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The Future of Any-to-Any Collaboration Depends on Satisfying Today’s Mobile User Demands

When we think of the term “collaboration” we can often get trapped in the cycle of thinking that it only applies to IT departments and the bottom line. However, it’s important to consider how the role of the enterprise is shifting thanks to the consumerization of IT. For example, how can IT leaders satisfy new user demands while unleashing the power of a sound mobile strategy?

With today’s technology-driven global economy, enterprise mobility and collaboration tools need to be about connecting communities, not just companies. Never has there been a time when more business processes extend beyond headquarters. Organizations need to enable all types of connections: From the mobile worker to the teleworker, from other businesses to target consumers, from traditional branch offices to the cloud. This any-to-any type of collaboration is no longer keeping the enterprise at the center. Instead, the future is driven by all types of users.

It’s clear that users expect to collaborate anywhere, on any device, with any workload. They want to collaborate like they’re in the office regardless of their location. IT leaders must keep user demands top-of-mind when working to deploy a BYOD policy. This can create challenges and opportunities in five key areas:

Brett Belding - Collaboration

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Working Smarter: The Paradigm Shift in Business Collaboration

For the last few years I have had a growing conviction that my workplace collaboration tools were fundamentally broken and needed to be reinvented. So, last year when I was given the opportunity to join Cisco as the leader of their collaboration business I jumped at it. The way we work has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. The expectation that you can work from anywhere, at any time, has become the norm. Change is always hard within IT, but, as you read in my last post, it is the companies that embrace these new models of work who will benefit from a more innovative, efficient, and happier workforce.

Let’s face it, our primary collaboration tools were invented over twenty years ago when “working” looked very much like what you see in the popular TV show Mad Men – what I call the “Don Draper era.” A time when you went into the office, sat at your desk, had a physical landline, and a desktop PC loaded with legacy business tools; an environment that assumed we would always be in the office during normal business hours and behind the walled garden of IT. Fast forward to 2013 and look around, the way we work today is fundamentally different than the way we worked twenty years ago, yet many of our business IT systems and tools have been slow to catch up. In frustration, many employees are turning to the collaboration tools they use in their personal lives such as Dropbox, FaceTime, Gmail, Evernote, and Facebook to get their work done.

The rise of cloud and mobility have driven an acceleration in consumer technology so quickly that today, ironically, Read More »

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Collaboration: On the Field & In the Office

February 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm PST

Collaboration is great. But it’s not a Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, if-you-build-it-they-will-come Field of Dreams scenario. Alas, if all it took was plowing under a corn field and putting down some chalk stripes, I might be out of a job. And out of corn flakes.

We talk a lot about technology and process, but sometimes omit the human aspect. All the technology in the world won’t do much without people using it — unless you’re watching the Terminator machines attempt their takeover. And then there’s always HAL 9000. But those guys are a lot more interested in domination than collaboration anyway.

An organization’s culture is a critical component to successful collaboration. Make all the technology announcements and managerial pronouncements you want – you need an environment that supports collaboration. Read More »

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I’m a People-Centric Collaborator

November 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm PST

Although Cisco identifies me with a five-digit employee number, an eight-character username, and a rather generic HR-devised job title shared by 467 other people, I really prefer to be acknowledged as a human rather than as a database entry.

True, my badge is oh-so-personalized with my name and photo, but I apparently looked alarmingly like I could be Harry Potter’s sister when the photo was taken more than eleven years ago. (Or so says a co-worker. I think it was the rather round eyeglass frames…) All that badge tells you is my name – and possibly that I might be good at wizardy stuff.

The concept of people-centric collaboration and corporate cultures is definitely an area of focus for me. I’ve worked in technology companies for more years than I have fingers (ok, and toes) and although my employers have appreciated my individual skills, they haven’t always given me the opportunity to be a person or encouraged collaboration. Read More »

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