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Happy Earth Week!

This Thursday will mark the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and Earth Day celebrations around the world are showing the expected pomp, ceremony and celebration one might expect. For an increasing portion of the population, people are finding ways to adjust their own habits, work and lives to have a lower overall impact on the environment. In those 40 years, we have come around and around again to the same cycle of issues: air, waste, water. This decade’s concerns focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and how to reduce them to minimize climate change. We’re finding out where waste goes, from landfill size and impact to the so-called plastic islands in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. We’re extremely concerned about the supply and cleanliness of our water supply and how we can ensure that it will be available and clean for future generations – of fish as well as humans. And yet, as we revisit these issues, we’ve come to the realization that the issues we face are increasingly severe, and that they cannot be solved without the participation and active involvement of individuals, corporations, not-for-profits, and government.

For those of you who have read my posts here in the past,  you know I am an advocate of simple steps. I have seen the power of a simple step multiplied over and over to make significant changes – I am pretty sure you have, too, if you think about it. Last year, I made a commitment (part of Cisco’s award-winning program for our employees called “Think green, Act green”) to spend less time in my car, commuting. I’ve succeeded. Through a combination of creating an ability to work at home and finding available desk space in an office walking distance from my home, I’ve drastically reduced the amount of time I spend in my car, and as a result my personal GHG emissions.

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Innovating to Impact the Way Users do Business

by Debra Chrapaty, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Collaboration Software Group

Ok, I admit it.  I always lead with technology.  So, I tend to get excited about technical innovations – but especially those that impact the way users do business. 

The new Cisco WebEx Node for MCS is exactly that kind of technology. Yes, the name may be a bit techy – which may be why I like it!   And unfortunately, some business users won’t ever know what it means (for the record, it’s Media Convergence Servers). Regardless, the business benefit of this new technology will be felt by many organizations out there.  In fact, I’ve talked with a lot of CIOs who are wrestling with balancing the many options that support their business strategies.  Whether it is driving for security and predictability of on-premise solutions, or embracing the agility and opex cost reduction of cloud options – the bottom line is that businesses really just want choice.

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Bridging the gap between email and social collaboration

This new Harris Poll shows that corporate email needs to evolve. Another interesting takeaway for me was based on the following:

1.  Social collaboration tools are on the rise in the workplace.  Of those people who use these tools at work, 59% say that their usage has increased over the last year. 

2.  91% of respondents say that email remains their most frequently used tool for inter- and intra-company collaboration.

These two points (greater use of social software together and strong continued use of email) is hard to reconcile given that email and Web 2.0 collaboration still sit in separate silos. Cars have “crumple zones” to absorb the impact of opposing forces; sadly, the crumple zone here is user satisfaction and efficiency.

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Raj Patel, Cisco’s New Vice President of Collaboration Software Group Technical Operations

At Cisco, the Collaboration Software Group (CSG) is currently focused on driving a business plan to achieve rapid growth of our core businesses – meetings, enterprise IM, and hosted mail while positioning Cisco for new business models and new opportunities in the collaboration space.  Advances in infrastructure and operations are an absolute necessity to accelerate and win in this market.

Today, we are pleased to announce and welcome Raj Patel to Cisco as our new Vice President, CSG Technical Operations.

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A Day in the Life with Cisco Collaboration: Demonstrating how technology impacts performance

A recently released demo video from Cisco has generated tremendous interest from collaboration professionals on our website and is now posted on YouTube as well.  It’s called a Day in the Life of a Sales Professional.  In the video we hear a self-narrated 4 minute scenario in the life of a go-getter – Steve – who utilizes collaboration tools from Cisco to win business for his company and deliver results for his customer.

What makes the demo scenario interesting is that rather than describing Cisco collaboration technologies or solutions, the scenario plays up how it makes an organization successful. A host of Cisco solutions, from Cisco Unified Communications to Cisco WebEx solutions to Cisco TelePresence, make timely appearances to string the story along.

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