It's about the people, stupid

So, if you were given an opportunity to talk about day two of a technology conference attended by hundreds of technology, business, and vendor folk discussing how they're going to work together to solve really interesting problems over the next few years, what would you say?

How about, "Wow!"

While I heard plenty of talk about technology and tools, each of the couple dozen conversations I had quickly moved to a discussion of people and relationships and how to get things done. Here's a sample of the interactions I was lucky enough to participate in

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Cisco's Stepping Up To Collaboration As Business Transformation

TedschadlerBy Ted Schadler

Following on to Rob's great analyses of Cisco's Jabber and PostPath acquisitions, here are some additional things that Information & Knowledge Management Professionals should tune into regarding Cisco as the new collaboration kid on the block:

  • First, Cisco is building a meeting-centric workspace product with WebEx Connect. Think about the key documents, chats, connections, calendar, contact lists, business and collaboration widgets, and video links hosted in a workspace with persistence, invitation- and approval-based access, and all the piece parts of a real workspace. That means you should be putting Cisco on your vendor list when looking at new team collaboration scenarios.
  • Second, Jabber will be bundled into WebEx Connect as the core presence engine. In other words, this acquisition is, as Rob pointed out, a great way for Cisco to get a global-scale presence engine. But it's also presence designed around a B2B or distributed team environment. And that signals where you should look at Cisco: It's in B2B teams. Or teams that sit on the edge of the enterprise -- sales, product development, supply chain, partner management -- should look at this new option.
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Attracting And Retaining Talent: Thought From Day One Of Forrester's Business & Technology Leadership Forum

TedschadlerBy Ted Schadler

"Embrace chaos; deliver results." Really? Unleash social networks, employee-generated video, and wikis loose in my company? That sounds hard for any normal company. Yet that's the theme of our event here in Orlando.

At the end of day one, after listening to a varied and experienced line-up of presenters, I came away with the feeling that not only is it possible to embrace chaos and deliver results, it's also an imperative.

Here are some loosely worded and paraphrased quotes from speakers that anchor my feeling:

When Ken Washington, chief privacy officer of Lockheed Martin, was asked how he convinced the CEO to allow blogs and social networks at Lockheed Martin, he said that in the war for talent these tools will help us "attract and retain talent."

It makes a ton of sense if you think about it. We know from our Technographics studies that the Internet-native Gen Y generation behaves completely differently than their Gen X siblings. They use IM, social networks, and blogs to communicate and get their work done. And the Millenials that follow them are even more estranged from old-school tools like email. These new employees expect the power that a Facebook brings.

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Cisco Acquires Jabber - Can They Recast Collaboration?

Robkoplowitz By Rob Koplowitz

Today, Cisco announced their intention to acquire Jabber, a major player in enterprise instant messaging. On the heals of Cisco's acquisition of PostPath for email, it's becoming clear that Cisco is really serious about collaboration. Not only are they serious, but they are begining to execute on a very compelling strategy. Some of the more interesting aspects of this move:

  • Jabber continues to fill out Cisco's collaboration portfolio by adding secure instant messaging and persistent chat. Now, they have their established position in unified communications, voice conferencing, telepresence and WebEx web conferencing and email, instant messaging and persistent chat coming on line. If Cisco can drive deep integration across all of these components and do it at a reasonable price point, there will be real value in the bundle.
  • Jabber is well positioned for cloud deployment. Their core differentiator has long been massive scalability with a design goal of serving millions, rather than thousands of users. If you want to take on market leaders Microsoft and IBM, you need to identify and exploit a market disruption. Cloud-based collaboration could be just the disruption Cisco needs. Massive scalability helps a lot.
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Forrester's Business & Technology Leadership Forum 2008

Forrester's Business & Technology Leadership Forum 2008 is coming up soon — September 23-24 in Orlando, Fla. This event is designed to arm technology and business leaders with emerging organizational, process, and technology practices that balance chaos and control to drive new business value. We have a great speaker lineup this year, with keynotes from:

Guest Speakers

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Meet One-On-One With Forrester Analysts At Our Business & Technology Leadership Forum 2008

Consistently rated as one of the most popular features of Forrester Events, one-on-one meetings give you the opportunity to discuss the unique technology issues facing your organization with Forrester analysts. Business & Technology Leadership Forum attendees may schedule up to two 20-minute one-on-one meetings with the Forrester analysts of their choice, depending on availability. Registered attendees will be able to schedule one-on-one meetings starting on Monday September 15, 2008. Book early!

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Meet One-On-One With Forrester Analysts At Our Business & Technology Leadership Forum 2008

Consistently rated as one of the most popular features of Forrester Events, one-on-one meetings give you the opportunity to discuss the unique technology issues facing your organization with Forrester analysts. Business & Technology Leadership Forum attendees may schedule up to two 20-minute one-on-one meetings with the Forrester analysts of their choice, depending on availability. Registered attendees will be able to schedule one-on-one meetings starting on Monday September 15, 2008. Book early!

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Meet One-On-One With Forrester Analysts At Our Business & Technology Leadership Forum 2008

Consistently rated as one of the most popular features of Forrester Events, one-on-one meetings give you the opportunity to discuss the unique technology issues facing your organization with Forrester analysts. Business & Technology Leadership Forum attendees may schedule up to two 20-minute one-on-one meetings with the Forrester analysts of their choice, depending on availability. Registered attendees will be able to schedule one-on-one meetings starting on Monday September 15, 2008. Book early!

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The Dark Side Of Web 2.0 And Technology Populism

MattbrownBy Matt Brown

So before my flight West today, I picked up the recent Jeff Howe book Crowdsourcing. I was looking for a little inspiration for a speech I'm giving at Forrester's Business & Technology Leadership Forum on a trend we call "Technology Populism." Like other edgy, Web 2.0-ey books of our era (Groundswell, Wisdom of Crowds, Tipping Point, The Long Tail, and many others), Crowdsourcing is packed with examples of how companies are leveraging networks of people on the Internet to innovate, collaborate, disrupt business models, and solve real business problems. All great stuff.

Then I land and my phone rings. It's a reporter who's asks me about the latest United Airlines story. Since I'm not yet monitoring news feeds from several thousand feet, I say "What story?" He explains that at 1am on Sunday of this week a story with the headline "UAL Files for Bankruptcy" appeared on the "most popular" list of the Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper Web site. It then got picked up by Google News, summarized by a securities analyst, and United Airlines stock proceeded to tank by 75%. The problem: the story was from 2002.

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Google Launches "YouTube For The Enterprise"

TedschadlerBy Ted Schadler

Today, Google announced Google Video for business, a new cloud-based collaboration service that gives employees the same ability as consumers to upload, find, view, and share video clips. It's YouTube for the enterprise, folks. See Rob Koplowitz's and Kyle McNabb's report for more on cloud-based collaboration services.

Not that Google's the first company to introduce this service. Startup Veodia launched its cloud-based enterprise video service in 2007. Both moves are part of the video-ification of business, what Forrester's Henry Dewing calls "The Screening Of Global Business."

I think this is an important innovation for the enterprise because it will allow a million video flowers to bloom: training videos, meet-the-team videos, rally-the-sales-troops videos, learn-about-my-product videos, customer-win videos, walk-through-the-power-generation-plant videos, corporate-event videos, how-its-made videos. You get the picture.

Google Video for business:

  • Is bundled into the Google Apps Premier Edition. So even if you don't need cloud-based email, calendaring, document sharing, or team sites, if you buy video, you get the whole suite of collaboration tools.
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