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Malaysia Embarks on Smart+Connected Communities Journey

Nusajaya is a nascent city located on the South-western tip of Peninsula Malaysia and just a short drive away from Singapore. Nusajaya is also one of the crown jewels of Iskandar Malaysia, the special economic zone in the state of Johor and one of the flagships of the Malaysian Government’s national development plan.

Soon, Nusajaya could also become the catalyst for Smart City development in Malaysia and beyond. Yesterday, two of the area’s largest property developers, UEM Land Holdings Berhad and Iskandar Investment Berhad, signed agreements with Cisco to develop a master plan for a Smart+Connected Nusajaya.

“We’re seeing smart cities being built around the world and we think that Nusajaya has the potential to become a benchmark for smart cities. This is just the beginning, we want Cisco to help us plot the path for us towards a Smart+Connected Nusajaya,” said Dato’ Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim, managing director and chief executive officer of UEM Land Holdings.

Anil Menon, President for Globalisation and Smart+Connected Communities, shared with the Malaysian media the forces that are driving smart city developments around the world:

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Smart+Connected Community Services to Roll-out Shortly in Songdo

Residents in Songdo International Business District will soon be able to learn a new dish or take a yoga class in the comfort of their homes. A managed services company called U.Life Solutions has been set up by Cisco, Gale Internatonal, POSCO E&C and LG CNS to deliver Smart+Connected Community Services in the newly established city.

At the launch event for the new entity on July 4, 2011, celebrity Korean chef and restaurateur, Soojin Choi (picture below), taught the audience how to make a chicken salad over Cisco TelePresence.

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And the DELFIN Goes To…

Magyar Telekom Awards Cisco for Sustainability

True to its tradition, each year Magyar Telekom recognises suppliers that play an outstanding role in the field of sustainability. The DELFIN -- Award (the title of which is the acronym of the Hungarian equivalents of Award for a Committed, Sustainable, and Innovative Generation) has been awarded for the fourth time in four categories.

Cisco Hungary won the award in the “Innovation for Sustainability” category, recognizing Cisco’s collaboration in creating Magyar Telekom’s VideoGate service, which is based on Cisco TelePresence technology.

VideoGate enables businesses to carry out intercompany video conferences over the Internet. Thus, it helps save time and costs of travel, whilst at the same time it provides a competitive advantage for users. Cisco also provided free-of-charge web applications to help calculate a company’s CO2 footprint.

DELFIN Award winners (5th from the right is Otto Dalos from Cisco Hungary) with Magyar Telekom representatives Eva Somorjai (chief human resources officer), Nora Olah (procurement director), Katalin Szomolanyi (head of Corporate Sustainability Department) and the members of the jury.

See Magyar Telekom’s press release at this site.

Mexico’s Presidential Visit: How Cisco can Transform Education, Healthcare and Government

Mexican President Felipe Calderon visited the Cisco main campus in San Jose, California on June 11, 2011. He was on a technology trends tour and wanted to get first hand information about how technology can be applied to help solve some Mexico’s challenges. We honored to host President Calderon. During his visit, we demonstrated the power of collaboration technologies to transform education, healthcare, and government administration.

Mexico is a world leader in the use of Cisco TelePresence technology, both in the executive office and in healthcare applications. Mexico’s next step may well be in building cloud services. Patient records, hospital administration, pharmacy information, and more can be stored in the cloud and delivered to care givers or administrators as needed.

HealthPresence was of particular interest. Providing high-quality care to all citizens at a reasonable cost is a priority worldwide. Technology has long played a role in healthcare, but collaboration and cloud-based services are changing both patient care and healthcare investment priorities.

During President Calderon’s visit, we demonstrated Cisco HealthPresence, a telepresence-based technology that integrates a range of medical devices through the network. Care delivered at a distance, or with vehicles delivering mobile care to rural areas, can become intimate and sophisticated when specialists provided services through the network. The demonstration also included the Health Services Exchange (HSX), a cloud-based solution for the management of healthcare information.

In addition to the healthcare presentation, President Calderon was given a demonstration showing how technology and the network can improve and extend the education experience. The key to a great classroom is always a great teacher. Nurturing great teachers requires constant training, but the travel expense and time away from the classroom make training challenging. Solutions such as the Digital Media System (DMS) can be used to remotely train teachers and deliver more information to the education community.

President Calderon was given a demonstration on how collaboration technologies are transforming the way government institutions organize themselves, administer their activities and communicate with their citizens. From tax authorities to hospitals to complex public or private enterprises, these technologies are improving productivity and job satisfaction while delivering better services for citizens and consumers. Finally, President Calderon was able to experience the Cisco Cius with its rich media capabilities supporting video calls.

I will leave you know with a few videos and pictures from the visit:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon at Cisco

Mexican President Felipe Calderon at Cisco Campus on June 11. Jaime Valles, vice president Cisco Latin America; Chuck Robbins, senior vice president for the Americas region; Kerry Lynn Lambert, senior vice president Services Cisco Americas; Francisco Uribe director business development Cisco Mexico and Rogelio Velasco, general director of Cisco Mexico.

Felipe Calderon, Health presence

President Felipe Calderon interacting with a Cisco Health Presense solution during his visit to CIsco campus in San Jose, California

Calderon demo CIUS

President Felipe Calderon using Cisco CIUS during his visit to San Jose, California

President Calderon and Cisco team

Jaime Valles, vice president of Cisco Latin America; Kerry Lynn Lambert, senior vicepresident Services Cisco Americas; President Felipe Calderon, Chuck Robbins, senior vice president for the Americas region and Rogelio Velasco, general director of Cisco Mexico.

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Cisco Serbia Opens Doors for “Girls in ICT” Day

“Which school should I choose, to do what you do?” This was one of the most frequent questions asked by Serbian schoolgirls visiting Cisco in Belgrade for “Girls in ICT” Day. Aged 14, the girls are nearing an important decision in their lives when it comes to choosing their future education and professional path. The “Girls in ICT” initiative was created to help this difficult decision and convey the message that information technology is interesting and it is something for girls as well.

"Girls in ICT" Day visitors at Cisco Serbia

 The visitors, who were accompanied by their teachers, toured the office, visited the networking lab and chatted with female Cisco employees both in Serbia as well as other countries, the latter via Cisco TelePresence. I also had a chance to talk to our young guests and explain what an interesting combination ICT & marketing are, what is it like to have a regional role and work with people form different timezones and cultures.

Serbian schoolgirls at Cisco TelePresence room

We then connected the girls with their peers in Sofia, Bulgaria and there were lots of smiles and laughter, and even some singing. See the video.

Interested to know more about „Girls in ICT” Day? The initiative was the brainchild of Serbia’s Minister of Telecommunications and Information Society, Ms Jasna Matic, who launched the Global Network of Women in ICT at a special event in New York in February this year, with the support of Dr Touré, the Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, and a number of high-ranking female dignitaries. The initiative is also embraced by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).