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A human working culture

We’ve all done it, squeezed a meeting into a colleague’s last remaining gap for a lunch break, or set a conference call for an unsociable hour. Yet we’ve also all been the victim of such logistical moves. Because the problem is, in a mega-busy global working environment like ours, we increasingly accept that this sort of thing is normal and needs to happen, so we can all get everything done.

And perhaps at times it does, but not without considering if there are other possible options and not without asking.

Politeness aside, how many of us properly acknowledge the priorities each other has outside of the office, those priorities which help shape the people we are and often conflict with the demands of our working lives. How many of us raise an eyebrow at the person who leaves to go to the gym, or the parent who goes because of childcare issues. We even sometimes fail to acknowledge the shame of a colleague missing a family celebration because of work demands.

These issues comes up a lot but I think we could all be part of changing what is regularly seen as acceptable and just the norm. We could all speak up when meetings are set at anti-social times; share our human selves as well as our work selves to create a human culture where other commitments are given due credit, time and appreciation.

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Executive Perspectives Part 2 – Toyota Streamlines Business with Cisco

Check out this part 2 of our Executive Perspectives series. Here we follow on from Part One: Executive Perspectives and AkzoNobel – Manufacturing Industry CIO/CXO Special – Part 1, and look at how one of Cisco’s customers in the automotive industry has partnered to gain real business benefits.

A well-known brand and Cisco customer

Following the economic turbulence of the “Great Recession,” Toyota felt the need to improve its revenue structures. These earnings are directly linked to advanced work performed by knowledge workers in areas such as research and development on new cars, production, and sales. Toyota also wanted to shorten its product time-to-market to maintain its competitive market lead. The firm turned to the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) to help Toyota determine where improvements could be made and how to implement them.

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Executive Perspectives and AkzoNobel – Manufacturing Industry CIO/CXO Special – Part 1

I feel I should tell you first of all that I wrote this blog on an Airplane. I also connected into a WebEx meeting and met up with my fellow Cisco employees to talk about Industries and find out what was going on in San Jose whilst I was in the air somewhere between San Jose and Dallas. I surprised my wife by calling her via my laptop and saying ‘Hi’!

This is therefore our first Cisco Manufacturing Industry blog written and published whilst flying. Wow, we’ve come a long way since I was a trainee!

Anyway, I’m actually more excited that I don’t have to stop blogging and can bring you the news of a great video reference that Cisco collaborated with AzoNobel on:

In the video AkzoNobel’s CIO, Pieter Schoehuijs describes how converging technologies empower an integrated supply chain. As a 14bn Euro concern operating in over 80 countries worldwide, they are the largest paint and coatings company in the world, and a leading producer of specialty chemicals.

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The Anywhere Office

Long commutes and being in an office at a certain time with limited flexibility is gradually becoming a thing of the past. The future will see an increase in workplace mobility creating the “anywhere office,” a place where employees can work anytime from anywhere.

Which global region will lead the way in mobility by 2013? Click on our interactive infographic to find out.

In terms of sheer mass, the Asia-Pacific region will have the largest amount of mobile workers, topping out over 700 million people and making up for 62% of all the world’s mobile workers. In regards of being the leader in mobile penetration, the US will lead the world with Japan in tow with roughly three-fourths of all employees having workplace mobility options.

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Manufacturing: Be there while staying here

One of the challenges all of today’s manufacturing companies face is global operations that require increased attention from a diverse and oftentimes shrinking or aging workforce. Manufacturers and machine builders are faced with challenges every day in terms of getting the right engineer or expert from her office to the plant floor half the globe away. If the plant is down or operating inefficiently there are huge cost impacts to the manufacturer, huge support cost to the machine builder, and just tremendous impact to the value chain.

At Cisco we have shaved hundreds of millions of expense dollars from our budget by using a variety of collaboration tools. These start with Unified Communications but they include tools like WebEx, TelePresence, Video and Active Collaboration Rooms. These all add on to the existing capabilities of Borderless Networks. Many of our manufacturing customers already use these tools and are successfully stripping cost from their Operations every day.

Imagine the power of walking into a conference room, pressing a button on the phone and instantly seeing your assembly operations in China and Germany, being able to share data with the operations people from both plants with your staff in Michigan. Finishing that meeting you can capture the action items via your interactive whiteboard, set up follow-up calls via WebEx (all without printing, by the way! A Green feature!). Then you can get a cup of coffee and head back to your office and handle the call from Brazil about the packaging machine that wraps half the skid, then shuts down – and you do that from your phone, finding the design engineer that is at a customer site in Australia. And you did this all without having to fly anywhere, and you had visual contact with everyone. Read More »

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