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The Internet of Everything in Measurable Business Outcomes

At Cisco we often talk about the Internet of Everything and how there is an opportunity to create a whole new world where everything in the world is connected, interacting and sharing data.

At a recent event in Sydney, Australia we discussed this phenomenon with a particular focus on the real business benefits and outcomes that are obtainable today with the technology that currently exists, as well as the potential opportunities further down the track as the concept of the Internet of Everything matures.

Ken Boal, Managing Director for Cisco ANZ, opened the discussions by talking about the “Value at Stake” for the Internet of Everything in Australia. The Value at Stake refers to the revenue that is “up for grabs” for business investing in the Internet of Everything. In Australia, the Value at Stake is $74.4 billion dollars. This equates to around 5% of Australia’s current GDP and therefore an important opportunity for Australian businesses.

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It’s About Retail, Not Technology

Hello, and welcome to my inaugural blog! I am happy to be here sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, because I have to tell you: I have the coolest job in the world.

I’ve spent my entire life in retail, starting as a part-time worker while in school and moving up through merchandising and operations to regional vice president at Shopko Stores, Inc., overseeing the work of 12,000 employees. Over more than 20 years, I fell in love with the whole process of retail. When I was invited to work in the retail technology sector, it seemed a natural extension of the work I was already doing. Relatively few tech companies build their solutions around store needs – too often, they tend to focus on technology for technology’s sake. In fact, sometimes retailers do the same thing! I saw an opportunity to impact how vendors – and retailers – think about technologies that truly add value to the business.

Today’s trend toward mobility, or BYOD, is a great example. I’m sorry if this shocks you, but mobility without a strategy has no value at all for the retailer! I have seen stores invest in Wi-Fi networks while continuing to build cell-based apps – this despite Wi-Fi’s higher speeds, more flexible capabilities, and ability to improve the shopping and selling experience. They don’t want employees surfing the Internet, so they block employee access to the network and information that could help improve sales. They understand that shoppers are “showrooming” – sharing opinions and comparison shopping online from the store – but do not leverage the same behavior to promote products and analyze customer trends.

Mobility is a vehicle for improving the business, an extension of overall strategy. (You might like to check out this Lippis Report on “Monetizing Public Wi-Fi in Business to Consumer Relationships.”) I work with companies to help determine how to use such vehicles to define the customer experience, collect and manage large masses of data, and make store operations more efficient. I also help design the Cisco solutions that solve these retail business problems.

Join me on a journey to learn how stores are approaching, managing, and dealing with today’s innovations and how they are meeting customer needs. We’ll talk about how stores are using today’s systems, the most recent trends, the latest research, and how retailers are dealing with this very rapidly changing industry. Please get back to me with your own stories and questions in the comments section.

One more word: I love retail trivia! Comment if you know the answer to this question: What retailer in the country has the highest amount of sales per square foot of its stores?

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Storage Distance by Protocol, Part IV: Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)

In the past articles we’ve talked about doing distance extension for SANs, focusing first on building the physical elements that are required, before moving on to how Fibre Channel can be extended using buffer credits.

In this article we’re going to talk about how it is best to think of extending Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) SANs (finally!).

I know, I know, I start off this whole shebang by saying I’m going to talk about FCoE and distance, and it takes me this long to get to it? Sheesh! Read More »

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#ExecInsights: Unlocking the Next Wave of Innovation and Job Creation

Today, Cisco unveiled what the Wall Street Journal is calling a new “mega chip” to keep up with growing networking communications demands.  This comes on the heels of a new Cisco Smart+Connected City Wi-Fi solution that provides a blueprint for urban environments to deploy pervasive connectivity to their citizens, government agencies and business.

These developments are part of the next wave of innovation:  the Internet of Everything.  With less than 1 percent of all devices currently connected, we now have the opportunity to IP-enable the remaining 99 percent and transform industries and lives in ways we have never before imagined.

This presents an unprecedented opportunity for American businesses and the U.S. technology industry. In fact, a new paper out today by the Progressive Policy Institute’s Michael Mandel looks at how the Internet of Everything can jumpstart the slugging economy.

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: What Are We Doing About the #1 Task on

When I think about what we’ve done recently to improve our customers’ experience with Cisco, the Cisco Support Website immediately jumps to mind. The web team actively consults customers and seeks new ways to improve the web support experience. I’ve invited Glenn Schleicher, who leads the team, to discuss our software download initiative and the impact our customers are seeing.

Glenn Schleicher By Guest Contributor Glenn Schleicher

As we try to fully appreciate how online pain points affect you, stories like this one really stick with us.

The “Overnight Wiring Closet” Remedy

Imagine that you are Cisco partner “Bill,” who shared this method for getting large UCS software images:  At the end of his day Bill would leave his laptop in his last customer’s wiring closet, start the download for the image he’d need the next day, hope it wouldn’t be interrupted overnight, and then retrieve the laptop in the morning before traveling to his next customer’s network upgrade.

Surely Cisco can do better than that in distributing software for its product lines. Read More »

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