Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Government

Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Project “Brain Gain” & The Rice Bomber (Perspective from Louis Zacharilla, Co-Founder of the Intelligent Communities Forum)

In Taiwan they discovered a natural resource which is badly needed everywhere, but which at least two Intelligent Communities have developed in an endless supply.  This resource was at first difficult to mine and to harvest, but now it is easy and continues to add wealth to the national economy.  It also adds social capital in the form of low unemployment, pride and a reawakened sense of community and culture.   It was discovered close to home.  In fact right inside the home.  In two communities, both with urban and rural populations, it has helped resolve the “digital divide” and, as one CEO told me, turn the divide into dividends.   The resource is called human intelligence.  We once called it “brainpower.”  Companies like Cisco refer to it as “the human network.”  I think of it as “Brain Gain.”  All of us are right.

In a small nation like Taiwan, which has no oil, rare minerals or raw materials that can be extracted and exported around the world, an economic engine has been created using basic cultural talent increasingly harnessed to the Internet.  In the Intelligent Community of Taichung, a city of about 2.7 million, you will find the world’s third largest exporter of high tech precision machinery equipment.  Taichung is also home to Giant Bicycle, the largest producer of those high-end bicycles used by racing professionals and cycling enthusiasts worldwide.  Giant has design offices in The Netherlands and nearly 50% of its sales come from dealers in North America and Europe.  The company employs 200 people to work in R&D alone.  Rather than resource extraction of commodities such as coal or timber, which are the traditional items for many export-driven economies, including nearby China, the exports of Taichung and Taoyuan County are  based on the production or refining of industrial and recreational (or what I call “re-creative”) products.  These arise from R&D, applying added value for higher margin sales and an increasingly important layer of hard-to-match technological or logistical processing.  Each is designed by human intelligence, collaboration and massive data sharing and data management.  Each relies on the Cloud and an educational network which takes advantage of the Cloud’s ability to eliminate the barriers of distance.

Read More »

Lending a Helping Hand to Miriam’s Kitchen

I am excited to share the news of Cisco’s new partnership with Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington, D.C., near my home. Miriam’s Kitchen is committed to ending homelessness in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area by providing homeless persons with access to meals, counseling, clean clothes, medical care, permanent housing, and by ensuring they have the necessary support to remain in housing. Miriam’s Kitchen served 71,948 meals in 2012 and expects to serve 73,500 meals in 2013.

This is a wonderful organization doing good work for my local community. To help them feed and clothe even more homeless persons, Cisco has provided Miriam’s Kitchen with a $25,000 grant. The grant will help provide support for Miriam’s Kitchen’s meals and case management programs, which provide food and a range of services to thousands of people every day. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Collaboration Evolution – A Strategy for Transforming Government Collaboration

The traditional office is not what it used to be.  I’m not referring to Mad Men, where smoking in the office was acceptable and having a cocktail in the middle of the day was the norm.  I’m talking about when and where work gets done.   For me personally, being  part of an organization that embraces collaboration, I am able to work from home, the coffee shop or the airport terminal without compromising communication or efficiency.

The rise of mobility, video and other collaboration technologies is prompting government organizations to rethink the way they approach communications. As more agencies, like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, embrace teleworking options they’ve found that their employees are happier and their workforce is more flexible and able to work around things like natural disasters or more commonly, a snowstorm.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Use Cloud Collaboration to Improve Your Agency’s Communication

Collaboration technologies power a new way of working where everyone, everywhere can be more productive through face-to-face and instantaneous communication.  In previous posts, we’ve discussed how VoIP, TelePresence and Mobile Collaboration are reshaping the government workspace. For those organizations that often forced to do more with less, flexibility in service models is essential to accessing these transformative technologies.

As we’ve seen in education, the move from on-premise service models to the cloud gives organizations the ability to deploy advanced collaboration services while minimizing the requirements of an upfront investment. But a hosted delivery model not only minimizes cost, it also increases efficiency and effectiveness, reduces the burden on IT staff and ensures access to the latest releases.. With the right deployment model government workers can access the collaboration tools they want, whenever they need them.

When the City of Charlotte, North Carolina was preparing to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention cloud was the easy choice. With Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) the city was able to integrate its contact call centers and deliver excellent caller experiences to citizens and visitors before and after the political convention.  With Cisco HCS the city found a solution that scaled to meet their needs during a major event and continues to better serve its citizens. But the benefits of choosing cloud don’t end there. With cloud services the City of Charlotte has lowered the total cost of ownership for the contact centers saving the city more than $100,000 a year!

With that kind of financial and operational flexibility, it’s not a surprise that more agencies are turning to hosted solutions. Is your government organization ready to take advantage of the cloud?

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, A Better Economy in the Cloud

My colleague Norm Jacknis (former CIO of Westchester County, New York) passed along a list of CIO concerns for 2013 that was prepared by Alan Shark of Public Technology Institute, a nonprofit that provides technology guidance to local government. The list for cities and counties included:

1. Big Data (Smart City)

2. Consolidation

3. GIS as centerpiece for strategic decision making

4. Mobility and broadband deployment

5. Cyber and network security

6. Cloud-based solutions

7. Legacy/modernization, RFP

8. Unified citizen engagement (311, social media)

9. Consumerization of technology (BYOD)

10. Shared services (across all jurisdictions)

What would you add or subtract?

I’d want to expand on a few of these items to include another emerging issue for CIOs and other government leaders: getting cities to embrace cloud and networking tools – while moving their urban economies forward.

Well, there’s good news to report on that overarching concern. There are several opportunities to learn more about how cities can embrace technology for economic growth:

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,