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Collaboration is both more important and more difficult for businesses than in the past. The reasons? The pace of business has accelerated. We’re working more globally. And we’re increasingly mobile, says Rick Hutley, vice president for the Global Innovations Practice in Cisco’s global consultancy, the Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG).

During a live discussion with Talk2Cisco viewers last week, Hutley answered questions about the sorts of returns your business might realize and what Cisco has seen, the role of cloud computing in successful collaboration and how to effectively use social media as part of your collaboration toolkit.

In case you missed the show, we’ve summed up some of the highlights below. You can view the whole show here.

1:57 -- Why collaboration is more critical now: We’re global, mobile and the pace of business is faster than ever before.

2:15 -- Why is collaboration harder? We used to work in the same building as our co-workers and could easily walk down the corrider to for a discussion.

2:38 -- We can no longer expect the people we collaborate with to speak the same language, operate in the same time zone or share the same culture.

4:19 -- How do you define collaboration? Working together with others to achieve a common outcome. collab.

4:30 -- The four stages of collaboration: Find, Connect, Share, Act.

6:40 – Collaboration and cloud“>: More businesses are storing information in the cloud so people access it no matter where they are or what device they are using

9:34 -- Collaboration and : Most tools and networks are not suited for enterprise collaboration. Businesses need internal social media tools like Cisco’s Quad that are secure and have the ability to store and share data.

11:40 -- Should your business bar use of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter? No, but you need a code of conduct and social media training that, among other things, encourages people to be authentic and respectful on the social web.

14:40 -What about small and medium business that don’t have enterprise-class tools? Many of these tools are inexpensive and others are free.

15:45 -- How do you justify to your CFO? Collaboration is essential to be successful today. You need to look at who needs to collaborate, how they need to collaboration and also consider the cost of misunderstandings and errors without the right tools.

17:30 -- : More than $1 billion added to the bottom line in 2009 — $600,000 in travel savings — which more than paid for the investment made.

20:00 -- ROI of collaboration for Modec, a provider of floating platforms for the oil and gas industries with offices in China and around the world: Reduced engineering costs by 20-30 percent in one year

22:20 -- What challenges does collaboration pose for people managers? Working globally and being mobile makes it easier for people to make mistakes and to misinterpret each other. But without collaboration, your team risks getting disconnected.

24:00 -- ROI of collaboration for events: Cisco reduced costs of its annual sales meeting by 78 percent when it switched from physical to virtual. At the same time, participation more than tripled.

26:24 -- The Workplace of the future will have more video collaboration and communications.

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