It’s one thing to use technology. It’s another to take that technology and do something extraordinary with it – especially when that involves something that benefits others. Each year, IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program recognizes organizations that use “visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change.”
This year, one of those organizations happens to be Lone Star College System, a community college in Texas (naturally) that has integrated collaboration technology from Cisco to reach more students and improve the overall learning experience for an increasingly diverse student population.
They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Lone Star College serves more than 85,000 students at five campuses and ten learning centers in a service area of 1400 square miles. Oh, and the student population is growing by approximately 20% each year.
So what do you do if you’re the CIO at a school with the goal of becoming recognized as the best community college in the nation? You find the technology to meet your goals. Some of the highlights: Read More »
The right system can connect employees, improve collaboration with partners, and enhance customer service
Videoconferencing, with entire conference rooms dedicated to the latest and greatest in audio and video broadcasting, may seem out of bounds for small businesses. But videoconferencing is useful for more than large-scale lecture-based training sessions or global executive announcements. Small businesses can use this communications technology to enable collaboration with employees and partners around the world, demonstrate products to potential customers at any time, and amp up their online customer service efforts. The bottom line is that videoconferencing offers a cost-effective way to hold face-to-face meetings with anyone, no travel required.
If not pre-empted by a neighbor’s dog, one of the first things I hear each morning is the weather report. This time of year, there’s usually some reference to clouds – partly cloudy, high clouds, low clouds, cloud cover, clouds clearing by mid-morning, clouds arriving in the late afternoon. A world of many clouds indeed.
When it comes to conversations about technology, it’s hard to escape talk of clouds, cloud computing, and cloud this, that, and the other thing. But here’s a question: I’m not an IT person, so why should I care about cloud computing? Read More »
I’ve always worked in creative environments with a lot of interdependent roles and processes – and big, unyielding deadlines. Twenty years ago (did I just type that?!), it was editors, writers, designers, artists, production teams, salespeople, prepress film houses, printers, and all of the rest involved in producing magazines. My role was at the intersection of the creative work and technical production. Sometimes it all happened as a meeting in one room, other aspects involved sneakernet, sending disks and film back and forth via couriers. Missing a print date cost big dollars. You didn’t miss the dates. Ever.
Being a bit of a geek with a logical streak of an engineer’s daughter, I was always looking for ways to add structure and streamline processes. (This is not unlike trying to put a wet cat in a sweater.) I developed a successful, but perhaps unhealthy relationship with spreadsheets that I used to hold information – deadlines, story details, status, page counts, art files, page ratios. I dutifully maintained my trusty grids and could answer any question about any bit or piece along the way. But hand anyone else a printout and their eyes would cross and roll before they simply restated the question. The spreadsheets held data; I was the mechanism for sharing data – the user interface, so to speak.
It took me awhile to go through all the random Top 10 of 2011 lists for various topics, so now I’m ready to look ahead to 2012’s preponderance of pundit predictions. Or maybe I’m just fashionably late. I’ve tripped over a few reports here and there – some quite possibly developed by caffeinated squirrels on a treadmill.
Not me, but she looks like she's predicting something...
On the technology front, I found one more interesting than others. Instead of putting a small group of experts in a room and not letting them out until they agree on a list, Baseline Magazine annually surveys business and technology managers at companies with 100+ employees to ask about their organizations’ investments, plans, and strategies. Across several hundred respondents, patterns evolve.
Whoever these people are, coming from the desk I use, I like the way they (and their companies) think. Following – their predictions and my two cents (maybe three or four).