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Welcome Kevin Sullivan, Cisco IBSG, to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

Please Welcome Kevin Sullivan to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

It is with great pleasure I introduce Kevin Sullivan as our latest Manufaturing Industry Thought Leader. Kevin has a distinguished career at Cisco and is currently a director in the Industrial & Diversified Manufacturing Practice of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG).

In this role, Kevin helps leading manufacturers become more competitive by transforming their businesses through leading processes and innovative technology enablement. His areas of expertise include business strategies for customer management, product innovation, supply chain, and financial management.

Kevin has led transformation initiatives for numerous Fortune 500 manufacturing and retail companies, and has coached CXOs on adapting new technology to achieve strategic business goals. Read More »

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Cisco gains more business value by migrating Web 2.0 tools to the Cisco Quad platform

We recently published a new case study that describes how Cisco IT has evolved its internal collaboration and social sharing site, called the Integrated Workforce Experience (IWE). With IWE and the Cisco® Quad™ platform, Cisco IT provides the types of social networking tools—blogs, microblog messages, and informal videos—that employees use outside of work. In IWE, those tools are optimized for internal use within Cisco and are implemented in a robust, scalable, and secure way. Originally created by Cisco IT on an open-source platform, IWE now runs on the Cisco Quad platform. The platform migration required integrating the social sharing tools with minimal user disruption, preserving user documents, migrating different user data types appropriately, supporting application portals, and educating employees.
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Tap into the ‘Force’ to Drive Your Success in 2012

Have you heard the news? 3D versions of the Star Wars movies will begin rolling out in 2012. I know some sci-fi geeks…ah, friends…who can hardly wait.

Me, I prefer Force 3. I like to think of them as the living, breathing version of Star Wars. No Darth Vaders, no jittery C-3POs, but plenty of Luke Skywalkers—regular “heroes” intent on designing technology solutions with a relentless focus on meeting their customers’ business needs.

But what really grabs my attention in their video below is that Force 3 gets it, they truly do. As a thriving Cisco Master Partner, pushing products isn’t on their intergalactic radar— it’s not even within low-earth orbit.

So if it’s not selling gear, what’s Force 3’s strategy for success? Read More »

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Towards A More Participatory Culture: Enterprise Q&A (Part 1)

In October of 2011, AIIM (the Association for Information & Imaging Management, a non-profit research, community and educational association), published a survey-based report that examined social business and Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0) trends. I had the good fortune to hear about the results first-hand when I co-presented with AIIM’s President, John Mancini, on a social networking panel at the Gilbane Conference held in Boston last November. John summarized the work and results of the study. One of the more interesting data points and trending analysis I found intriguing was a growing interest in a class of social application AIIM refers to as “Enterprise Q&A”.  Historically, when people ask what the common application use case scenarios are for E2.0, the most frequently cited examples have been: expertise location, online communities, and ideation (innovation).

Why the growing interest in Q&A applications? Perhaps because it’s a pain point all of us – from front-line worker to senior executive – can relate to in our everyday work experience. All of us can recall situations when we’ve had a question about something and have not been able to find an answer through the information and contacts at our disposal. We ask our colleagues. We send out e-mails. We might try discussion forums, knowledge-base applications, and of course – search engines.

“The question acts as a ‘social object’ that can mobilize networks, enable people to take on informal social roles, and help create social capital between participants in these answer networks.”

However, even if we are fortunate enough to find the content, the information may not be presented in a fashion that addresses our need. Sometimes the “question” is not easily resolved by locating content. Often, what people are asking for (indirectly) when they pose a question is to have a conversation with someone to “make sense” out of that issue (in addition to the content if it’s relevant). Read More »

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Free Free Free Cisco UCS Development Free Free Free

The other day I was “making” breakfast for my daughter, as I poured the cereal from the box I noticed that the “toy” was the box. The box had a game board printed on it and you had to cut it out along with the game pieces and the die. The game instructions were printed inside the box, so I ended up with a whole bunch of cardboard snippets and the game.  She was so excited to play the game, so we played the game, it was an arduous journey but I stuck it out because that’s the kind of dad I am. When we finished playing, my daughter with her eight years of life experience remarked, “You just don’t get anything good for free anymore!”

Anymore?!! How many reference points could she have in her eight years?  Myself, being a little older, I have some more experience with “free”, and sadly I have to agree with her that the free you get today is not as good as the free you used to get, to the point where seeing the word free no longer excites me.

Well I have found some exceptions to that rule. As a developer for a couple decades now I have used many development tools and environments. Along the way either I or my employer had to pay for those tools, but now almost every development product I use is free and not cheesy cereal box game free but full featured with community support and add-ons to extend the capabilities of the product.  That’s the kind of free to get excited about.

Why get excited?  Well take for instance the Cisco UCS Manager; it has an XML API that is communicated with via XML documents in an HTTP post. Every tool I use to write applications that interface with the UCS Manager is free. That’s great you say, but you still need a UCS Manager and to get that you need a UCS Fabric Interconnect and you need chassis, blades, adaptors, memory, disks, etc. and you start to think things like “the UCS we just ordered isn’t here yet” or “the UCS systems we have are all production and we can’t test our scripts against them.”

Don’t despair because Cisco has released a UCS Emulator for the 1.4 and 2.0 versions of the UCS Manager firmware.  The UCS Platform Emulator (UCSPE) has significant capabilities to enable UCS Manager development, things like hardware configuration importing from a live system, exporting of a configuration and the ability to build an emulated UCS system like the one you just ordered. In addition to the emulation capabilities the UCSPE also includes the UCS Object Model documentation, example scripts, Visore (the object browser) and more. Don’t know what the Object Model is or concerned you need more information on the XML API, check out these docs.
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