Cisco Communications

I went to Cisco’s headquarters yesterday in San Jose for a CMMA event to talk about what they are doing with their communications.  We met with Margaret Smith Cisco’s Collaboration Specialist and Abby Smith Cisco’s Director of Employee Communications.  I was able to see telepresence for the first time which was very interesting.  You really do feel like you are in the same meeting room as the person in the other location (could be anywhere in the world).  After seeing telepresence I am further convinced that our educational system will be completely changed in the next 10 years.  I can’t imagine us continuing to have large expensive universities when you can literally sit directly in front of a television and feel like you are in the same room as your professor and other students.  Below are my notes from the visit.

Abby Smith – Director of Employee Communications

  • Cisco’s Corporate Communications Organizational Overview:
    • Employee Communications
    • Investor Relations
    • CXO Communications
    • Public/Analyst/Community Relations
    • Communications Architecture
    • Strategy and Integration
    • New Media
    • Asian Pacific Communications
  • News@Cisco is their media portal
    • Single site for Cisco Community and Social Media
    • Newsroom.cisco.com
    • 350+ RSS Feeds
    • Where the public can go to get news about Cisco
    • Social Networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
    • 650,000 hits quarterly on the site
  • Twitter
    • @Padmasree (Cisco CTO)
    • 500,000 + followers
  • Cisco has a social media communications policy
  • CEC – Cisco Employee Connection (Cisco’s Intranet)
    • Executive video blogs, discussion forums
    • CEC articles
    • Management Central
    • Pulse Surveys – how is the culture, what are you feeling etc, how
  • John Chambers, the CEO has a video blog of what is on his mind on the CEC.  Employees said “I’ve never had a conversation with John so having him give me a personal message each month is amazing.” It also helps to save money on video production costs.
  • They did their first virtual company meeting on August 23, 2007
  • Their Communications Department has ~250 employees
  • Cisco TelePresence Overview
    • Cisco TelePresence – life-like in-person video collaboration
    • Unified communications – video calling, WebEx, and interopability
    • Desktop video streaming – video broadcasts to desktop PCs
    • Digital signage – networked video signage
    • Video surveillance – IP-based video surveillance
    • Can support up to 48 segments (65” plasma and a camera)
    • Integrates with Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook.
    • Their telepresence (“TP”) is 1080P resolution.  Spatial audio which provides virtually an in-person experience
  • Why did Cisco get into the video space?
    • The problem
      • More than 60% of communication is non-verbal
      • Current collaborative technology doesn’t allow for clarity, interaction of face-to-face
      • Scalability, productivity trade-off
  • Rules of Telepresence
    • Experience the meeting, not the technology
    • Life size and high-resolution to discern body language
    • Guarantee everyone a seat at the table

Sounds like in the later part of 2010 look for consumer telepresence from Cisco

Cisco’s enterprise telepresence requires 14 mbps up and down