Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Collaboration

Collaboration Patterns That Accelerate Your Business

This is my fourth blog in a multi-part series.  In my first blog, I introduced insights from Cisco’s Collaboration Work Practice Study and how people value collaboration in the work environment.  In my second blog, I discussed the importance of building trust-based relationships and networks to make collaboration work for you.  In my third blog, I share how you can turn human interactions into business results.  In today’s blog, I discuss patterns of collaborative behaviors and how to leverage them to better support collaborators.

*****

Collaboration can happen at anytime.  Some would describe it as chaotic.   But interestingly enough, through all the collaborative interactions we observed, we saw patterns in the “chaos” -- patterns that did not just exist in organizational silos, nor were they simply associated with a job role or personality type.   Throughout the day, people play a variety of roles and experience different types and modes of collaboration.   They go from online to offline, in a virtual meeting to meeting over coffee, have an ad-hoc chat in the break-room and attend a global Cisco TelePresence meeting.

If we pay close attention to the behavior patterns of collaboration we can learn how to better support collaborators and create a more seamless experience. This is where process, technology and the physical and virtual workplace can complement the human behaviors that occur during collaboration.

Accelerating Collaboration through Catalysts and Connectors

“Not everyone is comfortable with collaborating virtually. [A catalyst’s] outreach encourages participation and makes the experience rich and meaningful.”   -- Study Participant

In our study, we found that certain types of people play an essential role in not only Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Intern’s Perspective

“Am I just a very small fish in a big pond?” -- That is what I originally thought when I first joined Cisco as a Public Relations Collaboration Intern. Turns out no one bites here, which definitely has helped the process while I have been attempting to get settled in. In fact, it has been quite the opposite. Instead of “Hey intern, do this for me,” I am asked, “Corinne, can I help you with anything or do you have any questions?” It is reassuring to know that I am around genuinely good people beginning my, as I like to call it, “adventure” here at Cisco.

After getting settled in with all the gizmos and applications on my one of a kind ThinkPad, I finally have a routine when I come into work. My mornings consist of reading, lots and lots of reading. From press releases, to news articles, to tweets … anything related to technology or social media I will most likely know about it. I’ve noticed most conversations don’t involve people’s input on the Kardashians or how the next Twilight is going to play out, so Cisco’s Newsroom has become one of my new best friends here.

Once my brain has reached overload, I usually have meetings or my kind colleagues will invite me to meetings to sit in on. I’ll catch myself looking like a “deer in headlights”  at times because all I think about is, “Hmm…what did that acronym stand for, I better write that down” or “I wonder why Telepresence originally had an upper case ‘P’ but is now changed to a lower case ‘p’”. To be honest, during the first PR meeting I ever sat in on I thought they were talking about the show “Futurama” on Comedy Central for a half second until I realized they were referring to something else. Thankfully, I haven’t asked too many dumb questions because they keep inviting me, which has been a great learning experience in order to become more familiar with how the Cisco Public Relations team works.

After lunch, I’ll work on the projects I have been given. I am no Greg Justice, but I try to be as creative as possible when deciding how to execute these assignments without looking stupid. I’ve never made so many to-do lists in my life, but hey, it works! Stay tuned on what I’ll be working on throughout the summer. This includes more external and some internal blogs, strategic analysis presentations on our company and the dark side AKA our competitors, as well as some fun and informative videos.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

How Are Large Enterprises Utilizing Collaboration in the Cloud?

Today, we ‘re featuring a guest post from Brian Blatnik, a senior manager within Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group:

In the month since our CloudVerse announcement the notion of a world of many clouds – public, private, and hybrid – has resonated with our customers, partners, and industry analysts. I’d like to share some perspective on how those types of clouds address different customers in the collaboration cloud services market. Since last month’s announcement highlighted our private cloud model in that market, Hosted Collaboration Solution for Large Enterprises, I’ll focus on that model. As a reminder, the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers.

I’m often asked, “Haven’t enterprise voice and other UC services always been delivered from what we now call a private cloud?” It’s true that IP PBXs and other UC servers, like their PBX predecessors, provide services to users from a remote room or facility via a network. But there are two ways in which today’s cloud service delivery differs. First, there is the efficiency of pooling computing, network, and storage resources across multiple locations and services. Second, the services can be delivered in an on-demand fashion with elastic scaling.

The financial and strategic benefits deriving from these two factors are leading many businesses to consider consuming collaboration services in a utility model from Cisco’s partners in the Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). But the same drivers can result in substantial benefits to businesses that aren’t looking for services from a third party’s public cloud. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Four Ways Social Software Collaboration Technology Can Change Higher Education

New media and collaboration technologies have the potential to transform higher education in terms of the classroom, the learning process, the relationship between students and instructors, and how institutions conduct academic research. While much of the industry discussion revolves around use of consumer tools and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, Cisco’s educational customers also see tremendous opportunity to increase student engagement and drive their own institutional strategies with “enterprise class” social software as well.

Since Cisco first announced Quad, we have had conversations with dozens of colleges and universities regarding the role enterprise social software and Cisco Quad can play in transforming education. Cisco Quad is an enterprise collaboration platform that brings people together to share ideas and content, collaborate on projects, and interact using chat, voice or video, regardless of where people are located.

Below, we’ve outlined four ways in which educational institutions are telling us enterprise social software is helping, or can transform the way learning, research, and academic advisement is crafted, delivered and consumed:

1. The 24/7 interactive classroom: Instructors often struggle to deliver a collaborative environment for their students that is secure and supports multiple access methods such as mobile.  Technology like Quad can enable students to interact in a secure, policy-based manner that extends the classroom conversation beyond physical walls. Courses partially or wholly targeted at off-campus students can similarly benefit from enhancing the class-like experience for remote students. For example, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the cross country MBA students based in the US, England, India and other countries are using Quad to create virtual working groups, find people with common interests, share files or videos with other students working on similar projects and instantly start video conferences or chat sessions. Quad provides students with the ability to interact, ask questions and share ideas with professors/faculty/tutorial assistants anytime, as opposed to only during fixed faculty office hours. It can also drive improved accountability on team projects, as content and comments are tracked in activity feeds and in project communities by both participating students and faculty leads.

2. Serendipitous Research: Quad contains several features, such as an activity feed that compiles microblog posts from students and staff and allows a snapshot view of a person’s current activities. These dynamic updating functionalities can facilitate broader cross-departmental collaboration, for students and researchers alike. Security features ensure that research that needs to be confidential is shared in a secure and safe manner.  As researchers update their statuses with exciting discoveries or frustrating problems, or create posts, upload videos or otherwise document their work, this content becomes accessible to hundreds of fellow university researchers through activity feeds and searches, making it possible for providential inter-disciplinary connections to be made and new insights to be generated. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,