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Can the IoE Revolutionize Alternative Medicine?

The other week I found myself chatting with a fellow healthcare (and Cisco) enthusiast on Twitter about alternative medicine and I experienced an Aha! moment – alternative medicine may soon have an entirely new face if it’s driven by consumer adoption of advanced (and in many cases, currently available) technologies.


Let me explain. I recently wrote a post about the true price of affordable healthcare, which focused on the innovative technologies that will help make healthcare more efficient overall by incorporating dynamic monitoring techniques as a means of prophylactic care. When I wrote that post, I didn’t realize I was actually describing a new age of alternative medicine!

When most of us think of alternative medicine (myself included), we initially associate it with traditional homeopathic remedies and elements from Eastern medicine like acupuncture and herbal therapies. Read More »

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Cisco and the Big Energy Dilemma

There was a point in time when classrooms had one, maybe two things to plug in – most likely an overhead projector . When teachers were done teaching for the day, it was powered down to make sure electricity was not wasted. Over the years, the number of devices needed per individual has exploded. From schools and hospitals to technology companies, the number of things that are plugged in has gone largely unaddressed and has ballooned into the last and largest unmanaged IT expense.

Visibility is key to addressing this issue. It’s unrealistic to expect individuals to power down their devices when not in use. At the same time, we’ve found that a single work place device is left powered on for an average of 8,000 hours over the course of its use but only actually utilized 25-50% of the time

In July 2013, Cisco announced the acquisition of JouleX – a leader in enterprise IT energy management for network-attached and data center assets and a key complementary component to Cisco’s energy portfolio via the EnergyWise offering. We saw that the market for energy management is a growing one, particularly with IT pushing 25-80% of enterprise energy consumption. This has been driven by everything from corporate citizenship and competitive pressures to increasingly regularly requirements and escalating energy prices around the globe.

This week, we held a press roundtable to provide an update following the acquisition and discuss what we’re working on moving forward. Joining us was Schneider Electric – one of our key technology partners in delivering a comprehensive energy solution. We also had two customers join us from the healthcare and education arenas, to discuss how they’ve become greener, more cost-efficient organizations through greater visibility into their energy consumption. Below is a recap of some the challenges they faced and how it was addressed.

Hammond School District Projects 30k in Annual Energy Savings

Mark Hennessee, the District Energy Manager for the Hammond School District (Indiana, K-12) discussed the energy challenge that his district faced. The classroom landscape now includes smart boards, student workstations, PC labs, and other devices. They need a way to handle all the devices across their network, without disrupting the education process. With a utility expenditure of more than $3.5 million annually and 24 facilities totaling over 3 million square feet (15 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 4 high schools), there was little insight into how much energy was being consumed on a daily basis.  The JouleX software discovered 1,800 devices were left powered on after hours during the week and 1,200 over the weekend. Working closely with IT and all relevant stakeholders, the level of visibility they ascertained led to policies to power devices down in an intuitive manner and in close consideration of teacher/student needs. The Hammond School district achieved impressive results – 35% less power and an annual projected savings of $31,500.

Hospital in the Netherlands Gains Deep Visibility Into Their IT Environment

Jan Pieter Evenhuis, IT Consultant of the Nij Smellinghe Hospital located in the the Northern Dutch town of Drachten was up against a challenging environment. By the very nature of being a hospital, the organization was operation 24 hours a day and it was difficult to manage how often individuals shut off their devices before leaving for the night. With JouleX, Nij gained 100% visibility into their IT environment across all areas of the organization. As a result, they were able to achieve a 30% reduction in their energy consumption. Unexpectedly, the process of implementing the technology raised a level of awareness amongst employees around the importance of energy management. Even though software was in place to power off their devices at night and turn them back on in the morning, they had the added bonus of shifting employee attitudes and behavior.

Leaving Money on the Table

When it comes to energy management, the un-realized savings are substantial. We’ve estimated that with greater visibility into their operations, companies and organizations can reduce energy costs by as much as 60%. This amounts to savings of $24.60 billion, enough to power the city of New York for 5 years! And all this goes beyond printers and computer screens – everything from ATMs to vending machines should be considered. In the Internet of Everything, connectivity will enable great things. Energy is an important next frontier and it’s high time to tackle the last unmanaged IT expense.

Summary What Moving to the Cloud Means for Healthcare Organizations

A lot of our data center customers are in the healthcare industry –  This topic is close to my heart, as I used to work in this field several years ago. Healthcare organization are facing specific challenges  in moving to the cloud, that Cisco and partners address carefully.

IT innovation and integration in healthcare is on the rise, causing a fundamental shift for healthcare organizations. As economic factors and government regulations begin to push more and more independent physician practices to the cloud, healthcare organizations now work with cloud service providers and share the responsibility to meet regulatory demands set forth in the recent package of HIPAA changes.  So what does this move to the cloud mean for healthcare organizations?

According to Kathy English, Global Senior Director for Cisco,

“As more healthcare professionals move to the cloud, IT organizations need to evaluate how to federate public cloud services with their private cloud efforts. This type of transformation will require organizations to look beyond just building a private cloud. They need to build and buy a secure, scalable, and reliable network that supports privacy, high availability, and mobility, all while meeting cost targets.”

It is clear that the new HIPAA regulations require a more shared responsibility between IT and service providers, but with a certified Cisco Powered cloud provider, healthcare organizations can be empowered to expand both their private and public cloud solutions.

Read the full What Moving to the Cloud Means for Healthcare Organizations blog post to learn more and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag, #CiscoCloud . We’d love to hear from you!


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Educause 2013: It’s All About Engagement

Educause 2013 brought together the country’s greatest minds in higher education to discuss the future of learning. We’ve come away from this year’s conference with a lot to think about – the role of mobile devices in the classroom, new technology implementations and turning the traditional classroom upside down. But throughout all of these different discussions, the common thread throughout the conference was engagement.

At the Cisco booth, we featured solutions that can help engage students through the use of video.  Cisco partner Vyopta demonstrated how Cisco® Lecture Vision and Vyopta vPublish, work together to manage the entire lecture-capture process, from recording content to managing media assets to streaming on demand. Read how San Jose State University is using this tool to deliver 51 next-generation learning spaces across campus.

Read More »

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Deep Dive: Mobility Services APIs (with Sample Code!)

Last week, my colleague Rajiv walked you through an overview of how our Mobility Services API now supports REST based APIs. As a developer for the Mobility Services Engine (MSE) team, I am very excited about this update because it means that it will be easier for developers to create apps using the MS-API, which hopefully means that more and more organizations will be able to take advantage of the location-based services and functionalities of the MSE. I’m going use this blog to walk you through some of the more technical aspects of the change.

The Basics

The REST API is now widely used in the field of API based web applications. The REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer. It is an architecture that is based on set of six rules, and APIs that support REST follow all those rules, making them RESTful.

Compared to SOAP, REST has better performance, scalability, simplicity, modifiability, visibility, portability, and reliability. For secured REST API transactions, HTTPS is recommended.

RESTful Mobility Services API

7.5 applications, including features from the Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution such as Browser Engage and CMX Analytics, are now supporting REST APIs in addition to the existing SOAP APIs previous releases (backward compatibility).

CMX utilizes the basic authentication scheme to authenticate each REST API request. It utilizes the Authorization header in the HTTP packet. The Authorization header is composed as follows:

– Username and password are combined into a string “username:password”.
– The resulting string literal is then encoded using Base64.
– The authorization method, a space and the string “Basic” is then put before the encoded string.

The API credentials can be accessed from Prime Infrastructure (PI), which manages CMX (page is located under Mobility Services > Specific MSE > System > Users).

As Rajiv mentioned last week, the Mobility Services REST APIs can be grouped in the following way:

–          MAP APIs

–          Real time location APIs

–          Location history APIs

–          Notification APIs

Let’s break them down with use cases to get a better picture of when you’d use which. Read More »

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