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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.

Can SMART Solutions Create Better Places?

The title for this blog post is more than just the title of a blog post. It’s a question my Cisco colleagues and I have been pondering for quite some time. And, it’s the title assigned to a panel on which I recently participated, debating skeptics who asked some good (and probing) questions. The panel was part of the American Planning Association’s 2012 National Planning Conference, which attracted thousands of attendees. As the world’s largest planning event, the conference brings together urban planners and city leaders from around the world. Read More »

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Recognizing Communities Around the World: Part 2

Last week I spoke with Louis Zacharilla and Robert Bell co-founders of the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF).  They were both very busy getting ready to announce the Intelligent Community of the Year at the Building the Broadband Economy summit in New York City June 6-8.

Each year, ICF presents an awards program for Intelligent Communities and the public-sector and private-sector partners who contribute to them.   

This year the 2012 Revolutionary keynote theme will be Intelligent Communities: Platforms for Innovation.  Innovation is one of ICF’s five Indicators, but the special theme will focus on how Intelligent Communities create uniquely powerful innovation ecosystems on a foundation of information and communications technology.   Innovation in Intelligent Communities brings together business, government and institutions in a dynamic partnership that produces results ranging from better and cheaper service delivery to citizens to the birth and growth of entrepreneurial businesses and vital new institutions.

There is a nice synergy between the Cisco Smart+Connected Communities and the Intelligent Communities recognized by ICF. 

This year’s ICF finalists include: 

  • Austin, Texas, United States
  • Oulu, Finland
  • Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • Riverside, California, United States
  • Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Straford, Ontario, Canada
  • Taichung City, Taiwan

 

 

  

 Do you know any communities that deserve to be recognized?

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A Thoroughly Modern Government

April 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm PST

From adopting more mobile communication to converting operational systems to cloud-based applications, the federal government undoubtedly has a modernizing makeover underway. Though challenges persist in terms of security and easing transitions, efforts to update technology help the government keep pace with the private sector and best serve its constituents.

These technology upgrades also open wide the doors to vastly expanded communication possibilities.  For example, let’s look at how the cloud lends itself to more streamlined, personal connections among colleagues, across agencies, and from government workers to their target audiences. I’ve written about agencies and officials using video and telepresence to forge in-person, real-time links for teleworking employees, to maintain continuity during business disruptions, even to conduct top-secret missions. Well, with cloud computing in the mix, telepresence can still perform all of its regular functions, but it does so in conjunction with access to scheduling mechanisms, global directories, and advanced media services that enhance video-hosted information-sharing. In essence, the cloud makes a critical communication tool like telepresence all the more powerful.

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