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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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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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Midsize Renewable Energy agency in India optimizes network for efficiency

Renewable energy

The World energy demand will be 41% higher in 2035 with India and China accounting for half the growth.

The development of renewable energy sources ranks as a key responsibility for the top economies in the world. India, as one of the top 5 emitters of greenhouse gasses, has prioritized the development of renewable energy resources.

Read More on how this Indian agency deployed a network that promotes energy conservation below.

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Collaboration Technology and the Future Workplace

May 5, 2014 at 9:17 am PST

I often get asked by customers and partners what it takes to create an activity-based workplace – one that gets employees out of assigned cubicles and gives them a variety of spaces to use based on what they need to do and who they need to connect with throughout the day.

There’s no doubt that the physical environment in which we work is important. Spaces that are clean, well-lit, and attractive can go a long way towards fostering productivity, positive attitudes, and teamwork. But configuring your physical space is just one part of the overall solution.

Embedding collaboration technology into your space design is critical to the success of any workplace transformation effort. Employees need seamless, uninterrupted access to the information they need to get their jobs done. And the tools they use must be as intuitive as their own personal devices.

By “intuitive,” I mean being able to:

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  • Make and receive calls on any device, whether it’s a desk phone, laptop, mobile phone or tablet
  • Access email and corporate intranet anywhere on campus – wirelessly and securely
  • Find people in your organization, check availability, and connect using instant messaging, voice, video, desktop sharing, or conferencing
  • Engage in real-time, face-to-face collaboration and team building sessions – both planned and spontaneous – with colleagues around the globe

These are the ways in which workplace transformation can improve productivity Read More »

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Message to IT: Lead the Charge in Creating the Workplace of the Future

April 14, 2014 at 7:56 am PST

As I visit customers and partners around the world, I see that many of you are excited about the idea of “workplace transformation.” The reason is clear: workplace-related costs are usually among a company’s top three expense items. Optimizing these assets and ensuring that they support the needs of the business is – or should be – a top priority.

collab_cubesWhere we work is becoming more mobile, more flexible, and more collaborative than ever. This has made the traditional cubicle-based workplace – with its overbooked meeting rooms and rows of assigned cubicles sitting empty—obsolete. According to CoreNet Global, around 60% of a company’s desks are vacant at one time because workers are either on the road or in meetings.1 Creating what we call an “activity-based workplace” will help you keep up with evolving work practices, improve employee engagement, and build for the workforce of the future. It will also help you use your physical space more efficiently.

An activity-based workplace unshackles your employees from their desks and gives them a variety of work spaces work_space_2to use based on the activities they need perform at a given time. This could be a typical workstation, an individual quiet room, a small team huddle space, an audio privacy room, a Telepresence room, or an open project area. Whatever the choice, they’ll have seamless access to the tools they need to get their jobs done. Any desk phone becomes “their” phone, and pervasive and secure wireless enables access to the corporate internet, email, calendars, and collaboration solutions such as IM and presence, web, and video conferencing.

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