The Human Network @ Work

Keynote by Murali Sitaram and Jim Grubb of Cisco


[These are my quick notes, complete with  (what I hope is no more than) the occasional typo and grammatical error.  Please excuse those. Thanks!

From time to time, I’ll insert my own editorial comments – exercising the prerogatives of the blogger.  I’ll show those in brackets. ]


  • Bringing poeple together through collaborative platforms is what CISCO calls the human network @ work.
    • Powered by the People
    • Constantly Evolving
    • It is Enterprise-wide
    • It extends beyond corporate boundaries to external partners
  • [Demo of CISCO Quad]
  • They are planning on having as many community spaces in Quad as there are mailing lists within the org
  • Includes an activity stream, unified message, calendar widget, profiling tool, one-click WebEx session start [of course!], allows microblogging updates that can be posted internally and externally.
    • They set some system wide limitations so, for example, there are no forbidden external communications that would contravene Federal securities laws.
  • When a phone call comes in, you can trigger a profile screen on the caller that includes org structure and reporting structure
  • Unified Communication
    • They have Unified Communication that provide internal information and integrates with external search as well
    • It integrates thousands of community spaces
    • They can automatically transcribe video so that it is searchable — allowing word search within the video.  They call this MediaNote.
    • They also transcode this so it is accessible via any device (e.g., handheld, TV)
    • Allows expertise location and immediate IM experience with the expert you’ve just located.
  • The platform respects organizational policy and security
  • The iPad and iPhone will support CISCO Quad
  • They claim that Quad will let you deliver any info to any device at any time

Collaboration’s ROI

Collaboration is like motherhood and apple pie.  Who will publicly say that it’s a bad thing?  Nevertheless, many knowledge workers have private work habits that inhibit collaboration.  Further many of their organizations don’t do enough to change these behaviors.  Why?  In many cases, because they have not yet realized the enormous benefits that can accrue to an organization that fosters collaboration.

Not convinced?  Looking for some hard numbers?  Take a look at these results from Cisco’s implementation of Web 2.0 and collaboration technologies in fiscal year 2008:

  • US$691 million saved
  • 4.9 %  increased productivity
  • The technology investments, which cost US$81 million to deploy, provided a 900 % return on investment (ROI).

Now your firm may not be as large as Cisco and you may not have the same access to state of the art technology or a workforce that is tech friendly.  Nonetheless, wouldn’t even a fraction of Cisco’s ROI be welcome at your firm?  Further, wouldn’t your firm benefit from improvements in the way information and expertise are shared among employees, customers and partners. What more do you need by way of incentives?

If you’re interested in learning more about how Cisco used Web 2.0 and collaboration technologies to achieve these impressive results, read their guide,  Creating a Collaborative Enterprise (PDF), which explains their framework for achieving collaboration with significant ROI.

[Thanks to John Tropea and Oscar Berg for letting me know about this resource.]

[Photo Credit:  Bee-side]


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