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Work-Life Innovation: Impact on the Individual

Networked technologies have made work and learning increasingly mobile and highly flexible. So much so that employees are now choosing work-location flexibility over a higher salary and employers are providing workers with the tools to facilitate this. Cisco IBSG calls this “Smart Work.” Of course, the ability to make flexible working a viable option depends on a number of factors, including availability of good broadband connectivity, employer trust, the nature of the work in which an employee is engaged, and suitable social software and video technologies that enable the employee to remain in a connected (albeit virtual) work environment.

Employees, too, have to develop a new form of self-discipline that involves maintaining a good work-life balance; rather than working longer hours, this entails spending much of their extra time with family, in the community, or furthering their own personal and professional development. Read More »

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San Francisco Bay Area’s Pioneers—Linking Technology and Public Policy

One of the best things about my job at CISCO is the opportunity to work with innovators in government, business, the independent sector, and nonprofits and examine the problems of urban communities in new ways.

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of supporting the launch of a new civic presence in our hometown of San Jose that does this very well: the San Jose office of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, SPUR San Jose. Read More »

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Connected Justice Translates Into Time and Cost Savings for Florida County

May 4, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Interpreters are extremely important in the judicial system, and they are increasingly in high demand. Costs for interpreter services continue to rise in courtrooms across the country, but technology is helping cut those costs while improving quality of life for the interpreters themselves.

Orange County is currently using a Cisco Connected Justice solution for Florida’s first high-tech interpreter system. The system instantly connects interpreters to 67 courtrooms through high definition, live, interactive video. From their desks, interpreters have the ability to control camera angles and audio levels in the courtroom, speak directly to any of the parties participating in a hearing and can appear in real-time on a monitor in the courtroom. Read More »

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The results are in: Telework Week was a tremendous success

By any measure, Telework Week 2012, which took place from March 5-9 and was sponsored by Cisco and Telework Exchange, was a tremendous success. The post-Telework Week report was released today during the Spring Telework Exchange Town Hall Meeting and the results are outstanding.

This year, 71,324 people participated, a new record and an increase in pledges of 80 percent compared to last year. Moreover, 94 percent of those participants were federal employees, which is a 97 percent increase compared to 2011. Collectively, this year’s Telework Week participants saved more than $5.6 million in commuting costs, more than 6.4 million miles of driving, 251,774 hours, and 3,453 tons of pollutants.

Participating organizations reported improved productivity and continuity of operations as key benefits realized during Telework Week. In addition, participation enabled some organizations to test the waters of telework and promote its benefits internally to mangers, supervisors and employees, as well as externally to the constituents they serve – namely, the American public.

Two examples of federal agencies that participated this year are the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. General Services Administration. The USDA had 7,516 pledges from 29 different agencies and sub-organizations participate. Its pledges saved more than $1 million in commuting costs and 464 tons of pollutants. The GSA had nearly 8,000 staff members participate, which is approximately 65 percent of the agency, and together they saved more than 273,000 miles of driving. Importantly, an overwhelming majority (97 percent) said their Telework Week experience was positive.

Cisco plays a major role in enabling the secure mobility and collaboration teleworkers need so they can access critical applications anytime, from anywhere. As Pat Finn, Cisco’s vice president, Federal said: “At Cisco, we are committed to providing solutions that support work – from any location. Telework Week provided the perfect opportunity for agencies and organizations to try telework and test out the mobile technologies – such as virtual desktop environments and collaboration tools – that truly enable and empower a changing workforce.”

If the resounding success of Telework Week 2012 is any indication, the future of telework looks very promising indeed.

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Global Supply Chain Security and Cisco.

April 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm PST

As you may well know, the Global Certification Team is always striving to improve the security of Cisco’s products, throughout the lifecycle of the device.  It’s been said that a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. This not only applies to a physical chain, but it also to the supply chain involved from the conception of a product through the delivery phase.  Today we have a guest post from Terrie Diaz (tediaz@cisco.com), who is heading up our Global Supply Chain Security effort.

Supply Chain Security, is the process through which Cisco delivers genuine products to the customer.  In today’s highly global business model, Supply Chain security is a hot topic.   In this ever-changing market, there are numerous arteries for an attacker to introduce unwanted malware, counterfeit hardware, and disrupt delivery.   Cisco’s responsibility to its shareholders and customers is to ensure our supply chain is impenetrable.  Cisco’s Supply Chain Security management program has been designed with the lifecycle of the product in mind.  In fact, our focus on supply chain spans from product design, through sourcing components, manufacturing, distribution, and installation to support and end-of-life.

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) and IHS, Inc. have highlighted the risks to organizational supply chain in recent reports:

Cisco’s use of best practices and internal audits affords the ability to identify gaps or weakness in our supply chain.  We are also activity involved in various organizations and agencies that are developing criteria, policy, and process, such as NIST and The Open Group to tackle today’s challenges facing the supply chain and customers’ concerns of receiving trustworthy products.

Please visit Cisco.com for more information on how Cisco is securing the supply chain.