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Convergence Live: Cisco at Automation Fair, 16th-17th November 2011

Automation Fair is just around the corner – two weeks from now.  Convergence will be alive at AF this year.   My colleagues Peter Granger and Andrew Lach have blogged about Cisco’s overall presence and our social media channel, respectively.

In my video, I highlight the Innovation and Collaboration that the convergence of plant and enterprise networks enables, which we will be showcasing in our Cisco booth on the AF show floor, including:

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Customer Collaboration Takes the UK by Storm

I spent last week in the UK meeting with a host of customers, partners, consultants, analysts, and reporters.  After a busy and intense week of long days (and a few evenings), I can say that I have never seen a market so ready for Customer Collaboration and for how Cisco is approaching this market.

Over the next several days, I’ll be sharing some specifics in additional blogs, but I thought I’d kick things off with a summary blog.  Beginning with my first day of meetings, I was struck again by the enthusiasm of the Cisco sales teams for Customer Collaboration, reinforcing what I blogged about recently in “Cisco Customer Collaboration driving aggressively to #1.”  The reporters I met with keyed in on important aspects of Customer Collaboration, including social media and cloud-based contact centers; they were also particularly interested in customer stories. I will be sharing more on my press interactions as articles are published in the coming days and weeks.

Speaking of customers, James Hughes, the global communications manager for our customer Investec, was very interested in Read More »

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The Next-Gen Collaborator: Ready for a Mobile Workplace

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Eric Schoch, senior director for hosted collaboration  in Cisco’s Collaboration organization. Eric is responsible for hosted and “as a service” solutions, strategic pricing and licensing, and business development.

There is simply no denying the increasing importance of being connected. Generation Y in particular, who grew up with mobile devices affixed almost permanently to their hands, views connectivity as one of life’s fundamental resources.

The newest addition to the workforce considers their mobile devices as an essential workplace tool to managing their workload and connecting with their colleagues on the go. While sitting in a meeting or having lunch in the break room, you can almost visualize the text bubbles hovering over crowds of this generation of workers as fingers hammer away at phones and tablets, eyes glued to the shiny screens in their hands. BYOD

But this trend goes far beyond lunch hours and happy hours. As proven by Chapter Two of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, the next-generation workforce is demanding flexibility in their choice of devices in both the workplace and remote-work options, illustrating the importance of the Internet in workforce culture. Social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility, in the case of 30% of the study’s respondents, are more important when accepting a job than a higher salary.

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Do I Need New Tools to Collaborate?

October 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm PST

Technology adoption comes in many flavors, speeds, and styles. And when it comes to new tools that make things we’ve always done better, many of us are often skeptical. But eventually, most of us get over that and the new technology takes hold. Otherwise, we’d still be chopping trees with axes instead of chainsaws, heating our coffee over an open flame, and wouldn’t even know what a Venti Half-Caf Skinny Soy Pumpkin Spice Latte was. (I’m not certain I do to this day…)

So when I tell you that there are all of these amazing tools and applications that improve and simplify collaboration within your organization, you may tell me that you can walk down the hall to talk to George as easily as you can IM him. Read More »

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Collaboration: The Cure for a Rollercoaster Economy

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Rick Hutley, a vice president in Cisco’s global strategic consulting arm, IBSG. Rick advises business leaders in every industry about how technology—and more often than not, Intelligent Network technology—can help businesses achieve their goals.

As we embark on yet another economic rollercoaster, the goal of dramatically reducing costs while simultaneously growing revenues and market share seems impossible to attain. Yet, this is what businesses must do to survive.

In my opinion, the answer to this dichotomy is “collaboration”—enabling your workforce to be more effective at significantly lower costs. Collaboration can deliver significant benefits. Cisco®, for example, realized $1.4 billion in collaboration benefits in FY2010, up from $1.1 billion in FY2009. This was achieved across 27 initiatives at an annual cost of only $128 million.

These findings are detailed in a report titled “Economics of Collaboration at Cisco” by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), with analysis from its Research & Economics Practice. While every company is different, the following Cisco examples from this report offer a compelling business case for adopting similar initiatives where you work.

  • Business travel optimization to enable greater collaboration across regions while containing travel costs resulted in expense savings of $519 million per year and time savings of $140 million per year.
  • Telecommuting initiatives to increase productivity, tap global talent, and improve sustainability resulted in time savings of $320 million per year for Cisco and commute cost savings of $49 million per year for employees.
  • Connected Workplace, Cisco’s solution for optimizing knowledge worker productivity in the office, generated a 43 percent reduction in space per worker, real estate savings of $33 million per year, and energy savings of $2 million per year.
  • Next-generation Unified Communications resulted in salesforce time savings of $27 million per year and improved customer service.
  • Faster time-to-market capabilities with improved remote collaboration accelerated the introduction of Cisco’s ASR 9000, increasing margins by $90 million, reducing time to market from 4 to 3 years, and lowering R&D costs by $70 million.

To achieve these results, Cisco employed much of its own technology. Cisco TelePresence®, for example, powers a new way of working that allows us to be more productive through face-to-face, two-way video collaboration. Cisco WebEx® enables us to hold highly effective team meetings by sharing information whether we are using a desktop computer, laptop, or smartphone. Cisco Unified Communications links our phone, email, and other communications systems so we never have to miss a call or wait until a colleague gets back to his or her desk to respond to a critical email. And finally, Cisco QuadTM provides a single, integrated experience where individuals, teams, and communities connect, share, learn, and collaborate.

In today’s volatile economy, it’s clear we must learn how to collaborate better. Fortunately, technologies like those employed by Cisco can give your company an edge by improving competitiveness, innovation, and, most important, business results.

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