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Charles Clarke and Bob Geldof got the 2013 Education World Forum off to a Cracking Start

The Education World Forum (EWF) is off to a cracking start.

Charles Clarke, former UK Secretary of State for Education and founder of the EWF, brought his huge experience of and commitment to turning political vision in to practical action, challenging the delegates to create the conditions that can transform education systems – forging consensus, building leadership, driving change. Education leaders everywhere have a huge responsibility for ensuring that they build opportunities for all, not just a few. Because that is both right and necessary to compete in the modern world.

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Reshaping the Manufacturing Industry Perception to Attract the Next Generation

January 28, 2013 at 7:44 am PST

In a time when the manufacturing industry is in dire need of new employees as more and more baby boomers move to retire, I find it interesting that more than 50 percent of 2011 college graduates are either jobless or underemployed (AP Report). To me the numbers don’t add up. Sure, at first glance, it’s easy to blame the poor economy for the unemployment rate, but try considering reasons beyond that. What are the real reasons many college graduates are unemployed? I don’t necessarily think it’s because there aren’t jobs, because in the manufacturing industry, there are plenty. Some have estimated there are hundreds of thousands of jobs that are going unfilled in manufacturing in the US alone; jobs that are good-paying and that can be the foundation and means for someone to attain their “American Dream”.

As I reflect on this information, a couple of things come to mind. Kids growing up today are expected to go to college and graduate. This is great, but over the past few years, we have seen more and more students going to college without a well thought out career in mind. They all have aspirations to be “successful” and have a “dream job” once they graduate, but many students are never really able to untangle what that dream job looks like. This can lead to four or more years of education along with college debt without a clear career path.  Read More »

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Connecting the Customer Experience Through Social #CiscoListens

January 28, 2013 at 6:50 am PST

Integrating Social Media Channels into Existing CRM Systems and Processes

The year is 2024, and you just walked into a department store to return a pair of jeans. As you enter the store, the near field communication (NFC) chip in your smartphone tells the store who you are because you have enabled the privacy settings to do so. The store knows you’re an active fan on Facebook. You’re even classified as one of their ambassadors. You’ve been identified as a frustrated customer after posting a comment on the company’s Wall about your brand new jeans being defective. One of the sales representatives receives an alert message that you’ve arrived, and she’s waiting for you in the jean section, holding a new pair of the same jeans, in your size, ready to make an exchange. The NFC chip in your phone has already confirmed your identity, reducing the need to show a receipt, credit card, or drivers license. You’re out the door with a new pair of jeans faster than you’re able to post a raving review on their Facebook wall, reclassifying you as an advocate in their CRM system.

“They replaced my busted jeans without even asking a question!”

OK, the year is not 2024, Cisco doesn’t sell jeans, and I’ve only been able to use NFC once in the year I’ve had it on my smartphone. But haven’t you wished that the company you just called already knew the past phone, email, even Facebook conversations you’ve had with them so that you didn’t need to explain yourself to them again and again? Isn’t your time valuable, shouldn’t all of their systems talk to each other to create a better, not worse experience for you? Read More »

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Ask the Data Center Security Expert: Context-Aware and Adaptive Strategies for an Agile Data Center

At Cisco Live London, one of my data center theater presentations will focus on the benefits of a context-aware and adaptive security strategy. This approach helps accelerate the adoption of virtualization and cloud, which traditional static security models often inhibit. Context-based approaches factor in identity, application, location, device, and time along additional security intelligence such as real-time global threat feeds for more accurate security access decisions.

Neil MacDonald, vice president, distinguished analyst, and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research has been advocating the benefits of a context-based approach now for some years as outlined in his Gartner blog. Not only does he say that by 2015, 90 percent of enterprise security solutions will be context-aware but in cloud computing environments where IT increasingly doesn’t own key IT stack elements, having additional context at the point of security decision leads to better decisions with risk prioritization and business factors accounted for. Neil MacDonald also co-authored a report, “Emerging Technology Analysis: Cloud-based Reputation Services,” which highlights the value of cloud-based threat intelligence in enabling secure cloud adoption.

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Message size: big or small?

January 28, 2013 at 6:15 am PST

It’s the eternal question: should I send lots and lots of small messages, or should I glump multiple small messages into a single, bigger message?

Unfortunately, the answer is: it depends.  There’s a lot of factors in play.

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