Work is What You Do, Not Where You Are

April 20, 2011

Borderless OfficeI was talking to the publisher at a major media outlet a few days ago about ideas related to “The Modern Office.” Ironically, the first thing that came to mind for me was that the “the modern office” doesn’t necessarily include an actual office anymore. With borderless networks and secure wireless access, more employees than ever are working remotely.

In “Wanted: Business Mobility Strategies” (Channel Partners, Apr 2011) there’s an interesting discussion about the growing need for IT to support devices of all types – personal or company-issued. But a complete strategy needs to take into account not just hardware and anytime, anywhere access, but also the business rules and policies to support genuine mobility.

Security should be a primary consideration factor in designing a wireless strategy. What devices are allowed to connect to the network? Should roaming or hotspot access be allowed? To what degree are device features allowed and which, if any, must be disabled? Obviously, data security plays a key role in establishing these procedures and policies.

According to the Cisco Connected Technology World Report, three out of five workers around the world believe that they do not need to be in the office anymore to be productive. In fact, their desire to be mobile and flexible in accessing corporate information is so strong that the same percentage of workers would choose jobs that were lower-paying but had leniency in accessing information outside of the office over higher salaried jobs that lacked flexibility.

The same Cisco study showed that two-thirds of employees surveyed (66 percent) expect IT to allow them to use any device – personal or company-issued – to access corporate networks, applications, and information anywhere, at any time. For employees who can access corporate networks, applications, and information outside of the office, nearly half of the respondents (45 percent) admitted working between two to three extra hours a day, and a quarter were putting in four hours or more.

With potential productivity increases in that range, it’s clear that companies need to consider and develop a mobility strategy sooner than later.


Digital Signage Enhances Organizational Communication

April 8, 2011

Today Cisco sent an inaugural partner newsletter on their Digital Media Suite. The first story in the lineup directed our attention to this press release where Cisco announced that Frost & Sullivan has named them the new worldwide market-share leader in digital signage software in the firm’s forthcoming report, “World Digital Signage Systems Market.”

The release goes on to say that today, more than 3,000 customers in 85 countries have deployed Cisco Digital Signs technology in such industries as retail, financial services, healthcare, education, hospitality, and sports and entertainment.

Currently, Cisco Digital Signs technology is deployed across:

  • More than 50 percent of the top 20 global banks
  • Four of the top five global retailers
  • More than 300 higher education institutions
  • More than 150 K-12 school districts
  • More than 20 sporting stadiums worldwide

It’s no wonder so many organizations use digital signage technology. A comprehensive offering of social video, digital signs and IPTV systems can help transform how an organization learns, grows, communicates and collaborates. Scalable, centralized management and publishing tools now deliver high-quality video content to networked digital signage displays.

Digital media solutions enable you to:

  • Deliver high-definition sales and marketing information, event broadcasts and training
  • Provide directional information and customer service notices
  • Update staff and customers with important announcements in real time

The beauty of digital signage systems when they are deployed on a network is the ease and centralization of management. No one has to remember to turn on or off an individual unit, pop in a new DVD or change the content on a specific day, or locate and update content locally. Gone are the days of duplicating DVDs and sending them around to various departments or locations to be displayed on individual signs.

Now from one central location, management can control and broadcast up-to-the-minute messages throughout an organization. Hospitals, hotels, universities and government agencies all use digital signage for directional messaging. Schools and universities use the technology to broadcast messaging and announcements about upcoming events. Retailers use them to broadcast advertising and marketing messages in a consistent and controlled way. Businesses use digital signage for corporate announcements and trainings. And any organization could immediately switch their standard messaging from the central management console to broadcasting instructions or evacuation plans in case of a disaster or emergency.

The advantages of network-managed digital signage are obvious, and the number of business uses is endless. Give some thought to how digital signage could make your organization more efficient.

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