Guest post from Hans Hwang, the Vice President of Collaboration within Cisco Advanced Services. He is responsible for driving services strategy for unified communications, emerging technologies, video, and social software.
Some of the greatest technology innovations, such as holographic displays and supersonic flights, have come and gone with barely a whimper. These innovations were unsuccessful not because they were lacking in brilliance, but because they failed to gain mass adoption.
On the other hand, communication and collaboration tools are great examples of technologies that have mass appeal and staying power.
Think about it. How many of us use some type of collaboration tool in our everyday lives? Whether it’s group texting with your friends to plan a surprise party, or video chatting with a relative to plan a visit — communication and collaboration tools have fundamentally changed the way people interact.
Collaboration technologies are unique in their potential to touch every aspect of a business.
We’re seeing a similar shift in the way companies are communicating and sharing information with employees, partners and customers. With advanced collaboration technologies, like videoconferencing and enterprise social software, companies are rethinking the way they have traditionally done business. For instance, employees are no longer tied to their desk or required to sit in a conference room to do their jobs.
Using Facebook and LinkedIn at work may be taboo, but more and more organizations are encouraging their workers to chat, post and comment via enterprise social software, or ESS. Last year at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston, we made a big splash by introducing our Cisco Quad social collaboration platform.
This morning, the big news at the show was that together with our partners, Cisco extended Quad’s reach with a new hosted deployment model. This new offering will be delivered initially in the United States and Canada through ACS (a Xerox company), in Europe through Logicalis UK, and in Australia through Alphawest (a wholly owned subsidiary of Optus). Join me below for a short video that walks you through some of our news.
Today, we are featuring a guest post from Sara Roberts, President and CEO of Roberts Golden Consulting, Inc. She is known for her expertise in large-scale transformation, particularly in driving culture change for enterprise innovation and collaboration, and has provided strategic guidance to dozens of the world’s top global companies over the past 15 years.
Navigating in today’s workplace can be disorienting. It seems that the minute we reorganize, restructure, merge, shift… we need to do it yet again to keep up with new demands. We lament, when are things ever going to be normal again? Things are changing so fast. We can’t possibly keep up!
In our organizations, we often point to ‘agility’ as critical to our success – yet the ironic part is that our organizations are still trying to command and control our way into being more nimble.
What exactly is going on? For starters, witness the last twenty years. There’s been an explosion of vastly more information, globalization resulting in larger and farther-flung teams and, not to mention, greater competition coming from unexpected and untraditional sources. Think: NetFlix and how Blockbuster didn’t see it coming. There has been a serious tectonic shift and our companies are at the epicenter.
In our organizations, we often point to ‘agility’ as critical to our success – yet the ironic part is that our organizations are still trying to command and control our way into being more nimble. Often times we don’t fully realize that these old hierarchical structures, we’re holding steadfastly to, are unable to process information quickly enough to make the necessary day-to-day business decisions. We think we can simply optimize to do it better, faster and cheaper but in reality, we need a transformation in our workplaces.
As I was writing this last paragraph, it made me think of a cognitive behavioral theory I recently read about, called “path dependence.” This term refers to the notion that “something that seems normal or inevitable today began with a choice that made sense at a particular time in the past, but survived despite the eclipse of the justification for that choice.” For instance, typewriters used to jam if people typed too fast, so the manufacturers designed a keyboard that would slow typists. We no longer have typewriters, but we are stuck with the letter arrangements of the qwerty keyboard.
Let’s ask ourselves: do we really want to be stuck with qwerty organizations?
In business it’s not easy to get everyone to agree, but one thing we all know is this: whatever helps us finish work faster and do it better is a good thing. One kind of collaboration technology promises to deliver just that – enterprise social software – but not all platforms are created equally.
New products are popping up that add a layer of “social” capabilities to existing software – enabling comments, reviews or ranking in software applications, services and mashups, for example. But is this really social collaboration?
In the video below, I share my perspective on what businesses require in enterprise social software, and what will drive full adoption for it among people at work.
Happy Friday Everyone! With the United States Memorial Day approaching this weekend, the Cisco Veteran’s Employee Resource Group (VETS ERG) is preparing care packages to send to deployed military service members. As part of that drive, Cisco assembled a video of Cisco employees saying “Thank you!” to all of our deployed troops. Happy Memorial Day!
It was another busy week! Check out our top news stories.
In just two years, sales of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) are outpacing market growth for x86 blades and Cisco has become the #3 player worldwide in x86 blade server factory revenue. Check out this infographic to learn more about the progress of UCS.