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Cisco's cloudy knowledge

SaaS portal enables collaborative learning

Cisco this week unveiled a cloud-based service providing organizations with real-time access to knowledge, collaboration and continuous learning. Cisco Collaborative Knowledge is a software-as-a-service offering designed to help Cisco customers access experts and information in real time for training, updating skills, and collaborative learning on projects.

Cisco says the digital economy is expected to change 90% of jobs, resulting in an estimated shortage of 38 to 40 million college-educated workers by 2020. This shortage of educated people results in shortage of key skills.

So the company argues that organizations must transform into digital workplaces that embrace real-time knowledge sharing and learning to make up for the shortfall in required skills. IDC calls this “talent agility,” and views it as crucial to getting a workforce performing at a high level quickly by overcoming the constraints of time and place.

Cisco Collaborative Knowledge uses Cisco’s own collaboration technology to mine organizations’ existing in-house content management systems, social enterprise communities, learning investments and HR systems. It is accessible and sharable through a mobile platform.

The service can augment the vendor/customer experience through real-time knowledge of a product, service or project. A mobile sales professional lining up a new prospect can readily access learning modules that provide the information they need about a particular product, solution, or market. And organizations can reskill workforces or specific departments by providing job-specific knowledge and training.

Cisco used the SaaS product in a pilot to reskill 14,000 employees in its services organization into more of a sales-focused outfit. Cisco Collaborative Knowledge is also enabling knowledge sharing between students and experts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as part of the New York Academy of Science’s Global STEM Alliance, of which Cisco is a founding member.

The service is available on a subscription basis.

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