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Cisco Shares Workforce Diversity Data

In Cisco’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report released today, you will find a more complete perspective on the gender, ethnicity, and seniority make up of our company – in the United States and globally. While we have shared information about the diversity of our workforce since 2005, the report offers greater insight into our people and their backgrounds, experiences, cultures, affiliations and points-of-view.

At Cisco we are focused on ensuring we have a culture that fosters inclusion and enables our diverse mix of talent to thrive. I became Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) in June of this year and I want to make this a personal and professional priority for everyone at Cisco. I began my CHRO tenure with the August appointment of Shari Slate as Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer. You will hear more from Shari as she and her team build on our existing foundation.

Our numbers are mostly consistent with our past disclosures and we recognize there are areas where we need to increase our focus and improve. Simply put – our business and people strategies require more. Enhanced reporting helps shine the light on performance against our goals – highlighting gaps, blind spots and opportunities – and intensifying accountability. We welcome that light.

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Cisco Releases Tenth Annual CSR Report

I am pleased to announce that Cisco has released its tenth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. The 2014 Cisco CSR Report outlines our strategy to use our expertise, technology, and partnerships for social, environmental, and business impact.

Each day, people around the world face many challenges: access to quality education, unemployment, poverty, and climate change, to name a few. We’ve learned that when we bring people together, they find innovative solutions to address these problems. And when you add technology to the mix, we can multiply our impact and uncover even greater opportunities.

For example, in France, a team of Cisco Networking Academy students used the connections between people, process, data, and things to create a networked walking stick for the blind. Watch this video to learn more:

Our CSR Report contains many more examples like this, organized according to five pillars:

  1. Governance and Ethics: Promoting responsible business practices at every level—with employees, suppliers, distributors, and partners
  2. Supply Chain: Working closely with our 600 global suppliers to maintain our high standards for ethics, labor rights, health, safety, and the environment
  3. Our People: Attracting, retaining, and developing talented people through an inspiring workplace, engaged management, and flexibility
  4. Society: Combining technology and human creativity to solve social issues and help communities thrive.
  5. Environment: Creating new business value for our customers using sustainable Cisco technologies, products, and solutions

Here are just a few highlights from our 2014 CSR Report:

  • We updated our Human Rights Roadmap to align with the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and we launched an online human rights training program for our employees.
  • 58% of our key suppliers set goals to cut their greenhouse gas emissions — up from 45% in 2013.
  • We ranked number 55 on the Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
  • We made $275 million in cash and in-kind contributions to community organizations worldwide; and our employees volunteered 136,000 hours to support organizations in their own communities.
  • Employee-led “Pack It Green” projects saved approximately 888 metric tonne of packaging material and are expected to save over $6 million annually through material and freight cost reductions.
  • 97% of Networking Academy students who participate in a selective internship program with local IT companies in Italy get jobs; the partnership is creating a pipeline of tech talent while combatting a youth unemployment rate over 40%.

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Building a true HetNet

Andrew MackayBy Andrew Mackay,  Head of Mobile Solutions, APAC

I have discussed in the past the increasing importance of Smallcells in a Service Providers access strategy (Bringing LTE Indoors and Cost Optimised Indoor Coverage), but to truly leverage Smallcells once deployed in an optimal way is not a trivial task. Normally the Smallcell supplier is different to the Macro network and often a different mix of technologies (e.g in the case of Wi-Fi) and frequency bands are involved. The term Heterogeneous, meaning “diverse in character or content” (oxforddictionaries.com), is indeed fitting. So what is the right approach to building an optimal Heterogeneous Network or HetNet?

The guiding principle must be the consideration of end user Quality of Experience (QoE). Read More »

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#CiscoChampion Radio S1|Ep 41. Cisco Learning Labs (CLL)

November 19, 2014 at 9:00 am PST

cisco_champions BADGE_200x200#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’re talking with Cisco Engineering Technical Leader Raymond Viscaina, about Cisco Learning Labs (CLL). Lauren Friedman (@lauren) moderates and Brad Haynes is this week’s Cisco Champion guest host.

Listen to the Podcast.

Learn about the Cisco Champions Program HERE.
See a list of all #CiscoChampion Radio podcasts HERE.

Cisco SME
Raymond Viscaina, Cisco Engineering Technical Leader

Cisco Champion
Brad Haynes, @GK_bradhaynes, Client Solutions Specialist Read More »

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Network Services Headers (NSH): Creating a Service Plane for Cloud Networks

November 19, 2014 at 9:00 am PST

In the past, we have pointed out that configuring network services and security policies into an application network has traditionally been the most complex, tedious and time-consuming aspect of deploying new applications. For a data center or cloud provider to stand up applications in minutes and not days, easily configuring the right service nodes (e.g. a load balancer or firewall), with the right application and security policies, to support the specific workload requirements, independent of location in the network is a clear obstacle that has to be overcome.

Let’s say, for example, you have a world-beating best-in-class firewall positioned in some rack of your data center. You also have two workloads that need to be separated according to security policies implemented on this firewall on other servers a few hops away. The network and security teams have traditionally had a few challenges to address:

  1. If traffic from workload1 to workload2 needs to go through a firewall, how do you route traffic properly, considering the workloads don’t themselves have visibility to the specifics of the firewalls they need to work with. Traffic routing of this nature can be implemented in the network through the use of VLAN’s and policy-based routing techniques, but this is not scalable to hundreds or thousands of applications, is tedious to manage, limits workload mobility, and makes the whole infrastructure more error-prone and brittle.
  2. The physical location of the firewall or network service largely determines the topology of the network, and have historically restricted where workloads could be placed. But modern data center and cloud networks need to be able to provide required services and policies independent of where the workloads are placed, on this rack or that, on-premises or in the cloud.

Whereas physical firewalls might have been incorporated into an application network through VLAN stitching, there are a number of other protocols and techniques that generally have to be used with other network services to include them in an application deployment, such as Source NAT for application delivery controllers, or WCCP for WAN optimization. The complexity of configuring services for a single application deployment thus increases measurably.

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