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Education Meets Creativity – Turning educational ideas into reality

Our Pass the Ball site features an ongoing series of webinars about how to share and grow your own ideas to make them better. This Thursday, Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder, Apple Computer Inc., will share how he has taken his ideas about education and technology and turned them into reality to benefit children and adults today. 

Steve has passionately supported the educational needs of children for over 35 years. He will illustrate how his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics has been directed toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.

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Getting to the New Normal – Part 1 of 2

“But one aspect of the future is less certain: Will this be a world that is not only more efficient economically, but also better for the people who live in it?”

–          Thomas W. Malone, The Future of Work 

In his seminal book on the future of work, MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Tom Malone outlines how technology and business decentralization converges to create a “new normal” for today’s workers.  For the past decade, companies such as Cisco have been on a journey to address the opportunities and challenges of globalization supporting operational and innovative business model changes that support speed, distributed decision making, and, most viscerally, an open knowledge model for the broadest range of the workforce.

Despite the recent recession, the deconstruction of the traditional media model and the rapid increase in information flows – fostered by the Web 2.0 self-publishing models – changes how much data we use on a daily basis. While information overload is a real and present danger, others are rushing to take advantage of these changes.  Or as the Billy Crystal character said in When Harry Met Sally: “ I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of the life to start as soon as possible.”

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Social Media Driving New Forms of Communications and Collaboration

The social media movement is causing noticeable acceleration in communication technology innovation.  It wasn’t that long ago that our communications service providers touted “call waiting” as innovation with nationwide marketing campaigns but these days we see entirely new communication platforms launched on a regular basis.

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Unified IP Phones Play a Key Role in the ‘Collaboration Toolkit’

The recent news that Cisco shipped its 22 millionth Unified IP Phone to Foster’s Group Ltd.seems a good indication that recent media reports projecting the imminent decline of the desk phone are at minimum premature in their predictions.  Is it possible that the desk phone has a role in business communications for the foreseeable future?  What role does the phone play as organizations move to collaborative work spaces?

Industry analysts offer differing views on the outlook for the desk phone.  My observation is that customers continue to have a healthy interest in having deskphones.  A similar review is reflected in these reports with respect for IP phones:

•    The Dataquest team of Gartner published a worldwide business IP Telephone forecast in July 2009 projecting shipments of IP Phones worldwide to exceed 36.5 million in 2013 with an annual compound growth rate of 16%. Fairly healthy growth – when compared to a projection of worldwide shipments in 2009 of 20.3 million.
•    In-Stat also published a report in February 2009 noting the business market for IP Phones is “thriving”, projecting 31 million business IP Phones to ship in 2012.

Steve Slattery
Vice President, IPCBU at Cisco

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Cutting Costs with Collaboration

In a tough economic climate cost savings are a priority, but at the same time it’s important that organisations remain competitive and assess how they can use technology to help them escape saturated markets and embrace new opportunities ahead of their competitors.
A crucial prerequisite to achieving cost savings and increasing productivity is to decrease barriers to collaboration that exist in your organisation. Where an enterprise is too thinly spread, or too compartmentalised into distinct business units, its ability to hone in on an opportunity and run with it becomes compromised. Laborious, rigid and sequential internal processes, and protracted supply chain management, increase cost and delay projects – hampering speed to market with new products or services and limits the ability to add value or compete on price.

By Tim Stone, Sales Business Development Manager

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