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Hurricane Sandy: A Lesson in Social Collaboration

February 12, 2013 at 6:00 am PST

Like many others in the Northeast US, I was personally affected by the impact of Hurricane Sandy this past November.  Aside from the lessons it taught me about disaster preparedness, it also highlighted some very salient ways that social collaboration can be used and why social is truly becoming the next wave of collaboration.  And while my story is one of a personal nature, these principles apply to the enterprise.  They re-inforce the ideas that social collaboration has real benefits.

Let me start with the numbers to paint the picture:

  • Days without cell phone coverage: 4
  • Days without electricity:  14
  • Days without cable / internet:  17

For those 2+ weeks in November, I was operating in survival mode and my greatest source of interaction and information was through social collaboration tools -- primarily Facebook and Twitter -- when I was able to find a location with Internet access.  With my examples below, I hope to show how social collaboration was used to help in a number of ways during that difficult time and also attempt to draw the parallels to an enterprise setting.

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WebEx Social Community Boosts Cisco Salesforce Productivity and New Product Launch Bookings

January 18, 2013 at 10:30 am PST

Keeping more than 20,000 Cisco salespeople in 87 countries up to date on our hundreds of products and solutions is a critical and challenging task. Just ask members of the Global Virtual Team Program. They are responsible for bringing SMEs from various business units together to provide product and related training directly to the salesforce, which is mostly done through WebEx conference calls, webinars, recorded content on shared topics, hands-on labs, and live events at Cisco’s San Jose campus. Read More »

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New Cisco IT Blog Series: Collaboration is Good Dog Food

January 16, 2013 at 10:30 am PST

Have you ever wondered where the saying “Eating your own dog food” came from? According to Wikipedia it originated from an Alpo Dog Food television ad (circa 1970′s) where Lorne Green professed to feed his own dogs Alpo. Even better, in 1988 the president of Kal Kan Pet Food was known to eat a can of their dog food at shareholder meetings! Now that is what I call commitment! Simply put, eating your own dog food is “…when a company uses its own product to demonstrate the quality and capabilities of the product.” At Cisco, our version of eating our own dog food is called Cisco on Cisco.

My job is to lead IT Collaboration projects and consulting engagements that drive the adoption and usage of Cisco’s social enterprise software platform WebEx Social. For this reason I thought it was appropriate to call my new blog series Collaboration is Good Dog Food. Get ready for a hearty helping of Collaboration sprinkled with a little WebEx Social. Read More »

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Re-Imagining Collaboration

December 13, 2012 at 7:52 am PST

Mary Meeker’s “2012 Internet Trends Report put just about every industry on alert: her persuasive argument urged leaders to re-imagine nearly everything about their businesses in no uncertain terms--from advertising, to mobile to media consumption.” – Forbes, August

When Mary Meeker speaks, people listen. When she releases her annual report, people really listen. Count me on that list. Meeker, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, recently released the updated version of her report. In it she covers the high points on the trend front, including:

  • The dominance of Windows in the operating system world is diminishing (covered in a previous post)
  • The number of people using the internet now includes 34% of the global population.
  • Worldwide smartphone subscriptions of 42% promises to increase penetration beyond its current 17% of the mobile market.
  • Global shipments of Android phones have grown nearly six times as fast as iPhones since their respective launches.
  • 29% of adults in the United States own tablets or e-readers compared to 2% in mid-2009.
  • Global mobile data traffic is increasing while fixed network traffic is decreasing.

I have a good left-brain, right-brain thing going. I like graphs, charts, and data. But I also like to look at how trends translate into what we do and how we do it. Meeker calls it a “re-imagination of nearly everything.” Essentially, devices, connectivity, and user experience are creating change in how we do – well — nearly everything.

Meeker quotes Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on a similar angle: Read More »

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Collaborating with the New Generation

October 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm PST

I had a troubling thought. If I can no longer be considered part of the new generation, am I now the old generation? Generation X used to sound so modern, but we’re no longer the cool kids. After all, I’m driving a Prius and doing fourth-grade homework with my kid after dinner instead of chasing Skrillex. Now we have the Millennials who, according to Wikipedia, are Gen Y. (But, really, what generation wants to be saddled with a name based on the one that came before it?)

We recently invited a small group of MBA students from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business to meet some of our customers for a grilling panel on what companies can expect from the new generation entering the workforce.

They provided first-hand perspective about what it’s like to be new on the block and work with, well, er, an older generation. Compared to our learned comfort with technology, theirs is nearly ingrained based on its presence in their lives since childhood. This difference comes through in their expectations, habits, and predictions for the wonderful world of technology in front of us. Read More »

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