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.
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 »
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:
Management capabilities are key to the delivery of private, public, and hybrid cloud services, providing scalability, reliability, security, and economic feasibility. Learn about recently announced new management capabilities in Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) from Eric Schoch, leader of the Cisco HCS product teams. Eric shares how management enhancements are targeted at providing greater visibility and faster resolution of issues, resulting in better service level agreements and more scalable, economical operation benefiting both customers and partners. Eric also touches on what the future will bring in the area of management.
Before and after our Cisco Hosted Collaboration (HCS) announcement, we conducted a series of interviews with members of Read More »
When does a new business relationship need to move from being a virtual (online) experience to a physical (in-person) experience? That question was a topic of discussion with a couple of friends, over a beer after a recent TechHub event. Moreover, I have been pondering this issue since I participated in the pilot of an International Investment Forum.
How much of our business conversations need to be face-to-face? With all the electronic communication options that are at our disposal today, does it really matter?