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Four Initiatives to Bridge the Collaboration Adoption Gap

November 2, 2012 at 8:33 am PST

In my previous post, I mentioned that I’d briefly describe four initiatives Cisco promotes to help customers bridge the adoption gap. Most of all, adoption needs to be factored in at all phases of the plan-manage-build collaboration investment lifecycle. The biggest mistake organizations can make is to treat adoption as an afterthought or process that naturally occurs without prompting when a collaboration solution goes live.

Bridging the adoption gap begins with lowering the barriers to customer investment in collaboration-focused IT services by expanding the role of “as-a-Service” collaboration consumption models. Here, cloud computing is the enabling technology, but beyond that, Read More »

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Cisco CIO Summit 2012: Starting with the customer, and ending with IT in mind

We’ve all heard the sayings “put the customer first” and “the customer is always right.”  According to Forrester Research, the days of manufacturing, distribution, and information being the primary ways successful companies dominate their industries are gone, and the new “age of the customer” is here. Newly empowered, informed, and demanding buyers are radically redefining the conversations, strategies, and planning of top IT leaders around the world. This year at the CIO Summit hosted by Cisco, I had the privilege to engage with seventy-eight Chief Information Officers from large enterprises and organizations who shared similar sentiments. 

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Witches, Ghosts and Ghouls…Oh My! Cisco Celebrates Halloween with Legendary Costume Contest

It’s the day after Halloween and people across the country are hanging up their costumes, sorting through their candy and recovering from sugar highs. At Cisco, we’ve once again been reminded of the power of telepresence—especially during the holidays.

In some cultures Halloween is seen as a time where the door between the physical world and the metaphysical is opened, creating a connection between the two. For me, Cisco TelePresence opened up doors to communication I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced.

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Manufacturing Robotics: Automation with Emotion

I enjoy Halloween.  I particularly enjoy passing out candy and treats to the children and being amused by their costumes.  Some are very creative, and cute.   A young girl no older than 3 years was dressed as a duck and instead of saying, “Trick or Treat” she just quacked. It was Hilarious!! So what does my Halloween experience this year have to do with manufacturing.  Well, a young man came to my home dressed in a very elaborate and cleverly designed C-3PO costume.  You know the clever robot in the Star Wars series that translated for R2D2.

I began to think about how robots in manufacturing are evolving and becoming more intuitive and cerebral, but an interesting phenomenon is also starting to evolve in the world of robotics.  They’re becoming more emotional.

Say Hello to Mr. Baxter.  Rethink Robotics has designed a friendly and compassionate robot with ‘common sense’.  Baxter is a worker robot with a touchscreen face that’s as much about communicating its intent as giving humans something more to experience.  It’s safe to work around, courteous and follows instructions very well.  The ideal teenage son. Baxter also cost about $22,000. Less than a 1/3 of some college tuitions.

Can you envision yourself treating your fellow robot much like you treat your trusted Golden Retriever, Fido?  Do you remember Rosie from the Jetsons and B9, the robot from the late 1960′s sitcom, Lost In Space (Boy am I dating myself)?  These robots expressed emotions like love and fear, were treated like family and were trusted to help make critical decisions that effected the safety and well being of their owners.

Baxter is being touted as the catalyst to help restore US and European manufacturing prowess.  Do you think Baxter robots will achieve this objective?  I’m not sure, but I would like to know how President Obama and Mr. Romney plan to tax Mr. Baxter.  I would hate for Baxter to become emotionally upset and stage a strike.

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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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