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Cute Babies, Collaboration, and Competition

July 8, 2014 at 5:47 pm PST

I’m working on one of those magical cross-functional projects where we’re trying to combine multiple efforts into one result. Today, we have several tools created and managed by different groups of smart people with good intentions. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll call these tools wrenches. Not surprisingly, the wrenches have slightly different designs, definitions, purposes, and priorities. And they meet the parameters of the groups that created them. All good, right?

A challenge: The people who use the wrenches don’t always know which wrench to pick. It’s often a challenge to know which one to use or even that there’s a whole toolbox of them.

Remscheid - Werkzeugmuseum in 13 ies

In fact, some of the people who created wrenches weren’t aware of other wrenches so similar to theirs. Granted, it’s a big toolbox with a lot of drawers. And it’s not always easy to find stuff. Or people find a wrench that works, but would be even better with a slightly different angle along the thing-a-ma-jig. Ta da, yet another wrench!

A bright idea popped up: Let’s simplify things for the people who use wrenches. Let’s align information, share resources, build connections, and work together. Let’s build a wrench – or coordinated set of wrenches — that’s easier to find, use, and understand. So, someone dug through the toolbox and brought brought together all the toolmakers to collaborate. Read More »

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How to Start Transforming Your Workplace

July 1, 2014 at 9:08 am PST

It’s clear that many of you understand the benefits of creating activity-based work environments. You want to create spaces in which employees can work wherever, whenever, and with whomever they need to in order to deliver results for your customers. You know you can attract the best talent by removing geographical barriers. You want to create environments that foster productivity and innovation. Your business can save on CapEx, space requirements, and energy costs.

So how do you get started with workplace transformation? Is it time to start ripping out cubicle walls and reclaiming conference rooms as team huddle spaces? Not quite.

Workplace transformation is about more than just the physical environment. It’s about how you enable people to work together better, no matter where they are. And the best way to do that is to fully understand the needs of your workforce – both current and future. And to identify how your employees can best support the needs of your customers and your business.

I asked my colleague Hans Hwang, our vice president of Collaboration Advanced Services, how companies can get started. Here’s some of his advice: Read More »

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Delivering in Customer Care

I recently watched the Belmont Stakes to see whether a thoroughbred named California Chrome could win horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown.  While viewing the race, I was struck by how it doesn’t matter how quickly you start, or how many competitions you’ve won before.  What matters is how you finish, or--in business terms--how you deliver.

Cisco is focused on delivering business-relevant customer care solutions that help companies succeed with their own customers.  That’s one reason why I was delighted to learn that, for the third year in a row, Gartner rated Cisco highest in “Ability to Execute” in the 2014 Contact Center Infrastructure Magic Quadrant.  Gartner bases vendors’ “Ability to Execute” on a number of criteria--including the quality, overall breadth, and maturity of their applications, customer support capabilities, and their ability to deliver solutions that enable contact center operations in formal contact centers in companies, outsourcers, and service providers.

What does this mean for you?  It starts with Read More »

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One meeting, One experience, for Global Collaboration

Do you ever get to the end of your working day, and realize that you have no idea whether the sun has been shining, or it has been pouring with rain all day?  Sometimes, it is only when I’m in video meetings that someone else will actually notice for me that the sun is shining outside my window! Talking to colleagues in the U.K. while I was visiting San Francisco for Cisco Live brought this point home.  In the U.K., the persistent cloud cover had disappeared, giving way to one of the UK’s rare heatwaves. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, temperatures dropped, and we huddled in jackets and sweaters. It wasn’t meant to be this way!

Did you make it to Cisco Live?  If so, I hope that you had a chance to get to some of the great keynote sessions. My favourite was from Rowan Trollope, in which he demonstrated Cisco’s new video collaboration endpoints.

The new products are making video collaboration simpler and more cost-effective than ever. His demo included an illustration of Read More »

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Cisco and Microsoft Lync Content Sharing

Cisco has a proven track record of supporting open standards, designed for maximum scalability and effectiveness.  Our mission is to enable any to any collaboration – in a simple, intuitive and user friendly way. Unfortunately not all vendors are adapting to open standards. And customers that have already made significant investments in proprietary technologies are asking Cisco to help them bring these worlds together. To solve our customers’ challenges, Cisco has decided to expand our industry leading interoperability to include two way content sharing with Microsoft Lync 2013. This will be a software upgrade to existing solution. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to a release.

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