Collaboration is an inherently social concept. It’s about people and connection. It’s about communicating, working together, interacting to meet goals, accomplishing tasks, innovating, and creating. Just as people have unique personalities, so do the ways they collaborate for business, whether 1:1 or in groups, in structured meetings or hallway conversations, sitting at desks or on park benches, in real-time conversations or long-term interactions.
As technology evolves and geography becomes less relevant to connecting with others, the options for how we collaborate multiply. And multiply again. But technology itself is an enabler of collaboration, the value is in the connections that people make – with each other, information, and ideas.
Finding ways to improve the connections between people and the information they need to share is critical to improving business. From our perspective we want the technology to disappear; providing the ability for people to interact in the ways they interact best, wherever they are.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”―Helen Keller
We see great value in providing social solutions to our customers. Bringing together social networking with communications technology provides people with the means to collaborate and gives them flexibility to do the best work they can. Like Helen Keller, we believe people working together can achieve extraordinary things. We believe the same is true of companies.
Increasingly, organizations are looking for ways to integrate social solutions into their collaboration tools and business processes. Throughout the past decade, Cisco has continued to weave social into the fabric of our own collaboration portfolio. At the same time, we continuously looked for opportunities to collaborate with other companies to integrate new technologies and improve what we can offer our customers – bringing the best of the best together to provide our customers with the ideal solution to fit their business needs.
In my previous blog post, I talked about how adding a social support layer enabled the IT Mobility team within Cisco to realize cost avoidance of $650k, which was leveraged for new, innovative projects.
Benefits were also seen in Cisco IT’s Email and Calendaring WebEx Social community. Since it’s launch in Q4FY12, the Email and Calendaring Services community has seen more than 33,000 visitors and 300,000 views spread across collaborative wiki posts and discussion forums. The discussion forum alone has over 500 individual discussions through moderated support and user contribution, resulting in a self-service model for those who may have a similar question or issue. Read More »
This six-part series focuses on transformation of the traditional higher education system in the United States. Read parts 1 through 4 on the Cisco Education blog.
At Cisco we are seeing outstanding examples of change, some of which have been highlighted throughout this blog series. Others, unfortunately, are one-time interventions, and tend to be unsustainable. We’ve seen a number of video implementations, for example, that have gone nowhere because they were not part of a larger strategy or plan, and training and culture were never addressed. Across the country, outdated, disconnected video equipment lays scattered in classrooms, lecture halls, and IT departments. How can we ensure that these improvements can intrinsically change our higher education system in the United States, and across the globe? We strongly believe that technology can help in this area as well.
Scale can take place within a university and across university systems, especially when video technologies such as Cisco TelePresence are employed. This videoconferencing solution is easier to use, higher quality, and provides an immersive experience that rivals the one found in the classroom.
Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona is partnering with National Lambda Rail, a National Research and Education Network, to connect with universities and other higher education institutions to deliver joint classes. With just one teacher and Cisco TelePresence, PVUSD is now providing instruction to students at multiple schools simultaneously.
Duke University is using Cisco TelePresence to create a virtual lecture hall, and expand the reach of its MBA program beyond the shores of the U.S., thereby increasing access and generating new revenue streams. Now, their business school students can access professors, guest lecturers and business leaders from around the world. In this way, Duke is extending the in-person classroom environment across multiple campuses and into the business world.
Finally, Cisco recently announced WebEx Social, a new, enterprise collaboration platform that combines the power of social networking, content creation, and real-time communications and collaboration. We believe that WebEx Social has the power to drive the sustainable change required by higher education systems across the globe.
Along with Cisco TelePresence, Duke University uses WebEx Social to provide faculty, staff, and students with a single, unified platform to access learning management systems, student information systems, and other applications for academics, extracurricular activities, and career information. WebEx Social is also coupled with tools for voice and video collaboration within the same platform. As a result, the traditional experience is evolving into dynamic, group-based learning that is often taking place outside of the traditional classroom setting.
Our vision is that WebEx Social will be used by higher education systems worldwide to connect and collaborate, and share best practices, course content, resources and more, helping drive the scale required to transform the entire system. We believe that this tool is an agent for change, and will revolutionize the way in which higher education institutions deliver the business of education.
Cisco IT’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program allows employees to be most productive on whatever device they choose. Whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac or PC they can connect to the Cisco internal network easily, but that’s not what this blog is about, if you’re interested in that initiative click here and here. This blog is about how adding a social layer, specifically Cisco WebEx Social, resulted in an improved user experience and reduced caseload and therefore avoided cost. Personally, I’d like to say the easy onboarding of devices has caused me less wrinkles, but I’ve yet to find a quantitative way to prove that hypothesis true, so let’s stick to the facts:
In November 2010, Cisco IT had 4,566 cases per 33,354 devices or about 0.14 Cases/Device
In October 2011, Cisco IT had 3,921 cases per 48,530 devices or about 0.08 Cases/Device
Cisco IT has had a 52% increase in devices and 16% more users
In my last blog I talked about the importance of building your personal brand using your WebEx Social Profile and Expertise Tags. Today I’m going to explain how your Profile and Expertise Tags can play a greater role in crowd sourcing.