Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Collaboration

On Demand platform

by Colin Smith, director of public relationsWebEx Connect Named CODiE Finalist for Best On-Demand Platform We’ve received some exciting news from the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) -- the WebEx Connect Developer Network was selected as a finalist in the 2008 SIIA CODiE Awards in the Best On-Demand Platform category.Full story

Effective Virtual Meetings

by Michael Caton, Collaboration Evangelist, WebExEsther Schindler at wrote a nice article that gives pointers on how to run effective virtual meetings. As management consultant Steven M. Smith notes at the top of the article, many people in organizations don’t know how to run effective in-person meetings. With so many organizations having geographically dispersed workforces, developing those skills and applying them to virtual meetings is critical to productivity. Pet peeves get deserved prominence throughout the article. One of the first pet peeve examples, a meeting participant subjecting the entire team to hold music, ranks high up there in terms of being disruptive to productivity. Giving the meeting host the ability to mute the offending line really makes a difference. If one participant has dialed in from a phone with poor line quality or a cell phone, it can net the same result, the static or street noise can override other participants trying to weigh in. Even for people that have good meeting skills, I recommend looking it over. The article is a quick read and positive reinforcement on the basics often lost to hectic workdays, e.g. including meeting agendas in invites, should pay dividends at least for the next month or two of meetings. On the topic of editorial, I wanted to give my congratulations to Dan Farber and Larry Dignan at ZDNet. Dan Farber is taking over editorial operations for ZDNet’s CNet’s sister site, Larry Dignan is taking over for Dan as Editor in Chief of ZDNet. Having worked for Dan when he was Editor in Chief of PC Week (now eWEEK) I can say he is an excellent manager, editor, and writer. I also worked with Larry at PC Week and eWEEK, he too is a top notch manager, editor, and writer, best wishes to both.

Ideas in Motion In Barcelona and the UC Mobility Industry

Last week, 55,000 attendees and 1,300 vendors converged in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress to debate the future of mobility. In John Chambers’ opening keynote, he shared Cisco’s view that”‘mobility’ is no longer about particular devices, technologies or services. It is about using any device to access any content over any network, with IP as the basis for all communication.’” The writing is on the wall -- the days of just making telephone calls on cell phones are over. Cisco and Nokia share this vision, and have been collaborating to deliver richer, more consistent experiences for mobile users in the unified workspace, as well as the connected home, for the past five years. Building upon the Mobile Business Solution that the two companies announced last year at Mobile World Congress, Cisco has turned Nokia dual-mode mobile handsets into wireless extensions of campus IP desk phones, providing users with the same rich calling experience”on the go” as they are accustomed to enjoying at their desks. What’s even more exciting, though, is that we’ve integrated presence, conferencing and voicemail capabilities with this rich telephony experience to help customers dramatically increase workforce productivity and drive business transformation using the Cisco Mobile Communicator client for Symbian handsets. Read More »

Schedule More Effectively in 2008

One initiative organizations can use to start 2008 off right is to more be more efficient and effective when scheduling meetings. Anyone that regularly tries to schedule meetings with participants outside his or her organization knows, a good deal of time can be wasted in email or on the phone trying to find common free time. The more parties involved, the more difficult those negotiations become. Shared calendars can be a way to avoid this, especially for dispersed or multi-organizational teams. Travel time, even over relatively short distances such as a typical suburban to metro commute, can really add to a person’s stress level. In a previous job, I used to get a lot of requests to meet in-person for briefings either in the city or for breakfast or lunch at a local restaurant. Given the stress of the daily workload, even though I loved meeting with people face-to-face, I did everything I could to minimize the impact of these on my day. After a while I realized even scheduling meetings around off-peak drive times or changing the time I went into the office, couldn’t make up for lost time. If you run into resistance or scheduling impasses when planning in-person meetings, go the audio or web conferencing route, it will save time for either you or other team members. Meeting online also benefits the environment by reducing a team’s carbon footprint. Read More »

Business Technology Trends For 2008

Post by Michael Caton, Collaboration Evangelist, WebexExecutives looking for some prescriptive recommendations on business ideas for 2008 should look at Eight Business Technology Trends to Watch (registration required) from McKinsey Quarterly. These aren’t ’08 specific, each idea includes examples of how it has been put into practice by innovators, in some cases for several years. Actually the title doesn’t do the the topic justice — my recommendation: no watching, just doing. The authors tackle co-creation with the first two topics, and even that might not give the topic it’s due. Often times co-creation involves clearing a significant hurdle, “not invented here” syndrome. The authors point out the significant downside of loss of control of innovation and intellectual property, but developing that intellectual property costs time and money. Sometimes making use of another organization’s expertise makes for a winning go to market strategy. Another downside the authors noted, competing for the attention of the best and brightest contributors, isn’t just a problem when working with partners. That can strike internal projects as well, particularly at large organizations. That problem also falls into the “two-way street” category, partners aren’t the only ones that get distracted by other projects.