Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 which provides agencies greater flexibility in managing their workforce. It provides a framework for agencies to better leverage technology and to maximize the use of flexible work arrangements which can aid in recruiting new Federal workers, retain valuable talent and allow the Federal agency workers to be more responsive to citizen needs and be more productive out in the field. This can include situations such as national security, emergency response, cross agency collaboration, or simply, providing citizen services such as language translation.
Last year, more than 71,000 people pledged, saving $5,651,890 on commuting costs, gaining back 251,774 hours into their day, and removing 3 tons of pollutents from the air while refraining from driving 6, 413,006 miles.
Today, Cisco and Telework Exchange kicks off the third annual Telework Week 2013 – an annual global effort to encourage agencies, organizations and individuals to pledge to work anytime, anywhere from March 4-8, 2013. According to Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), author of the Telework Enhancement Act, “Telework Week is an excellent opportunity for thousands of people to try teleworking and realize the great benefits it can provide. A robust Telework program can help organizations improve the quality of life of their employees, while taking strides to protect the environment, reduce traffic congestion on the roads, and increase workplace efficiency.”
Key elements include all-IPv6 streamlined routing architecture; fully converged IP and optical layers with 100G coherent technology; integrated cloud service centers, enabling virtualized network services and applications for rapid service innovation; programmatic interfaces aligned with the software-defined networking architecture for real-time automation and OSS; and customer self-service management capabilities.
Cisco has delivered the following technologies in this landmark deployment:
Last month, I had the opportunity to visit Proserv Property Services, a customer of Clark Integrated Technologies based in Aberdeen, Scotland, who recently implemented a Cisco Unified Communications solution designed for small business. From the moment that I arrived in town, I had a feeling that the trip was going to be an eye-opening experience. First of all, the weather condition was just a drastic change especially coming from California. Quickly, I had to adjust to the freezing temperature in Aberdeen and some light rain during the entire trip.
I pre-arranged a meeting to visit ProServ early the next morning so I could learn more about their business and the reasons why they’ve become so successful. I also wanted to know more about their day-to-day operations, their challenges and how they are using technology to serve their customer better. Walking into ProServ was like a breath of fresh air. I quickly understood where their true success lies… which I’ll come back to it as I wrap up this blog.
As planned, I was greeted by Morgan Cooper of Proserv and members of her team who were all eager to discuss their experience using Cisco technology. They shared how it helps them to be more productive such as- rerouting their calls directly to the technicians on the road– a process that used to take multiple steps to complete. Now, the calls are automatically sent to the technicians on the road informing them of their next customer visit. All of this was great for me to observe because being at the customer site offered me some perspective that is usually hard to grasp otherwise.
Next, I met with Austen Clark, Sales Director at Clark Integrated Technologies – a very successful IT solution provider who is a Cisco Select Partner. Austen and I started working together earlier in the year so it was nice to finally meet him in person. He quickly reinforced the benefits Proserv is gaining as a result of the new IT network. Additionally he explained how Cisco OnPlus allows him to monitor the devices on the network proactively and alerts the client of any issues before they affect the business. Again, a plus for me to aborb this in the real customer environment! Obviously, Austen is a great business partner of Cisco.
As if this wasn’t enough, Morgan arranged for me to visit one of their clients, David Lloyd Gym & Tennis Club. What an amazing club! Top notch facilities, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, studio, gym, state of the art cafeteria and best of all, Ross, the Managing Director, extended us such a warm welcome. He shared that when businesses like ProServ and Lloyd, that are focused on serving their customers, implement IT solutions that helps them provide an efficient and reliable service, it becomes a win-win situation for everyone.
Now, I’ll come back with my conclusion on what I think makes Proserv stand out from their competition. Of course, choosing the right IT solution provider who can give them the best advice on the technology they need to meet the business challenges- is always a plus. But in my opinion, their true success lies in the quality of the service they provide, their management, having a proactive mindset and most importantly the people who work at Proserv–they truly are all super stars!
Check it out for yourself. Watch and enjoy the video! And don’t forget to share it with others too!
Throughout the years, I’ve been able to witness some great examples of technology’s ability to connect people when it really matters. Now, with Christmas lights everywhere and the holiday season upon us, it’s the time of year where wishes really do come true. And no one is better suited to spread holiday cheer than Santa himself -- that’s why Cisco established the Santa Connection program.
In its sixth year, the program aims to connect Santa with young patients unable to leave the hospital and allows them to “virtually” visit Santa. Through Santa Connection, Cisco engineers set up Cisco TelePresence solutions via iPad, laptop or cart in children’s hospitals across the globe. These children are then able to share their Christmas wishes with the man himself “in-person” over high-definition video and Santa’s elves are on hand in the hospital to give gifts. What a great way to put smiles on children’s faces. Read More »
When Cisco introduced the Cisco SecureX Architecture at the 2011 RSA Conference in San Francisco, it aimed to provide network security practitioners the following benefits of a security architecture:
Dynamic adaptability to new threats
Data and application protection
What exactly does this mean? What does it do? How is it implemented? Which products are needed to achieve the benefits of a Cisco SecureX Architecture?
These are just some of the questions we hear when consulting with people tasked with the protection of an organization’s information and providing appropriate security controls around current and/or new business initiatives.
Around business initiatives, joint research conducted by IBM developerWorks and the IBM Center for Applied Insights has reported four information technologies (mobile technology, business analytics, cloud computing, and social business) that are rapidly reshaping how enterprises operate. This joint research has been published in the 2012 IBM Tech Trends report and security has been identified as a threat to innovation and a top barrier to adopting business-critical technology.
“Mobile technology, business analytics, cloud computing, and social business are rewriting strategic playbooks across industries. In these spaces, new business possibilities are emerging faster than many organizations can act on them, with significant IT skill shortages and security concerns threatening progress. Yet, some companies are equipped to innovate at the front edges of these fast-moving technology trends and drive strategic advantages for their organizations.” -- 2012 IBM Tech Trends pdf
With that introduction of how security relates to business innovation, the aim of this blog post is to raise awareness that the Cisco SecureX architecture is beyond marketing and that in the background, Cisco and our partners are developing products, technology, services, and learning curricula—to help practitioners deploy cyber security architectures using models such as the Cisco Security Control Framework—so that a security architectural blueprint can be in place to allow organizations to have the confidence and agility to accelerate business transformation.