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Connecting the Games

January 9, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

In a recent blog post, I highlighted the vital role Cisco’s infrastructure will play in connecting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Our technologies – including thousands of switches, routers and endpoints – are parts of a complex infrastructure that will be bringing people together before, during and after London 2012.

You could view London 2012 as collaboration on a global scale – so vast in fact, that it’s only possible through teamwork. At the heart of delivering the Games, we are working closely with partners to carry all the data, voice and video. We will be connecting venues to officials – crucial to both the Games schedule and the four billion internet and TV viewers worldwide.

Collaboration Delivers

As a digital marketer, I’m seeing businesses, individuals and communities taking steps to realize the potential of collaboration technologies. What’s really great about collaboration is it makes things happen – with greater efficiency, less bureaucracy and more inclusivity.

For example, Cisco’s Webex solution has led to remarkable changes in the way we do business. Not least, considerable savings in business travel from holding meetings online.

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Pruning Your Community Garden: an Approach to Community Lifecycle Management (Part 2)

Part 1 of this blog series established that community administrators and owners need a way to assess and manage their respective community gardens and prune away communities that are no longer useful; see http://blogs.cisco.com/ciscoit/pruning-your-community-garden-an-approach-to-community-lifecycle-management-part-1/).  This blog describes the primary tool that will be leveraged by community administrators and owners within Cisco’s Integrated Workforce Experience (IWE) to view and tend to their respective community gardens.  The tool is called the Community Lifecycle Management Portlet (LCMP).  The LCMP represents one of several components that have been developed – in a partnership between Cisco IT and the Collaboration Business Technologies organization – as an extension of Cisco’s Enterprise Collaboration Platform (Quad) to maintain the overall health of our community ecosystem.
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Social Tools at Work

January 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm PST

Apparently “outside the box” topped a list of the worst offenders in corporate jargon for 2011. I expected that social would make the list until I realized that people are still struggling to apply it to business. It has yet to become a corporate jargon offender, let alone one of the worst.

Still, we have social media, social networks, social business, social advertising, social cats, social dogs, social goldfish. OK, perhaps I exaggerate. A little. It’s like Y2K all over again when we tacked an e- to the front of everything from mail and business on through the rest of the dictionary to say, “Look, it’s online now!”

Working for technology companies, I’ve often had the advantage (or disadvantage) of working with new tools as they came into being. Now, some of the so-called social media tools I started using in my personal time have become valuable business tools: Instant messaging is a good example.

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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 »

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Seasonal TelePresence Lends Spirit to a Global Meeting

December 21, 2011 at 8:45 am PST

How do you have an effective meeting of  100 people who are distributed around the globe?  And have some seasonal fun at the same time?

The answer is Cisco TelePresence!  Last week our global digital team — the folks who manage Cisco.com, mobile web and online social media — met for an end of year all hands. We had 14 TelePresence rooms situated globally. And in addition to some really productive planning, brainstorming and communication, the teams had a moment or two of fun, as evidenced by this “Reindeer Brigade” from one of our San Jose, California teams:

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