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Transforming the Way People Collaborate with Video

Today at the Cisco Collaboration Summit 2012 in Los Angeles, Cisco unveiled a number of new collaboration solutions, including some very exciting updates to our Cisco TelePresence portfolio expanding opportunities for organizations to create an immersive, in-person experience.

In this global economy, organizations are more dispersed than ever. Yet at the same time business executives consider in-person collaboration an imperative. I’ve talked about how telepresence and video have moved far beyond a boardroom phenomenon as organizations are realizing that the use of rich video communication has the power to transform the way we collaborate.

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Cisco Announces New Cloud Collaboration Capabilities and Deployment Options

In meeting with customers and partners, I hear repeatedly how key market transitions – mobility fueled by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, cloud as a delivery model and the pervasive use of video – are dramatically shifting how organizations communicate and collaborate, both internally and externally.  They want to collaborate from anywhere, at anytime, and on any device — with a superior user experience. For maximum business benefit, they want to accelerate collaboration services across their organization. They want options and they need agility.

Today, Cisco unveiled multiple enhancements to our Cisco Collaboration portfolio — delivered via public, private, hosted/managed cloud models — that provide customers access to an expanded set of market-leading collaboration offerings.  Customers have greater choice in how they deploy collaboration offerings based on their specific needs or requirements.  They also have new options for accelerating collaboration across their business quickly, securely, and reliably. Read More »

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My experience at the Grace Hopper Celebration 2012


My first encounter with Anita Borg Institute (ABI) was hearing Telle Whitney, the CEO of ABI; speak about the need to empower women in technology at the Cisco Women in Technology Forum (WITF). I was impressed by her talk and the years of research and work in this important area. When I was invited to attend the ‘Women of Vision’ Awards by ABI, I was thrilled to reap dual benefits of getting inspired and charged by the award recipients and their stories and at the same time doing my bit of being a role model for graduate students eager to join Cisco. Attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC), this year held in Baltimore, MD, seemed like a natural course of action for me.

The theme for GHC this year was “Are we there yet?” a question that everyone should ask themselves whether for personal goals or a larger cause.. GHC did a wonderful job to address this theme and spread it across many seminars and talks. There were multiple sessions aligning different tracks like Industry, Security, Academia, Early Career and Social Collaboration, happening at the same time, so the GHC app on my smartphone came in very handy to pick out the sessions of my interest. The app also provided details on schedule, location and bios of the speakers.

Here are my key takeaways:

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Your Workspace, Your Culture… Your Way

Last week, the blogosphere was abuzz with fresh insights on business mobility, BYOD, and collaboration.  Cisco worldwide sales leader Chuck Robbins highlighted recent research commissioned by Cisco from the Economist Intelligence Unit.  His blog talked about the risks and rewards that come with a business mobility strategy.  The research showed that business leaders see this new mobile way of working as inevitable, even though it comes with a certain amount of risk for corporate data.

Chuck’s blog also briefly touched on another concept:  culture.  I recently spent some time speaking with customers about their mobility strategy, and culture came up in some of these conversations as well.  When I think about Cisco and other companies I’ve worked with, a big part of corporate culture is  defined by how we (as individuals) work, how we share, how we collaborate, and how “close” we feel to others in the workplace. Have you ever reminisced “when I worked for xyz-company, I really felt like I was part of a family?”  I know I have.

In today’s non-stop global world, preserving culture is more important than ever, but technology and geography can conspire against culture – and so we have to actively work to preserve culture in modern business environments.  One way to promote culture is to create a collaborative and open environment through the use of video collaboration, not just for remote employees, but in every meeting.  While ideally every meeting would be face-to-face, the reality of mobility and BYOD is that we’re not always at our desks.  Video puts us front-and-center.  It forces us to tune in and focus on the conversation at hand.  But it also drags our culture and our surroundings into the meeting.  I saw this first hand speaking to a customer on WebEx this week, when he unexpectedly turned on his iPhone video, and marveled at how he could walk through his home, streaming video while speaking with me on the call.

And there it was!  That simple act of sharing video turned a regular conference call into a vibrant, two-way engagement. If we can make it easy and enjoyable to use video collaboration in the new global, virtual, mobile workspace, we share more than just words – we share culture.  And to do that in a mobile environment, you’re going to want a strategy and a partner that can get you there regardless of the device you are using at the moment, be it a traditional PC in an office or cubicle,  a thin client delivering a virtual desktop, or a smart phone or tablet.

One thing is for certain – freedom to use a wide variety of items is having a profound impact on society and culture.  Putting those devices to use to nourish and extend your corporate culture is an idea that some forward looking IT leaders are already turning into practice.  How has, and how will video and mobility impact your workspace and corporate culture?  The following info-graphic highlights some of the trends that are driving the need for a seamless blend of mobility, video, and collaboration across all your devices.

Click the tall info-graphic above to learn more, and them come back and post a comment!  Tell me how the consumer usage of video and mobility are changing the culture of your company.

 

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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): It’s Good for Business

October 15, 2012 at 1:21 am PST

Too often, IT departments regard Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) computing in a negative light, as something they are being dragged into by individualistic end users. IT marketers don’t help the situation much, with rhetoric about how their company’s wares help IT cope with the scary challenges of BYOD.

I view BYOD not as a threat to established IT, but as an opportunity to generate more business value. BYOD benefits include bringing business processes physically closer to customers, ability to engage customers and stakeholders on their own terms, and to develop new modes of end-user engagement that re-energize ongoing business processes and often invent new ones.

First and foremost, BYOD represents an historic opportunity to extend IT services to new classes of users on an anytime, anywhere basis. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Organizations have invested billions of dollars in core Read More »

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