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Cox: New Ways Affordable Technology is Enhancing Business Communication, Collaboration

"The difference between 200 years ago and today is that we're seeing more of a connectivity revolution than an industrial one," writes Segal.

(Originally published on Coxblue.com)


Cox Communications is No. 18 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list

It's a major understatement to say that the future is in technology. This has been true since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s. However, we must remember that the businesses that have figured out how to use new technology to find efficiencies in what they do are the ones that succeed.

The difference between 200 years ago and today is that we're seeing more of a connectivity revolution than an industrial one. Our technological advances have enabled a new kind of connectivity that is affordable and available to the masses.

It's how these technologies have combined to enhance collaboration and remove obstacles that drives true transformation.

Workplace Transformation

Collaboration among teams is continually evolving, but breakthroughs in bandwidth, networking, and device technologies have broadened the horizon for what's possible in organizational structure.

Today, we are witnessing the rise of a new kind of workplace. This modern workplace leverages connectivity in new and surprising ways by breaking down barriers of distance, department, and hierarchy.

And when it comes to connectivity advancements, it's not just employees who benefit. These technologies make it easier for consumers to become aware of new options in the marketplace and do research to confirm, and assure themselves that they're making the best choice. Review sites, social networking, and cameras in our pockets mean that it's easy to spread the word about a good experience (or a bad one).

In order to adapt to and take advantage of these new possibilities, this trend pushes companies to become more "virtual" than ever before. Let's take a look at how that works and how you can use it for your advantage.

Remote Business On the Rise

Telecommuting of all kinds is on the rise—a 103% increase from 2005–2016 alone according to Global Analytics Workplace—and it comes with a renewed focus on the technologies that enable remote working opportunities to operate seamlessly.

There are a number of important benefits for businesses that open up their hiring practices and look into hiring distributed teams. One of the biggest is that you can greatly expand your hiring pool. If you think about it, the largest restriction on who you can hire comes down to geography and availability. By asking that employees be located within commuting distance of your company, and available during business hours, you're actually excluding a lot of people from consideration who could potentially handle the job with aplomb.

There are a lot of reasons that someone who is otherwise qualified might not be able to commit to coming into your office 40 hours a week: kids, a sick or aging relative, a medical condition or disability, among others. In an article about Intuit's expanding distributed team practices, Terilyn Monroe, Director of Global Employee and Community Engagement, puts it this way:

"In today's global economy and with Intuit's expanding global footprint, we know great talent is everywhere."

Beyond hiring, shifting to a more distributed team allows a business to spend less on office space and supplies while improving retention and productivity. This makes a lot of sense—because employees have more control over where and how they work, they find it easier to achieve a work-life balance that makes sense for them.

Supporting a distributed team means embracing all of the technologies that make this possible. The backbone – reliable and scalable phone and broadband services. You'll want to ensure that not only are your organization's current needs being met but that your future needs can also be achieved quickly, seamlessly and without disruption.

Managed Services Provide a Reliable Option

The same advances that support more remote workers than ever before—the cloud, increased broadband speeds, multiple communication platforms—are also enabling a new way of filling discrete business IT needs: managed service providers (MSPs).

While an outside vendor might have certain deliverables that fit into your workflow, an MSP, or an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides managed services, provides ongoing support for many of your day-to-day IT operations. As CIO puts it: "While there are several ways to define managed services, the most important consideration is that, rather than specifying and managing a set of activities, the company specifies a set of outcomes and the service provider manages the environment and defines "how" to achieve those outcomes. Those outcomes are aligned to prescribed service levels at predictable costs."

The upshot of this is that you can fulfill a business need with a specialized team. Most small businesses have a correspondingly small IT department, which usually means that they spend most of their time keeping the lights on and managing day-to-day operations instead of thinking about how to encourage digital transformation.

