Healthcare is in dire need of reform and innovation. Western economies are spending between 8-17% of GDP on healthcare costs (with widely varying results—note: those that spend the most aren’t getting the best results).1 Increases in costs are rising faster than inflation or average earnings. Sooner or later something has to give. Geoffrey Moore2 likes to say that when there’s an imbalance of supply and demand, innovation thrives.
A few weeks ago, while we were busy preparing for our Borderless Networks announcement on March 17th, we got some pleasant news from our marcom team. The Cisco ASR 1000 series won the Network World Testers’ and Bloggers Best of Tests award. The fact that the product won the award was itself not a surprise for us. But the timing of it was certainly unexpected.
Network World began their review with the statement – “With Enterprises looking to consolidate data centers and devices, Cisco’s ASR 1000 series routers offered a compelling message: Do more with less”. They accompanied this with a write-up called “Cisco’s ASR 1000 router built for 10-year tenure”
Network world couldn’t have gotten it more right. The ASR 1000 celebrates its second year anniversary this month, but has already gained considerable traction among our Enterprise and Service Provider customers gradually becoming the workhorse in a variety of deployment scenarios.
The portfolio also has continued to grow with new routers being added to the mix, addressing a broad spectrum of price and performance needs. It is also a key component of Cisco’s Borderless Networks thrust, and has broken ground on a number of new innovations, while continuing to beat the price/performance curve among products in its class. It is ideally suited for video delivery, has instant-on service delivery, carrier-class availability and a smaller carbon footprint. Innovations like the Webex node on the ASR 1000 are unique to the industry complement cloud computing solutions with a mixture of on-demand and on-premise offering.
My wife had the opportunity to be a volunteer at the recent 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. She was one of those ubiquitous “blue-jackets” who blanketed the city, helping people with transport, ticketing, crowd control and whatever else was needed. (Locally, we referred to them as the Smurfs). It meant a lot of early mornings, late evenings and weekends for her, but it was a terrific chance to be a small part of a big event.
As luck would have it, during the same time, I was working on the lead-up to our recent Cisco Borderless Access event. Which meant – you guessed it – a lot of early mornings, late evenings and weekends, as we tried to make this a truly global launch. For a period of a couple of months, our primary mode of communication was notes on the kitchen table and text messages to each other’s phones.
Yesterday, we announced the next step forward in Cisco’s Borderless Networks architecture. There are a lot of new products and technologies that fit into the launch. This post can serve as your at-a-glance summary for understanding all the various new components from Cisco and how they can impact your network. Within the network infrastructure, we gave a significant boost to Catalyst switches, ISRs, and ASRs. New innovative systems and services bolster video performance, network integrity, cost of ownership, device lifecycles, and business readiness. Cisco EnergyWise continues to expand its influence over energy consumption and costs. New secure access technologies form the basis of Cisco’s Borderless Security Architecture. The goal is to deliver the promise of “Borderless Access” while keeping the network secure at the same time.
Technically, it’s not even a city. It is a town. Possibly one of the newest zip codes in America. Not surprisingly, it is also one of the hardest hit by the mortgage crisis. Let it be unnamed given that I’m using it for illustrative purposes. How does a town like this survive, or even thrive, given budget cuts, foreclosures and property tax defaults?
Cost cutting is an obvious answer. Some administrative staff were let go. Vendor contracts were re-negotiated. Additional government funding was solicited where possible. Mostly common-sense stuff.
There was also some stuff that was uncommon. Somebody did an analysis and came up with some a “bright” idea. They figured that if the street lights on the non-arterial roads could be turned into blinking red lights instead of red, yellow and green, they could actually save a lot of energy and thereby the cost.
Needless to say, after the initial confusion (when most people initially thought the lights were non-functional, and then came to the realization that it was a deliberate act from the town administration), there was a lot of hue and cry. “What? Blinking red lights all the time? No green or yellow? What about safety? What about those who don’t stop. Off with their heads!”