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Ever wondered what the key barrier is to telework?

Telework is increasingly becoming a topic of interest, especially with Obama signing of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 one year ago, almost to the week. So if everyone is talking about it, why isn’t adoption more widespread?  Especially when the benefits of telework are vast and well known – from happier, healthier employees, to overhead cost savings for companies to greener business practices and cutting carbon emissions by taking drivers off the road. For example, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), General Services Administration (GSA), and 7 other sources, if 33 million Americans worked from home, Gulf oil imports could be reduced by 24% to 48%, greenhouse gases by up to 67 million metric tons a year, and as much as 7.5 trillion gallons of gasoline each year, for a total of $110 million in savings a day. Even government agencies, that have mandatory telework requirements to meet as a result of the Telework Enhancement Act, haven’t embraced it to the extent expected. What is standing in the way? 

Next week, we will release our latest whitepaper “Video at the Core of Government Telework.” This white paper, intended for executives planning telework strategies, highlights new findings on telework barriers and how to overcome these to make the most of the essential role of telepresence, for engaging and managing a remote government workforce. You won’t want to miss it. We will be giving our Facebook fans a sneak preview, so stay tuned.

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With Proper Set Up, Telepresence Need Not Pose Security Concern

In October, we wrote about the federal government’s move toward installing video and telepresence capabilities on mobile devices to improve communication, especially for law enforcement and defense purposes. With mobile telepresence, the government can enhance collaboration and response time during critical events.

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Cisco Common Crypto Hybrid Module (C3M-hybrid) is FIPS certified!

The Global Certification team is pleased to announce the Cisco Common Crypto Hybrid Module, C3M-hybrid, has been awarded FIPS validation #1668 and is complete!  The C3M-hybrid module leverages AES-NI (C3M, #1643, completed in 2011). This is the first crypto module that leverages AES-NI.

http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/STM/cmvp/documents/140-1/140val-all.htm#1668

The Cisco Common Cryptographic Module (C3M) is a software library that that can be utilized by many Cisco products. The module provides FIPS validated cryptographic algorithms, including advanced (Suite B) cryptography requested by USG, for services such as sRTP, SSH, TLS, 802.1x etc. Once the FIPS validated C3M is integrated into our products, GCT can engage the FIPS lab to write letters of compliance. In the future, leveraging this FIPS validation while performing HW validation will reduce cost, time and effort.

FIPS-140 is a US and Canadian government standard that specifies security requirements for cryptographic modules. A cryptographic module is defined as “the set of hardware, software, and/or firmware that implements approved security functions (including cryptographic algorithms and key generation) and is contained within the cryptographic boundary.” The cryptographic module is what is being validated.

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Innovation in the 21st Century City

As a global director of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group’s Urban Innovation team, I’ve seen how broadband connectivity can radically transform urban life, while forcing us to rethink our entire approach to designing and managing cities. I recently had the opportunity to share some of my ideas on the subject at the 2011 World Council of UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) in Florence, Italy.

The Council represents nearly half the world’s population, from 36 countries and more than 1,000 cities—everywhere from Istanbul and Dakar to Helsinki and New York. In Florence, more than 400 mayors, along with municipal ministers, directors, innovators and other experts, met to discuss the daunting challenges facing today’s cities, while offering solutions in a creative and interactive forum. Topics ranged from transportation, utilities, and infrastructure to tourism and environmental sustainability.

Mayor Matteo Renzi of Florence, the host of the event, has worked with Cisco on innovation initiatives in his city. In addition to helping him plan the conference, I was granted the opportunity to moderate some sessions on urban innovation. Read More »

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Telehealth, Including Telesurgery, Expected to Rapidly Expand

We’ve seen some great examples of how telehealth services help reach patients living in rural areas that lack easy access to medical care. With telepresence technology, these patients can have face-to-face visits with their doctors as frequently as needed, without having to leave home or face long commutes to the hospital.

Knowing how much the people using these telehealth services rely on their high-quality, convenient patient care, it is great to read that market researchers expect the global telemedicine market to expand by 19 percent by 2014. According to a forecast by market analysts at Technavio, United States federal grants supporting telehealth contribute significantly to the forecasted industry growth. An increase in strategic partnerships in telemedicine also helps boost telehealth’s prominence.

As telemedicine continues to expand throughout the United States, Europe and developing nations also continue to offer more opportunities for remote care, according to the market report. It’s exciting to think of the international collaboration possibilities for telehealth as it spreads worldwide. Imagine a telepresence connection between an expert in France, a patient in rural New York, and the patient’s doctor in New York City. The top minds in different specialties could communicate effortlessly, sharing cutting-edge findings and offering the best care available.

We’re already seeing truly innovative international telepresence collaboration in telesurgery, a field the Technavio report predicted would continue to expand. In September, a Kenyan patient underwent the African nation’s first telesurgery procedure. Specialists in India guided the operation via telepresence.

Would you let robots perform your surgery if you knew the best hands in the field led the procedure in real-time through telepresence? It sounds impossible, but with telepresence widely available, it could be the wave of the future!

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