Collaboration is Hot … A Report from the Road

March 13, 2012 - 2 Comments

Last week, I had the opportunity to travel across country to meet with Cisco customers and co-keynote with our business partner, Xerox, at its annual conference.  I found that our four pillars of collaboration – social, mobile, virtual and visual (video) – are continuing to resonate with customers. 

I started out in Providence, Rhode Island to visit toy and game manufacturer Hasbro, where I met with the CIO and entire leadership team. Hasbro is very focused on bringing social and mobile technologies into its organization.  Then, heading south, the story continued in Orlando where I attended Xerox’s annual Symposium focused on innovation. Here I spoke to 500 Xerox customers about Cisco’s five key priorities: leadership in our core switching and routing businesses, collaboration, data center/virtualization/cloud, video, and architectures for business transformation.

I also provided a deeper overview of our four collaboration pillars:

  • Social – In December, we upgraded our Cisco Quad collaboration platform making it significantly easier and faster to use, doubling the number of work “communities” from 1,500 to 3,000. We also had strong user growth with 66% of monthly users, up from 60%, and 88% (78,000) of users visiting at least once a quarter, up from 80%.
  • Mobile – The combination of our AnyConnect and mobile device manager (MDM) architecture has enabled us to securely increase the number of personal employee devices in the enterprise.  In fact, according to Forbes Magazine, Cisco has one of the largest BYOD deployments in the world. Mobility is exploding: last year’s mobile data usage was eight times the size of the Internet in 2000 and there will be more mobile devices than people on earth by the end of this year!
  • Video – We’re really seeing pervasive video at Cisco. At the end of FY 12 we had deployed 25,000 endpoints, and now hold over 100,000 immersive video calls and 1.2 million WebEx meetings per quarter.
  • Virtual – We’re seeing lots of traction with our internal business apps which greatly ease and simplify the way we work.  We now have over 200 apps deployed – my personal favorites are My PTO, My Expenses, and My Approvals.

Heading west, I then visited with the CIO and her team at BNSF Railway in Fort Worth, Texas, one of the largest railway networks in North America with 32,000 route miles. BNSF is also interested in social, mobile and video technologies. BNSF’s IT team is particularly keen to use mobile devices to help them better run their trains, and use video for security purposes.  It is fascinating to think how collaboration technology can enhance and transform their 160-year-old business. 

The week wasn’t without some travel challenges, since my luggage didn’t arrive in Providence, and subsequently followed me as I headed across country, prompting some unplanned shopping in the airport mall.  And speaking of business apps, wouldn’t it be great if United Airlines deployed a GPS tracking app for luggage?  That would have been truly transformational, solving my problem!

Travel continues next week as I head to Cisco Live in Melbourne, Australia, and visit our teams in Sydney and Bangalore, India.

Happy Collaborating!

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  1. Great report on Collaboration. Based on the number of immersive video calls as well as Webex sessions – Cisco is delivering significant amount of savings to your customer base. In addition to reducing the travel costs,the technology is also saving lot of productive time of many employees as they do not need to travel. I would see this as an enabler for work-life balance. I would term immersive video call & WebEx as a great motivator for collaboration and innovation. Hence, I would assoicate your four pillars of collaboration with innovation also.