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Changing the Equation

It’s been a little more than a year since we created Cisco’s first Office of Inclusion and Collaboration (OIC).   And it’s been a milestone year.  Today, we’re releasing our annual Corporate Social Responsibility report (CSR), which details Cisco’s high-level priorities for being socially and environmentally responsible, and I’m honored to share the highlights of our progress within Our People section of this amazing document.  As a critical part of Our People Deal, Inclusion and Collaboration are featured prominently in the report.  I invite you to dive in and understand what we’ve accomplished in FY15 and how we’re changing the equation for creating value moving forward.CSR Photo1

What does it mean to change the equation?  For Cisco and the OIC, it means we continue to expand our view on the factors driving inclusion, diversity and collaboration.  It means we leverage fresh perspectives, thought leadership, and data and analytics to gain new insights. It means we use those insights to inform bold new strategies.  We change the way we talk about inclusion, diversity and collaboration, the way we measure our progress, and the way we connect our business strategies and our inclusive practices. And we align with a higher vision of value creation in the work we do to drive transformation through our people.

A Foundational Year with Milestones. Changing the equation was a top priority in this first, foundational year for the OIC. We began by looking at the legacy work of the Global Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) function we were transforming, including over 400 well-intentioned programs designed to support diversity and inclusion across our company.  And while we recognized the progress made through those programs over the years, we knew that more programs would not result in more impact or move us forward in our higher vision of value creation. Read More »

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A Brief History of Cloud Collaboration

This is part of a blog series on the evolution of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud platform, which explores the technical and design principles behind its unique architecture.

I came to Cisco with the idea that, in many ways, enterprise communications technology had fallen behind consumer technology. And that we could apply to enterprise communications much of what the industry had learned in the mobile cloud revolution.

So it’s no surprise that I believed the next generation of business communications technology would be powered by the cloud, delivered on mobile devices and browsers, and used in larger settings (like conference rooms) through group systems.

The first thing we did as a team was define the “ultimate experience.” We assembled a small group of really smart people from around the world who had invented many of the collaboration technologies we all rely on today. We asked them to dream and dream big! From that dreaming, we created a vision of the future experience we could aim towards.

Assembling the Pieces
The missing piece of the puzzle was a cloud platform to power this next-generation experience. Just one minor catch: The cloud platform we needed simply didn’t exist, though many companies had built pieces and parts. WebEx had web conferencing to which it later added video. A handful of startups had video calling and bridges in the cloud. Some companies had cloud-based telephony systems. And others had even built closed networks to deliver 1:1 and small group video conferencing in the cloud.

To complicate things further, no one had a solid idea of how to build the platform we needed. Read More »

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Declutter For Your Customers

We’re moving.

After twenty-five years in the same house, my wife and I will soon be living in a new place.

Moving isn’t fun. It’s not just leaving the home where we raised our two boys, but getting rid of all our unneeded items. We’re not hoarders or packrats, but it’s downright astonishing how much stuff (I won’t use the word junk) we gathered over the years.

beverly hillbillies

Businesses can be like that, too, can’t they? Read More »

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What I Learned at Grace Hopper: Collaboration Is Crucial for Improving Gender Diversity in Tech

In October I had the privilege of attending the Grace Hopper Celebration for the first time. I am truly in awe of how transformative and inspiring this conference is.

Grace Hopper is the largest event for women in computing. It’s a place for women to come together and get inspired by other women who are inventing and innovating. After three days of amazing keynotes and technical sessions, I can honestly say that I have never been more proud to be a woman in tech!

Where My Girls At?
I started my career in 2008 and quickly became passionate about improving gender diversity in tech. The photo of my first team may help you understand why. Taken within my first few months of joining a large tech company, it’s a great snapshot of a typical lunch outing with my team. Believe it or not, this was not a staged photo. I was really the only woman in attendance.

boys Read More »

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Mobile Collaboration: Where Does It Rank on Your Priority List?

The way people collaborate is in the midst of an enormous shift. Whether you’re ready or not, it will impact how and where teams and employees conduct business.

In 2014 alone, global mobile data traffic grew 69% and nearly half a billion mobile devices were activated and connected. And by 2019? That traffic is expected to increase nearly tenfold.  Tenfold!

Collaboration is a major driver for increased mobile usage.  We’ve used chat and messaging tools to maintain personal connections for years with popular apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp, Voxer, and many others. With their success in fostering simple and straightforward communication, it was only a matter of time before these apps found their way into the business world. This “consumerization of IT” is paving the way for new breeds of business-class technology to redefine the boundaries of the workplace.

But it is more than technology fueling this shift.  The way teams form and work together has changed as well.  Entire functional teams may not even sit at a desk anymore, getting more done by working closely with customers, suppliers and far-flung colleagues, especially while on the go.  Supporting the needs of this increasingly mobile workforce is critical.  However, executing against those needs may leave you wondering where and how to start.

Aragon Measures the Market
Aragon Research took an early look at applications aimed at solving these challenges in its recent Tech Spectrum for Mobile Collaboration report. Aragon looks at the products designed to enhance teamwork and team building across the workplace ecosystem. These tools, according to Aragon, “Are making it easier for people to interact with internal and external colleagues and partners on any device, without barriers.”  And by 2020, Aragon estimates that 60% of users will rely on mobile collaboration as frequently as email.

Aragon Tech Spectrum Graphic

Read More »

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