As we face the combined challenges and opportunities presented by globalization, technology acceleration, and demographic shifts, competition is increasing, and innovation is becoming more and more critical for companies and countries to succeed and stay ahead of the curve.
This past week at Educause, we announced the availability of our new Research and Administrative Computing solution based on Cisco’s world-class Data Center and Collaboration technologies. This solution can help administrative leaders and research center directors save time and money and improve performance by working better together.By improving research collaboration within the university, and between universities, companies, and governments, we can improve the ability to innovate.
Hi everyone. I’m Sheila Jordan, Cisco vice president for Communications and Collaboration IT. Today I’m starting a series of weekly blog postings I’m calling “Collaboration is Hot …. Very Hot.” I’d like to share with you how we at Cisco are translating and deploying collaboration across our company.
Let me start out by explaining: “why collaboration?”
Simply stated, collaboration transforms how we work – it is a radical transformation. At Cisco, we’ve defined collaboration as where “social networking meets work” – effectively using social networking capabilities (chat, video, tagging, blogging) and incorporating them into our transactional systems and overall workflow.
The ability for a business to effectively communicate with their customers in a manner that is supportive of HOW the customer communicates is changing rapidly these days. Many people are happy communicating via phone while others have made a full on switch to social media platforms -- areas that may allow them to express themselves more fully to an audience that they have defined. Many of us…may just like to hear ourselves talk.
The challenge for a business today is how to listen. If I complain or want to rant about a negative experience with your company, should I expect a response?
On the surface, improving “business collaboration” sounds like a fairly straight-forward strategy: “provide the means for people to coordinate and share information while working together to attain business results that exceed current practices”. To support this goal, organizations have deployed a long list of tools over the years. The results? Mixed. Organizations can cite many examples where collaboration projects have made people and processes more productive. Yet, if you ask leadership teams, I imagine few would feel confident that their organization’s collaborative capabilities augment strategic growth and innovation initiatives in ways that makes them more competitive in the market.
After 15+ years of deploying more and more tools, we need to ask ourselves – why haven’t organizations realized the level of breakthrough collaboration necessary for them to excel -- or in some cases, survive? It’s not that the industry has not had any “wins” with collaboration strategies but success always seems to be stubbornly limited to certain groups or business units. Improving collaboration, it seems, has become an “intractable opportunity”. As it turns out, collaboration is a more complex and enduring journey than we originally thought. However, breakthrough levels of collaboration are often crucial to bring about business transformation. The potential benefits, despite its mixed track record, have kept “collaboration” a strategic topic for leadership teams despite our struggles to get it right.
Having been an IT industry analyst (i.e., Gartner, Burton Group, and Meta Group) since 1996, I’ve worked with hundreds of organizations on how to best approach collaboration. Listed below are a series of thoughts for your consideration: