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An Internet of Everything Startup Spotlight: Alex Hawkinson, Founder & CEO, SmartThings

Last month I kicked off a new series focusing on companies and start-ups that are helping to move the Internet of Everything (IoE) forward. Today, I am excited to share some insights from Alex Hawkinson, founder of SmartThings, a platform for automating connected objects.

Alex shares an interesting perspective with us about the value of increased connections and how creating an open, low-cost way to automate our lives is key to achieving the full benefit of the Internet of Everything. Here’s a look at how Alex and SmartThings are pioneering the growth of IoE.

AHawkinsonSmartThings is garnering a lot of buzz in the industry for adding intelligence to everyday objects to achieve home and office automation. In which ways is SmartThings leading the way by connecting the previously unconnected?

The dream of the Jetsons-style house has long been just that – a dream. Different smart devices have come to market but, generally speaking, they’ve been hard to buy, set up and use. With SmartThings we set out to create a single platform and single app interface from which you can control all of the connected objects in your life. When you purchase a SmartThings kit, you can connect pieces of your home in minutes once you plug in the hub and download the app. You can mix and match third-party devices with those created by SmartThings to build the connected space that makes the most sense for you. SmartThings is simple enough that the average smartphone user can bring a connected world to life, but sophisticated enough that an inventor can create completely new devices and applications to custom fit his or her needs.

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Perceptions and Benefits of Employers and Users in UC&C

October 22, 2013 at 8:44 am PST

This is the fourth post in a series from Dimension Data and Cisco Channels looking at user adoption and integration of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Findings stem from Dimension Data’s 2013 Global UC&C Survey, developed with ICT researcher Ovum and featuring responses from more than 2,700 participants in 18 countries across 20 vertical industries.

In a previous blog post based on this research, we heard about evidence that the implementation of some technologies is no longer the end goal in UC&C but have become a ‘ticket to the game’. In this most recent blog, Nagi Kasinadhuni, general manager converged communications and customer interaction solutions, has expanded on those ideas with his opinion on where this will lead clients in the future.

According to Kasinadhuni, when studying the UC&C study closely, some interesting nuances can be seen. In general, his opinion is that the decision maker survey is predictable, except in areas or markets where the adoption of bring your own device (BYOD) is high. High growth markets also tend to have higher BYOD adoption rates as opposed to more mature markets. Read More »

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Care Networking, Care Anywhere, Care Customization

Join Cisco, Intel, and other leading healthcare and  technology organizations for a series of leadership webcasts on October 23-24 that address the top challenges facing healthcare and IT professionals today.  The third annual Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit will focus on relevant topics such as care networking, how mobility expands care from the hospital to the community, and customizing care with big data. This free, unique online event includes:

  • Live webcasts
  • Networking opportunities
  • Live interaction
  • White papers
  • Case studies

Get a preview of this online event by listening to Barbara Casey, Senior Executive Director for Healthcare at Cisco, discuss clinical mobility devices and connecting the unconnected.

Register for the 2013 Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit webcast series on October 23-24 to hear more about how mobility can expand care from the hospital to the community.

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To SIEM or Not to SIEM? Part I

Security information and event management systems (SIEM, or sometimes SEIM) are intended to be the glue between an organization’s various security tools. Security and other event log sources export their alarms to a remote collection system like a SIEM, or display them locally for direct access and processing. It’s up to the SIEM to collect, sort, process, prioritize, store, and report the alarms to the analyst. It’s this last piece that is the key to an effective SIEM deployment, and of course the most challenging part. In the intro to this blog series I mentioned how we intend to describe our development of a new incident response playbook. A big first step in modernizing our playbook was a technology overhaul, from an outdated and inflexible technology to a modern and highly efficient one. In this two-part post, I’ll describe the pros and cons of running a SIEM, and most importantly provide details on why we believe a log management system is the superior choice.

Deploying a SIEM is a project. You can’t just rack a new box of packet-eating hardware and expect it to work. It’s important to understand and develop all the proper deployment planning steps. Things like scope, business requirements, and engineering specifications are all factors in determining the success of the SIEM project. Event and alarm volume in terms of disk usage, and retention requirements must be understood. There’s also the issue of how to reliably retrieve remote logs from a diverse group of networked devices without compatibility issues. You must be able to answer questions like: Read More »

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Delivering IT-as-a-Service with Cisco Prime Service Catalog and FlexPod at Steria

I’d like to share with you some insights from the recent deployment of Cisco Prime Service Catalog from one of our customers: Steria.

Steria is a leading provider of IT-enabled business services with 20,000 employees worldwide. Steria serves private and public sector organizations across the globe – with operations across 16 countries throughout Europe, India, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. With their expertise in IT and business outsourcing, Steria provides innovative solutions to help their clients improve efficiency and profitability.

One of Steria’s recent challenges was how to satisfy its clients’ desire to improve employee productivity and enable employees to work from any device. While IT-as-a-Service is becoming an increasingly competitive market in the Americas, offerings in Europe are still sparse – so this was also an opportunity to provide competitive differentiation for Steria’s services. Steria turned to Cisco to solve 3 key problems:

1. Providing employees with instant on-demand provisioning of desktop software and easy access to workplace IT resources,
2. Enabling employees to work from any device anywhere, and thus optimize computing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO),
3. And providing a simple, user-friendly portal and service catalog to make software offerings easily accessible.

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