I attended yesterday a conference by Alan Cohen, Cisco’s Vice President of Enterprise and Mid-Market Solutions. He tried to explain why Cisco is investing so much, at the same time, on Enterprise 2.0 products (WebEx and Jabber), social networks (Five Across, Tribe.net) and online video (The Flip). Basically, Cisco thinks that face to face communication is so much better than written one that there is going to be an avalanche of video in the corporate world. In fact, telepresence is currently Cisco’s main product.
These are the most interesting things I quoted Cohen saying:
– Companies are going thru a big consumerisation of their IT. This means that employees don’t like to use corporate tools but more simple ones like Facebook. This is why he thinks that single repository approaches (what Microsoft does with Sharepoint) will fail.
– The changing nature of work is changing more now than any period of time since the first wave of the internet.
– People are going to play a bigger role in IT. He even talked about “an ERP por people”.
– Email is getting too hard to use. He first admitted not using email any more, though later nuanced that. In any case, everybody agrees that email is not the best collaboration tool, so he expects that in the future we will have messages being delivered to everybody’s workspace depending on certain likes. He called this dynamic notification and opposed it to search. In fact, he expects more from tags than from search, which is hard to agree on. I believe much more on karma systems than on tag ones.
– Bringing these apps. and business processes into the network drive provides the potential for enormous customer innovation and shareholder value
– We are going thru a transition from a world in which content was disconnected (it might me in my head or on my hard disk) to one in which content is connected.
– We are also going thru a very cultural change from private to accessible and from siloed things to open ones.
This video of Mr. Cohen is not from this conference but is much related:
Besides, I advise you to read Mike Gotta’s critics on Cisco’s policy towards Enterprise 2.0. Basically, what Gotta says is: stop speaking and do more. In fact, none of its collaboration products are so far able to compete with IBM and Microsoft’s products.