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Not Just Experiences, Rich Experiences

As I get ready to head to the airport to attend Cisco Live it has me thinking about the travel experience and how it relates to the collaboration experience. While some aspects of the travel experience can be quite pleasurable, there are many that aren’t – security screening, delays, BYOF (bring your own food), among others.

The same is true for collaboration. Just like every airline promotes similar amenities, many collaboration vendors promote “rich experiences”, especially for video, which sound very similar – HD, interoperability, standards, scalability. But the reality can sometimes be quite different: buffering, jitter, pixelization, dropped calls, and failed connections to name a few.

I believe experience matters and if we can provide consistent, predictable, rich experiences for users, then collaboration will flourish. This is what Cisco is focused on and I think we are far ahead of the competition. I encourage you to join me Read More »

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Authenticity Creates Trust; Trust Accelerates Collaboration

February 28, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

Collaboration is indeed the business opportunity of the decade, promising to energize your organization while making more effective use of your precious assets.  My Cisco colleague Carl Wiese and I wrote a book called The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential to help organizations “operationalize” collaboration and capture these gains. Our goal wasn’t to write a “theory” book, but rather one that drills down into specific actions, with concrete examples of how to put collaboration to work in the real world.

As Carl noted in a previous post, effective collaboration is a function of aligning culture, process and technology.  But how do you do that?   Here is a one example from the book: Collaborative teams work best when they’re made up of people who communicate openly.

Collaboration technologies, especially video, make it easy to reach people across an organization and around the world.  Anyone who has traded their economy-class airline seat in favor of a Telepresence meeting knows the powerful benefits of collapsing space and time with an engaging video meeting.  However, as we cross departmental, cultural and time-zone boundaries, collaboration puts our personal communication skills to the test.

As we increasingly interact virtually, we work more and more with people we don’t know or have a long history with; they may actually work in a different company and teams may come and go in rapid succession.  Establishing rapport –- quickly –- is one of the most important aspects of successful collaboration, and it starts with communicating authentically.

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Collaboration: The business opportunity of the decade

January 31, 2012 at 4:19 am PST

It’s clear from our conversations with customers around the world that we’re in the early stages of a fundamental shift in business. It’s the decade of collaboration. A time of flash communities and knowledge accidents. A time when video, virtualization, social media and mobility influence everything we do. And when employees from any remote corner of an organization can provide the spark for your next important innovation.

But only if you set the stage for collaboration.

Building a collaborative organization isn’t easy. It takes a transformative approach to culture, processes and technology—and an unwavering commitment from top to bottom. Do it and you will be rewarded with an energized organization that can adapt quickly to changing markets and deliver tangible results.

That’s why I recently partnered with my colleague, Ron Ricci, Cisco’s VP of Corporate Positioning, to write The Collaboration Imperative, a book that dives into the culture, process and technology dimensions of successful collaboration. It offers practical tips and strategies for making companies more collaborative and looks at how some of the world’s leading companies are sharpening their collaboration edge.

We also introduce some surprising facts. For example, did you know that….

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Cisco Unveils New Ways to Collaborate in the Post-PC Era

At the Cisco Collaboration Summit 2011 in Miami today, Cisco unveiled new solutions to help people collaborate more effectively in the post-PC era. This era moves past the limitations of “PC centric” communication and instead evokes a “people centric” approach where people can collaborate anywhere, anytime and on any device or application. The advancements Cisco is introducing today --from Cisco WebEx to Cisco Jabber — can change how people meet utilizing expanded cloud-based services, and can give workers an easy way to collaborate directly from Web applications they use every day, driving new levels of business productivity and competitiveness.

I sat down with Murali Sitaram, Vice President and General Manager of the Cisco Collaboration Software Group, at Collaboration Summit to learn more about these new announcements and how they fit into Cisco strategy.

Visit the Cisco Collaboration Virtual Launch Experience for Read More »

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