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Video Usage & Young Executives: A Survey of Tomorrow’s Leaders

Gen Y has been a new breed of worker that transformed the business world from the moment they stepped through the door (in Converse and jeans, to boot).  They are idealistic and digitally savvy; they value meaningful work and social media freedom; they’re hungry for interaction and thirsty for acknowledgment.

Fast forward to 2013 … Gen Yers are rising through the ranks and entering into management roles. They are poised to transform the business world yet again, but this time they’ll be making changes from the top and leading the workplace with collaboration and mobile technologies that have already proven integral to their daily lives.

As a collaboration connoisseur myself, I was excited to check out the results of a survey Cisco released today about one of the primary tech tools young executives will use to lead their organizations – business-class video. Some of the notable findings from The “2013 Cisco Global Young Executives’ Video Attitudes”survey are:

Video Usage and Young Executives: a survey of tomorrow's leaders– Three out of five management-track Gen Y leaders will rely more heavily on business-class video during the next five-10 years.

– 87 percent of respondents stated that a company’s video investment would significantly impact their decision when considering job offers.

94 percent of those organizations with less than 400 employees value video as a way to break down language barriers in the increasingly global marketplace


This doesn’t surprise me at all Read More »

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From Work-Life Balance to Work-Life Blend – Google, Twitter and Cisco Join a Panel to Discuss how to Prepare Companies for Gen Y

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in front of 250 people at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco talking about a subject most Fortune 500 companies are dealing with today: how to prepare for the thousands of Gen Y employees about to descend on the work place. Last Tuesday, July 16th, I had the pleasure of speaking on this topic with Google’s Todd Carlisle, Director of Staffing, and Twitter’s Melissa Daimler, Head of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning. Doug MacMillan with Bloomberg BusinessWeek moderated the discussion.

During the course of the evening, we discussed an assortment of topics around how companies are creating an environment that these new generations of employees will want to work in. It’s clear Gen Yers work and interact in different ways and companies are having to adapt.

For example, all of the panelists agreed that companies must provide lots of opportunities for training and coaching. I firmly believe that the number one predictor of job satisfaction is great coaching. In five or ten years, I may not remember how I was paid in that particular position, but I will remember an impactful mentor and a skill I learned. Todd from Google brought up an interesting Googler to Googler program that they’ve implemented, that connects people to share their skills – everything from debugging a complex piece of code to teaching yoga. Melissa agreed, saying that if there is just one question that managers ask employees every quarter, it should be “what is the skill you want to learn.” After all, people are more loyal to building their skill set and their career path than any type of company.

The topic of work-life balance also came up, and each panelist talked about that in a different way. I believe that what used to be a work-life balance is, for Gen Yers, a work-life blend. This newest generation of employees is used to constantly flipping back and forth Read More »

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What’s the Value of Medianet for Video Collaboration?

Is interactive video an important business tool for your organisation? If yes, then read on.

Medianet is an architecture that Cisco often talks about and it seems like it’s been around for ages (well 5 years to be exact), but its true value is often obscured by complex diagrams and techno speak that Cisco engineers (like myself) love. So what exactly is the benefit of EX90 TE6 MSI firmware delivering Medianet metadata to an Access Layer Catalyst 4500? How does the combination of MSI, metadata, perfmon and Mediatrace save you time and money? Unless you have a degree in Cisco acronyms this might be hard to answer!

What I’m going to attempt in this short blog is to try and translate the Medianet architectural jargon into the potential cost savings that Medianet offers customers who deploy our video endpoints and applications over a Read More »

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Cisco IT University Program Innovation: Leveraging Social Media to Attract Top Talent

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Are you an ambitious tech-savvy college student looking for an internship or full time career? Do you want to work for a company that has been ranked as one of the happiest places for young professionals? Then, Cisco IT is the place for you!

The Cisco IT University Program recruits college students from all over the world into Cisco IT for internship and full time opportunities. With a myriad of employers for college students to choose from, Cisco IT identified the need to innovate and explore new ways to become the employer of choice for the best and brightest of the millennial generation. This generation is leading the social media explosion today and is always connected. According to the Society of New Communications Research, 93% of people active online fully expect companies to be present in social media spaces and be willing to have a conversation with them. Therefore, the IT University Program decided to adapt to the communication preferences of this generation and enter the world of social media with full force delivering the Cisco IT experience right to their smart phones.


What does the millennial generation seek in a potential employer?

  • The ability to work on innovative projects that make an impact
  • A start up environment that is fast paced, fun and exciting
  • The opportunity to change the world

This is exactly what Cisco IT has to offer! However, college students today maintain the outdated brand perception of Cisco being the godfather of routing and switching. They are oblivious to the cutting-edge initiatives going on within Cisco IT that are changing the way we work, live, play and learn more than ever before. The natural expertise of millennials must be leveraged for Cisco IT’s game changing initiatives such as the Internet of Everything, BYOD, user experience, collaboration and mobility.


So, what does the IT University Program want to accomplish through the use of social media?

  • Create increased brand awareness among college students of the endless opportunities available in Cisco IT
  • Generate online buzz and excitement by showcasing the fun company culture

How does the IT University Program’s social media strategy meet and exceed these goals?

According to Ypulse, 62% of Millennials use Facebook and 22% use Twitter to keep up with a brand or company they like. Based on this research, the IT University Program built a robust online presence using their existing Facebook page with Twitter as a secondary communication platform. When the social media strategy was kicked off, the Cisco IT University Program Facebook page had only 200 likes with a sense of hesitance and uncertainty around the possibility of its success. Within a few short months, the Facebook page has over 1000 likes and the IT University Program has created an incredible amount of excitement internally and externally. The IT University Program’s online audience includes the company’s CIO, IT Executives, Managers, New Graduates and Interns, and even the parents of New Graduates and Interns.

Information distributed through the IT University Program’s social media channels is catered towards each one of these audiences. The IT University Program has engaged its audience and met its intended goals in the following ways:

Overall, implementing an extensive social media strategy to reach the millennial generation has been a big win for the IT University Program. Not only did it create buzz and excitement around Cisco IT externally but also earned the support and encouragement of executives within the organization. This is how the IT University Program is striving towards Cisco’s vision of becoming the #1 IT Company by innovating and finding new ways to recruit top talent into Cisco IT.


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ISTE 2013: The Idea Incubator

We attended ISTE 2013 this year and came away filled with ideas and excited about a bright future of technology in education. One of the most inspirational takeaways was from the keynote speech by Steven Johnson, “Where Good Ideas Come From”.

Kevin talked about the evolution of ideas. Contrary to popular belief, the best ideas aren’t a light bulb going off, they take time to mature and develop. He defined this as the “slow hunch”, the source of true creativity. Furthermore, ideas are usually not single and solitary, but are built on a network of other ideas. Within this incubator of ideas, connections and collaboration become more and more important, both for development and implementation.

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