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State of the Union Challenge: Teaching Skills that Lead to Jobs

As I listened to the State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening, my ears perked up when I heard these words “Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job”. While I agree that this is” inexcusable”, I couldn’t help but feel gratified that President Obama called attention to our deficiency in 21st century skills-based education.

Although unemployment continues to be a challenge in this country, the demand for technology specialists is on the rise. Projected to grow by 10, 20 and in some cases 50 percent in coming years, jobs like Computer Support Specialist, Analysts and Systems Administrators are in high demand. Read More »

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Want a Network ‘Recipe’ to Increase Partner Quarterly Bookings?

January 26, 2012 at 9:30 am PST

Photo credit: foodily.comIf I were cooking lobster risotto for the first time, I probably wouldn’t just leave it to trial and error, hoping for the best. I would go to my favorite website for recipes that had already been tested by fellow home chefs. It’d either be that or order pizza again.

So, when it comes to networks, wouldn’t it be great if there was a similar resource—a place you could tap into to find successful “recipes” for building your customer’s network without having to start from scratch?

Well, there actually is a resource available to Cisco partners and it’s free! Cisco SMART Designs is a portfolio of validated and replicable network solutions, optimized to meet the needs of Cisco partners serving small business customers with up to 250 users. By removing the guesswork from building the right network for your customers, you can make your operation more profitable and help protect your customers’ investments.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to tap into this free resource, how about this fun fact?

Select partners worldwide using Cisco SMART Designs have 52 percent higher average quarterly bookings than those who don’t.

Ready to get started? Read on to learn more about the benefits of using Cisco SMART Designs and how to access this free resource today. Read More »

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Ask Cisco: How do I improve collaboration among multiple offices and remote users?

Q: My company has been trying to figure out how we can do better at connecting our remote users to our main site, as well as making our other location seem like it’s right next door. Any advice?

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Cisco Live UK 2012 – Industrial Strength Solutions for Manufacturing, CPG,Transportation and Energy

January 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm PST

As many of you know Cisco Live UK will soon be held at the end of this month – that’s from January 30th through Feb 3rd in London. Cisco Live is actually Cisco’s flagship event of the year for customers and partners and offers an unparalleled combination of education and training on the latest technologies and industry trends.

This year, we’re going to have a major presence with our very own Cisco Industrial Solutions Booth. Targeted at manufacturers in industries like Automotive, Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods,  as well as organizations in Transportation, Oil and Gas, and utilities like Water and Waste Water Treatment, the booth will showcase our capabilities in industrial networking, wireless networks, collaboration and more.

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Importance of the Network in Cloud Computing

On several recent occasions, in discussions with my customers, colleagues and industry peers, the importance of the network, as it relates to Cloud Computing and Data Centers, has been challenged. I am surprised that such a topic is even up for debate ! In my opinion, the underlying network infrastructure of any given Data Center is the architectural foundation for service and application strategy; be it Cloud Computing, Virtual Desktops, Video or even Hosting services.

If we look at a broader scale, no one can argue the complexity and at the same time, the intelligence the modern Internet brings to it’s consumers. How would enterprises and service providers alike, offer converged services like voice, video and data without any network intelligence ? Not to mention, security, application scaling and other managed services. Networks are no longer the traditional packet switching platforms, it’s the heart and soul of intelligence which integrates with other intelligent applications to differentiate the multitude of services that can be enabled over a common medium. As application requirements are increasingly becoming complex, the need for equally smarter transport is critical.

Virtualization is bringing a whole new perspective to this discussion. It’s true you can account for network, compute and storage virtualization within a given solution; virtual switch, virtual machine, virtual firewall, virtual load-balancer, etc.; but how far can we abstract the network ? One can absolutely argue, Cloud Computing is server/compute resource centric, however for most enterprises, when you combine this compute structure with application workload requirements from business, technology and operations perspectives, suddenly the foundation architecture plays a crucial role -- i.e. the network and it’s interconnects.

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