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Making Teamwork Simpler

I thought I’d spend a few moments to share a little about what we’re working on in the Cloud Collaboration Technology Group at Cisco. Simplifying collaboration has been top of mind. But it’s been evident that we needed to think about it differently this time.

There is a new type of worker that has emerged that requires collaboration at any place and at any time. They stay constantly in touch with their colleagues and rapidly create and share new ideas, concepts and documents. They fuel shorter project cycles and juggle more projects at one time.  They are not bound by hierarchies that say who they can and should work with: they simply find the right people the need to work with to get their jobs done, and get to it.  They are agile, work in small teams and they are moving fast.  Does this sound familiar to you?

So when we think about what’s next, we believe there is a tremendous opportunity to create a new class of collaboration tool that is specifically targeted to these types of workers, and here’s what we think is needed: Read More »

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Rewarding Partner Summit 2015 Delivers New Collaboration Offers and More

Every year an incredible amount of preparation goes into my presentation and one-on-ones for Partner Summit. We had 11 or so Spark rooms of various teams coming together to make decisions about demos, graphic design, scripting, statistics, offers, and so on. Lots of hard work (made easier with Spark), but all that effort culminates in a few days that are both rewarding and inspiring. First, we got to hang out with more than 2200 of you in the lovely city of Montreal (while 6000 others tuned in virtually) and hear some great talks from our top leaders.

The second reward I got from all the weeks leading up to Summit where my team was heads down doing research and crunching numbers was gaining a buttoned-up set of facts that support the message I wanted you to walk away with – that disruption creates an opportunity to thrive. The partner trends we uncovered are compelling.

I want to make sure you have those facts and figures at your fingertips. We’ve created a Cisco Worldwide Partner Summit 2015 Collaboration Offers and Announcements page where you can find all the details on our new partner announcements and offers as well as the presentations. I think you’ll find the offers very rewarding, and if you didn’t get a chance to hear Rowan announce them on main stage and in the breakout session, you can find the recordings on the Cisco Virtual Partner Summit site.

Let’s also do a quick recap here of the three big areas you can focus on to seize that window of opportunity we talked about: Read More »

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Tropo

Cisco has been on a mission to make collaboration super-simple. From our video devices that require no user’s manual, to our cameras that sense and automatically adjust when the speaker suddenly stands and walks to the white board, we’re paying attention to the details; we’re making collaborating less frustrating and providing a better user experience—so we can all get great work done.

With our laser focus on simplicity, it should come as no surprise that we’ve given lots of thought to real-time embedded communications. Given the market transitions of mobility, cloud, and the Internet of Everything, companies are seeking simpler and faster ways to communicate—both internally and externally—from any device in real-time through the cloud. The need for next-generation communications and collaboration platforms with modern, easy-to-use APIs is more important than ever. To address this growing need, Cisco is pleased to announce its intent to acquire Tropo, a privately held company providing a cloud API platform that makes it simple for customers and developers to embed real-time communications within their applications.

Helping people connect, engage and innovate on any device, Cisco and Tropo will provide a collaboration platform-as-a-service, which allows our customers and developers to create and sell new communications services with minimal development effort.

Read More »

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For Better Collaboration Try Breaking The Rules

I recently read an article Why Getting It Wrong Is the Future of Design. It speaks to how innovative design changes often come from doing things that would be considered completely wrong. The article focuses on art, graphics, architecture, theater, movies, tableware, and even video games. Then I read this line “I was following the rules, then selectively breaking one or two for maximum impact.” and it got me thinking. What are the rules to collaboration and can we break a couple that result in better collaboration?

I’ve always been one for experimentation in trying different things, using various products, and embracing change. After reading this article I’ve been trying to selectively break a few rules and thinking about other rules to break. It hasn’t been easy, because there are many hard and fast best practices on how to collaborate. Here’s some of what I have come up with:

  • Forego physical meeting rooms: If the entire team is physically located in the same area could they be just as, or even more effective meeting virtually? There are a lot of remote workers and many teams at Cisco are geographically dispersed so virtual meetings are a must, but if a team is located in the same building many members will still attend virtually.  I can see benefit to this approach. People who couldn’t attend would simply review the meeting recording at their convenience and not rely on meeting minutes. The team could also move away from fragmented means of communications to using virtual meeting rooms (Cisco Spark) for correspondence. Since most projects involve shared input into documents, room based document control is a great way to provide visibility to changes without relying on a single person to collate individual updates and rely on e-mail to share updates. Perhaps the biggest benefit would be consistency in attending the meetings in the same way, but also being able to always have a place for ad hoc meetings and tasks while providing visibility to everybody.

Read More »

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Make Collaboration a Key Part of Your Litigation and Claims Handling Strategy

For those of us who have been in this industry awhile, the Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance market continues to be plagued by inefficiencies in claims handling and litigation management. Adjusters assigned to manage the claim are geographically dispersed, have varying degrees of expertise about the loss event, and handle multiple claims simultaneously. Disparate legacy systems still exist, and silos are prevalent between business, technology, and lines of business. This can result in wasted time and compromised claim performance.

Industry leading insurers should consider applying unified communications and collaboration technologies to lower claim expenses, while transforming the entire claims process into a seamless experience for all parties involved. Insurers continue to be challenged with diverse collaboration methods, especially for long-tail, complex claims in litigation, frequently with high monetary exposure potential and multiple collateral sources involved. A well-defined collaboration strategy can benefit customers, self-insureds, defense law firms handling insurer claims in litigation, agents, brokers, third-party administrators, government entities, court systems and reinsurers. Read More »

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