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American Red Cross Still Helping Hurricane Sandy Survivors

January 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm PST

For more than a decade, Cisco and the Cisco Foundation have supported the American Red Cross (ARC) and its efforts to help people displaced by natural disasters around the world.

This support has taken many forms -- from matching employee giving campaigns to corporate donations to product donations, such as Cisco data and voice communications equipment and volunteers that enabled ARC’s Hurricane Katrina response in 2005. Many of our employees volunteer with ARC, and some have been trained to work at relief shelters through the organization’s Ready When the Time Comes program.

Three months ago, the Red Cross faced one of its largest and most geographically dispersed deployments ever when Hurricane Sandy marched through the Caribbean and up the East Coast, sweeping away homes, destroying entire neighborhoods, and uprooting thousands of families.

ARC_deliverAmerican Red Cross volunteers Jessica Elam and Gilbert Abney distribute hot meals in heavily devastated Staten Island, New York on November 6, 2012. Photo: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross

Within hours of Sandy’s landfall in New Jersey, Cisco committed a corporate contribution of US$1 million to the American Red Cross to be used for direct aid to the affected areas.

In addition, the Cisco Foundation set up the Hurricane Sandy Relief Campaign and pledged to match up to $2 million in Cisco employee contributions to the campaign, matching $2 for each $1 contributed by employees.

As of January 2, the campaign has raised more than $464,000 for the ARC’s U.S. Disaster Relief and International Response Funds through employee contributions and Cisco Foundation matching -- along with an additional $145,000 for 14 other disaster and hunger relief agencies.

Our strategic and ongoing partnership with the American Red Cross is part of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts to meet critical human needs -- such as access to food, potable water, shelter, and disaster relief, as well as long-term economic opportunities.

“The American Red Cross is at the forefront of the world’s most devastating disasters,” said Peter Tavernise, executive director of the Cisco Foundation. “Many of us are frustrated and want to help when we see the devastation on television. Our partnership with and support of the Red Cross gives our employees a way to contribute in a meaningful way to people who are affected by these catastrophes.”

ARC_foodFatima Velasquez, a volunteer for the American Red Cross, provides snacks to Jennifer Rivera from a Red Cross mobile feeding unit in the Rockaways, New York, on January 2, 2013. Photo: American Red Cross/Virginia Hart

Three months after Hurricane Sandy, approximately 1,000 Red Cross workers are still on the ground. To date the Red Cross has distributed more than 6.7 million relief and clean-up items and provided more than 9.6 million meals and snacks. ARC is still serving thousands of meals each day in New York and working with partners to distribute thousands of additional food packages every day.

Please read more about the American Red Cross Sandy relief efforts and donate today.

WEBINAR: Enabling High-Performance Trading Alpha: Beyond Low Latency to Sustained Performance

As global financial markets become more interconnected and diverse, trading environments have become increasingly dynamic and responsive to real-time conditions. It is important for participants across the trading value chain to capture new business opportunities while reducing risks associated with today’s financial markets.

Register today for our complimentary 60-minute Webinar on, Jan. 22 at 11:30 a.m. ET, hosted by Wall Street & Technology, to discover how a High-Performance Trading Fabric architecture and new innovations like Cisco Algo-Boost and the Cisco Nexus 3548 can help financial firms address challenges and capture opportunities in today’s financial markets.

Join our roundtable executives: Alex Tabb, Partner, TABB Group; Paul Jameson, Senior Director, Financial Services, Cisco; and Dave Malik, Senior Director, Solutions Architecture, Cisco Advanced Services.

The roundtable will discuss: Read More »

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Partners: Boost Your Success in 2013 by Increasing Your ‘Hiring Power’

January 10, 2013 at 8:17 am PST

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This is the second in the Cisco Partner Talent blog series helping partners attract, develop, and retain the right people with the right skills at the right time. This month’s blog post goes into detail about stage two of the Cisco Fit4Talent Employee Lifecycle: Attraction and Hiring.

An aging workforce and changes in required skillsets can lead to a staff shortage for Cisco partners. 

In fact, according to the McKinsey Global Institute’s 2012 World at Work study, developed countries will be short up to 85 million medium-skilled and highly skilled workers by 2020.

This means employing best practices for sourcing, attracting, and hiring top talent is more important than ever. And by following the Talent Attraction Lifecycle, you will exponentially increase your ability to address staffing needs in 2013 and beyond.

What is the Talent Attraction Lifecycle and how can it help you? Read More »

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Improve Decision-Making: Collaborate to Engage

January 10, 2013 at 5:26 am PST

This is the second of a four-part series. Part I introduced decision-driven collaboration. Upcoming posts will explore evaluation and execution.

Better decisions don’t necessarily come from the existence of better information. The information is usually somewhere in the organization, but there’s no benefit to the decision-making process unless people actually use it. Executives often don’t take full advantage of all the specialized knowledge that employees can contribute. Maybe they don’t know the information is there. Maybe they know it must be somewhere, but don’t know how to get it. Or, well, maybe they’re just not looking for it in the first place.

Improving the decision-making process comes as a result of evolving ideas around collaboration and by connecting people and empowering them to work together. Cisco IBSG calls this “Decision-Driven Collaboration” and outlines three core elements that build upon one another in the decision process:

  • Collaborate to Engage: Identify key contributors, solicit input, share ideas.
  • Collaborate to Evaluate: Shape the matter to be decided, consider viable alternatives.
  • Collaborate to Execute: Make a clear decision, align relevant parties, put it into practice.

Although the executives in an IBSG survey rated their own decision-making ability highly, the managers and individual contributors were (surprise!) not nearly as confident in the decisions handed to them to execute. Making critical strategic decisions without engaging the right people and information in your organization should be a candidate for a new definition of risk in the next edition of the dictionary, followed closely by leaping out of an airplane minus a parachute.

Just ask Borders. Borders missed the online retailing boat in a big way. How big? Read More »

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The Year Ahead in the Classroom – Wherever the Classroom May Be…

January 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm PST

After a well deserved break and perhaps a bit of indulgence over the holidays, we are now back to the books and looking ahead at what 2013 has in store for education.

Last year we watched as school districts embraced mobile learning and universities relied more on collaborative technologies. Those that took the leap and accepted new tools and educational models were rewarded with improved student performance, accelerated partnerships and more.

With a landmark year for education technology behind us, now is the time to harness the momentum and drive innovation forward in 2013. So as we slither into the year of the snake, here are four high impact trends worth watching:

  • Perfecting the Flipped Classroom:  As more teachers do the flip, they will reconsider how to empower students and hone in on the most effective ways to use class time. In 2013, we’ll be sure to see more innovation around this technology-enabled classroom model.
  • Transition to hybrid learning: With online courses on the rise, educators will experiment how to best integrate them with traditional teaching methods. This year schools and universities will hone in on the most effective formats for learning in the digital age.
  • Read More »

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