friended their co-workers (40%).
  • The Work Grapevine: Of employees who use Twitter, more than two of every three (68%) follow the Twitter activity of either their manager or colleagues; 42% follow both, while one-third (32%) prefer to keep their personal lives private.

About the Study

  • The study was commissioned by Cisco and conducted by InsightExpress, a third-party market research firm based in the United States.

Get the most from deploying video in a company

Thursday, September 8th, 2011
Timothy Markey

Timothy Markey

By Allan Maurer

Today’s video, higher quality and more accessible than ever, can save companies scads of money on travel expenses alone, but too few use video well enough to realize the ROI it can provide. So says Tim Markey, president of Visual Bridge and former Director of Cisco’s Global Performance Services for Business Video.

Markey is one of more than 80 top digital media, Internet, and social media experts participating at the 2011 Digital East conference in Tysons Corner, VA, Sept. 28-29.

Markey was responsible for all Services for the Americas Region as part of TANDBERG.

TANDBERG was the leading manufacturer of video conferencing and collaboration infrastructure and endpoints prior to being acquired by Cisco. Tim joined TANDBERG from Amdocs, where he was the Vice President of 4G Wireless and was responsible for the successful deployment of Sprint/Clearwire’s 4G Wireless back office suite of systems.

Markey says that over and over again he’s seen cases where companies buys a lot of video equipment but doesn’t get a lot of uptake or use, so they miss out on the ROI possible. “A lot of the time the IT department goes out and buys this stuff on the ‘build it and they will come’ theory. It’s not that easy.”

Some companies even deploy their video resources in a fashion that makes it awkward to use. “I’ve seen cams ten-feet in the air looking at everyone’s head,” Markey says, “and small equipment in a huge conference room. I’ve seen cams next to a window where sunlight keeps people from even seeing that you’re on video.”

Best practices really help

So, Markey, says, “Best practices really help in deploying video, lighting, where the cameras are located, equipment that is appropriate for the room – do it right the first time.”

Video often needs a champion within the company to get full ROI from deployments, he says. “The COO of a Virginia company that was spending $60 million a year on travel said he could cut that in half with video. Once it was deployed around the world, it saved more than half. A champion drove the change in video behavior.”

Another best practice is to provide some  education. “I’ve interviewed people in companies who didn’t know they could use video – or didn’t know how to use it,” Markey notes.

Internal marketing campaigns help

He says an internal marketing campaign, including simple educational materials such as how-to-guides, make people aware they have a video option and prevents them from being intimidated by lack of knowing how.

In any event, Markey says, “Video is the wave of the future. Travel savings are the easy ROI. Day to day productivity also increases.”

Visual communication can help improve a firm’s level of communication and make meetings go more quickly, he says. “Just having eye-to-eye contact forces you to pay more attention,” he adds.

The video deployment was very successful at TANDBERG, where Markey says “We used video every day. Desk phones rarely rang. Once you do it, going back to regular phone calls feels like you’re moving backward. I  had meetings with people in Singapore and Hong Kong on video in my office. It made us a much more productive, efficient and lean company,” he says.

What to consider before a video deployment

If you’re thinking about deploying video in your company, he suggests you ask yourself what the business case for doing so is. “What do you want as a benefit? Save on travel? Increase efficiency? How are you impacting the people of your organization? Look at your overall processes. Will any change because of video? How will you pay for it?”

Travel savings using video don’t have to relate only to meetings with people in Singapore or Hong Kong, he points out. “We’ve seen lots of savings in government agencies with an office in Virginia and another in Maryland where people had to spend hours getting from one to the other every day. You can save on travel across town.”

Markey says he fields lot of other questions about the business use of video and you can ask him a few of your own at Digital East.

Should Google+ and other social networks allow annonymous users?

Thursday, August 18th, 2011
James Schramko

James Schramko

Google’s controversial move to ban the use pseudonyms on Google Plus has sparked debates and outrage in the online community, especially since a number of reports that came out stated that several accounts registered under fake names have been reinstated.

In a surprising statement earlier this month, Randi Zuckerberg, Marketing Director of Facebook and sister to the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was quoted saying “I think anonymity on the internet has to go away” echoing statements made about a year ago by Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt.

Internet marketer and CEO of James Schramko, says things are never that simple. He explains further:

“Completely taking away the right to speak anonymously could expose a lot of people to security risks and possibly to life-threatening situations. Information dissemination should remain on a need-to-know basis, and there are things that other people don’t need to know.”

As illustrated in a report on TNW, two separate Bahraini anti-government activists shared opposing views on anonymity: one choosing to reveal himself for credibility reasons – which came at a price, while the other chose anonymity as his ally for security reasons.

In a report yesterday on The Sydney Morning Herald, Cisco is facing a lawsuit filed by Chinese dissidents who were allegedly captured and tortured for several years by the Chinese government. The group of more than 10 plaintiffs claim that Cisco aided the CCP in developing technology that would help track and censor all internet traffic to and from China, suppressing the right to freedom of speech in favor of an oppressive regime.

“Imagine what oppressive governments could do had they access to everyone’s names online.” says Schramko

UK looter nabbed after taunting Facebook post

In a different story, a looter in Manchester who [is assumed to have] used his real name on Facebook was arrested by police after bragging on Facebook that he couldn’t be caught. A separate story showed a 16-year-old boy brought into custody for allegedly inciting riots on Facebook and several other people were arrested for inciting violence over Twitter.

