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Cisco at Enterprise 2.0: Announcing a New Hosted Deployment of Cisco Quad

Using Facebook and LinkedIn at work may be taboo, but more and more organizations are encouraging their workers to chat, post and comment via enterprise social software, or ESS. Last year at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston, we made a big splash by introducing our Cisco Quad social collaboration platform.

This morning, the big news at the show was that together with our partners, Cisco extended Quad’s reach with a new hosted deployment model.  This new offering will be delivered initially in the United States and Canada through ACS (a Xerox company), in Europe through Logicalis UK, and in Australia through Alphawest (a wholly owned subsidiary of Optus). Join me below for a short video that walks you through some of our news.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGilJvaxHNE

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The QWERTY Complex: Un-jamming our organizations to thrive through change

Today, we are featuring a guest post from Sara Roberts, President and CEO of Roberts Golden Consulting, Inc. She is known for her expertise in large-scale transformation, particularly in driving culture change for enterprise innovation and collaboration, and has provided strategic guidance to dozens of the world’s top global companies over the past 15 years.

Navigating in today’s workplace can be disorienting.  It seems that the minute we reorganize, restructure, merge, shift… we need to do it yet again to keep up with new demands.  We lament, when are things ever going to be normal again? Things are changing so fast.  We can’t possibly keep up!

In our organizations, we often point to ‘agility’ as critical to our success – yet the ironic part is that our organizations are still trying to command and control our way into being more nimble.

What exactly is going on?  For starters, witness the last twenty years.  There’s been an explosion of vastly more information, globalization resulting in larger and farther-flung teams and, not to mention, greater competition coming from unexpected and untraditional sources.  Think: NetFlix and how Blockbuster didn’t see it coming. There has been a serious tectonic shift and our companies are at the epicenter.

In our organizations, we often point to ‘agility’ as critical to our success – yet the ironic part is that our organizations are still trying to command and control our way into being more nimble.  Often times we don’t fully realize that these old hierarchical structures, we’re holding steadfastly to, are unable to process information quickly enough to make the necessary day-to-day business decisions.  We think we can simply optimize to do it better, faster and cheaper but in reality, we need a transformation in our workplaces.

As I was writing this last paragraph, it made me think of a cognitive behavioral theory I recently read about, called “path dependence.”  This term refers to the notion that “something that seems normal or inevitable today began with a choice that made sense at a particular time in the past, but survived despite the eclipse of the justification for that choice.”  For instance, typewriters used to jam if people typed too fast, so the manufacturers designed a keyboard that would slow typists. We no longer have typewriters, but we are stuck with the letter arrangements of the qwerty keyboard.

Let’s ask ourselves: do we really want to be stuck with qwerty organizations?

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Social Software That’s Appealing to Business

In business it’s not easy to get everyone to agree, but one thing we all know is this:  whatever helps us finish work faster and do it better is a good thing.  One kind of collaboration technology promises to deliver just that –  enterprise social software – but not all platforms are created equally.

New products are popping up that add a layer of “social” capabilities to existing software – enabling comments, reviews or ranking in software applications, services and mashups, for example. But is this really social collaboration?

In the video below, I share my perspective on what businesses require in enterprise social software, and what will drive full adoption for it among people at work.

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If You Think You have a Handle on Organization Next, You Might be Lucky, But You are Probably Wrong

Today, we are featuring a guest post from Daniel W. Rasmus, the author of Listening to the Future. Rasmus is a strategist and industry analyst who helps clients put their future in context.

Daniel Rasmus

He uses scenarios to analyze trends in society, technology, economics, the environment, and politics in order to discover implications used to develop and refine products, services and experiences.

Most plans are one dimensional. They use the best thinking from experts to create a narrow range of possible variances to a set of underlying assumptions. You might get lucky and see those assumptions manifest themselves, or you might be incredibly wrong. If the future doesn’t fit your assumptions, you will find your organization, at best, scrambling to react, at worst, selling off its assets to the highest bidder.

If watching trends is your answer, be cautious. Watching trends can be a ticket to following a trend over a cliff. With all of the uncertainty in the world, we need to not just understand trends, but the context that will reinforce a trend and see it realized, or derail a trend into irrelevancy. There is no good way to forecast the future, but there is a good way to anticipate the forces that will be in play in the future, and understand their implications so you create a resilient organization ready for not just one future, but for any future.

This June at Enterprise 2.0, I’ll be assisting in the facilitation of a workshop on Organization Next. Given the title of the conference, some might call it Organization 2.0, but I’m not keen on version numbers for ideas. I am interested, however, in helping people understand how to think about the future in a more robust way.

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Meet the Creators of Cisco’s Social Business Network: Quad

I was over in Cisco’s building 32 the other day and was about to meet with the collaboration team when I saw something that looked a lot like Facebook running on a Cius and an iPhone.  As I went over to explore, I met Raghurama Bhat and Ashish Chirputkar, the two ‘humble’ engineers who created Cisco Quad, our enterprise social collaboration platform.

I started wondering how Bhat and Chirputkar had the time to develop Quad, how internal development began, and why a Facebook,Twitter or LinkedIn for the enterprise makes sense.  So with my HD video camera already in hand, I recorded this interesting feature interview.  These two engineers and their team had a huge impact on how work is now done at Cisco where over 70,000 employees live their days in Quad to get their work done and collaborate.

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