Today, Cisco kicks off our 2010 Cisco Collaboration Summit with two new major announcements in collaboration. Lynn Lucas, Director of Collaboration for Cisco, introduces these new announcements and how Cisco is transforming collaboration.
In my hometown of Philadelphia, if you venture past Center City (“downtown” for you out-of-towners) you’ll see row after row of very narrow, fairly identical homes connected by a common wall. These “row houses” are unique to the city of brotherly love. I never really knew how narrow they were until my mother told me the story of her first experience with…aviation.
As small children, my mother and her brothers attempted to build an airplane that they dreamed of flying through their city neighborhood. They spent many nights in the basement of their row house in South Philly nailing together the body, the wings and the propellers. Finally, after months of hard work, it was ready. The three of them carefully carried it up the stairs with great anticipation…and could not get it through the slender doorframe. They retreated back down the stairs. With great disappointment they took it apart and reassembled it in the alley outside and began their imaginary flight exercises.
My mother and uncles may not have gotten off the runway but they learned a valuable lesson (funny how all my mother’s stories had a lesson)—before undertaking a major project, it always pays to understand the big picture and plan accordingly.
Planning for effective collaboration is much the same.
In the video below, Cordell Ratzlaff, director of Engineering for Cisco’s Voice Technology Group and head of the User Design Engineering team, discusses the important design concepts his team used to develop some of Cisco’s newest voice and video endpoints and encourage the use of video.
Many businesses think that video is a nice to have, but not a must have. Until, of course, they experience video and realize how much it adds to their interactions and decision making. Nowhere is this truer than in healthcare, where seeing patients is critical to the care they receive, and can’t be done any other way. For example, the doctors at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) use Cisco WebEx with video to make virtual house calls to children in Nicaragua, who require post surgery following an extensive cleft palate surgery. When the speech therapist in Baltimore is able to show the young patient in Nicaragua how to say Gato (Cat in Spanish) using WebEx, the results are immediate and rewarding.
Watch how these doctors at the GBMC provide speech therapy to children in Nicaragua below:
Over the next few years, there will be a big transformation in the workplace as large numbers of Gen X and Y individuals start entering the workforce. As these same individuals rely on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter for communication, employers are pressured into bringing similar tools into their enterprises but, in a secure manner. Back in June, we announced limited availability for Cisco Quad, our software-based enterprise collaboration platform, and the response has been overwhelming.
When applied against specific operating problems, enterprise social software is a mission critical application for those companies that want to grow, expand into new markets and increase productivity. It can transform the workplace and provide unmatched benefits to an organization:
- Easier access to resources and expertise, allowing the user to reach out to a large number of relevant participants and bring them into a virtual discussion around a specific problem or challenge. It also captures, and makes searchable, these informal conversations.
- Real-time communications through integration with voice, IM w/presence, conferencing, and video
- Saves time & resources and drives better utilization of existing systems through pre-integrations with common IT infrastructure platforms
- Delivers social networking without the risk by using built-in, rules-based policy management to any sensitive data, in any format, behind the firewall
- Simplifies content management with streamlined content sharing and search capabilities
- Meets the needs of the mobile worker with apps designed for mobile devices