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The Evolution of Collaboration

June 27, 2013 at 8:10 am PST

Early on, companies looked to Collaboration technologies to capture extraordinary financial and productivity returns. This hasn’t changed. But more and more, companies are looking for strategic benefits as well, such as the ability to open up new markets, radically improve relationships with customers and transform entire industries.

There are seismic shifts taking place in our increasingly connected business world with the advent of mobile, video and cloud technologies. This opens up new opportunities to tap the full talent of people and move with greater speed and innovation.

In an interview at Cisco Live, I shared my thoughts on the rapid move to the cloud, the advantages of video embedded in business processes, and the role of collaboration in the Internet of Everything. Hear more in the video below.

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Enabling Meaningful Connections

The Internet of Everything is a big topic for us at Cisco. It’s all about connecting people and things to create new value and opportunities. Collaboration and video are key to the human component within the Internet of Everything – adding meaning to all of the data behind the connections.

Cisco’s video and collaboration vision uniquely position us to be your partner of choice as we move into the future, especially on the journey toward the Internet of Everything.

Collaboration isn’t new. Let’s start by putting things into perspective: The desire and need to collaborate is something we, as people, have carried within us from the beginning. We were only missing the tools to unleash collaboration. And then we created them. One by one. From expressing concepts through pictograms on walls to coming together in the marketplace. Fast forward through history and along come postal systems, printing presses, typewriters, telegraphs, radio, telephones, television. And then computers, networks, the Internet, the Web, mobile networks, TelePresence.

Each innovation brings with it new connections, new ways to collaborate and communicate. History inspires us and puts things into meaningful perspective. History reminds me of how we’ve empowered ourselves with tools to create a universe of collaborative activities and connections. Read More »

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Five Ways to Get Extraordinary Results from Collaboration

This is my fifth blog in a multi-part series.  In my first blog, I introduced insights from Cisco’s Collaboration Work Practice Study and how people value collaboration in the work environment.  In my second blog, I discussed the importance of building trust-based relationships and networks to make collaboration work for you.  In my third blog, I share how you can turn human interactions into business results.  In my fourth blog, I discussed patterns of collaborative behaviors and how to leverage them to better support collaborators. In today’s blog, I discuss how you can get extraordinary results.

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Collaboration, at its core, is people interacting with people.  When building collaboration solutions, therefore, it’s essential to put people at the center.  As we learned in our study of employees in the Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, a blend of process, culture, workplace and technology solutions fosters the natural human interactions, rich dialogue and diverse perspectives at the heart of collaboration.

At Cisco, employees say that the outcomes achieved as a result of collaboration are “simply better.” So now is the time to not only reflect, but also to take action, as today’s technology era brings new dimensions to how we work together. We collaborate across time zones, cultures, personalities and behaviors. We collaborate using a multitude of devices, from smartphones and laptops to tablets and more. When organizations empower employees to engage and interact at a personal, human level, across this diverse landscape, they can achieve extraordinary results—such as Read More »

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More mobile devices than people by the end of 2013 – is your business prepared?

By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per person. As the consumption of mobile devices increases, so does the need for businesses to change the way they work to reap the benefits. Investment in IT is vital if businesses are to take full advantage of new ways of working – with the best tools and solutions to achieve high levels of workforce connectivity.

The increase in mobile devices creates a great opportunity for businesses. A workforce using mobile devices allows for flexible working practices and more freedom to work whenever, wherever, making the workforce better connected. 82% of visitors to the Cisco Jabber Hub say improved productivity is a direct result of a better connected workforce. Better connections mean quicker decisions are made, improving employee response rates and decision making speed.

Businesses need to address the IT challenges of created by mobility and invest in the most suitable solutions for their business. Unified Communication solutions like Cisco Jabber integrate voice, video, instant messaging, presence, voice messaging and conferencing capabilities. It allows staff to choose the most suitable tools for their needs. This means the workforce can be productive from anywhere, on any device. Read More »

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Summary: The Reality of WebRTC…All Hype?

WebRTC is the single largest technology change that is happening to the web today  which will  unleash a new wave of communications innovations.  If you are a technologies or a business owner,  WebRTC can really simplify how you develop and deploy future applications; it will also open new ways of communicating with your customers using data, voice, and video thru a web browser.

I encourage you to learn about Cisco CTO of Collaboration Laurent Philonenko’s  personal insights on the readiness of WebRTC by reading his blog post in No Jitter .

Laura Douglas