Managed IT services offer a lot of things that simply aren't possible with a smaller IT department: 24/7 monitoring, enhanced data security and resilience, and the scalability to keep up with your growth. With data breaches and identity theft at an all-time high, and hackers increasingly going after SMBs, expert help to safeguard and protect your business is critical.

Technology Keeps the Team Together

Even as teams become farther-flung, at least physically, technology helps keep everyone collaborating like never before. Software like SococoTrelloBasecampSlack, and SamePage are changing the way that we communicate and collaborate, ensuring that physical location is no longer a barrier to business growth.

As employee needs continue to evolve, businesses must leverage these advances to make for a more connected workforce. Some already are. For example, Foursquare established a "portal" between their East Coast and West Coast offices, an always-on webcam that allowed people to run into each other, even when they're 2,906 miles apart.

Another innovative example is Microsoft, who has combined 360 video and VR technology to create an incredibly lifelike VR teleconference system that gets as close as possible to actually being in the same room together.

As more and more companies continue to find ways to embrace a younger and more technologically savvy workforce, the possibilities for new and innovative solutions will continue to grow. Make sure that you're in a position to capitalize on the benefits of these tools with the right infrastructure: solid enterprise broadband and a fast and flexible network.

What You Can Do Right Now

Technology is changing what is possible for most businesses and employee expectations are shifting. More and more workers are telecommuting or even going fully remote if they can. Meanwhile, managed services enable you to take a more modular approach to keep your employees focused on the core business. As technology continues to morph, we'll see newer and more radical solutions to one of the oldest challenges around: helping people collaborate more effectively.

●     Consider hiring a distributed team to broaden your options for talent.

●     Implement the infrastructure that's necessary to quickly adopt new tech.

●     Consider a managed services solution to keep your team focused on your core business.

●     Keep on top of new advances that heighten the possibilities for collaboration.

Learn more about how Cox Business can help. Visit Us

Cox Changes Logo, Tagline to Bring People Closer

"This will be a journey, but we want our products and employees to be advocates of real connections, not just connectivity."

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox creates millions of moments of human connections every day and will focus more on what makes these connections so powerful and unique. To emphasize this shift, the company is launching new advertising, a new logo with a warmer look and feel, and a tagline of "bringing us closer."

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Cox Raises Commitment To Bridge Digital Divide With $20 Million Pledge

Cox's Connect2Compete customers report affordable internet access at home gets kids more interested in school work and makes parent involvement easier.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox Communications announced the overwhelmingly positive results of a survey of Connect2Compete program participants, a program designed for low-income families in need of internet access at home. The vast majority of parents agree low-cost internet service at home gives children a leg up for high school graduation (91 percent) and helps students get higher grades (89 percent). During a press conference in Washington D.C., Cox President Pat Esser also announced Cox is expanding its commitment to bridge the digital divide with a commitment of $20 million annually.

Connect2Compete Survey Results

The recent survey of more than 1,700 Connect2Compete participants revealed parents agree Connect2Compete:

  • Makes it easier to communicate with teachers and the school (95 percent)
  • Sets children up for success (94 percent)
  • Makes children more interested in school work (88 percent)
  • The convenience of having internet access at home is among the greatest benefits (97 percent)

According to the survey, most Connect2Compete customers are first-time internet users. Many first-time internet users lack the digital literacy skills necessary to make the most of their internet connection. To help bridge this gap, Cox Communications offers free digital literacy training and resources through the Cox Digital Academy. The digital literacy training is designed to empower low-income families to build educational, economic and social opportunities crucial to realize the full potential of a home internet connection.

Cox Expands Commitment to Bridge Digital Divide

Joined by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Founder of EveryoneOn, Zach Leverenz, Esser revealed the company surpassed a significant program milestone and is expanding its commitment to bridge the digital divide during the press event. To date, more than 400,000 people have been connected to the internet via the Connect2Compete program and the company continues to invest in the program. Esser announced the company is pledging an additional 20 million dollars to support this initiative over the next year.

