Collaboration is Hot… Very Hot

October 15, 2010 - 1 Comment

Collaboration will transform how you work.

Hi everyone.  I’m Sheila Jordan, Cisco vice president for Communications and Collaboration IT.  Today I’m starting a series of weekly blog postings I’m calling “Collaboration is Hot …. Very Hot.”  I’d like to share with you how we at Cisco are translating and deploying collaboration across our company.

Let me start out by explaining:  “why collaboration?”

Simply stated, collaboration transforms how we work – it is a radical transformation. At Cisco, we’ve defined collaboration as where “social networking meets work” – effectively using social networking capabilities (chat, video, tagging, blogging) and incorporating them into our  transactional systems and overall workflow.

Why is collaboration so hot?  Because it offers a new way to work, leveraging what I am calling “the perfect storm of four key trends.”  There are four things changing fairly radically which is affording us the ability for us to work differently. These four elements are: business trends (globalization, IT having to do more with less while also accelerating key time to market capabilities), technology (virtualization, social software and service orientated architecture), mobility (proliferation of devices, work anywhere, anytime) and content (video, email, PowerPoint, blogs, discussion forums and wikis).  Any one of these trends are transformational in and of themselves but putting them together is really “the perfect storm” … allowing us in IT to deliver new capabilities and offering a new experience to our workforce.

Combine these trends with the millennium generation and how the millenials are communicating differently.  Their expectations are that this new way of communicating in their personal life should carry over at the office. Consider too that our world is evolving.  We’re moving beyond the concept of work / life balance to work / life integration – the concept that our communications experience should transcend home and work.

So, what you have is truly the perfect storm – a confluence of factors that didn’t exist 18 months ago.

At Cisco we’re on the verge of launching a new “integrated workforce experience” powered by the company’s new enterprise social software, called Cisco Quad.  The integrated workforce experience or IWE (pronounced “I-we,” an acronym that combines the total program of  process, technology and culture) will  represent Cisco’s own collaboration experience.

And we’re not alone in the desire to move to collaboration.  As it turns out, collaboration is on the minds of executives throughout the corporate world.  In the many meetings I’ve had with company executives in the last few months, I’ve found that collaboration is relevant to everyone.  It has application in government, academia and in industries as diverse as healthcare, manufacturing, retail and consumer companies – it is pervasive across all sectors.

It’s an exciting time!  Stay tuned here to learn more about our IWE program which will be deployed by Cisco Quad globally in JUST four weeks. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on collaboration and what you’re seeing in your own organization.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Collective Intelligence … that is the question long ago that has been watching through the collective intelligence are developing work environments that allow more than one user of the company working on an issue, agreeing ideas. This is open to the world, we see small businesses have taken advantage of the knowledge of others .. or what I would call “Collective Intelligence” .. to that should be targeted, there is nothing new, has been going on for a couple of years, with the creation of public forums, but now the challenge is how we come to such brilliant minds circulating on the Internet, to be in them where generated new forms of collaboration …