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Cisco Web 2.0 Summit

March 28, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

Web 2.0 is the rage and we, at Cisco, talk about it in terms of the “Human Network.” But, the business side of Web 2.0 is clearly behind consumers on use and implentation of this technology and this “movement.” Today, we hosted an internal Web 2.0 Summit to share best practices and learn about Web 2.0 technologies and architecture and embedding it more in the business. In one session, Blair Christie, SVP of Corporate Communications, interviewed our Chairman and CEO John Chambers on Cisco’s vision and use of Web 2.0. Some notes from their discussion follow (Note: I am paraphrasing…not quoting directly).Q: When did you start thinking about the importance of Web 2.0?A: I’ve been on the collaboration focus since about 2001…really during the downturn. We moved from selling boxes to selling solutions and we needed to move decision-making further down the reporting chain. Collaboration across business functions was critical in order to be successful. Collaborative technologies had to be utilized to work in this way. It is imporant not to get way from the fact that it is easy to get fascinated by the technology, rather than on what the technology can do.Q: What are you seeing from the customer side of things?A: There is a huge hunger for this technology, but also a void in the market…to really enable this technology, you have to rearchitect your entire business processes from the ground up. In baseball terms, we’re really at the top of the first inning on the business side.Q: (from audience) As demand for Web 2.0 increases we see ASPs crop up and we see businesses flock to them. This gets us ahead of the curve, but potentially puts our data at risk. What is right balance for ASPs versus building these tools internally? Read More »

NBA and Cisco: Going Global with TelePresence

March 24, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

The National Basketball Association and Cisco have teamed up to use the cutting edge Cisco TelePresence technology to connect NBA players with fans and journalists all over the world. Using TelePresence, Shane Battier of the Houston Rockets, and Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns both recently participated in interviews with Chinese Journalist Chelsea Mark of NBA Zhi Zhao (the Chinese translation of “Made in NBA”), a show that is broadcast on more than 40 provincial TV stations across China.Shane Battier Cisco TelePresence.JPG(Shane Battier being interviewed via Cisco TelePresence -- photo by NBAE/Getty Images) Read More »

Cisco’s Internet Postings Policy

With the rise of new media and next generation communications tools, the way in which Cisco employees can communicate internally and externally continues to evolve. While this creates new opportunities for communication and collaboration, it also creates new responsibilities for Cisco employees. This Internet Postings Policy applies to employees who use the following:

  • Multi-media and social networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo! Groups and YouTube
  • Blogs (Both Cisco Blogs and Blogs external to Cisco)
  • Wikis such as Wikipedia and any other site where text can be posted

All of these activities are referred to as “Internet postings” in this Policy Please be aware that violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Common sense is the best guide if you decide to post information in any way relating to Cisco. If you are unsure about any particular posting, please contact the Cisco “internet postings” email alias for guidance. For instance, if you are writing about Cisco business where you have responsibility, you may wish to make sure your manager is comfortable with your taking that action.

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Lessons Learned….Cisco Updates Policy on Employee Blogging

We have chosen to dedicate a substantial post to this topic since it is an important issue affecting Cisco and many other companies as online communications continue to evolve.

Our recent experiences have shown us that as corporate blogging becomes more prevalent, new questions arise about transparency and etiquette. Corporate blogging is an important vehicle for two-way dialogue and communications, and it is a vehicle we are committed to utilizing here at Cisco. Most recently, we’ve learned some important lessons and through this blog post, hope our learnings add value to those participating in this important new media.

Policy Change

Cisco today is amending its policy on employee blogging. These changes follow the disclosure by a Cisco employee that he had authored an anonymous blog commenting on various policy and legal matters with which the company has been involved and on which he worked. In addition, Cisco employees who knew he was the author circulated links to the blog without revealing that a Cisco employee authored the blog.

The company believes strongly in employees’ right to freedom of expression, online and elsewhere. At the same time, we expect our employees, when commenting on matters related to Cisco’s business, to exercise that freedom in a manner consistent with Cisco’s corporate values of transparency and integrity. Therefore, we have evolved our employee blogging policy to expressly address:

  • blogging anonymously about issues employees have responsibilities for at Cisco; and
  • passing on to third parties “anonymous” blog postings of any kind that employees know were written by someone at Cisco.

The revised blogging policy will include the following clause, to take effect immediately:

“If you comment on any aspect of the company’s business or any policy issue the company is involved in where you have responsibility for Cisco’s engagement, you must clearly identify yourself as a Cisco employee in your postings or blog site(s) and include a disclaimer that the views are your own and not those of Cisco. In addition, Cisco employees should not circulate postings that they know are written by other employees without informing the recipient that the source was within Cisco.”

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Spring Fever, First Steps and March Madness

March 21, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

With spring (the first day was yesterday), of course, comes spring fever as well as March Madness…the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Many news outlets reported yesterday, including from Newsweek’s Sarah Kliff, that businesses would be sapped by people watching or looking for updates on the NCAA tournament…to the tune of $1.7 Billion. This assumes that every worker who has participated in an NCAA office pool spends 10 minutes during each work day of the tourney checking scores or watching games. (This, of course, is in the U.S.)The report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a consulting firm specializing in workplace issues, admits that the study isn’t exactly scientific. I will further challenge their assumption of lost productivity by asking what price you put on morale. You may lose 10 minutes of productivity here or there from the NCAA tournament, but you have to take the happiness of the employee into consideration. In this day of always-on workers with broadband at home and mobile mail and cellphones, we are always reachable and often have to shift our schedules to work with global colleagues. Many of us in the workforce (especially in technology) are also given the flexibility in our work schedules to attend the parent-teacher conference, the school play or the soccer game. As long as the employee is happy and gets his or her done, then the WHEN of the work becomes much less relevant. In other words, a happy employee is a productive employee. Read More »