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Networking Academy Students Hone Skills at Cisco Live!

This blog was written with Jess Wells and originally appeared on the Executive Symposium at Cisco Live!

As the Cisco Executive Symposium, IT Management Program, and Cisco Live open their doors, I’m reminded that it takes a village, and working hard in the village here are students from the Cisco Networking Academy who – alongside Cisco engineers – are building the wireless network to support the event.

Anybody who’s met me knows I love young people: their confidence, their honesty, the world of potential in their eyes. During my annual meet-and-greet with the academy students at Cisco Live I’m inspired by stories of mothers who have raised their children and now chosen network administration as their new career; of former U.S. Marines who now excel in cyber defense; of an academy student who dreams of living in Japan; of former teachers; a winner of the Army Achievement Medal while part of the Chemical Defense Program who’s now applying his determination to network defense. Each story a testimony to the ability to reinvent yourself, to adapt to changes in the economy, to follow a dream.

Ten students competed with essays and video to be selected from across the United States and Canada to attend. There’s also a large group of students from local Orlando-area academies — like Polk State University, DeVry, and Valencia College — that are also working the event as interns. A total of 40 students and 4 instructors over the course of the week — a large presence, which demonstrates the faith we have in the competence of our students! Many of them also plan to take their Cisco certification while onsite.

Founded in 1997, the Cisco Networking Academy program — with 10,000 academies in 165 countries --now teaches the skills needed to build, design, and maintain networks to hundreds of thousands of students worldwide every year. And to me, each one contains an inspiring story. Hats off to the Networking Academy!

Innovation is Standard at Idaho Education Network

July 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm PST

For the last four or five years, I’ve watched as the Idaho Education Network (IEN) has implemented and reaped the benefits from their distance education program and use of video conferencing, or telepresence. To this day, they continue to improve on success, and during a session at ISTE 2013 last week, Brady Kraft and his team once again illustrated how they consistently stay on top of their game.

Brady Kraft, IEN, presents at ISTE 2013

Brady Kraft, IEN’s Technical Director, presents at ISTE 2013

IEN is a statewide network that connects every school in the state, including higher education institutions, Internet2, private and public training providers, and first responder training organizations.

One of their mandated goals is to provide equal access to a quality education for all citizens and they’re utilizing technology to achieve that goal. As the 7th  most rural state in the nation, half of the counties in Idaho have less than 10 people per square mile, and 75% of Idaho’s schools have < 600 students. These schools havenot been able to offer a full curriculumdue to many factors, including availability of qualified teachers and budgetary restraints. Read More »

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A Healthy Potential

Virtacore, a leading cloud services provider, aims to help clients shift to the cloud. But the company was aware that in order to help others, it first needed to help itself—which meant updating its own infrastructure to provide the best IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS)  to customers.

By leveraging innovative technology from Cisco, like the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), based on Intel® Xeon® processors, Cisco Nexus Switches, and Cisco Catalyst Switches, Virtacore is now able to better leverage its internal IT to perform faster, more reliably, and on a larger scale. And, in turn, the company gained the ability to provide more cost effective, higher-standard services externally.

Reducing deployment from six weeks to just a few hours, providing a single-pane-of-glass management, and ensuring improved performance are a few of the benefits that have confirmed the worth of implementing new technology and rebuilding the IT environment.

Read the full article and learn just what Virtacore did to unleash their IT potential – and how they can continue to do so in the future.

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Cisco Social Media Training Opportunities for Partners

July 1, 2013 at 10:50 am PST

Social media now makes up more than 20 percent of all time spent online, and it’s easier than ever to see the value it can have for businesses, brands, and even personal reputations. According to a Nielsen survey, 65 percent of social media users surveyed use social activities to learn more information about brands, products and services as they’re making buying decisions. On top of that, increased adoption of mobile devices including tablets and smartphones provide the means for users to connect anywhere, at any time, meaning social media interactions can also happen anywhere, at any time.

For businesses, it can be a huge challenge to get everyone within an organization who will be participating in the social stream up-to-speed on policies, best practices, and integrated strategies, from how and what to blog about to social media’s role in marketing campaigns. To help meet this challenge, Cisco Social Media Training offers on-demand courses and one-on-one team consulting to help partners realize and implement the benefits of social media in your organizations.

Cisco offers two complementary training options for Cisco partners:  Read More »

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Integrated Collaboration Highlights and Updates from InfoComm 2013

What a great reception at InfoComm 2013! We had the opportunity to share with customers the innovations we are driving around conferencing to deliver better scale, quality and interoperability.  They are excited about what we are doing to make conferencing more affordable, while at the same time maintaining the high quality experience that they expect from Cisco.

It was fantastic to see such a high level of interest in our new pervasive conferencing announcements.  Here are a few highlights of what we demonstrated at the show:

  • Further increases in scale, enabling greater efficiencies and affordability – we now support up to 96 video systems in a single meeting and virtually unlimited participants through WebEx enabled TelePresence.
  • Simplified solution choice with a broader range of deployment options – now included is  virtualized software, and the new compact Multiparty 310 and Multiparty 320 appliance platforms.
  • Entry level packages for new customers – customers can now deploy a compact appliance solution, and start from one screen license.
  • Increased interoperability – we now provide support for interworking with H.264 SVC clients. Read More »

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