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Collaboration is Hot … A Report from Cisco Live Melbourne

March 22, 2012 - 3 Comments

G’Day from Down Under, coming to you from Cisco Live at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre overlooking the Yarra River.  And what a whirlwind three days it has been – quite active and very busy. And according to customers, it has been “crackin’.” It has been a truly fun experience sharing Cisco’s collaboration story which includes the four pillars (social, mobile, virtual and visual) with Australian customers, executives, analysts and news media. In particular, there has been lots of excitement about BYOD and virtualization – both desktop and content virtualization.

The most impressive point that continues to resonate is that these four elements of collaboration are converging.  It’s become very apparent that no company, no matter how technologically savvy, can take on all four collaboration components at once.  That’s why it is so important to take an architectural approach to collaboration while at the same time think about convergence – convergence is happening faster than ever.  Cisco’s executive vice president of sales, Rob Lloyd, showed this in action during his opening day keynote by demonstrating the Jabber application on an iPad that was also streaming real-time video (the perfect example of convergence of all four collaboration elements).

Analysts, as always, really want to focus on the value of collaboration. And while we have tangible metrics on mobility and video, we still need to continue to fine-tune our direct tangible value around social. How you prioritize which part of collaboration will deliver the most value is still an open-ended question.

There has also been lots of interest from Australian universities, several of which were represented here.  As you can imagine, within this sector the pillars of social and mobile are hot topics, primarily because there is so much opportunity to re-think how we teach and learn when it comes to Millennials.

A wide array of companies in sectors as diverse as government, education, healthcare, banking, retail and aviation all demonstrated a keen interest in what we are doing.  And the more I’m in the field talking to customers, the more I’m convinced that the convergence of these technologies is happening at a pace we’ve never seen before. 

My guidance to my peers is that the sooner you embrace this transformation, the sooner you will realize the benefits.  IT is literally at the vortex of this transformation which means that IT must deliver and consume services in both a different and radical way. 

One thing is for sure:  the technology is here – there is no doubt about this.  And while that can be daunting, the more challenging issues for organizations are process and culture in deploying these technologies.  We in IT have an opportunity to help drive this process and change as new technology enters the enterprise. 

So, in closing, let me share with you some new Aussie lingo that I’ve picked up.  Yes, we need to do a  “crackin’” (translation: awesome)  job on our collaboration deployment.  Only then can we do some “chillaxing” and finally have a “bit of a lie down.”

 Happy Collaborating!

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  2. Crikey, looks like the event’s a real Bonzer! Hope you continue to have a rip snorter time. Don’t forget to turn the shrimp on the barbie whilst sipping some of the amber, though you probably don’t have time to wear your sunnies if you’re at Cisco Live. I’m stoked if you got to see the the World of Solutions and the Cisco Industrial Networking Booth, staffed by a couple of me Pommie friends (I never gave up being a Pom meself). Shame I couldn’t be there – looks like a real ripper!