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Virtual Workplace – a 2011-2012 Vision

For those of us that have been through the scars of previous technology and paradigm shifts, it’s always interesting to watch a new cycle evolve. It usually starts with a great bit of fanfare, vision, bold predictions and concerns of “that’s crazy…it’ll never work…why would anyone care about that…??” etc, etc. And then after a little while (usually 12 months), the hype slows down and there are lulls while people get down to the business of creating the actual technology and associated companies. During these lulls, doubt often creeps in and we find out who has actual vision and who is riding the coattails of hype. Read More »


“What has never been doubted, has never been proven.”- DiderotI think of this quotation often these days when reading the frequent broadsides against virtual worlds, the departures of major corporations from Second Life, and stories questioning the value derived by corporations such as Cisco and IBM in the virtual world.Although I cannot speak for other companies, it is easy enough to quantify the value that Cisco derives from our interactions with our customers and partners on our Virtual Campus in Second Life. (If any of our customers or partners wish to comment about the value, or lack of, they receive, I’ll be happy to contact them and create a follow-up post as a complement to this one.)To further quote the late quality guru Dr. W. Edwards Deming, and probably the antithesis of Denis Diderot, “In God we trust….all others bring data.” Here’s the data: Read More »

Does Santa Do WebEx?

Looking at this nifty online greeting from the WebEx team got me to thinking. Read More »

BusinessWeek on Cisco and Your User Experience

Here is an interesting article about Cisco’s continuing work to improve the experience of our products and profiling colleague Cordell Ratzlaff.

The value of ‘Place’

In 1999, James Scott penned a book entitled ‘Seeing Like a State’, where he illustrated excellent examples of how organizations and governments have designed buildings and cities without considering the local habits and styles of the population. In the book, the employees or citizens recognized that there were very few areas for them to socialize informally in these optimized workplaces or cities, which is how many cultures exchange important social ideas and other difficulty in civic planning is you don’t know where the citizenry wants to congregate, much as companies cannot anticipate where the social loci will be for it’s employees. If you add to this the growing trend towards organizational decentralization, it makes it critical for organizations to provide a substitute for the break-room or water cooler conversation, to allow that free-flow of ideas between employees. This also extends beyond employee/employer relationships to customers and partners. Read More »