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Collaboration – a Catalyst for Change at the 2012 Olympic Games

As the nights draw in, next summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games might seem a world away, but things change fast in the business world. So how prepared are you? Is technology helping businesses benefit when the Games end?

For even the most Games-ready business, the predicted absenteeism (28% during Sydney) and deluge of holiday requests (27% of staff requesting annual leave) is a headache-inducing cocktail for HR teams.

At Cisco, we’ve been involved with the Games for a while, so we’ve been busy putting plans in place. Like being flexible and agile during the Games, which sits well with our big push to be a more collaborative business. You’d expect us to demonstrate best practice, because we’re already supporting the Games with network technology. Plus, video, collaboration and business applications are at the heart of everything we do.

Flying less – our major departure

Some time ago, we cut internal travel by 90%, which radically altered attitudes to flying to business meetings, remote working and business mobility.

From this transformation sprung The Loop – an innovative, interactive, online forum for the UK and Ireland. This live Cisco TV show is now attended by 2,000 employees.

Globally, our use of Telepresence and WebEx has exploded. Now available across 1,010 rooms in 241 cities in 59 countries, one million Telepresence meetings have saved 191,000 trips and a staggering $817 million. Every month 700,000 WebEx meetings take place – 68% more than a year ago.

What works on the web, works for us

By sharing knowledge readily and richer interaction, we’re more productive.

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Global Innovation in Education – an International Roundtable using Cisco TelePresence

At a conference on developing sustainable, connected and scalable cities, Cisco hosted an international roundtable using Cisco TelePresence, a high definition, life-sized video meeting solution, with education thought leaders from Amsterdam, Brisbane, Hong Kong, London and Lisbon.

Some participants joined via a Dialogue Cafe.  Under the auspices of the United Nations, the Dialogue Cafe Association is building a network of publically available, video-enabled spaces that make it easier for innovators, students, public leaders and businesses to connect and collaborate across geographical, cultural and sometimes political divides.

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It’s Hot in Miami: Collaboration Summit News Highlights

November 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm PST

It used to be that everyone had to be at the office to work. Phone, desk, computer, email--that was it. We’ve come quite a long way since those days and I personally am thankful. Using WebEx, Jabber, video, and a phone means I can work at home in my sweats on most days. I’m sure you have your own list of reasons that may or may not include a relaxed work-at-home attire.

This week at the Collaboration Summit in Miami, collaboration took a huge leap forward. Unified Communications via Jabber can now happen via a Web plug-in, so customers can use IM, Android, click-to-call and click-to-video from Apple, BlackBerry, Windows, and even Nokia devices.

Not only does collaboration offer great benefits to your own work experience, but these tools are a great way for partners to differentiate, too, by offering a host of integrated solutions and services to customers. And with channel programs, incentives, sales and marketing resources, partners can earn even more profits on the countless ways to customize collaboration solutions.

Plus, the Jabber Software Development Kit means new collaboration-enabled applications. (More details on the Collaboration blog.)

Let’s see, what else happened this week? New versions of WebEx, partners, parties, demos, and Cius ambassadors roaming the halls.
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The Collaborative Buzz of Bees

November 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm PST

Rooftop hives at CiscoSometimes we forget that collaboration isn’t just something people do at work. In fact, it’s not unique to people at all. And some of the best collaborators out there in the world just ain’t people.

Bees, for instance. They don’t have fancy hardware, software, networks, and mobile devices, yet they’re amazing collaborators. I take that back, they do have networks – just not the kind with Cisco routers and switches behind them.

People are studying bees to figure out how you and I can improve our collaboration. By its own definition, The Biomimicry Institute “promotes learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable and healthier human technologies and designs.” A pretty neat idea if you ask me. Read More »

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Cisco’s Collaborative Community Platform Transforms the Process for Creating Expense Reports

November 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm PST

In many organizations, creating expense reports can be time-consuming and frustrating for employees. Cisco was no exception.  Employee feedback over time and recent usability studies confirmed user dissatisfaction with the process for creating expense reports, especially around usability of the existing tool on the corporate intranet, and the volume of audit and policy violations employees experience during the process.
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