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Collaborating with the New Generation

October 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm PST

I had a troubling thought. If I can no longer be considered part of the new generation, am I now the old generation? Generation X used to sound so modern, but we’re no longer the cool kids. After all, I’m driving a Prius and doing fourth-grade homework with my kid after dinner instead of chasing Skrillex. Now we have the Millennials who, according to Wikipedia, are Gen Y. (But, really, what generation wants to be saddled with a name based on the one that came before it?)

We recently invited a small group of MBA students from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business to meet some of our customers for a grilling panel on what companies can expect from the new generation entering the workforce.

They provided first-hand perspective about what it’s like to be new on the block and work with, well, er, an older generation. Compared to our learned comfort with technology, theirs is nearly ingrained based on its presence in their lives since childhood. This difference comes through in their expectations, habits, and predictions for the wonderful world of technology in front of us. Read More »

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ACE Network: Cisco IT Supports a Network for Introducing New Services

IT departments are often caught between the requests of users who want the latest and greatest technology right now­—even if it’s not perfect—and users who value reliable and consistent IT services above all else.

How can you serve both types of users without wasting time, energy, budget, and everyone’s patience? In Cisco IT, we’ve done it by creating the Advanced Cisco Experience (ACE) network. Operating ACE separately from our production network, we use it to introduce new IT services and products to a group of technology specialists before we deploy those services company-wide. These services include new releases of Cisco unified communications, collaboration, video, and mobility technology products that our employees use to work the way they want, across different devices and locations, which drives gains in user productivity. Read More »

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Model “A Day in the Life …” for Better Collaboration

There’s a lot of collaboration technology out there and deciding which technology to invest in can be daunting.  How often have you heard of a company making a major investment in technology for it to become “shelfware” and never see deployment?  How often have you heard of a company that’s deployed a technology, yet nobody in the company is willing to use it?  How often have you heard of a company that has several products from different vendors that do exactly the same thing?

It doesn’t take much to realize that each of these situations has a negative impact and the cause of each situation stem from different reasons, but usually with the best intentions.  Shelfware occurs because of undeployed licenses in ELA’s or quantity purchases for better per seat pricing.  Unfortunately, the business doesn’t grow and the company is obligated to pay for unused licenses.  Other times, a company deploys a product with great features that is too complex or doesn’t integrate well with workflows and remains unused.  Lastly, individual departments may make purchase decisions based on their needs without consulting IT or other departments resulting in redundant solutions that compete internally with each other.

In considering collaboration strategy, it is key to consider Read More »

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What’s Influencing the Future of Work in Australia? [Infographic]

So much about our working day has changed since the early 1900s, when work meant 14 hours, six days a week and only 20% of women participated in the workforce. Undoubtedly, the Internet has completely transformed the way we work, facilitating one in five Australian jobs now related to international trade and estimated to contribute $70 billion to our GDP by 2016.

As part of our Way You Work campaign, Cisco is examining the cultural, social and economic changes that have influenced our working world since the 1900’s. This infographic walks us through these changes and takes a sneak peak at what the future might hold.

 

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Collaboration in a Post-PC World Part Two: Architecting a Solution

In the first part of this series I introduced the people in our new “at-a-glance” graphic (see end of this blog where I’ve embedded it) and looked at their diverse roles and the challenges that posed to IT. In this wrap-up blog, I focus on Bijad, the VP of IT, his understanding of the challenges and his response.

Bijad is the man in the middle of the evolution to a post-PC world. As the range of available collaboration technologies has continued to broaden, the focus for IT has begun to swing from delivering individual best-in-class applications to an interest in an integrated collaboration experience that delivers consistent functionality across multiple devices. However, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. From the C-level suites, he is accountable for enabling this cost-effectively while providing a combination of scale, security, and accessibility through a variety of devices and operating systems. From his customers like Doug, Lee, Sarah, and Ben who you met in my previous blog, he’s hearing increasing demands for a rich, personalized, consistent user experience that lets each of them work and collaborate their way — where, when and how they want — without limits. They want tools to help them stay more connected with their peers and other organizations.

Bijad knows that this will require more flexibility and simplicity to preserve a consistent experience and that an open, interoperable architecture is key to success. Even more important, he knows that people, not technology, are the prime source of his company’s competitive differentiation. So he’s listening carefully, and thinking in terms of roles rather than devices.

To support Doug, the VP of sales, and people in similar highly-mobile, outward-oriented roles, Bijad is looking to Read More »

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