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Learning from Others: Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012

“One of the most valuable things any person can learn is the art of using the knowledge and experience of others”

– Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

I learned to swim in a day. I remember I was standing by the side of the pool, watching the various ways people propelled themselves through the water. The butterfly stroke seemed too hard, but the Australian crawl seemed simple enough. Being very young at the time, my sense of adventure outweighed my sense of self-preservation, and I jumped in and began flailing away. To my great surprise, it worked. It’s a lesson I have carried forward in life: You can learn a lot by just watching what other people do.

With that in mind, I am very pleased to be hosting a panel at this year’s Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012 on the topic of “A Mobility Strategy for Business Success”.  Joining me on the panel will be three IT leaders with three very different approaches to mobility. They are Barry Libenson, CIO at Land O’ Lakes Inc, Ron Gilson, CIO of Johnsonville Sausage, LLC and Bhavani Amirthalingam, Vice President of IT at World Wide Technology Inc.

Just from talking to them beforehand, I was struck by the diversity of business reasons that went into their individual mobility strategies. I’ll be asking them to share some of their decision-making process, best practices and lessons learned from their mobility roll-outs. We’ll also be exploring how they have provided superior customer, partner, and employee experiences without compromising the security or policy of their respective businesses.

If you will be attending the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012 in Orlando, I hope you can join us and add your own perspective to the discussion. The panel will be on Monday, October 22nd, from 3:30 – 4:30 PM in Swan 1-4. With the proven experience of these three IT leaders to draw upon, it should be an engaging and thought-provoking session.

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Petco Park Stadium Hits a Home Run in High-Tech

Planning to go to the World Series this year? If you are lucky enough to attend, think about using your mobile device to enhance the experience.

Last month, my colleague used an iPad during our team outing at a San Francisco Giants game to watch his favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, live via streaming media on Major League Baseball’s MLB.TV app. Thanks to the Cisco network infrastructure and Wi-Fi technology deployed in AT&T Park, he was able to catch both games simultaneously.

Down in Southern California, while unfortunately the San Diego Padres didn’t make the playoffs – one thing is for certain – this season Petco Park Stadium saw a trend with the increase in mobile device usage at games by their fans.

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The Explosive Evolution of Online Media

If any doubts remained about the soaring demand for online media, the London Olympics probably dispelled them.

With 217 million viewers in the United States alone, it was the most-watched television event in history. But it also illuminated the evolving habits of online consumers. For starters, two events—the women’s soccer final and women’s gymnastics final—accounted for more online viewership than all events combined during the 2008 Olympics. Tablet computers, particularly the iPad, are driving this trend.

These kinds of striking transitions in online media consumption were top of mind during two gatherings that I attended last week. The first was a roundtable discussion of media executives in Hollywood, which I moderated; the other was a World Economic Forum Industry Partnership Strategy Meeting in New York, focused on media entertainment and mobility.

It was a privilege to be around such industry brain trusts and to share research from Cisco IBSG. Here are four core topics of conversation that emerged: Read More »

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Your Workspace, Your Culture… Your Way

Last week, the blogosphere was abuzz with fresh insights on business mobility, BYOD, and collaboration.  Cisco worldwide sales leader Chuck Robbins highlighted recent research commissioned by Cisco from the Economist Intelligence Unit.  His blog talked about the risks and rewards that come with a business mobility strategy.  The research showed that business leaders see this new mobile way of working as inevitable, even though it comes with a certain amount of risk for corporate data.

Chuck’s blog also briefly touched on another concept:  culture.  I recently spent some time speaking with customers about their mobility strategy, and culture came up in some of these conversations as well.  When I think about Cisco and other companies I’ve worked with, a big part of corporate culture is  defined by how we (as individuals) work, how we share, how we collaborate, and how “close” we feel to others in the workplace. Have you ever reminisced “when I worked for xyz-company, I really felt like I was part of a family?”  I know I have.

In today’s non-stop global world, preserving culture is more important than ever, but technology and geography can conspire against culture – and so we have to actively work to preserve culture in modern business environments.  One way to promote culture is to create a collaborative and open environment through the use of video collaboration, not just for remote employees, but in every meeting.  While ideally every meeting would be face-to-face, the reality of mobility and BYOD is that we’re not always at our desks.  Video puts us front-and-center.  It forces us to tune in and focus on the conversation at hand.  But it also drags our culture and our surroundings into the meeting.  I saw this first hand speaking to a customer on WebEx this week, when he unexpectedly turned on his iPhone video, and marveled at how he could walk through his home, streaming video while speaking with me on the call.

And there it was!  That simple act of sharing video turned a regular conference call into a vibrant, two-way engagement. If we can make it easy and enjoyable to use video collaboration in the new global, virtual, mobile workspace, we share more than just words – we share culture.  And to do that in a mobile environment, you’re going to want a strategy and a partner that can get you there regardless of the device you are using at the moment, be it a traditional PC in an office or cubicle,  a thin client delivering a virtual desktop, or a smart phone or tablet.

One thing is for certain – freedom to use a wide variety of items is having a profound impact on society and culture.  Putting those devices to use to nourish and extend your corporate culture is an idea that some forward looking IT leaders are already turning into practice.  How has, and how will video and mobility impact your workspace and corporate culture?  The following info-graphic highlights some of the trends that are driving the need for a seamless blend of mobility, video, and collaboration across all your devices.

Click the tall info-graphic above to learn more, and them come back and post a comment!  Tell me how the consumer usage of video and mobility are changing the culture of your company.

 

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Importance of Mobility to Consumers and Recommendation for Retailers

Recently I took a weekend trip to Sea Ranch, California, a coastal town 2.5 hours drive north of San Francisco.  What was interesting (besides the great view and interesting architecture) was for three days there I had no cellular coverage on my mobile phone, but I was able to get access to the internet using Wi Fi in various locations.  Being the classic connected and mobile consumer, my trip would have been much less enjoyable without some form of wireless connectivity :-)

Cisco IBSG Retail Director Edward Westenberg recently published a paper on the impact of consumer mobility and what retailers should do to respond to the trend.

Peggy Casey, Cisco retail industry manager sat down with Edward to discuss his latest research and four areas of mobility that retailers should address:

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