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Highlights from the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workspace: Public Sector Edition

In case you missed it, you can still watch the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workplace online

This 90-minute TeleWebcast features public sector customer best practices from federal, state and local government, and education organizations hosted via Cisco TelePresence in Atlanta, Herndon, Los Angeles, Richardson, San Jose, and Seattle.

Moderator: Steve LeSueur  
Contributing Editor, 1105 Government Information Group

Shane Milam
Director, Systems and Networks, Mercer University

 Paulette Robinson
Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, iCollege, National Defense University

Josh Sawislak 
Senior Fellow, Telework ExchangeSenior Fellow, Telework Exchange

Jac Fagundo
Chief Technology Officer for Internal Services Department, LA County

Brooks Moore 
Manager of Technology Services, Dallas County Public Schools – Aledo

Matt Byers
Senior Systems Administrator, Seattle University

Chris Westphal
Senior Manager for Desktop Solutions Marketing, VMware

Tony Paikeday
Senior Marketing Manager for Desktop Virtualization, Cisco

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2011 – A Very Good Year for Government Product Certifications at Cisco

As 2011 comes to a close, it’s a good time to look back at a very successful year for Cisco’s Global Certifications. Cisco is committed to government product certifications and has increased the investment to ensure customers can trust the integrity, security and interoperability of Cisco IT network systems. New certifications include:
- 12 FIPS 140-2 validations,
- 5 Common Criteria certifications,
- 25 new product listings on the US Department of Defense Unified Communications Approved Products List (UC APL),
- 13 new USGv6 certifications, and
- 12 new IPv6 Ready Logo Phase 2 certifications

These 67 new certifications, the most ever in one year at Cisco, continue to demonstrate Cisco’s commitment to our Public Sector customers. At the same time, these certifications improve product quality and security for all customers.

In addition to product certifications, Cisco continues to stress the importance of a single, standards-based, mutually recognized certification program, specifically Common Criteria, for evaluating product assurance. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) vendors cannot scale to demands from countries with unique product certification requirements. Not only does this impact the ability of vendors to improve product security but it reduces the portfolio of products customers have to choose from, thereby potentially reducing the security of their networks against emerging cyber security threats.

2012 will be an exciting year at Cisco for government product certifications. We will continue to look for ways to scale, both internally and externally, to the ever increasing demand for product certifications across a broader set of our product offerings. We also expect to deliver even more product certifications than we did in 2011. For more information on government product certification at Cisco, please visit us at www.cisco.com/go/govcerts.

Happy Holidays!

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The Cisco 5940 Embedded Services Router (ESR) awarded Common Criteria Certification

December 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm PST

The Global Certification Team is pleased to announce thati  the 5940 Embedded Services Router (ESR) has been awarded Common Criteria certification.  The 5940 ESR is certified at EAL2+ against the Traffic Filter Firewall in Basic Robustness Environments v1.1.  The Cisco 5940 ESR validated for IOS Version: 15.1(2)GC1.

More information on the validation effort can be found at: http://www.niap-ccevs.org/cc-scheme/st/vid10429/

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Paying Attention to TCO can save the Government Millions in Transport Costs

December 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm PST

I’ve been thinking a lot about TCO recently and ways we can help the Government maximize the investment of our tax dollars. By chance, I ran across this incredible White Paper written by one of our top Optical Engineers  entitled “Government Transport Networks:  Minimize Lifetime Costs”.

It’s a good read, and if you are a Network Architect making purchasing decisions in this area, I would highly recommend it.  In fact, if you have any further questions on any of the data presented please reach out to me directly and I’ll put you in touch with the author.

This paper makes the case that transport networks represent a significant portion of government IT costs and is often overlooked in terms of TCO.  It guides the reader through the various Network Deployment Models (private, managed private, hybrid) and the benefits  in real dollars by going with one approach over another.

Transport networks affect government operational costs at least as much as campus or data center networks, and carefully selecting the platform can result in significant savings. In summary, a well-planned transport architecture can help agencies avoid the considerable expense of upgrades as they accelerate adoption of business video and virtualization. In contrast, a platform with lower upfront costs may have a shorter lifespan and require IT teams to continually add overlay networks that increase costs and management complexity.

So “caveat emptor” when considering your next network purchase.

To learn more about Cisco transport platforms, visit: http://www.cisco.com/go/optical.

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Cisco PSS 2011 Wraps on Encouraging Note; Experts Cite Public Sector Capacity for Innovation, Evolution

A quartet of distinguished experts on government and innovation closed the 10th Cisco Public Services Summit Sunday by presenting  a cascade of public sector innovations – all supporting the view that government can and will keep up with fast-moving digital technology.

Author Steven Johnson, former Canadian cabinet secretary Jocelyne Bourgon, former Australian finance minister Lindsay Tanner and Indian telecom entrepreneur Sam Pitroda provided an invigorating finish to the 2011 Summit, attended in Oslo by delegates from more than 40 countries.

Johnson, author of “Where Good Ideas Come From,” cited examples of public agencies creating new kinds of data and dialogue from low-tech neo-natal incubators designed for the third world to New York City’s 311 information line.

“It’s the borrowing and remixing of idea that is so often the key to innovation,” said Johnson.  “When you break down silos you get new approaches to problems… There’s no reason why your ideas shouldn’t be free to flow and be improved upon in other peoples’ minds.”

“Chance favors the connected mind,” concluded Johnson.

Canadian researcher and former cabinet secretary Jocelyne Bourgon said government must redesign itself in a world of diminished funding – “I have not found any country that has been able to balance its budget by ‘doing more with less,’” she said – adding that “technology can be a crucial driver in the capacity of reinventing.”

But Bourgon expressed optimism that governments will answer the call. “We now have a generation of public sector servants raised in virtual communities,” she said, noting that traditional, vertically-structured agencies are learning to co-exist with distributed networks.

“We used to define policy as a decision,” said Bourgon. “Now it is a joint experiment [with the public] amid an ongoing process.”

Former Australian finance minister Lindsay Tanner agreed, noting that public sector institutions built on industrial-age principles of hierarchy, control and secrecy “cannot survive in a world with universal instantaneous communication.” But he cited examples of Australian public agencies rising to the challenge, from  obtaining Creative Commons licensing for government documents to asking citizens to co-manage a database of World War I military vets.

Tanner  dubbed the new level of communication afforded by web technologies “multilogue” versus mere “dialogue” – multilogue communication defined as “collective, interactive, and collaborative, involving an unspecified number of people who are talking to each other as well as the government.”

“Technological change alters human behavior,” said Tanner. “It doesn’t just mean a better way to do what we’ve always done. It changes the calculus of what we do.”

Pitroda, the Indian entrepreneur, added that government has a moral imperative to innovate on behalf of the poor. “Technology tends to be used to solve the problems of the rich, who don’t actually have many problems,” he said. “To me, technology is the key to begin to change the fabric of Indian administration and delivery for education, health care, everything.”

Pitroda noted the astonishing speed with which digital technology is spreading in Indi, reporting that 250,000 local government will be connected to optical fiber within two years. “The key is to use this infrastructure to really begin to transform business models,” Pitroda told the PSS audience.

Before departing Oslo, PSS 2011 delegates attended the traditional Nobel Peace Prize concert Sunday night honoring the 2011 laureates: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian human rights activist Leymah Gbowee, and Yememi democracy campaigner Tawakkal Karman.

For a recap of the 2011 Public Services Summit visit cisco.com/go/pss2011.

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