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Manufacturers Are Following the Crowd to ‘Drive’ Innovation

The appetite for the latest new products and services is growing exponentially driven by the 24 hour, on demand, social media driven, next day delivery expecting,  ‘selfie’ posing with the new shiny object, hyper informed consumer.  Satisfying the demand for this fast-paced consumer cycle requires manufacturers to move rapidly to stay ahead of competitors and consumer tastes. They must bring interesting and exciting new products to market in a timely fashion, whether they are first to market or responding to a competitor’s new product offerings.

Two specific trends are emerging and transforming how the industry develops, manufactures and meets the demands of the new on demand consumer driving market – crowd sourcing and 3D printing.

Manufacturing Game Changers:  Crowdsourcing and 3D Printing

Crowdsourcing is not a new development model.  In fact, the open-source model gave us the Linux operating system and the Apache Web server over 20 years ago.  But there is one very distinct difference when applying crowdsourcing methodology to a manufacturing process, as opposed to software development, and that is raw material.   This is where 3D printing technology is rapidly maturing driving orders of magnitude efficiencies and cost savings into the value chain.

A Printed Car

In fact, a start-up called Local Motors is on the cutting edge of combining crowdsourcing and 3D printing to revolutionize the automobile industry. In a process that Local Motors calls “co-creation,” — also known as “crowdsourcing” — the software allows enthusiasts to post a design for a part that other users in a worldwide community can call up on a browser, see in 3D, take measurements from, and comment on, thus providing a new model and methodology for innovation.  Local Motors then leverage 3D printing technology to deploy “microfactories”

Can crowdsourcing and 3D printing produce an electric car?

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Reimagining Impact at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative

Globally, 13 percent of young people – nearly 75 million people — are unemployed. In the Middle East and North Africa, this number rises to more than 28 percent. The issue is compounded when you factor in the 127 million unemployed adults worldwide. Meanwhile, 40 percent of employers in the United States, 65 percent in Brazil, and 64 percent in India report they are unable to fill job vacancies, potentially causing billions of dollars in losses.

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers will address this issue on September 23 during a plenary session at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting.

Chambers will join moderator and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof for “Putting Education to Work,” a discussion on how CGI members can create real education-to-employment journeys for young people, retrain adults, and eliminate the barriers that prevent those traditionally left behind from gaining meaningful employment opportunities.

You can watch a livestream of this CGI session at 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 23.

CGI

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Mobile Cloud Security: What CXOs Need to Know

As organizations seek ways to maintain real-time connections with their workforce and customers in an increasingly digital and mobile-centered world, the growth of mobile cloud will be a major force in shaping the business landscape and future tech decisions. The first blog post in this series, by Padmasree Warrior, explores how the convergence of mobility and cloud will deliver unprecedented transformation for all organizations. The second blog post in this series, by Sujai Hajela, answers the question of what mobile cloud really is and how it continues to provide new business opportunities. In the third post, Joe Cozzolino looks at what mobile cloud means for service providers and enterprises. And finally, this post will discuss the need for end-to-end security in a mobile cloud environment.

Mobile cloud services are growing exponentially in both number and scope. According to a report from Smith’s Point Analytics released late last year, mobile cloud services platforms are projected to grow over the next four years from US$579 million to a staggering US$4.4 billion in 2017.

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Grow Your Leads and Increase Deal Size with Personalization

Starting customer meetings with business outcome discussions sounds great in theory. But how much difference does it really make? A huge difference. Here’s how it works.

Figure 1 Las Vegas

Engaged customers participating in a VIP Booth Tour at Interop Las Vegas

For the past year, a small, innovative team has been engaging customers in new ways at several large Cisco events. Essentially, we’ve been turning our technology-centric approach on its head and beginning hundreds of customer meetings with a business priority discussion.

Of course, we always get to the technology, but by starting with some very clear customer-centric goals for each meeting, the engagement processes – and results – have improved dramatically. Since the program inception at CiscoLive! Milan last January, the number of qualified leads per event has increased by 27 percent, and average deal size has increased by 70 percent. Customer satisfaction scores have also gone up, so there are many clear benefits to this approach for everyone selling Cisco solutions. Read More »

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Step Up to a New Standard in Threat Defense

The 135 Spanish Steps are perhaps one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome—and this in a city where your alternatives include stunning options like visiting the Vatican, the Colosseum or the Trevi Fountain. And yet, a visitor to the Spanish Steps today is first—and ahead of any chance to delve into the rich history or architectural heritage of this monumental stairway—forewarned of the dangers of the omnipresent pickpockets that frequent the area! I bring this up because while European vacations may not always be part of our quotidian routine, our daily lives do involve shopping online, visiting our neighborhood retailer or posting updates on social media. And none of these places post enough warning signs urging us to be wary of the virtual pickpockets, waiting to steal and profit from personal, financial and business information that traverses across thousands of transactions at places we visit in person or on our browsers every single day.

As consumers we may even squeeze by with a bit of a lax attitude, but businesses are only painfully aware of the speed, ferocity and variety with which attackers move to try and gain access to critical business data. Our customers tell us that their cybersecurity teams work tirelessly—but often in reactive mode—to fight against breaches and constantly assess ways to eliminate vulnerable links. Today, we are thrilled to share that we’re stepping up to provide our customers and partners with enhanced capabilities to combat the changing nature of threats. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services integrates the proven Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall with application control, and the industry-leading Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention Systems (NGIPS) and Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) from Sourcefire in a single device, providing integrated threat defense across the entire attack continuum—before, during and after an attack. Read More »

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