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Social Media Driving New Forms of Communications and Collaboration

September 14, 2009
at 12:00 pm PST

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

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10 Comments.


  1. The advent of social media continues to accelerate my day to day business communications. You pose the question, How long can this rapid expansion can be sustained?"". It does seem exhausting to think of the constant messaging and exchanges occurring on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. etc...but I contend that social media communications will continue to expand for the foreseeable future. Why? Because Social Media is effective and fun, and those two characteristics are hard to come by. Call waiting sure didn't have both."

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  2. It's incredible to see the number of new technologies emerging right now and their ambitious scope. I can't wait until some of them become mainstream as I think they'll help a LOT with easing communication fatigue, simply by being more elegant and intuitive.

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  3. Tod, it is amazing the number of communication channels that exist and, fortunately for Cisco, IP is the underlying common denominator! Since my blog posting about remote workers and collaboration, (http://bobolwig.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/remote-workers-collaboration-apps-and-culture/) we've fully implemented Telepresence among three of our locations and it has truly transformed, in a very positive way, at least two of our key business processes: employee interviews & weekly sales meetings.

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  5. Tod, it is amazing the number of communication channels that exist and, fortunately for Cisco, IP is the underlying common denominator! Since my blog posting about remote workers and collaboration, (http://bobolwig.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/remote-workers-collaboration-apps-and-culture/) we've fully implemented Telepresence among three of our locations and it has truly transformed, in a very positive way, at least two of our key business processes: employee interviews & weekly sales meetings.

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  6. Google has GoogleWave. What does Cisco have ?

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  7. Cisco bought Jabber, which has broken a ton of ground in XMPP which is what underlies Google Wave.

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  8. Cisco embraced social media through bought Jabber and WebEx.Now Cisco is the best of enterprise-focused web communication products.

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  9. When will Cisco and its partners (Tata, ATT) offer PUBLIC TelePresence rooms? It seems when the connection cost is the largest cost component, and it's a sunken because Cisco/partners pay for the connection whether the room has high usage or not, that making PUBLIC rooms available to consumers at a loss, at least for a while, would be a great way to develop the market to a critical size. It also promotes the Cisco brand.

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  10. The advent of social media continues to accelerate my day to day business communications

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