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Cloud Computing events in London

Cisco will be a Platinum sponsor of the third annual Cloud Computing World Forum in London.  If you are planning to attend this event, please stop by booth #235 where we’ll be demonstrating Cisco Cloud technologies such as VXI, Cloud Orchestration/automation, UCS, Security, etc.  This would be a good opportutnity to talk to experts in this field or meet account teams for the European and Emerging Market regions.

We are also excited to host a Public Sector Cloud Day with Cisco customers on June 20th.  This event (by invitation only) will allow us to meet with CIO and Technical Decision Makers to discuss the evolution of Cloud Computing in public sector organizations.  A great opportunity to stay close to our customes!

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Keeping the Department of Defense Running Smoothly with Telepresence

June 15, 2011 at 11:59 am PST

We’ve talked about how telepresence can bring therapy to those in need, and it turns out the technology may help calm the nerves of another suffering group of people: some federal employees.

As part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative, the Defense Department (DoD) has begun to move 123,000 employees to new office facilities. The moves profoundly change the personnel composition of more than 8,000 bases across the country, and it costs more than $35 billion. According to a survey by Federal News Radio, 49 percent of the 468 respondents do not think the consolidation will improve collaboration amongst the affected DoD and military offices, civilian agencies, and contractors. Conversely, they see mounting problems with communication, commute, employee satisfaction, and training.

Fortunately, for federal workers impacted by these changes, there is a technology currently deployed within DoD and Civilian agencies that can alleviate much of the stress of these foreshadowed issues.  Telepresence and video communications can facilitate real time interaction with Pentagon offices, which are no longer easily accessible by displaced workers, removing the potential for BRAC to “greatly disrupt” the relationship among offices, as one respondent feared would happen.   Likewise, telepresence technology can make teleworking more effective and efficient, providing the “face time” several employees expressed concern about losing, while still allowing them to be an integral part of the conversation.

The benefits keep multiplying. Keeping employees connected in real time boosts morale, makes everyone feel invested in the day-to-day operation of the bases, and makes possible the mentor/mentee relationships some respondents said would be lost.

With budgets and government downsizing hot button issues right now, it’s a solution the feds can’t afford to overlook.

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Cloud Computing Expo – Highlights

I had the opportunity to attend the Cloud Computing Expo in New York this week and was impressed by the level of expertise both from the attendees and the sponsors. It was very inspiring to be surrounded by peers with similar Cloud goals.

I’m still trying to digest the content and conversations that I had at the show floor, but I’d like to share a few personal highlights:

  • It is clear that Cloud Computing is here to stay, and growing faster than we all anticipated.
  • While it is still in its infancy, the last couple of years are clearly giving Cloud its identity.
  • The IT delivery that we have known for so long is being transformed.
  • Reliable network connectivity is more important than ever before.

While these changes continue to take place, vendors and customers must continue to work together to maximize the benefits of the Cloud and provide an open infrastructure to support our applications.

It’s exciting to see new developments and the energy and resources invested by the industry.

Cloud – Technology Nirvana or Buzz Word?

Cloud computing is ubiquitous – directly or indirectly, enterprise organizations, governments and consumers have been actively using or engaging with hosted application platforms for some time and will continue to do so for many years to come.  Lately we have been bombarded by cloud conversations, market analysis on whether cloud is greener, more secure, more cost effective or if it’s here to stay. The din of these conversations sometimes dulls out the reality that cloud is simply a necessary and expected evolution of the way we consume, access, and deliver information over the network. Click here to learn how some private sector organizations are already realizing the benefits of cloud.

With the proliferation of mobile devices, applications and social networks, consumers’ behaviors are changing and access to information anytime, anywhere and over any platform has become a norm. As devices become more relevant, more intelligent and more embedded into our day-to-day lives, we begin to expect that same seamless connected experience across the services we receive from our cities, governments, schools, etc.  Cloud enables these connected devices to go beyond the limitations of our 1:1 interactions and extends our access to services and information. With cloud computing, governments and industries can deploy more dynamic services to grow cities, deliver faster, more reliable services to citizens, and ensure greater access to a global market of opportunities and experiences.

Cloud is really about economies of scale.  Tangible upfront cost savings are difficult to measure, but if you look at cloud as a means to achieving organizational agility through efficient virtualization processes, then the savings are more quantifiable. Cloud computing won’t solve all our IT problems, but it gives us an opportunity to look beyond a siloed approach to IT and information sharing and experience the next generation of collaboration that is dynamic and reliable enough to evolve the way we currently deliver services and operate.

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SBA for Government? – Yes, there’s an App for that!

June 9, 2011 at 9:22 am PST

It seems that every time I talk to customers and partners lately they want to know more about Smart Business Architectures.

I think we all agree that Networking has become quite complicated these days with many choices to be made.  Since most organizations rely on the network for every aspect of their business today, they need to provide an infrastructure that allows for anytime, anywhere, anything and anyone connectivity in a secure, reliable, and seamless fashion.

Poor choices can be extremely costly, and I’ve seen recent examples of customers having deployed the wrong technology (like GPON in a Campus environment) only to find that they were unable to provide the necessary Network services to support the applications that their customers demand.  This is not good for one’s career, nor the organizations budget when a forklift replacement of the network must be done.

Building and maintaining a network is complicated problem that can only be addressed properly with “a plan” or in network terminology, an “Architecture”.

The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch.  Cisco has already done much of the baseline work for you with a number of very well written documents on the Smart Business Architecture (SBA) site.  Cisco has made a healthy investment in SBA to ensure our customers and partners are successful.

The SBA guides are very prescriptive and based on use cases from customers and partners and have been assembled and tested in our lab.  The target level of expertise is the CCNA/CCNP level engineer so you don’t have to keep a staff of CCIE’s to run your network, especially in the mid-size business environment where this is not a very cost effective approach.

If you’d like more detail, check out my talk on the subject recently at the Government Solutions Forum.

And oh by the way, yes there’s no an App on the Apple Store for “Cisco SBA”.  All you need is your CCO password to access all of the documents that are currently available.

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