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Collaboration is Hot … Very Hot (A Cisco Collaboration Case Study)

April 4, 2011 - 0 Comments

In conversations with customers, I am consistently asked about the business value and return on investment with regard to collaboration.  At Cisco, we define value in terms of productivity, growth and innovation. 

I’ve shared with you in past blogs that we’ll be better able to report more on business value at Cisco once we’ve deployed our own collaboration solution – our Integrated Workforce Experience or IWE – internally. And, although it’s still early days in our own collaboration journey, we do have a few tangible examples of how IWE is now being used successfully within our functional groups.

Our Customer Value Chain Management (CVCM) organization is one great case in point.  Working closely with business partners and suppliers, CVCM manages the design, planning and sourcing of components, and the manufacturing and distribution of Cisco products to our customers. 

A CVCM priority has been to balance innovation with operational excellence in order to provide Cisco customers with an unrivaled, end-to-end experience. This particularly comes into play with the management of year end deals. Booking these perishable orders (customer orders that may not be realized if not captured in time) not only satisfies our customers, but it also maximizes revenue. In the past, the team used multiple sources of deal and order data, making it difficult to coordinate efforts and complicated to gain visibility into the most up-to-date information. 

To assist in our efforts, CVCM created the Customer Value Team Deal Management community within IWE, our collaboration solution.  This gave the Customer Value Teams a single consolidated location for sharing information and ongoing updates which, in turn drove faster decision cycles. In addition, the IWE community allowed the team to efficiently collaborate with team members from several different organizations across the company. 

So, the key benefits were real-time deal and order information, improved ability to coordinate actions to make year-end deals come to fruition, and increased productivity.

Another great example is how CVCM uses IWE to better manage its global suppliers. A CVCM supplier management team needed a flexible way to collaborate, connect and communicate – not only within the cross functional commodity team, but also across numerous business unit partners. 

The information and resources they needed were found in a variety of locations, making access to the latest information and coordination of activities difficult and time consuming.

Creating a GSM IWE community gave them the ability to bring information and people from multiple sources to one common location.  It allowed members to consolidate and share information about suppliers in a new and improved way.

Flexibility and innovative collaboration approaches through their IWE community has increased productivity and has been a major win.

Several key benefits were realized through IWE in these examples.  They include:

  • consolidation of widespread information into one location
  • uniting disparate resources, and
  • real-time visibility to activities, current status, news and information

 In both cases, the bottom line business value has been speed, scale and reliability.

What’s happening in our CVCM organization is being duplicated in other organizations – including Sales, among others.  I’ll blog more next week about how another Cisco functional group is using IWE to make our operations more streamlined and efficient.

Happy Collaborating!

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