Understanding Adoption Barriers to Collaboration, Part 1

This is the third post in my Collaboration Insights series, and since effective collaboration eludes so many companies, I wanted to examine the barriers to adoption. Despite the widespread availability of so many applications that enable collaboration, the results often fall short. While it’s easy to blame this on the technology being complex and/or costly, or limitations on the network/IT side, there are other factors at play. One such factor is tying collaboration to business outcomes, something you might not have considered.

Generally speaking, the easier something is to use, the more often people will use it. The same is also true when the benefit is clearly understood. Think about the telephone – everyone knows how to use it, and the benefits are clear. The same can be said for most communications applications, such as email, messaging, many forms of conferencing and even fax. They’re all easy to use, and each has a distinct benefit – or use case – that drives their usage.

With today’s technologies, there’s no reason why collaboration can’t be the same. Vendors understand the importance of making these platforms easy to use, although some do it better than others. The bigger challenge, however, lies in the benefit, as collaboration results are hard to measure. After all, collaboration is the collective result of using various communications applications in an integrated fashion.  Continue reading

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Partner Summit Montreal: C’est formidable!

Cisco is gearing up for our annual Partner Summit Conference, taking place April 27 – 30. This year, the Canadian team is especially pumped up because it’s taking place in Montreal, the first time in Montreal  with the last one held in Canada in Vancouver in 2005.

Partner Summit banner 2015

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How you can become an Agent of Collaboration and solve your business’ critical challenges

Your business is operating in an incredible time. You may not realize it, but never – never – before have businesses had the tools at their disposal that we do. Never before have companies been able to take the pulse of their customers in an instant, or speak with customers 1,000 km away via video.

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Take the Meraki Challenge and Find out if Cloud Managed IT is Right for Your Business

We all hear that the role of IT in today’s companies is becoming increasingly complex. In Canada and around the world, companies are faced with this challenge on a daily basis.

Want proof? A report posted on Information Age indicates that 70% of businesses say that IT operations are holding them back. Companies need a solution that simplifies daily IT management so their valuable IT staff can focus on new business models and strategies.

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How Cisco’s Networking Academy meets High School Students’ Needs

By: Susan Monachino, OCT, B.Sc., Computer Technology Teacher and Technology Department Head

What critical component is pervasive across all careers, from A (Architect) to Z (Zoologist) and everything in between? What specific knowledge and skills are necessary and valued in virtually every job market?

Computers.

Computers and all forms of digital devices are now entrenched in society, and the need for skilled resources to setup, maintain, network and troubleshoot these devices, will always exist.

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Complexity versus Simplicity in Making Collaboration Work

*Posted originally on Jon Arnold’s Analyst 2.0 Blog on March 16, 2015

This is the second post in my new Collaboration Insights series, with the focus being how IT needs to balance the forces of simplicity and complexity in order to get things right with collaboration. My opening post set the stage by looking at the value of collaboration for “getting work done”, which is what employees really care the most about. They don’t care about the technology that drives UC, and that brings us to the natural tension between these two forces.

The challenge of complexity

Collaboration solutions are complex for a variety of reasons, and this creates challenges for both IT and end users. Whether called UC, collaboration or UCC, these platforms can be complex to deploy, and this will be a key consideration when choosing a collaboration vendor, especially those that do not have all the applications native to their solution. Many vendors only have some core pieces of their own, with other elements such as video or conferencing being bolted on from other vendors.  Continue reading

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It’s About You Bettering Your Business

Trends in the technology industry are always changing. If you are anything like me, being ahead of the technology curve is challenging. We all know we need to be at the forefront of it, but sometimes the wave takes us by storm and we get derailed. Cisco Connect Toronto provides the perfect opportunity to learn about the latest trends, network with local peers and meet with experts. It’s two days dedicated to advancing your business.

This year we are bringing a new spin to Cisco Connect Toronto. As the Premier Technology sponsor of TO2015, Cisco Canada is demonstrating Fast IT on a world stage. We are deploying an intelligent, mobile, secure, and collaborative mission critical network and data center to support the massive levels of data generated across 35 different Games venues. But before we demonstrate this at the GAMES, we are bringing it to Cisco Connect Toronto.

Additionally we are hosting walk-in self-paced labs, a full day of tectorials / labs, and Internet of Everything story-telling exhibits focused on retail, healthcare, transportation, and Smart and Connected workspaces. I won’t give away everything here, but it’s definitely a must see!  Continue reading

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The Future of Partner Eco-Systems

Last month, I had a great conversation with Robert Dutt from ChannelBuzz.ca. Robert is well known for covering the Canadian IT channel and for reporting on the trends and tribulations that come with the rapidly changing IT sector. Robert and I spoke about the evolution of the partner eco-system for the IT industry, and for Cisco in particular.

Our world is changing. From analogue to digital, static to mobile. Offline is becoming online. What was here and there is now everywhere. The Internet is evolving fast and the Internet of Everything is literally changing everything. Naturally, this is having a major impact on how we consume, sell, and procure technologies, products, and services. Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 10.26.24 AM

In IT, we are moving from ‘selling great products, features, and functionalities’ to ‘delivering solutions or whole-offers that solve business problems’. The Internet of Everything is about creating solutions that deliver business outcomes to those that want to become more efficient, productive, innovative, competitive, and grow their business.  Continue reading

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With the Internet of Everything, Canadian Banks Can Drive a New Level of Customer Engagement — and Profitability

For financial services institutions, the battle to acquire new customers and increase business with existing clients centers on customer engagement. A superior engagement, differentiated experience, and sense of distinctive value at all points of interaction with customers (and potential customers), is key.

With more Canadians seeking to fulfill their service needs through mobile and other digital channels, Canadian financial institutions must ensure that their operations, distribution, and delivery models are digitized to produce the highest value to customers. The way to do that is through the Internet of Everything (IoE), the networked connection of people, process, data, and things.

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Empowering a Diverse Workforce

“Entrepreneurial Volunteerism” that is how I describe our inclusion and diversity strategy at Cisco. This is what you get when you give passionate people the freedom and support to explore what is important for them.

A great example of this would be the Canadian women’s group who has set out their charter as Recruit (show Cisco Canada as a great place to work for women), Retain (provide opportunities to network and support each other), and Educate (give access to training to improve professional skills).

WISE Conference

WISE Conference

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