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Video, More Than Just Faces on Screens

Looking into the crystal ball, I see that video collaboration will not be just about faces on screens, especially for GenY and the young executive. It’s about customizing and manipulating video so that it becomes additive to the business and decision-making process – making the user smarter because of it and the experience “better than being there.”

A recent survey of up-and-coming young executives found effectiveness to be a key driver for visual collaboration. Namely, respondents said they want to be able to see the visual cues that aid in effective communications, to appear present in a meeting, to quickly edit and share video content, and to be able to collaborate on content as if they and their globally-disparate teams are all in the same room. And they want it deployed pervasively.

These requirements are moving visual collaboration from the nice-to-have bucket to the critical-business-tool bucket. Young executives will  expect video to be embedded in mission-critical business applications, much in the same way that email, IM and mobility are today, accessible from wherever they are – Starbucks to the boardroom – and on the device of their choosing. Read More »

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The Benefits of Listening and Delivering in Customer Care

One of the things I enjoy most in my role leading Product Management for Cisco’s Customer Collaboration business is listening to our customers and partners to ensure we deliver products that meet their needs.  Our focus on delivery and execution sets Cisco apart in the industry.

So I’m very pleased to see that, for the second year in a row, Cisco was recognized as highest in “Ability to Execute” in Gartner’s Contact Center Infrastructure (CCI) Magic Quadrant.  Gartner bases Ability to Execute on a number of criteria--including the quality, maturity, and overall breadth of a vendor’s applications; their customer support capabilities; and their ability to deliver solutions in formal contact centers within companies, outsourcers, and service providers.  In addition, we improved our positioning in “Completeness of Vision”, with noticeable movement to the right in the June 2013 CCI Leaders Quadrant.

Cisco’s achievement in this year’s CCI Magic Quadrant is the latest recognition that our contact center business is truly firing on all cylinders.  The product development aspects Read More »

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From Work-Life Balance to Work-Life Blend – Google, Twitter and Cisco Join a Panel to Discuss how to Prepare Companies for Gen Y

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in front of 250 people at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco talking about a subject most Fortune 500 companies are dealing with today: how to prepare for the thousands of Gen Y employees about to descend on the work place. Last Tuesday, July 16th, I had the pleasure of speaking on this topic with Google’s Todd Carlisle, Director of Staffing, and Twitter’s Melissa Daimler, Head of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning. Doug MacMillan with Bloomberg BusinessWeek moderated the discussion.

During the course of the evening, we discussed an assortment of topics around how companies are creating an environment that these new generations of employees will want to work in. It’s clear Gen Yers work and interact in different ways and companies are having to adapt.

For example, all of the panelists agreed that companies must provide lots of opportunities for training and coaching. I firmly believe that the number one predictor of job satisfaction is great coaching. In five or ten years, I may not remember how I was paid in that particular position, but I will remember an impactful mentor and a skill I learned. Todd from Google brought up an interesting Googler to Googler program that they’ve implemented, that connects people to share their skills – everything from debugging a complex piece of code to teaching yoga. Melissa agreed, saying that if there is just one question that managers ask employees every quarter, it should be “what is the skill you want to learn.” After all, people are more loyal to building their skill set and their career path than any type of company.

The topic of work-life balance also came up, and each panelist talked about that in a different way. I believe that what used to be a work-life balance is, for Gen Yers, a work-life blend. This newest generation of employees is used to constantly flipping back and forth Read More »

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Calling all Introverts! Why You’re Wired to Collaborate

July 22, 2013 at 7:27 am PST

Extroverts get too much credit. There, I’ve said it. I’m not exactly sure what I mean by “credit”, but extroverts tend to stand out through their natural behavior. Extroverted leaders glide into rooms and engage instantly in the most important conversations. What makes collaboration so challenging for many organizations is the nature of the work:  teams come together, solve a problem and move on to a new challenge. Extroverts by nature fit easily into these stimulating situations where human-to-human interaction and engagement are the keys to success.

At this point you might be thinking, especially if you’re an introvert like me, “Is he about to give me the ‘buck up’ speech about ‘stepping up to the plate’ and ‘putting my voice on the table’”? My real message is simple: Both introverts and extroverts can help collaborative teams move faster and be more innovative – as long as you play to your strengths. Read More »

Collaboration and Interdependency, Anywhere

Change is afoot on a big scale and fast. We see it around us, we feel it, we talk about it, we experience it. We even know its name — the Internet of Everything (IoE).

Briefly put, IoE is a new way of connecting people, processes, data, and things.  Looking back, you can almost say that the Age of the Internet and of the Internet of Things have merely been preliminary stages designed to lead us where we are today: on a course that radically changes how we interact with the world around us. We have started on a new exciting journey. At every step we are uncovering new ways to create and share value, not just for the organizations we work for but in our personal lives as well.

Let’s take the world of business first.  It’s changing dramatically as we speak.  Here are a few leading transformational trends the effects of which I’m sure you have experienced yourselves  in one way or another.

We Are More Interdependent

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More and more expert surveys are finding that employees are working more collaboratively  now than they were in the not very distant past. For instance, according to research from the Corporate Executive Board  (CEB), two thirds of employees are doing more collaborative work today than they were just three years ago.  Collaboration technology is a big part of making us increasingly effective in this environment, delivering benefits including those that help us become: Read More »

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