Cisco is Being "Misleading and Incompetent" about Collaboration – Phil at Skype Journal

Phil writing for Skype Journal accuses Cisco of being misleading and incompetent when it come to collaboration:

Collaboration starts in shared intent. Collaboration is behavior, interpersonal and social. Collaboration shows up in our metawork (work about work). Collaboration is working together to define and pursue a common cause.

So until Cisco starts offering products that help you find collaborators, to build trust among yourselves, to negotiate how you want to work, to define common goals and language, to decompose and plan the work, to define the parts we need to do alone and together, to coordinate our schedules for the same-time activities, to work together on the same objects and to share our results… Until then, Cisco should stop advertising telepresence as “video collaboration.”

It devalues the term. It makes Cisco out to be misleading and incompetent.

My Comments
It’s a pretty rough critique. I’m not so sure that Phil has sufficient evidence to state this.

In order for a meeting to happen – whether in person or via telepresence – there must be “shared intent” (Phil’s phrase; I agree with the phrase, but disagree with Cisco’s failing).

Effective meetings are made up of effective collaboration behaviors, both “interpersonal and social” (Phil’s phrase; I agree with the phrase, but disagree with Cisco’s failing).

Meetings can be about “working together to define and pursue a common cause” – to quote Phil’s words. Meetings can also be about not getting anything done and just going around it circles – but that’s behavior and culture being manifested in the medium of a meeting, not an inherent failing of meetings per se.

I would agree that supporting meetings is not the full extent of “collaboration” – and Cisco is moving to cover the other areas it doesn’t deal with today with products such as Cisco Quad. This has been a while in coming, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing it in real implementations. I have a couple of items of interest on Cisco in the collaboration space.

Overall – Phil’s taken a too extreme position on this.

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