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City of Melrose, Mass. Takes to the Cloud

Melrose wanted to maintain an active, innovative network that was efficient and made sense from a financial standpoint. The city chose the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) with FlexPod as the underlying technology to provide IT services to 18 sites within the city, including a variety of agencies such as the public school system and the police and fire departments.

The Melrose school district, for example, has about 1,300 computers spread across seven buildings, which requires a lot of networking infrastructure and the capability to meet many, diverse demands. The school system in Melrose is a particular source of pride for the city. In fact, Melrose High School was recently ranked among the 1,000 best public high schools in the nation by Newsweek. Thus, it was important for the city to meet expectations and future demand with technology that would help continue the tradition of educational excellence.

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CIO Journey at Universal Parks and Resorts Orlando

On Wednesday, at Cisco Live!, Doug Merritt, our senior vice president for Products, Solutions, and Industry Marketing had an engaging conversation with the CIO of Universal Parks and Resorts, Bill McCorey, to get his thoughts on managing an IT organization that services millions of guests everyday.
Doug Merritt in conversation with Bill McCorey, CIO of Universal

Doug Merritt in conversation with Bill McCorey, CIO of Universal

When Bill started at Universal he looked to increase the IT organization productivity through team work and setting priorities, so Bill pulled from a life-changing experience where his life literally hung in the balance.

Early in the morning when climbing Mt. Rainier, his team faced a challenge --  a large deep crevasse.  The climbing lead said, “Bill you are going to need to jump.”  Bill took a deep breath and leaped to the other side.  Missing his target by inches, he fell 20 feet down into the crevass until his rope team could hold the line.  While he dangled over the 10,000 foot drop for 20 minutes, his rope team scrambled to pull him back up to safety.  When they finally got Bill out of the void, the rope lead informed Bill that they needed to turn around: “okay we now need to jump back over the same crevasse.”  This time Bill made the target and the team headed back to base camp, where his wife bought the whole team a beer!

Bill learned a lot about relying on a team, taking risks, and setting priorities.  He used this experience to transform the IT team that delivers technology services to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure parks and hotels, Hard Rock HotelLoews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando Florida to deliver new services that enhance the guest experience and hopefully help encourage them to extend their stay.

Bill credits teamwork for the success of the IT organization, which now completes 85% of projects every year.  His team works closely with business and creative teams at Universal Studios to deliver exciting rides, like the new 3D Transformers attraction that opened last week, to provide an experience that exceeds their guest expectations.

Crevasse on Mt. Ranier

Crevasse on Mt. Ranier

As the world becomes more connected, Bill also talked about the challenges his IT teams has to keep up with guest to deliver new kinds of experiences that make their time at the parks and in their hotels a more enjoyable…and drives profits for their investors.  Bill is all about delivering a positive journey for his customers.  From purchasing in their retail stores, eating in the restaurants, sleeping in their hotels, to enjoying the coolest rides in Orlando, Bill’s team is always striving for the new technology that will deliver the excellent experience.

We all saw the fruits of the Universal IT team’s behind-the-scenes teamwork to give us a really exciting experience at the #CLUS Customer Appreciation Event on Wednesday night at Universal as we cheered on Journey.

If You Build It…

Children's Hospital Central California_logo

Most of us are familiar with the famous lines novice farmer Ray Kinsella heard whispered in his cornfield: “If you build it, he will come.” Not unlike the baseball diamond that appeared in the middle of Dyersville, Iowa, in the film Field of Dreams is the state-of-the-art children’s hospital in Madera County, California.

Children's Hospital Central California

Children’s Hospital Central California (CHCC) began as the vision of five civic-minded women who saw the need for a dedicated pediatric hospital in Central California. Nearly 60 years later, CHCC has grown to a 348-bed, nationally respected regional pediatric medical center on a 50-acre campus with a medical staff of more than 525 physicians. Built on land donated by a  farmer, CHCC is humbly referred to as the “Field of Dreams” by the Cisco account team. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – June 28, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.

Off The Top

Cisco Live took place in Orlando this week, bringing about 22,000 in-person participants and more than 250,000 virtually. A lot of what happens at this event has direct bearing on Cisco partners, so check out our recap of Cisco Live news, presentations, messages and on-the-scene activities.

The Cisco Powered team was also onsite at Cisco Live, showcasing the work of our important Cloud and Managed Services partners throughout the week. Stay up to date on what they’re working on through their Twitter handle (@Cisco_Powered) and Facebook page.

You can also continue to access Cisco Live content via Cisco Live 365. And make sure you check out the index of Cisco Live-related social media content from across the various Cisco teams.

Read on for all of this week’s hot topics.  Read More »

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Keeping It Simple

The last thing people in the collaboration space want is yet another technology, which is why one of my top priorities is simplification.

Think about it.  Do you want more stuff coming at you every day?  I’m guessing the answer is no.  What you want is for somebody to bring all the collaboration tools together, so that they work better.  Simplification goes hand in hand with another of my priorities and that’s user experience.  People don’t want to have to pore over manuals, they just want  devices and services that are easy to use.

The good news is that Cisco is already a leader in user experience and will only get stronger.

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