"With convenient, reliable internet access at home, students can readily focus on their school work, explore their passions and ultimately reach their full potential in life," said Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications. "We will continue devoting important resources – including discounted internet service – to bolster their success and close the digital divide."

Cox has offered a low-income internet program for nearly two decades, and has a strong history of exceeding its goals for providing access to technology to students and their families – in the classroom, in the community and in homes. Through public-private partnerships and a dedicated focus across the entire Cox organization, the company continues to lead the way in closing the digital divide in the communities it serves. By connecting schools, community centers like Boys & Girls

During the back-to-school season, empowering students with the right tools is top of mind for parents and teachers. Survey respondents reported the sign-up process for Connect2Compete is a positive experience, and most participants experienced no issues when signing up via telephone at 855-222-3252 or online at www.cox.com/lowcostinternet. Cox also regularly hosts or attends events where families can sign-up in person.

"My number one priority at the FCC is to bridge the digital divide—the gap between Americans who have access to the internet and advanced technologies and those who don't, "said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "That's because the internet is increasingly critical in our daily lives. I've seen this for myself in my travels across the country and that's why the FCC has taken aggressive action to extend internet access. Every American deserves to have access to digital opportunity."

Cox: Retailers And Brands Measure Customer Engagement All Wrong

The problem isn't engagement itself, or even that marketing teams have sold their organizations on likes that didn't lead to sales – the problem is with how retailers and brands measure engagement.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

By Nikki Baird

I came across a statistic a couple of weeks ago that intrigued me. According to a Journal of Marketing study, brands that invest in both social media and TV advertising sees a sales increase of 1% over a brand that invests in TV alone. And, the study notes, "A neutral or even negative social media post with high engagement will impact sales more than a positive post that draws no likes, comments, or shares. This is true even among customers who say their purchase decisions are not swayed by what they read on social media."

In other words, customers who are more engaged are more likely to spend. And engagement is so contagious, that consumers only have to see that others are getting engaged to actually be swayed, whether they realize it or not.

That says a lot about the power of engagement.

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Cox Business Acquires RapidScale

Strategic acquisition strengthens Cox Business' managed services and connected cloud offerings.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox Business, the commercial division of Cox Communications, announced its acquisition of RapidScale, a leading managed and hybrid managed cloud services provider that delivers secure and reliable cloud solutions to businesses of all sizes.

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Cox Communications Names Perley McBride as Chief Financial Officer

Perley Mc Bride has more than 20 years of experience in financial roles in the communications industry, including a decade at Frontier.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox Communications announced that Perley McBride will join the company as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Most recently, McBride was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Frontier Communications.

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YouTube Kids and NPR One Come to Cox Contour!

Cox continues to make it easy for customers to easily access everything in one place, adding YouTube Kids and NPR One alongside Netflix, YouTube, iHeartRadio, On Demand and live TV programming.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox Communications announced that YouTube Kids and NPR One are now available for Contour customers, providing seamless access to video and audio content choices right alongside TV programming, On Demand content, DVR recordings and more. Cox Contour customers can use their voice remote to launch and watch YouTube Kids videos and NPR One audio directly on their televisions, with no secondary device or need to switch inputs. These two apps are the latest additions to a series of apps accessible via the Contour platform, including Netflix, YouTube and iHeartRadio.

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Cox Launches New Spanish Language Content in Expanded Digital Academy

Free Resources Boost Digital Literacy Skills for Better Education, Jobs, Housing Opportunities and More.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

At the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Convention, Cox Communications announced the expansion of the Cox Digital Academy to include free Spanish-language resources designed to broaden opportunities for the Hispanic population through technology. Cox Digital Academy, part of Cox's commitment to narrow the digital divide, offers valuable online resource for parents, students and educators seeking to improve their digital skills. Cox is also supporting the convention by educating families about the discounted home internet service available through its Connect2Compete program.

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