The social media movement is causing noticeable acceleration in communication technology innovation. It wasn’t that long ago that our communications service providers touted “call waiting” as innovation with nationwide marketing campaigns but these days we see entirely new communication platforms launched on a regular basis.
These new communications platforms are already making an impact on our lives. In the past year I’ve become a heavy user of Twitter as a communication platform. This unique subscription-based messaging platform has helped me communicate with friends and family as well as meet new people with shared interest. Faceback has also had a major impact on how I communicate. Facebook provides an extremely rich communications experience based on sharing picture and videos amongst a constant stream of status updates and comments (and those crazy quizzes). I used to get emails from friends through email but I now get almost all my non-work “email” via Facebook. My legacy email account has turned into an inbox for electronic account statements and alerts from social media platforms.
This same communication expansion is occurring at the office. I now use Telepresence on a regular basis for customer meetings and I’m using Webex with video for collaborative meetings with my dispersed team. We been rapidly shifting greater proportions of our internal communications too wiki’s, forums, and communities. From 2000-2007 we expanded from phone+email to phone+email+IM; but in the last couple years we’ve introduced a dozen new collaboration tools into our work experience.
I’m not sure how long this rapid expansion can be sustained since there are certainly signs of communication fatigue but at the same time more choices keep appearing and the features of the social media communications platforms keep evolving.
People often ask, “Will Cisco support communication platform X, Y, or Z”. Cisco has an unusual but very relevant outlook when it comes to new technology. The statement “No Technology Religion” is written on our employee badges (We sometimes add “except IP” to that phrase although it’s not on the badge :) I believe this philosophy applies by extension to collaboration technology and these emerging communication platforms. Cisco is uniquely positioned as a communications and collaboration platform integrator. “The network” is the platform for these new communication services and a network-based approach to collaboration becomes even more important as new forms of communication and new devices emerge. The network will be used to connect together these various services and devices.
It’s great to see such a rebirth in communication technology and I’m really looking forward to how Cisco can bring some of these new communication technologies into the mainstream.
by Tod Famous, product manager, Cisco Customer Contact Business Unit