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Welcome to the New Town Hall Meeting

April 23, 2014 at 8:27 am PST

In the quest for speed, how leaders are engaging employees differently

I recently had a Fortune 100 CEO tell me he wants to “flatten access” in his organization.  It’s a familiar theme talking to customers around the world, as leaders seek out innovative ways to get their teams executing faster.  More and more I’m hearing about leaders putting a modern twist on the classic “town hall” meeting format – sort of a New England-style public meeting and social media all mixed together – as a new way to mobilize their teams.

What’s at stake, of course, is the company’s ability to get to opportunities faster – faster than competitors.  Shortening the time it takes to move from a decision in a conference room to galvanizing action on a team is the most often cited pain-point I hear when I ask customers about their collaboration challenges.  Here’s the rub:  most organizations aren’t great at engaging their employees, according to Gallup – only 30% of employees feel engaged.

When we think of innovation, we tend to associate it with technology.  The innovation being demonstrated in the online, virtual town hall meetings comes in the form of employee engagement, shifting dramatically how you communicate to your team. At the heart of the innovation is the recognition that people need more than “goals” or “priorities” when being lead.  My friend Peter Guber said recently that people have a need for “emotional understanding.”

The new town hall meeting is intrinsically designed to foster understanding – and in doing so, mobilize teams even faster for execution.

In our book The Collaboration Imperative my colleague Carl Wiese and I emphasized Read More »

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Cisco IT’s Identity Services Engine Deployment: Cluster and Server Sizing

When sizing clusters for devices in our Identity Services Engine (ISE) deployment, Cisco IT uses a “3+1” formula: For every person we assume three devices (laptop, smartphone, and a tablet) plus one device in the background (security camera, printer, network access device, etc.). In a company the size of Cisco, with roughly 80,000 employees, the math is simple: Read More »

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CRM Implementation is Crucial for Revenue-Generation Marketing

April 23, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

In the last blog on revenue generation marketing, I took some time to discuss how our operational implementation was working at Cisco. As part of that, I shared the four main best practices we discovered during our revenue generation marketing journey. Of course, if you missed that post, please give it a read. To sum it up, however, I believe your operations team simply has to focus on:

  • Setting a goal
  • Keeping the goal simple
  • Setting key success indicators for individuals
  • Reporting

That is the high-level look at operational implementation that we saw here at Cisco. But in this final blog on our revenue generation marketing journey, I want to dig a little deeper and talk about implementing those best practices within your customer relationship management (CRM) software and combining that with marketing automation. Read More »

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Cisco Live US 2014 : Looking Forward to Great Sessions on Storage Networking (FC and FCoE)

April 23, 2014 at 7:00 am PST

Cisco Live 2014 is fast approaching in few weeks from now.
This is an important year for Cisco Live as well as Fibre Channel (FC) along with Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) family of products. For Cisco Live : it is celebrating 25th anniversary on its home ground – Bay area, San Francisco. For Storage Market, Next Generation MDS product family lineup with 16G linerate FC and 10G FCoE support has renewed the energy in SAN industry with large customers building Green field Datacenters using new 16G FC and 10G multihop FCoE. This year has seen lot more traction on multihop FCoE; new set of customers now include Aerospace, Financial and Technology solution companies.
More details can be found here under Case studies.

BhavinyadavI asked Bhavin Yadav, from the engineering team, to bring his technical  expertise and knowledge of the customer’s needs  to help us create a catalog of the sessions you don’t want to miss at Cisco Live San Francisco .

“This year at Cisco Live, we have lot more focus and sessions on both SAN technologies -- Fibre Channel (FC) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Once the registration is finished, you can subscribe to the sessions and put it on your calendar as well. The Cisco Live Smart Mobile apps launching on April 28th will also help us drive to the right session using our smart phones.
In April 2013, a little while before last year’s Cisco Live 2013 in Orlando, Storage business unit of Cisco released its next Generation Fibre Channel Director class switch MDS 9710 and Multiservice Fabric Switch platform MDS 9250i. By now, most of us know that MDS 9710 is designed to support 16G linerate FC and 10G FCoE using its FC and FCoE Linecard modules. MDS 9250i is a 2 RU switch that gives us all the flexibility we need in terms of multi-protocol support, whether it is FC / FCoE / FCIP or ISCSI. MDS 9250i has 16G FC Line rate ports with 10G FCoE, 2 x 10G FCIP ports along with iSCSI support as well. This is like a Swiss army knife – you can use it anywhere (backups, storage migration, etc.) for any of the mostly used protocols (FC, FCoE, FCIP, ISCSI) in Fibre channel industry.

This year, we are bringing in more than 20 sessions to the storage track in various flavors, ranging from Learning Storage Fundamentals, Design, Deployment, Operation, Troubleshooting, Best Practice, Migration, etc. Let me highlight some of the important sessions for Storage experts. This will help you quickly identify, reserve your spot and get most out of the Cisco Live 2014 for storage focused technology experts.

