Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Collaboration

Design Considerations For Enterprise Social Networks

While enterprise social networking has been covered extensively in the media and by IT analyst firms, one of the least discussed aspects of the topic has been the issue of design and the potential impact of design on employee adoption of such tools and applications.  At the June Enterprise 2.0 Boston conference, I presented a session, “Design Considerations For Enterprise Social Networks: Identity, Graphs, Streams & Social Objects”, in hopes of drawing attention to the issue and to spark conversation around design practices. The session did not focus on any particular user interface (UI) technique or product implementation (e.g., e-mail, community site, social collaboration platform, etc.). Instead, the information was presented at a holistic and inter-disciplinary level, covering a collection of related issues:

  • Affordance-centered design
  • Social theory and design
  • Work and personal value
  • Blended user experience
  • Psychology of adoption
  • Enterprise architecture

Read More »

Tags: , ,

Avoiding Silos: Integrating Social Business and Unified Communications

Many in the media have observed that this year’s Enterprise 2.0 conference represented an inflection point in the industry. There is growing interest in how organizations can move beyond stand-alone community sites and leverage social collaboration to “get work done” within business processes. We see the same trend. Discussions Cisco had with attendees, as well as discussions heard during many of the conference sessions, have shifted from a debate about tools to a transformational conversation regarding social business. The transition from a technological focus to one that examines business value requires leadership teams to act more strategically to avoid social silos.

At the June Boston event, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel session,”Integrating Unified Communications and Social Business“, that addressed a critical foundation of this new conversation. Moderated by Irwin Lazar, VP and service director, at Nemertes, the panel examined how social collaboration and unified communications can be integrated into a seamless experience to “get work done”; how companies can best address business and IT management issues; and what organizational changes need to be considered to solidify planning around all forms of collaboration. The clear message coming out of the panel discussion was that “social + UC” is a market convergence trend that will change how organizations examine current and future enterprise collaboration platforms. We agree. Cisco WebEx Social has been designed from the ground-up to include instant messaging, presence, voice, video, and conferencing as core platform capabilities. Below are other highlights and reflections from the panel discussion: Read More »

Tags: , ,

Bridging the Participation Gap – Networks, Learning, and “Play”

As much as the industry talks about social business and the need for organizations to become more “people-centric”, our conversations too often focus on the merits of social applications and platforms. While technology plays a critical role in enabling new ways of working, those new practices should also be complimented by management and community-building strategies that encourage employee participation. Fostering a more participatory culture and work experience that motivates people to contribute beyond the minimum required of the job requires leadership teams to re-think the ways we engage and recognize employees.

At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, I moderated the “Organization Next” workshop that explored different tactics strategists can employ to close the participation gap that occurs when employees disengage from their jobs. Instructors and panelists explored a variety of topics, touching on issues related to motivation, behavior, culture, and the role of technology. The centerpiece of the discussion revolved around the pro’s and con’s of potential solutions such as “gamification”, social networking, and “in-flow of work” learning. Attendees left the workshop with recommendations on how/where to get started, common pitfalls to expect/avoid, and best practices to consider (based on the real-world experiences of instructors and guest panelists). Highlights from two sessions conducted by our instructors included:

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

WebEx Social Customers Speak Out at Enterprise 2.0 Boston

The Enterprise 2.0 conference is one of those few industry events where the focus is on customers and how social collaboration is transforming organizations. This year, we witnessed how the topic of Enterprise 2.0 is shifting from a technology debate to a business and organizational conversation. Investing in a social business initiative requires us to think strategically about how to deliver customer value, how people collaborate to get work done, and how culture helps sustain success over time. At this year’s conference, attendees heard from keynote speakers like Richard Foo, Enterprise Collaboration Director at Nike who discussed how social collaboration is critical for their organization to stay connected and drive innovation. Organizations need a “culture of immediate evolution” to do so according to Richard. Leveraging a single, pervasive social collaboration platform is a critical element of their strategy. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Momentum for Social Collaboration in the Enterprise

Cisco’s collaboration solutions have been front and center over the past two weeks at both Cisco Live and Enterprise 2.0, the premier conference for social business technologies. I had the opportunity to attend both conferences and was energized by the incredible momentum we have in the market with the integrated collaboration solutions we’re providing to the marketplace.

The customers, reporters and analysts I’ve talked to recognize that the notion of a traditional workplace is changing. Employees are more mobile than ever before. People are collaborating across geographic locations and time zones, so work is conducted in a more virtual and time-shifted manner. Social technologies in the workplace allow people to leverage talent, experts, colleagues and customers around the world.

Cisco’s goal is to lead this market transition. At Enterprise 2.0, we unveiled Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,