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Thirsty Thursdays – Drink in some fresh content

January 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

My first appearance and work on BizWiseTV now showing up -- we just released “Collaboration, bridging the productivity gap” where we addressed collaborative innovation in three different vertical areas -- retail, healthcare and manufacturing. We had some great guests on that show, Big Thank You out to Curtis Foster from our Retail team, his guest from Reflexis, Rich Lewis, Dan Knight from our Manufacturing team and Frances Dare, a fellow Texan and extremely sharp healthcare expert from our IBSG -- Internet Business Solutions Group. Let me know what you think of the show.And in podcast news, two new shows out today -- Jimmy Ray and I talked about ‘Traffic Flow Engineering” for our podcast released today, audio only. On the BizWise podcast side, we released a pretty good interview I did with Dan Knight, Senior VP of Product Development for Webex. He some very interesting insight into the true, but often confusing nature of enabling collaboration. Its not about personal productivity he said, its about business process improvement. He was putting this in the framework of their new Webex Connect product but I think you will find great alignment with your opportunities even if you have not tried it out yet.

Learning 2.0

January 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

With budgets under pressure and every program getting scrutinized, the ‘training budget’ always seems to be the first to go. But how could it be done more cost effectively? Is it possible that the proper adoption of technology could actually yield better results at a lower cost such that suddenly your old methods are not just expensive but also not near as effective. Its largely about business agility. Faith Legendre, former VP of Training for 1-800 Flowers (profiled as a ‘Top Young Trainer’ for 2008 by Training Magazine) and David Goad, Webex marketing veteran (and often my collaboration muse…) joined me on a workshop we did yesterday called ‘Learning 2.0.’ Faith shared her strategies and tactics as she transitioned a widespread call center operation into more nimble practices. David knows Webex and as I have learned after working with him and others at Webex, their use of their own collaboration tools is second nature. They live within the capabilities and as such are sharing information and interacting more effectively day in and day out. Webex, and Faith, ably demonstrate the cultural change that is sometimes overlooked when it comes to getting real value out the tools we discuss in this workshop. So. Sorry if you could not join us…. but you can listen to the replay AND see the synced slides as well. Check it out.Robb

Corporate Bloggin

Corporate blogging sounds kinda like light beer to me. It is a safe way to look hip and cool without the risks. I blog on a few other non Cisco sites and I have rejected attempts to blog on a Corporate site because it just seems so phony. What would you (the reader) expect me a Cisco Corporate Employee to say on a Cisco sponsored blog site? Do you like lemon or grape kool aide? Credibility means a lot to me. Long after I am Jimmy Ray Purser Cisco Employee 230770, I will continue to be Jimmy Ray Purser, Engineer. I have always felt that a Corp blog would restrict me too much, so I have avoided them like a REAL Star Trek fan avoids Deep Space Nine. My answer has always been thanks but no thanks.But on this historic day in American history; “Change is Coming” We hired a cool media chick, Melissa whom y’all may never meet or know, but she is really something else (in a good way!). She is the real definition of a “Unsung Hero” in the Cisco social media frontier. I expressed my concerns about Corp blogging and I thought she would just go away and that would be that. Not Melissa. She’s a fellow Southerner, BBQ’er, Sweet Tea drinker and big time go getter when she believes in something, so needless to say, she did not go away or try to bribe me with chicken wings and beer. (which by the way, would have worked! I sell out for chicken wings and beer…) Nope, she came up with a blogging plan that allows me to have at it like I do on other sites. I had a major league, hmmmmm…. moment, but I trust her, so here I am typing my very first Corp blog. My stomach hurts…I plan on blogging around once a week here. You can expect me to focus on the testing I do here in my lab (The CodeCave ™ ) with various pieces of Cisco gear in a politically and grammatically incorrect fashion. I hope you enjoy it and most importantly comment and participate in this blog. I really want to call out that some of the best experiences I have had in my life, is when I had doubt, but trusted someones vision and took a leap of Faith…Catch me Melissa! Here I come!Jimmy Ray Purser

Good Video is Hard

January 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

Why is corporate video often so boring?My take? Good video is much harder to do than most people would realize. Be interesting. Don’t spend too much money. Make sure EVERYONE likes it and feels like they own it. Don’t miss your deadlines. Repeat. My defiinition of ‘Corporate Video’ by the way is where video is used to communicate with customers. I am a full time creator of corporate video however and so I also hang this information out here so you can throw darts at it. Do we have it all figured out? Hardly. But this thought process forms a lot of what I think we need to overcome. Three things are almost always missing: 1. Consistency. I always wonder if anyone realizes just how much ‘stuff’ Cisco produces. Our sales reps have an idea but many of them have long since burned out on trying to absorb stuff. I joined Cisco over 8 years ago as a sales person and I was positively struck by both the incredible talent of people I got to work with, and the incredible tools and information they gave us. The challenge is that it all becomes overwhelming and at some point you just go back to your roots and get in front of your customer first and foremost…everything else becomes background noise. To a lesser extent, customers must experience the same thing. Consistency is important to me in that with our shows, we make a promise for customers that we are going to deliver something of value, it will last for longer than 12 months and we won’t keep changing the name, the website or any of the larger ‘look and feel’ of things. For many people external to Cisco, we are a large amorphous company that can appear distant and unreachable. From the inside, we don’t think this is true of course but perceptions matter. My prayer for our shows from the beginning was that we would be able to create some consistency and longevity. At almost 3 years now with TechWiseTV, I think we have been doing this. 2. Personality. People with no personality are certainly uninteresting and so are ‘shows.’ Its not just about having interesting people however, consistency of these people becomes important to the promise being made to the viewer. TechWiseTV has a great hostess, Valerie, who does a good job trying to reign in the subject matter experts consistent to each show, myself and Jimmy Ray. All three of us have pretty good personalities and we are there each and every show providing a familiar face to guide you through the topics of that day. We all have opinion and insight to share too as we strive to be a bit different, irrerverant perhaps but certainly still safe enough for our funding to continue…more on that next. Its about being a real person vs. just a representative of a disembodied corporate message. 3. Balance. For TechWiseTV, our balance is between entertainment, knowledge and sales. We want to always be interesting and we don’t want to beat anyone over the head by trying to sell too hard. You know we work for Cisco. We all know who pays our bills…but how much should we pander to ‘the man’ when delivering our content? Our objective: we must impart good knowledge each and every show but we always need to tie it to a Cisco interest of some sort. We can point to success and failure here with every show we have done. We are hopefully getting better at it. Cisco has been marketing the ‘Human Network’ for awhile now. Nothing wrong with that. I think our shows have the ability to deliver on much of that perhaps better than many other vehicles. (side note: I still love our ‘changing the way you live, work, play and learn’ the best). We can’t do it without you however. Our goal with this blog is to establish the consistency of having one place where you can count on updates to the shows, to the content Jimmy Ray and I find interesting and much more. As always, we need your feedback however. Please use the comments section here and help make us better. There is so much more to come and we would like you to be a part of it. What drives you nuts about corporate video? What drives you nuts about our videos? Robb