Storage specific sessions:

BRKARC-1222 - Cisco MDS9000: expanding the family:
This session presents detailed analyses of the new members of the market leading MDS 9000 family, demonstrating their performance, reliability and flexibility. Topics include architectural design and enhanced capabilities of Cisco MDS 9710 and MDS 9250i, their typical use cases and interoperability with the other MDS 9000 family members as well as Nexus switches. This session is designed for storage engineers involved in FC and FCoE network design and Data Centre storage architecture. An understanding of FC switching technologies and FCoE benefits is assumed.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Adarsh Viswanathan

BRKSAN-2282 - Operational Models for FCoE Deployments -- Best Practices and Examples:
Converging SAN and LAN traffic onto common infrastructure enables customers to realize significant cost efficiencies through reducing power consumption, cooling costs, adapters, cables, and switches. FCoE/Unified I/O also provides additional flexibility through a wire-once model that allows ubiquitous access to block storage from all servers.. This session will help customers determine the FCoE operational model for their organization to successfully share a Converged Network between LAN and SAN teams. Best practices, case studies, and configuration examples will be provided, based on experiences with Cisco customers who have successfully implemented FCoE. The session covers operational management for FCoE deployments on Nexus 5000, Nexus 6000, Nexus 7000, Nexus 7700 and MDS.

90 min Technical Breakout -- Presented by Jason Walker and Santiago Freitas

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Global IT Report Identifies Key Policies for the Internet of Everything

Note: The full report can be found here as well as chapter 1.2, “The Internet of Everything: How the Network Unleashes the Benefits of Big Data

The World Economic Forum launched the 2014 Global Information Technology Report (GITR) today, and the annual assessment provides insight into two questions: where will see the next evolution of the Internet take hold, and how can we as a society improve on Big Data?

The report includes the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), assessing 148 countries across 54 different indicators. Finland, Singapore and Sweden again top the NRI rankings, followed by the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland, with the US rising two spots to 7th. Hong Kong, the UK and Korea round out the top 10. Because the NRI comprehensively measures the level of information and communications technologies (ICTs) development in countries, it provides an early indication of where the next evolution of the Internet will first take hold: the Internet of Everything.

The Internet of Everything is the value from connecting devices, data, processes and people, underpinned by the ubiquity of Big Data applications. Countries leading in the NRI have the infrastructure and policy environment to facilitate the growth of the Internet of Everything. And the NRI also points to specific actions that countries need to take to improve their ICT infrastructure and business environment. While Big Data insights are creating tangible benefits for governments, businesses and citizens, there is more we can do to make Big Data even better by improving networks to facilitate Big Data, as well as addressing critical technology and policy challenges.

Big Data applications are all around us, improving the way we work, live, learn and play. In Spain for example, the municipal government of Barcelona is using data from connected devices and sensors to increase productivity and create jobs, improving the quality of life for all Barcelonés. Devices that remotely monitor water pressure and pipe leakage is saving $58 million per year; Internet Protocol (IP) controlled street lights are reducing annual maintenance costs by one-third; revenue from remotely monitored parking is increasing revenue by $50 million and the data-driven economy has created 47,000 jobs over the last seven years not withstanding the economic crisis. In the private sector, businesses that apply Big Data analytics have experienced 26% improvement in business performance, and harvesting big data for decision-making can increase global corporate profits by 21%.

The ubiquity of Big Data applications is fueled by the fact that IP networks are connecting billions of physical devices and this accelerating volume of data is driven by four major trends:

  1. IP is fast becoming the common language for most data communication particularly for proprietary industrial networks.
  2. Previously unconnected places, people, things, and processes are connecting to networks bringing billions of people and devices online over the next five years.
  3. Existing physically stored information is being digitized in order to record and share previously analogue material, and the digital share of the world’s stored information has increased from 25 percent to over 98 percent over the last decade.
  4. The introduction of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) now removes the technical limit on the number of devices that can connect to the Internet, theoretically allowing for trillions of trillions (1038).

Improving the ability of IP networks to transmit data for processing, as well as enabling networks to create, analyze and act on data insights can accelerate the positive impact from Big Data. Building this capability will require improving network infrastructure, enhancing analytical capabilities and ‘intelligence’ in the network with distributed computing.

There are however, several critical challenges that need to be addressed because these technical and policy issues can either accelerate, or impede, the positive impact of big data analysis as part of the Internet of Everything.

Policy and Technical Issues

For example, robust industry standards are needed for interoperability and economies of scale.  While there are different requirements for critical networks, such as utilities that are closed, and networks connected to the open Internet (for example, those that monitor parking space availability), common standards will allow information to be exchanged within, and among, these networks as needed and appropriate.

Similarly, policymakers must also identify the appropriate balance between protecting the privacy of individuals’ data and allowing for innovation in service delivery and product development. And robust security is needed to reliably prevent hacking and access by unauthorized and unwanted users. In order to ensure a healthy ecosystem where users, consumers, and businesses feel safe in engaging in Big Data activities, network security is essential.

Careful radio spectrum planning is needed to enable wireless machine-to-machine (M2M), as well as people-to-people (P2P) and people-to-machine (P2M), connectivity. Spectrum requirements are going to be heterogeneous and will include narrowband and broadband; short haul and long haul; continuous data transmission and short bursts of data; and licensed spectrum as well as license-exempt spectrum.

These and other technical and policy issues require careful consideration and are discussed further in chapter 1.2, of the 2014 GITR. How the global community tackles these challenges will go far in determining Big Data’s impact on countries, businesses and individuals.