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The Future of Work & Collaboration

According to Cisco’s Connected World Technology Report, the future of work will be more flexible and collaborative than ever before. In this two-part blog series, Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, explores how the IT and business landscape is changing based on this new research and how organizations can prepare.

While no one can predict the future, it’s certain that technical innovations are certain to change just about every facet of our lives -- including how we work.

In a time when connectivity and mobility are expected to have exponential growth, one must consider the future of work and how the workplace will evolve to become more flexible and collaborative thanks to these technical innovations.

Consider these findings from the latest research in Cisco’s 2014 Connected World Technology Report:

  • More than half of professionals consider themselves accessible for work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including 3 in 10 who are accessible by both email and phone.
    • Roughly one quarter of professionals are employed at an organization that allows them to work from home.
    • About half of Gen X and Gen Y professionals feel their organization’s HR department is adjusting to enable a more mobile, flexible work style for its employees; though nearly one third feel it is not doing so quickly enough.

As connectivity and collaboration become more pervasive, it’s time for organizational leaders to consider how to thrive in a changing workplace based on new expectations, behaviors, and preferences from employees and customers alike.

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Collaboration in a Post-PC World Part Two: Architecting a Solution

In the first part of this series I introduced the people in our new “at-a-glance” graphic (see end of this blog where I’ve embedded it) and looked at their diverse roles and the challenges that posed to IT. In this wrap-up blog, I focus on Bijad, the VP of IT, his understanding of the challenges and his response.

Bijad is the man in the middle of the evolution to a post-PC world. As the range of available collaboration technologies has continued to broaden, the focus for IT has begun to swing from delivering individual best-in-class applications to an interest in an integrated collaboration experience that delivers consistent functionality across multiple devices. However, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. From the C-level suites, he is accountable for enabling this cost-effectively while providing a combination of scale, security, and accessibility through a variety of devices and operating systems. From his customers like Doug, Lee, Sarah, and Ben who you met in my previous blog, he’s hearing increasing demands for a rich, personalized, consistent user experience that lets each of them work and collaborate their way — where, when and how they want — without limits. They want tools to help them stay more connected with their peers and other organizations.

Bijad knows that this will require more flexibility and simplicity to preserve a consistent experience and that an open, interoperable architecture is key to success. Even more important, he knows that people, not technology, are the prime source of his company’s competitive differentiation. So he’s listening carefully, and thinking in terms of roles rather than devices.

To support Doug, the VP of sales, and people in similar highly-mobile, outward-oriented roles, Bijad is looking to Read More »

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Valued Partner Ecosystem is Key in Quest to be #1 in Customer Collaboration

In today’s changing marketplace, Cisco continues to invest in an aggressive plan to become the #1 vendor in contact center. In the last year, we’ve made huge gains toward this milestone, with Cisco ranked as the #1 worldwide IVR vendor by a wide margin. And in the last four years, Cisco has closed the market share gap on Avaya/Nortel by nearly 23 points worldwide and by over 33 points in North America.

On our march towards #1, our valued partner ecosystem plays a crucial role. When customers choose Cisco Customer Collaboration solutions, they base their choice not only on our innovative products, but also on their ability to collaborate with established Cisco partners who have a wealth of experience in the contact center market and our solutions. By partnering with Cisco, Cisco channel partners are able to provide customers tremendous value add services, including sales and technical support.

Cisco is continuing to invest heavily in training, supporting and growing our partner ecosystem.  And the investment is clearly paying off.  Read More »

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Cisco Announces New Cloud Collaboration Capabilities and Deployment Options

In meeting with customers and partners, I hear repeatedly how key market transitions – mobility fueled by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, cloud as a delivery model and the pervasive use of video – are dramatically shifting how organizations communicate and collaborate, both internally and externally.  They want to collaborate from anywhere, at anytime, and on any device — with a superior user experience. For maximum business benefit, they want to accelerate collaboration services across their organization. They want options and they need agility.

Today, Cisco unveiled multiple enhancements to our Cisco Collaboration portfolio — delivered via public, private, hosted/managed cloud models — that provide customers access to an expanded set of market-leading collaboration offerings.  Customers have greater choice in how they deploy collaboration offerings based on their specific needs or requirements.  They also have new options for accelerating collaboration across their business quickly, securely, and reliably. Read More »

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Streamlining Customer Collaboration

One of the best aspects of my job is the opportunity to meet with customers, partners, and analysts--not just to talk about our industry-leading products, but even more importantly, to listen.  One of the consistent messages I’ve received in recent years is the need for all contact center vendors to streamline and simplify their products, which is why I’m so excited about our recent 9.0 release of Customer Collaboration.  The 9.0 release introduces exciting new features and functionality with an overarching theme – keep it simple. Read More »

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