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’!
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.
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.
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.
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 »
It wasn’t something I’d ever considered before, disability in the diplomatic service, because I unfortunately, like most people, have quite entrenched images of what a diplomat looks like. So I marveled when I heard that a female diplomat who was deaf had risen through the ranks.
But unfortunately whilst the story starts there, it isn’t where it ends.
Jane Cordell worked in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) from 2001 and in 2010 was offered the post of deputy head of mission in Kazakhstan, only to have the offer revoked when the FCO decided that making adjustments for her disability would be too expensive. They deemed the cost of her posting was beyond the “reasonable adjustments” which employers are obliged to make for disabled staff.
But I wonder if they’ve overlooked the value they’ll be missing out on, given the extra abilities and commitment Cordell’s disability generates.
Whether it’s in a television comedy or a real life scenario, we’ve all experienced those excruciating moments when someone tries too hard to be culturally appropriate and ends up getting it wrong. Many of us avoid attempting shows of cultural awareness for fear of the offence we have the potential to cause.
In a global marketplace, many brands (including our own) are looking to build brand awareness and customer loyalty in new markets where social mores and cultural histories are in marked contrast to their own. Yet customers in new markets can often share needs and characteristics with those in originating markets, making a global brand offering eminently possible.