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Collaboration is Hot…Very Hot: a report from Canada

Coming to you live from beautiful Toronto, Canada, overlooking Lake Ontario….

Not only is the view spectacular from Cisco’s downtown offices but the Cisco Networkers conference has been an exceptional experience.  During my two days here, I had the opportunity to share our collaboration journey with customers in academia, financial services, healthcare and retail (the largest retailer in Canada). 

Our collaboration solution -- the Integrated Workforce Experience (IWE) powered by Cisco Quad - resonated with every single customer.  In fact, what resonated the most is that our solution really does offer a truly integrated experience.  We’re integrating all types of communication technologies (such as instant messaging, voice, text and video) as well as collaboration features like communities, document sharing and micro-blogging in an all-in-one experience that works with your transactional systems.

Within IWE powered by Cisco Quad, we’re making a lot of progress on our Workforce Services like having a Paid Time Off (PTO)/vacation app, an iExpense app and other transactional systems (including Salesforce .com portlets) which are available now or will be soon to our employees’ on their My View pages.  We’re finding that these Workforce Service apps do surprise and delight employees, and drive stickiness for the overall experience.

Here in Toronto, one financial services customer was excited to learn about where we are in our collaboration journey.  He told me he has all the technology puzzle pieces in place at his company, but didn’t know how to integrate them and make them unified.  He was excited to hear about Cisco Quad and how he could use it to tie all of his communication and collaboration technologies together. 

My trip ended with a great meeting at Cisco’s Customer Briefing Center with 10 customers representing several different sectors – including healthcare and academia. We had a lively and interactive discussion.  Here, too,  I was able to share our collaboration journey which, in turn, sparked new and interesting thoughts among them and how Cisco Quad could be used in their own organizations. 

As one customer left the meeting, he said “you have my wheels turning” about how to change the educational experience at his university.  Another customer said it was interesting to hear that a high tech company like Cisco has similar challenges in IT complexities and how we’re working through them.  It was gratifying to know that our resolution is more comparable than not! 

So, overall – it’s been a great two days.  I was impressed with the technology used here in daily life. Toronto is a wired in place – everywhere you go people are using wireless technology.  And you can feel the positive energy here– from executives to cab drivers! 

I also learned that Canadians are huge hockey fans, so sorry, but… Go Sharks!

The collaboration journey continues across the globe…..

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