“Lately, social media channels like Facebook and Twitter have become instrumental in bringing some criminals to justice, though this still does not justify sacrificing the safety of those fighting a good fight.” says Schramko.

In business matters, Schramko says that the absence of anonymity and the fear of legal ramifications may prevent the spread of malicious content over the web by shady competitors. He adds “Consumers, who sometimes may (or may not) have valid reasons to publicly voice their opinions about a brand or service, will in some cases be forced to think twice and choose their words more carefully under their real names – if they are smart that is.”

“I am stressing the words ‘in some cases’ because people do stupid things on the internet with their real names all the time. It gets them fired, or it gets them rejected during job applications. Businesses get ruined by slander more often than we know. Forcing the zero-anonymity policy, however, is not the solution and endangers other individuals needlessly.

“Ultimately, the choice to reveal one’s identity should be a personal one and not a decision forced upon us. For now, if you’ve done something regrettable and irreversible over internet, or your business is suffering from unfair and unwanted media exposure, turning to reputation managment companies like Reputation Management Authority is your best bet in cleaning up the mess.”

Online reputation management is one of the topics frequently covered at TechMedia’s Internet-focused conferences. The next is Digital East in Tysons Corner, VA in late September.


Cisco tops Infonetics web security SaaS scorecard

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

CiscoThe Infonetics Research Worldwide Web Security SaaS Provider Scorecard, which analyzes and ranks the top web security-as-a-service (SaaS) providers,  ranks Cisco tops among SaaS web security providers.

“There is a tight race for leadership among the top 5 web security SaaS providers — Cisco, McAfee, Symantec, Websense, and zScaler. The difference between 1st and 5th place in our vendor matrix comes down to small variations in brand presence, security profile, strategy, capabilities, and financial stability. These factors are valued differently from buyer to buyer, making for some very interesting competition between vendors,” notes Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research.


  • Cisco leads Infonetics’ web security SaaS provider scorecard overall, in large part because of its strong product offering with unique features, such as integration with Cisco routers
  • McAfee and Symantec tie for 2nd right behind Cisco, each scoring stronger or weaker than the other in some areas
  • Websense and zScaler, respectively the only standalone web security player and the sole SaaS-only player in the top 5, have the potential to remain strong players in the web security SaaS arena, though both will have trouble matching the security profile and brand presence of Cisco, McAfee, and Symantec

Providers ranked in Infonetics’ Worldwide Web Security SaaS Provider Scorecard includeCisco, McAfee, Symantec, Websense, and zScaler, with additional commentary on other web security SaaS providers such as Blue Coat and Barracuda. The leadership scorecard identifies providers’ strengths and weaknesses, and ranks the top web security SaaS providers based on criteria critical to determining market leadership, including security brand presence, security profile, financial stability, market strategy, and service capabilities.

Infographic: the Internet of things and connected devices

Monday, July 18th, 2011

The number of devices connected to the Internet outnumbered the number of people by 2006 and the “Internet of things” continues to soar, with new connected devices arriving on the scene daily. Also, a Verizon exec recently told us that the company’s new 4G mobile technology is fast enough for viable machine-to-machine connections of things such as refrigerators and home lighting, appliances, and temperature control, among others.

Cisco has created an infographic to visualize the growth of The Internet of Things:

Internet of things

Digitalsmiths lands $12.5M Technicolor round for video search tech

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

DigitalsmithsDURHAM, NC – Digitalsmiths, which sells video discovery solutions, has raised a $12.5 million C round of financing led by Technicolor with participation from existing invesors, including 406 Ventures, Aurora Funds, Chrysalis Ventures, Capital Broadcasting and Cisco.

“This new funding validates our market progress. Our mission is to redefine video consumption by reaching the broadest array of devices with the most powerful video discovery platform available,” said Digitalsmiths’ CEO and Co-Founder Ben Weinberger. “We are fanatical about helping video providers make more money by offering next-generation video search and personalized discovery experiences.”

Digitalsmiths, in partnership with Turner Sports, made it possible for NCAA March Madness fans to search video highlights in real-teim during the tournament. The offering enabled fans to search for and watch top plays, dunks, three-pointers and virtually any other search term conceivable. Additionally, all video was targeted with ads using Digitalsmiths’ real-time data thus opening new revenue streams.

“The market opportunity for companies such as Digitalsmiths is huge and growing – half a billion people globally will view online video via connected devices such as TVs, games consoles or set-top boxes by 2016,” said Colin Dixon, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group. “The underlying key to monetizing this content is not just search, but actually the discovery of content. Deep metadata enables discovery and unlocks new, additive monetization models as evidenced in the capabilities of the NCAA March Madness video portal. This provides benefits to advertisers and content owners alike.”

Digitalsmiths’ customers include today’s leading Hollywood studios, broadcasters, distributors and publishers including Warner Bros., Turner, The CW Network, Paramount, Telepictures and more

Google, Cisco, American Express join Startup America, Steve Case provides update

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Startup America PartnershipWASHINGTON, DC – Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) are among companies joining Startup Amerca.

Google will contribute $100 million in advertising services to startups. American Express is contributing $125 million in purchasing discounts and business services. Cisco offers training for 6,000 entrepreneurs.

Steve Case, chair of Startup America, the Obama Administration’s attempt to focus attention and some resources on entrepreneurship, offers a video update on the program, citing new partners, hiring Scott Case as CEO, and more.