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Cisco Supports First U.S. Based Smart Work Center, 1871 in Chicago

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced at a press conference on Wednesday that 1871, a new downtown Chicago hub for tech startups will open its doors on May 2nd. The new Smart Work Center (SWC), supported by Cisco and partners CDW, Comcast and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, is being designed to promote entrepreneurship, collaboration and greater technology innovation throughout the city.

According to Gov. Quinn, more than 120 digital start-ups were launched in Chicago last year – a 50% increase year-over-year. For many of these companies, the ability to afford technologically-equipped office space is impossible. With 1871, a 50,000 square foot open floor plan in the Chicago Merchandise Mart that is being completely outfitted with a Cisco infrastructure and other solutions, like Cisco Unified Communications and TelePresence, Chicago-based digital start-ups will now have flexible work space options. They will be will be able to rent desks on a month-to-month basis and will have the unique ability to engage a broad workgroup of other entrepreneurs, spawning a new paradigm for how work gets done and how innovation happens.

Gov. Quinn Tours 1871 Smart Work Center in Chicago. From left to right: Illinois Gov. Quinn; Eric Severinghaus, CEO of SimpleRelevance; Jill Billhorn, vice president, small business, CDW; Cliff Thomas, managing director, Global Enterprise Theater, Cisco; Jeff Buzzelli, vice president, business services, Comcast; Matt Summy, president and CEO, Illinois Science and Technology Coalition

Since 2008, Cisco has launched successful SWC programs in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Korea, and is working to develop a framework that can be replicated by other cities around the world. Today there are more than 100 smart work centers in the Netherlands, and South Korea has publicly stated its commitment to deploying 450 smart work centers by 2015 as part of the National Smart Work Strategy announced by the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in July 2010. These projects are transforming urban life, and making it possible to design and manage cities in radically different ways.

According to the Kaufmann Foundation, young firms (defined as one to five years old) account for roughly two-thirds of job creation in the U.S. Through projects like 1871, Cisco and its partners are fostering innovation and nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs that will help drive greater economic growth.

1871 was the year Chicago re-built itself after the great fire, becoming the inspirational city it remains today. The new downtown Smart Work Center (1871) is aptly named, as it will bring a renewed spirit of innovation to the city and far beyond.

See you in Melbourne, mate!

The Enterprise Video team is on the move again, this time to Cisco Live Melbourne!

Cisco Live Melbourne runs March 20-23 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

You can catch Enterprise Video demos in multiple areas of the World of Solutions.

For starters, check out the main Cisco area will feature the latest in Cisco Digital Signage, including signs with touch interactivity, as well as kiosk-based signs with endless aisle applications.

Next, head over to the Collaboration area, which features the latest in integration across our video content solution with new ways to capture, transform and share video. Be sure to stop by this demo following Rob Lloyd’s keynote, as we will be “pulsing” it just like we did for Cisco Live London!

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Hello, IP&TV World Forum! We’re in MR1, Gallery Level

It’s springtime in London (or near enough), which must mean it’s time again for the IP&TV World Forum. Here’s a handful of reasons why you should come by and see us this week!

1. Strong coffee that is free and plentiful. Enough said.

2. To check out a (deployed) way of wiring homes that aren’t wired. Last year, AT&T launched its “Free Your TV” offering in its U.S. footprint – an instantly popular product, because it lets consumers place their HDTV screens wherever they want – regardless of whether there’s a coaxial outlet nearby. If getting to signal to usual or unusual places in your house is on your wish list, come by.  We’ll fill you in on how the AT&T deployment is going (hint: really, really well).  Check out the AT&T ad here:

And while you’re in the stand, do check out our Videoscape demonstrations – Lots of cool new developments to see!. And if that’s not enough, ask us about progress to date with recent Videoscape newsmakers TELUS, Rogers, and Numericable. Read More »

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Choosing the right collaboration device is like choosing the right car

Many things need to be taken into consideration when choosing a collaboration endpoint technology:  what’s the experience you want to create, how you plan to use it, what environment must it accommodate? The analogy I like to use is “it’s like shopping for a car.” There are many considerations to be made when buying a car:  It must meet your lifestyle, your transportation needs, the number of passengers and type of cargo you intend to carry.

A single person is more likely to choose a different type of car than people with families. Active people may choose an SUV to carry  all their sporting equipment, or for the adventures they take on rugged terrain. This thought process also comes into play when choosing a collaboration solution. The ultimate goal is to have the right communications tool for the right task.

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Five Key Questions for Your Wireless Device Usage Policy

Protect your small business from liability, security risk, and noncompliance by creating a few simple rules for employees and their smartphones

Take a poll of your employees. How many of them carry a smartphone in their pockets? How many are using them—or want to use them—to read and send work emails, text with colleagues, and even access cloud-based business applications?  Because so many people now use these remarkable handheld computers to get so much done, small companies are being forced to figure out how they fit into their networks. And that means developing a usage policy for wireless handheld devices that your employees use for work.

The very first element your policy should cover is whether or not you allow employees to connect to your business network with their personal devices, like smartphones and tablets. If you want to let them check their work email, use your cloud-based apps, and use your other productivity tools on their devices, then you’ll need to figure out the detailed specifics of what data and applications will be allowed on those devices—and how they can be used when connected and not connected to your network.

A wireless device usage policy is similar to an acceptable use policy (AUP) for your network. This post can help you write an AUP for your small business.

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