Over the next few years, there will be a big transformation in the workplace as large numbers of Gen X and Y individuals start entering the workforce. As these same individuals rely on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter for communication, employers are pressured into bringing similar tools into their enterprises but, in a secure manner. Back in June, we announced limited availability for Cisco Quad, our software-based enterprise collaboration platform, and the response has been overwhelming.
When applied against specific operating problems, enterprise social software is a mission critical application for those companies that want to grow, expand into new markets and increase productivity. It can transform the workplace and provide unmatched benefits to an organization:
Easier access to resources and expertise, allowing the user to reach out to a large number of relevant participants and bring them into a virtual discussion around a specific problem or challenge. It also captures, and makes searchable, these informal conversations.
Real-time communications through integration with voice, IM w/presence, conferencing, and video
Saves time & resources and drives better utilization of existing systems through pre-integrations with common IT infrastructure platforms
Delivers social networking without the risk by using built-in, rules-based policy management to any sensitive data, in any format, behind the firewall
Simplifies content management with streamlined content sharing and search capabilities
Meets the needs of the mobile worker with apps designed for mobile devices
On the surface, improving “business collaboration” sounds like a fairly straight-forward strategy: “provide the means for people to coordinate and share information while working together to attain business results that exceed current practices”. To support this goal, organizations have deployed a long list of tools over the years. The results? Mixed. Organizations can cite many examples where collaboration projects have made people and processes more productive. Yet, if you ask leadership teams, I imagine few would feel confident that their organization’s collaborative capabilities augment strategic growth and innovation initiatives in ways that makes them more competitive in the market.
After 15+ years of deploying more and more tools, we need to ask ourselves – why haven’t organizations realized the level of breakthrough collaboration necessary for them to excel -- or in some cases, survive? It’s not that the industry has not had any “wins” with collaboration strategies but success always seems to be stubbornly limited to certain groups or business units. Improving collaboration, it seems, has become an “intractable opportunity”. As it turns out, collaboration is a more complex and enduring journey than we originally thought. However, breakthrough levels of collaboration are often crucial to bring about business transformation. The potential benefits, despite its mixed track record, have kept “collaboration” a strategic topic for leadership teams despite our struggles to get it right.
Having been an IT industry analyst (i.e., Gartner, Burton Group, and Meta Group) since 1996, I’ve worked with hundreds of organizations on how to best approach collaboration. Listed below are a series of thoughts for your consideration:
That statement isn’t intended only for the Blackhawks and their fans who celebrated their first Stanley Cup win since John F. Kennedy was president. Indeed, the NHL recognizes the 2009 – 2010 season as the best ever on the business side.
The NHL boasts highly engaged fans, who are younger, more affluent and more tech-savvy than fans of the other major sports leagues. Effective use of digital media and new technologies accelerated league growth across the 2009-2010 season by delivering content in real time across multiple platforms.
After a hot Stanley Cup playoff series, BizWiseTV wanted to know what was contributing to the success of the NHL and growth of its fan base. We had the pleasure of sitting down with NHL, COO, John Collins at the 2010 Entry draft. John shared his perspective on how technology helps the NHL grow its global brand.