As you plan and prepare for the delivery of a high-profile major project, would your peers describe you as being “cool, calm and collected?” According to one source, the definition of that expression is to become “relaxed and ready for anything; able to endure any difficulty.”
Apparently, this is also one of the traits that may help to explain what it really means to be British. When I first settled in the United States — now more than thirty years ago — my American associates would compliment me for being very polite and respectful to guests. In other words, being a gentleman. Truly, I’ve never given that aspect of my character much thought, until today.
I just read a timely commentary by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones that’s entitled “Agile Problem-Solving at the London Olympics.” Their story reminded me of yet another British expression — Keep Calm and Carry On. Just about everything in life is subject to change, for better or worse. We all have a choice in how we react to unscheduled events or last-minute challenges. I also agree with their assessment, creative problem-solving has come to the fore as an organizational strength.
ICT Deployment -- Grace Under Pressure
Now I’ll share more background about the human (people) ingredients associated with the ICT infrastructure investment — and what I believe to be a valuable lesson-learned that we can all gain from this experience.
But first, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Atos and BT teams for their leadership and numerous contributions to making the London 2012 Olympics a resounding success. Learn more about the key role of Atos as the IT integrator and the essential role of BT as the communications service provider, by visiting their websites.
As I’ve stated before, the networking infrastructure provided by Cisco will connect nearly 100 locations, including 36 competition venues, 20 further venues — such as the Olympic Village and Technology Operations Centre — plus approximately 50 other spectator and athlete sites including transport hubs, training grounds and ticketing booths.
Such a high-profile and prestigious event as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games requires an immense amount of planning, collaboration and faultless execution by the LOCOG Technology team and its many partners that made long-term commitments to this project.
Cisco Services has had dedicated network consultants based with BT, and working alongside Atos in the offices of LOCOG’s technology team. This collaborative partnering environment is a setting that is ideally suited to Cisco’s business model, which is based around an ecosystem of technology and integration Partners who enable Cisco to deliver best-in-class network infrastructure architectures and solutions.
There are over 560 Cisco certified partners in the UK and Ireland which includes 38 gold partners, of which BT is one, combined with 12 silver, 92 premier, and 436 select, with an additional 3100+ registered partners.
Together, they’re providing technology and architectural leadership and innovation in the networking core, collaboration, data centre virtualization and cloud, and video to deliver business transformation.
Within our Partners, there are over 600 Cisco Certified Internetworking Experts (CCIE’s), a certification that is widely regarded as industry leading in their knowledge and understanding of networking infrastructure.
So, collectively, what can we learn from this experience? Sorry, but I don’t have a technical response to that open-ended question. To me, the network is the platform for so much more than mere digital bits of data than traverse it, from access to egress. Sometimes it can carry the hopes and dreams of the people who inspire their peers, friends and families — even the world at large — to dare to be bold and brave.
It’s the End of the Beginning
Yes, I acknowledge the recent economic metrics from the UK, but I’m not discouraged by the current market outlook. The accomplishments of our athletes have reminded me that we should strive to ignite the spark of inspiration that’s deep within us. Therefore, I remain hopeful.
Sir Winston Churchill was one of our most profound optimists. During his now infamous speech in November of 1942 he said “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Post-Olympics, I believe that the United Kingdom’s future is bright, particularly within the revitalized areas of East London. Please, let’s imagine the upside potential…