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Ignite Adoption of Social Collaboration: Practical Advice From A Practitioner

June 18, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to spend time in the trenches with a number of customers embarking on efforts to deploy social collaboration platforms.   While the individual challenges differ, the one constant that I have seen is that the “if you build it, they will come” cliché may work well in the movies, but it certainly does not apply to persuading employees to adopt this emerging way of sharing information and collaborating with co-workers.

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Collaboration Becomes a More Human Experience

Has the collaborative experience become more human? Maybe the marketing line should read:

Technology has advanced to give us more choice in the devices, applications, and locations of our work.

But what does that mean to me as a person? Let’s think about what makes up today’s collaborative experience by looking back at where we started not so long ago. Read More »

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Putting QUAD into Action- Change Mangement and Cisco Services

Cisco’s been busy this week with news from the collaboration space and the Enterprise 2.O conference this week. It’s been about QUAD—Cisco’s enterprise collaboration platform for today’s workforce: social, mobile, visual, and virtual. It puts people first by offering an integrated and personalized experience that brings together the collaborative, business-oriented, and transactional tools and applications people use over the course of the workday. Sounds awesome doesn’t it? As long as people use it…that’s the trick to real success with any technology driving for a business outcome…utilization.

Along with the technology, Cisco also is offering some important Advanced Services for QUAD and Collaboration including new change management and adoption services — allowing customers to get the best out of their collaborative technologies, while minimizing the disruptive impact of change to employees, partners and customers. These services were designed to help with the adoption of QUAD and handle everything from assessment, planning, strategy and governance, marketing communications to training.

Change isn’t always an automatic and that’s exactly why there’s the need for Professional Services and change management to go along with the technology that really gets people to actualize the benefits of the offerings. Hans Hwang VP Advanced Services shares some further insight on this issue on his blog . And, if you want to go deeper there’s a paper and some interesting upcoming workshops you can attend on Defining a Collaboration Strategy & Architecture to Accelerate Time-to-Value or a Enable a New Collaboration Experience with Enterprise Social Software webcasts.
Here’s to success change and QUAD!

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Transforming Education through Collaboration

If you’re familiar with Cisco’s collaboration products, you’ve probably heard us discuss how they will change the nature of the workplace; from who we work with, to where and when we work, to how business processes are interleaved with the collaboration experience. But what about how they change the way we learn? Higher education represents an enormous opportunity for collaboration products to engage and educate the next generation of global leaders.

Last week, we demonstrated collaboration’s impact on education by announcing that Duke University is using Cisco Quad in their Fuqua School of Business, MBA -- Cross Continent program. The reason? To ensure that students throughout the world can fully participate in the program at any Duke campus -- not as passive listeners, but as active participants in the learning experience. Cisco Quad collaboration software enables global students to create virtual working groups, find fellow students with common interests, share content, files or videos and instantly start video or audio conferences and chat sessions.

Using Cisco Quad in education is quite appropriate because the product was named after a university campus quad. It’s a place for social networking, where students meet and hang out, share experiences and create, in some cases, lifelong connections. As you go from one class to another, you probably always traverse the quad -- it’s a place for constant action and change. This image of the quad seemed like a nice moniker for the product. With Duke, it’s particularly appropriate because we’ve expanded the physical campus to a virtual place that encompasses much more real estate, creating a hub for sharing information and changing the way education happens today. Read More »

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The Importance of Social Software in the Enterprise

Over the next few years, there will be a big transformation in the workplace as large numbers of Gen X and Y individuals start entering the workforce. As these same individuals rely on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter for communication, employers are pressured into bringing similar tools into their enterprises but, in a secure manner. Back in June, we announced limited availability for Cisco Quad, our software-based enterprise collaboration platform, and the response has been overwhelming.

When applied against specific operating problems, enterprise social software is a mission critical application for those companies that want to grow, expand into new markets and increase productivity. It can transform the workplace and provide unmatched benefits to an organization:

  • Easier access to resources and expertise, allowing the user to reach out to a large number of relevant participants and bring them into a virtual discussion around a specific problem or challenge. It also captures, and makes searchable, these informal conversations.
  • Real-time communications through integration with voice, IM w/presence, conferencing, and video
  • Saves time & resources and drives better utilization of existing systems through pre-integrations with common IT infrastructure platforms
  • Delivers social networking without the risk by using built-in, rules-based policy management to any sensitive data, in any format, behind the firewall
  • Simplifies content management with streamlined content sharing and search capabilities
  • Meets the needs of the mobile worker with apps designed for mobile devices

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