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Mud, Lightning and Collaboration

GlastonburyDespite having spent most of a weekend stood in mud, rain and thunderstorms at the Glastonbury festival, I’ve spent time since happily reflecting on some of the amazing collaboration between performers over the three days.  Aside from the various bands, whose members (presumably) work closely together all the time to perfect their sound, there were some fairly unlikely partnerships on display too.  Dolly Parton and Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi rocking to “Lay Your Hands on Me” for example. Or Ed Sheeran and Rudimental ripping it up in the middle of an electrical storm.

These combinations got me to thinking about how businesses with very different skill sets and competencies frequently come together to collaborate.  For small to midsized businesses the ability to collaborate effectively with partners, suppliers and customers is often critical to success.

Many organizations collaborate specifically to accelerate growth and innovation.  According to the Plante Moran 2013 Innovation Survey  of 4,225 business leaders,   94% of respondents felt that Innovation was important to sustainability and growth. And three quarters felt that collaborating would increase their chances of success with innovation, with the majority open to sharing financial risk and reward.

“Collaboration was considered a possible jumpstarter for innovation among three out of four of the respondents to the innovation survey.” Plante Moran 2013 Innovation Survey

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One meeting, One experience, for Global Collaboration

Do you ever get to the end of your working day, and realize that you have no idea whether the sun has been shining, or it has been pouring with rain all day?  Sometimes, it is only when I’m in video meetings that someone else will actually notice for me that the sun is shining outside my window! Talking to colleagues in the U.K. while I was visiting San Francisco for Cisco Live brought this point home.  In the U.K., the persistent cloud cover had disappeared, giving way to one of the UK’s rare heatwaves. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, temperatures dropped, and we huddled in jackets and sweaters. It wasn’t meant to be this way!

Did you make it to Cisco Live?  If so, I hope that you had a chance to get to some of the great keynote sessions. My favourite was from Rowan Trollope, in which he demonstrated Cisco’s new video collaboration endpoints.

The new products are making video collaboration simpler and more cost-effective than ever. His demo included an illustration of Read More »

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Cisco and Microsoft Lync Content Sharing

Cisco has a proven track record of supporting open standards, designed for maximum scalability and effectiveness.  Our mission is to enable any to any collaboration – in a simple, intuitive and user friendly way. Unfortunately not all vendors are adapting to open standards. And customers that have already made significant investments in proprietary technologies are asking Cisco to help them bring these worlds together. To solve our customers’ challenges, Cisco has decided to expand our industry leading interoperability to include two way content sharing with Microsoft Lync 2013. This will be a software upgrade to existing solution. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to a release.

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#HigherEdThursdays – Collaboration Redefines Higher Education.

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) students are learning in ways that would have seemed impossible just a decade ago.

The University’s College of Education, which is renowned for its innovative and progressive learning environment, made it their mission to give students  a professional and global experience.   By aligning collaboration technology with the University’s needs, UNO pushes the boundaries of education.

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For example, with web conferencing, professors are now able to spend more time one-on-one with students and less time lecturing.  Students and faculty can attend class from remote locations, making classes more accessible to all. In addition, students are able to view online lecture notes before class, so that class time is more effectively spent in group discussions around real-life applications. Read More »

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5 Reasons for Midsize Businesses to Use Video Collaboration

I’ve been talking for a while now about how effective video collaboration is and how video technology can enhance and improve the way businesses collaborate. Many of you may still think that videoconferencing is only for the larger companies with multiple locations and large budgets to cover a video technology investment, but I disagree.

Here are five reasons that that I think midsize businesses should consider using video collaboration.

  • Video Collaboration products are easy to use: At Cisco we design our video technology products to be intuitive and easy to use. This means the user interface in the smallest video endpoints works the same as the controls in the largest, so anyone can make a video call anytime they need to.
  • Video is becoming the norm: Many organizations are realizing the benefits and ROI of using video collaboration to extend their business boundaries. Meeting with partners and customers around the world – just like they are around the corner – have enabled organizations to do business in ways they never thought possible before.
  • Utilizing video can increase productivity and profits: Read More »

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