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Connected Citizens. Connected City. What's Next?

July 19, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

OK, so I don't know anyone who would  ever say they enjoyed getting a traffic ticket, but technology is proving to at least make dealing with them a little more tolerable.  The city of San Antonio recently announced that it will begin implementing interactive video kiosks leveraging Cisco Connected Justice solutions. Somewhat similar to those movie kiosks you may see in your local grocery store, they will allow citizens to actually appear before a judge - right from the grocery store.

Devised by Municipal Court Presiding Judge John Bull and court manager Jason Tabor, the kiosk, which is currently being tested with a local municipal court, allows up to 20 people to be linked via telepresence to the court. Read More »

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What can the Public Sector Learn from the Best Corporate Innovation Strategies?

Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area are famous for their long history of leadership in computing, semiconductors, software, biotechnology, internetworking, and innovation-based industries. But what makes it unique, beyond the laboratories, talent base, and access to capital? And what exactly is this oft-cited “culture of innovation”?

Sean Randolph and his team at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) set out to find the answers. Read More »

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Department of Defense Latest to Establish Telework Policy

July 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm PST

With an ever increasing mobile workforce the adoption of telework initiatives has increased dramatically, as the benefits begin to outweigh the perceived hurdles.

Following on the heels of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, to help accelerate teleworking initiatives, the Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced a new teleworking policy for the civilian workforce.

This new policy requires DoD department heads to promote telework within their respective departments, exhaust all efforts to overcome barriers to program implementation, authorize telework for the maximum number of positions without compromising mission readiness, and integrate telework into continuity of operations activities.

A recent surveyconducted by Telework Exchange among federal IT employees found that 59 percent of respondents expect more regular teleworkers in the next two years; 65 percent of agencies polled scored an “A” or “B” in telework IT readiness.

As trends, such as Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), continuing to take hold, young professionals entering the workforce have started to request teleworking benefits. I previously discussed the importance for organizations eager to recruit to embrace technologies, like telepresence, that support anywhere, anytime collaboration.

Telepresence is a huge part of ensuring teleworking is as efficient as possible; incorporating video is a great way to stay connected to colleagues and preserve relationships. You can find more tips on how to maintain a productive telework environment here.

One thing is for sure, telework isn’t going anywhere. It’s already illustrated the cost savings and employee productivity benefits to organizations already implementing a telework plan. As we move forward, we are going to see a number of other initiatives from federal agencies as well as organizations around the globe looking to take hold of these benefits.

Does your employer have some telework initiative in place? Please share your thoughts.

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Nice, France: A Model City of the Future in the Making

 

Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities efforts around the world have seen both the creation of new cities and the revitalization of existing ones. Although we’re no strangers to the transformation process, it is still eye-opening to see one of the oldest areas of France well on its way to becoming a model city of the future.

 

Nice by Night

Last month, Cisco and city officials of Nice, France convened at the Innovative City Convention to announce a strategic collaboration in future development. In recent times, policy makers and industry leaders have increasingly been tasked with city improvement goals that require the careful integration of citizen needs, city-wide operations and prevailing infrastructures. Through the signing of an MoU, both parties have agreed to embrace a more holistic view in the next stage of planning and development for Nice. As a key technology partner, Cisco plays an important role in taking advantage of our core networking competencies to transform Nice from a physical community into a connected community. With the help of relevant technologies, we hope to create the level of innovation and socio-economic development needed to bolster the city’s sustainability, growth and global competitiveness.

 

As the fifth most heavily populated city in France, Nice sits on 28 square miles of land and houses around 350,000 citizens. Projects that are being put into place will largely focus on improving quality of life, creating jobs, sustaining the appeal of local industries and maintaining overall social welfare. The implementation of networked technologies will aim to provide the following:

 

  • A network of smart sensors connected to intelligent communication systems that are capable of capturing and analyzing relevant data on city operations
  • Mechanisms in place that will alert citizens on air/water quality and flash flood warnings
  • Technologies that provide drivers with pertinent information on traffic patterns and available parking, with the aim of improving traffic flow
  • Consumer mobile devices that help facilitate payment for services and customize on-demand data for nearby recreational activities and entertainment
  • Technologies that nurture and promote interaction amongst students, teachers, neighbors, researchers, companies and governments
  • Improved healthcare technology that provides efficient care at a distance, diagnostics and treatments to improve citizen health

 

In taking a more holistic approach to planning and development efforts, the city of Nice has taken on the economic and social welfare of its citizens as a priority. The development of new services and industries will effectively help create new jobs, while innovative technologies will support better education, healthcare and workplace services. As a testing ground for many of these solutions, we're optimistic that Nice will one day serve as a model for what a smart and connected community could achieve.

 

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City Re-Development Starts with Building Retrofits: What Happens When the World’s Top Building Owners and Managers Debate their Future?

More than 1600 delegates convened at the 2012 Every Building Conference & Expo two weeks ago in Seattle, hosted by Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International. The conference gathered some of the industry's best minds and biggest investors for three packed days of learning opportunities aimed at professionals representing all types of buildings.

As a BOMA Cornerstone Partner, Cisco participated in three sessions during the conference, each of which focused on the role of technology innovation in shaping the future of the real estate industry.  There’s good news coming out of Seattle: Connectivity is, thankfully, no longer building specific; it’s now all about the connectivity of neighborhoods and cities. Read More »

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