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Cisco’s Collaborative Community Platform Transforms the Process for Creating Expense Reports

November 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm PST

In many organizations, creating expense reports can be time-consuming and frustrating for employees. Cisco was no exception.  Employee feedback over time and recent usability studies confirmed user dissatisfaction with the process for creating expense reports, especially around usability of the existing tool on the corporate intranet, and the volume of audit and policy violations employees experience during the process.
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Pruning Your Community Garden: an Approach to Community Lifecycle Management (Part 1)

All enterprise social collaboration platforms include gathering points whereby people can unite with others around a common goal; for example, a program or project, social interest, organization, market segment, product, corporate initiative, technology, etc. Within Quad – Cisco’s Enterprise Collaboration Platform and product – these gathering points are referred to as communities. The longevity of any given community will vary based on several factors, which include temporal needs, relevancy, and usefulness. Some communities will be required for a long time while others may only be needed for a short time. Without clear mechanisms to identify the usefulness of each community and manage those that reach end of life, a social collaboration platform can become difficult to manage from a community governance vantage point. The performance of the platform can be negatively impacted by excessive community clutter resulting from orphaned or unused communities.

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Cisco’s contributions to the OpenStack Diablo release

On February 3rd of this year, Cisco announced its membership in, and commitment to, the OpenStack community. OpenStack is an open source cloud computing software project founded in the spring of 2010 by Rackspace and NASA, and which provides compute, storage and image management services for cloud computing environments.

In his announcement, Lew Tucker, VP and CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco, stated:

Since joining Cisco several months ago, you may have heard me talk about the importance of architecture, APIs, and open source in Cloud Computing. So today, I’m particularly proud to announce that Cisco has joined the OpenStack community. The effort here is being led by the CTO organization but also draws on other engineers throughout Cisco’s product groups to help with the design, specification and development of this open source cloud stack. And yes, that does mean code.

Fast forward to September 23rd, 2011. On this date, Cisco, along with an extremely dedicated group of developers from several fellow members, including Nicira and Citrix, delivered the first fruits of that labor. The first experimental release of OpenStack’s cloud network service, Quantum, is now available for download.

Details of Quantum’s functionality and architecture can be found on the OpenStack Quantum wiki page. The source code for the service can be downloaded from OpenStack’s Launchpad repository.

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Cisco gives back the Manufacturing Way

September 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm PST

For those of you who may not be aware, we at Cisco take our commitment to our communities very seriously, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun when we volunteer!

Left to right: Andrew Lach, Peter Granger, Kevin Davenport at InnVision

On August 17th, over 20 volunteers from the Cisco Enterprise and Mid-market Marketing group gave their time to support InnVision, Silicon Valley’s leading provider of housing and services for homeless families and individuals:

InnVision is a primary gateway for homeless families and individuals seeking shelter and resources that lead to self-sufficiency. Our comprehensive system of care promotes self-worth and dignity at multiple facilities throughout Silicon Valley, including shelters, longer- term housing options and service centers, each equipped to meet emergency and transitional needs of diverse, at-risk people. InnVision is…the Way Home!

 

Volunteers spent the day sorting clothing for InnVision’s store, prepping food for daily meals, and reading stories to children.

Kevin, Peter and I were tasked with sorting clothing. Being from the Manufacturing team, we couldn’t resist applying the lessons learned from the Manufacturing industry towards our volunteer duties. Recalling Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations“, we quickly broke into teams for a proper division of labor. Safety is a top priority, so latex gloves were distributed to the sorting teams to follow OSHA guidelines. We carefully optimized our WIP to ensure that Bottlenecks --which threatened to shut down our line via the Bullwhip effect — were not created. Additionally, we applied classical queueing theory using exponential distribution to carefully model our Poisson processes. Read More »

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Introducing: “The Network: Cisco’s Technology News Site”

June 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm PST

In my mind, a piece of content that is shared with a friend, or friends, or followers, or the world is the ultimate measurement of its success.  That person is validating that the piece of content they are sharing was valuable enough, interesting enough or topical enough to share with one or with many.  They know the audience they are trying to reach and they target it to that audience with the sharing technology that is appropriate (Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc.).

This is the philosophy behind our new corporate news site, formerly known as “News@Cisco” and now being renamed  to “The Network” (voted on by our over 180,000 Facebook followers).  We are launching the new site this weekend and, hopefully, it will be live in your geography when you read this blog.

The Network is our effort to tell stories and share information on the topics that are the most important to Cisco, namely: Video, Collaboration, Core Networks, Mobility, Security, Data Center, Cisco Culture…and, more parochially to my team, Social Media.

We will create, share and curate content on these topics as a part of our overall Cisco voice.  We have commissioned world-class reporters who have worked at Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, AP and more to create content on our core technology news topics.  The purpose of these stories isn’t to showcase Cisco, but to create compelling content in the topical areas that we care about.  We are supporting the generation of this content in the hopes that our audience shares it and becomes more educated on the topics that are important to Cisco and to our customers.

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