“But one aspect of the future is less certain: Will this be a world that is not only more efficient economically, but also better for the people who live in it?”
- Thomas W. Malone, The Future of Work
In his seminal book on the future of work, MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Tom Malone outlines how technology and business decentralization converges to create a “new normal” for today’s workers. For the past decade, companies such as Cisco have been on a journey to address the opportunities and challenges of globalization supporting operational and innovative business model changes that support speed, distributed decision making, and, most viscerally, an open knowledge model for the broadest range of the workforce.
Despite the recent recession, the deconstruction of the traditional media model and the rapid increase in information flows – fostered by the Web 2.0 self-publishing models – changes how much data we use on a daily basis. While information overload is a real and present danger, others are rushing to take advantage of these changes. Or as the Billy Crystal character said in When Harry Met Sally: “ I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of the life to start as soon as possible.”
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The social media movement is causing noticeable acceleration in communication technology innovation. It wasn’t that long ago that our communications service providers touted “call waiting” as innovation with nationwide marketing campaigns but these days we see entirely new communication platforms launched on a regular basis.
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The recent news that Cisco shipped its 22 millionth Unified IP Phone to Foster’s Group Ltd.seems a good indication that recent media reports projecting the imminent decline of the desk phone are at minimum premature in their predictions. Is it possible that the desk phone has a role in business communications for the foreseeable future? What role does the phone play as organizations move to collaborative work spaces?
Industry analysts offer differing views on the outlook for the desk phone. My observation is that customers continue to have a healthy interest in having deskphones. A similar review is reflected in these reports with respect for IP phones:
• The Dataquest team of Gartner published a worldwide business IP Telephone forecast in July 2009 projecting shipments of IP Phones worldwide to exceed 36.5 million in 2013 with an annual compound growth rate of 16%. Fairly healthy growth – when compared to a projection of worldwide shipments in 2009 of 20.3 million.
• In-Stat also published a report in February 2009 noting the business market for IP Phones is “thriving”, projecting 31 million business IP Phones to ship in 2012.
Vice President, IPCBU at Cisco
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In a tough economic climate cost savings are a priority, but at the same time it’s important that organisations remain competitive and assess how they can use technology to help them escape saturated markets and embrace new opportunities ahead of their competitors.
A crucial prerequisite to achieving cost savings and increasing productivity is to decrease barriers to collaboration that exist in your organisation. Where an enterprise is too thinly spread, or too compartmentalised into distinct business units, its ability to hone in on an opportunity and run with it becomes compromised. Laborious, rigid and sequential internal processes, and protracted supply chain management, increase cost and delay projects – hampering speed to market with new products or services and limits the ability to add value or compete on price.
By Tim Stone, Sales Business Development Manager
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As we continue to integrate Cisco’s acquisition of PostPath into the Cisco SaaS-based Collaboration portfolio , below are some salient characteristics of how email will evolve and change: Universal. Email will be delivered from the cloud (or from mixed cloud-and-customer-premise infrastructures) and accessible everywhere, at any point in time. Users can access email securely through any PC, browser or mobile device, with a rich, intuitive, multi-function user experience available in every platform; although there will be a diversity of client types on every platform, browser-based clients will grow ever more important. Limitless. The dream of a bottomless inbox will become reality. Email systems of tomorrow will be massively scalable, and be able to accommodate any amount of storage. This near-infinite capacity will come hand in hand with high performance and 100% reliability, backed by real local and geographically-remote redundancy, and by customer-based data and system isolation to guard system-wide contagion failures. Automatic Data-mining and Data-organization. Whereas email today often drowns you in information, future email systems will improve productivity by organizing your data for you. It will do personal data mining, extracting useful information and making semantic connections based on subject or content. It will have context-based relevance, automatically bringing you the information you need for your current activity. It will also be extraordinarily searchable — not just at the individual level but also, depending on configuration, within teams and groups. By Duncan Greatwood, Senior Director of Engineering, Collaboration Software Group Read More »