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Turning Human Interaction into Business Results

This is my third blog in a multi-part series.  In my first blog, I introduced insights from Cisco’s Collaboration Work Practice Study and how people value collaboration in the work environment.  In my second blog, I discussed the importance of building trust-based relationships and networks to make collaboration work for you.  In today’s blog, I share how you can turn these human interactions into business results. 

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Engage.  We use the word engage every day. It’s rich with meaning and covers a wide spectrum of relationships. We are engaged with our families, colleagues, and customers; engaged with an idea, a process, or an initiative.  And when engaged, people are passionate and committed.

At its core, collaboration is people interacting with people. In the global Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, employees told us that successful collaboration depends on encouraging natural human interaction, enabling participation and engagement, and fostering a collaborative culture.

“You really need to focus on the people aspect first. Get individuals to feel engaged and continue to be engaged. I think too many times we rely on the technology.” – Study Participant

In my previous blog, I discussed the importance of not losing sight of the “human element.”  Taking the time to build relationships leads to trust, which is fundamental for collaboration. To turn human interactions between collaborators into concrete results, companies must Read More »

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Cisco Sizzle – February Edition

Welcome to the Cisco Sizzle! Each month, we’re rounding up the best of the best from across our social media channels for your reading Cisco_Sizzle_Finalpleasure. From the most read blog posts to the top engaging content on Facebook or LinkedIn, catch up on things you might have missed, or on the articles you just want to see again, all in one place.

Let’s take a look back at the top content from February…

The Internet of Everything Economy
Cisco CEO John Chambers discusses the possibilities of the Internet of Everything Economy and the $14.4 trillion market opportunity for companies and industries worldwide over the next 10 years.

EIGRP: Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol
Chris Le and Donnie Savage discussed the reasons behind Cisco’s opening up EIGRP as an informational draft, how this benefits customers, and Cisco’s plan moving forward. Learn more: http://cs.co/jlbYTeigrp.

Cisco StadiumVision Mobile
Who watched the Super Bowl last month? Learn how Cisco is transforming the fan experience with Cisco StadiumVision Mobile, a groundbreaking solution that delivers live video to fans’ mobile devices to create an entirely new experience in sports and entertainment venues.

Super Wi-Fi
What connections could a Public Super Wi-Fi bring to the Internet of Everything?

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Collaboration: Cisco’s Approach
What really matters in collaboration? In the first of a series of blog posts, Cisco’s Rowan Trollope starts a frank conversation about what’s top of mind for IT, how Cisco is addressing these needs and how Microsoft’s approach is not hitting the mark.

Stay tuned for next month’s edition of the Cisco Sizzle for even more great content!

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What Really Matters in Collaboration

On the eve of Microsoft’s first Lync User Conference, I think it’s a great time to start a frank and direct conversation about what’s changed in collaboration and, because of those changes, what’s really important for IT decision makers to consider as they evaluate collaboration vendors and solutions. This conversation, which I’m confident will spark a lively and healthy debate, will last for weeks and will include input from a variety of Cisco Collaboration leaders.

So, to start, what has changed in collaboration? At the macro level, I would argue that collaboration has evolved from a tolerated office tool into the single most important technology investment that an organization can make. Why? Because the next breakthrough levels of performance and productivity needed in business won’t come from a better-looking web portal or a bigger Inbox — they’ll come from the ability to tap into the collective knowledge and creativity of our people.

But, here’s the catch: not all collaboration solutions are designed to help people engage the way they want to engage, and they’re also not architected from the ground up to cater to IT’s needs and requirements.

Customers tell us time and again that a modern collaboration platform needs to deliver more than the basics like IM, conferencing and VoIP.  It needs to offer flexibility and choice in support of trends such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), high-quality video, and cloud-based deployments (private, public, hybrid, and hosted). The modern collaboration platform needs to be usable not just by office workers but by anyone, from physicians to customer care agents, executives, mobile and desk-less workers. And it needs to be as complete of a solution as possible — including the underlying infrastructure, a wide choice of compatible endpoints, and world-class support and maintenance — to maximize business and IT value.

Which brings me back to Microsoft and Lync. We believe Read More »

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First Impressions: End User and IT Experiences

First impressions matter. Whether you’re trying to get a job, make a sale, or go on a second date, you know that the first things you do and say are critical. Studies say you have between 2 seconds and 2 minutes to make a first impression. When you download a new app for your tablet or phone, how much time does it have to make its first impression on you?

When IT departments make technology decisions, the path to end-user adoption is a key concern. The relative ease or difficulty of setting up and maintaining the back-end infrastructure or cloud service is one thing, but the means by which end users first experience the solution and get started using it is perhaps even more important.

IT needs products that are easy to roll out and that provide end users — their customers — with a delightful first impression. That’s why Cisco considers not just the end user experience and the IT administrator experience, but the places where they intersect, such as in the deployment of solutions to a large end-user community.

A tangible example of this attention to experience is Read More »

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One Address to Reach them All?

January 11, 2013 at 8:59 am PST

I once attended a customer meeting quite a few years ago where someone in the room stated that, “regardless of the collaboration channel employed, unified communications should provide everyone with a single identity to make it really easy for customers to reach the company’s employees”. I remember agreeing that although a worthwhile goal, providing users with a solitary identifier was not going to be technically feasible due to the fact we didn’t address emails with a phone number and we unfortunately had (and still do have) the “PSTN” (Public Switched Telephone Network) to deal with.

Has anything changed? I’d really like to know if anyone in the industry is predicting that we’ll ever be able have a unique global communications address, or like me, you have the opinion that the current multi-identity status quo will continue for the foreseeable future. In our current electronic communications world most of us have a minimum of two to three identities. I’m globally reachable via a couple of Cisco E.164 telephone numbers, one for my desk phone and the other for my mobile. I also have a corporate URI (Universal Resource Identifier), which most people would recognize as my email address, but nowadays also represents me as an instant messaging entity as well as associating me with three personal video endpoints. I think people naturally know when it is appropriate to use asynchronous (email or IM) communications or synchronous (telephony or video) communications, which is why we’ve all just accepted the evolution of different identities for different types of dialogue. What’s recently blurred the situation is the wide scale adoption of video URI dialing within enterprises and across the Internet resulting in a more complex addressing environment for our real time interactions. Do I call someone on their telephone number or their video URI, or should I send them an instant message to ask them?

For Cisco the answer has been Read More »

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