Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Manufacturing

Manufacturing: Be there while staying here

One of the challenges all of today’s manufacturing companies face is global operations that require increased attention from a diverse and oftentimes shrinking or aging workforce. Manufacturers and machine builders are faced with challenges every day in terms of getting the right engineer or expert from her office to the plant floor half the globe away. If the plant is down or operating inefficiently there are huge cost impacts to the manufacturer, huge support cost to the machine builder, and just tremendous impact to the value chain.

At Cisco we have shaved hundreds of millions of expense dollars from our budget by using a variety of collaboration tools. These start with Unified Communications but they include tools like WebEx, TelePresence, Video and Active Collaboration Rooms. These all add on to the existing capabilities of Borderless Networks. Many of our manufacturing customers already use these tools and are successfully stripping cost from their Operations every day.

Imagine the power of walking into a conference room, pressing a button on the phone and instantly seeing your assembly operations in China and Germany, being able to share data with the operations people from both plants with your staff in Michigan. Finishing that meeting you can capture the action items via your interactive whiteboard, set up follow-up calls via WebEx (all without printing, by the way! A Green feature!). Then you can get a cup of coffee and head back to your office and handle the call from Brazil about the packaging machine that wraps half the skid, then shuts down – and you do that from your phone, finding the design engineer that is at a customer site in Australia. And you did this all without having to fly anywhere, and you had visual contact with everyone. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Give me Internet or give me Death!

September 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm PST

Could you live without the Internet?

If you think that the answer to this question is an easy “yes,” then you may find the results from Cisco’s 2011 Connected World Technology Report a bit shocking. Cisco commissioned an international workforce study of nearly 3000 people asking their views on the network in their lives.

A few choice highlights:

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brewers Win National League Central

Back in April I predicted the Brewers would rule the league. Tonight proved the first step! Many of you know I prefer scotch, so I will toast them, and many more toasts!

Tags: ,

Cisco gives back the Manufacturing Way

September 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm PST

For those of you who may not be aware, we at Cisco take our commitment to our communities very seriously, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun when we volunteer!

Left to right: Andrew Lach, Peter Granger, Kevin Davenport at InnVision

On August 17th, over 20 volunteers from the Cisco Enterprise and Mid-market Marketing group gave their time to support InnVision, Silicon Valley’s leading provider of housing and services for homeless families and individuals:

InnVision is a primary gateway for homeless families and individuals seeking shelter and resources that lead to self-sufficiency. Our comprehensive system of care promotes self-worth and dignity at multiple facilities throughout Silicon Valley, including shelters, longer- term housing options and service centers, each equipped to meet emergency and transitional needs of diverse, at-risk people. InnVision is…the Way Home!


Volunteers spent the day sorting clothing for InnVision’s store, prepping food for daily meals, and reading stories to children.

Kevin, Peter and I were tasked with sorting clothing. Being from the Manufacturing team, we couldn’t resist applying the lessons learned from the Manufacturing industry towards our volunteer duties. Recalling Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations“, we quickly broke into teams for a proper division of labor. Safety is a top priority, so latex gloves were distributed to the sorting teams to follow OSHA guidelines. We carefully optimized our WIP to ensure that Bottlenecks --which threatened to shut down our line via the Bullwhip effect — were not created. Additionally, we applied classical queueing theory using exponential distribution to carefully model our Poisson processes. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are Sunny Days Possible in the Cloud?

Yes, but only if there is Trust…

Do you remember not too long ago hopping into your car, driving, across town (when gas was $1- something) to your local retail store and searching the computer department to purchase a cereal box that contained between 2- 8 3.5” (or are you “wise” enough to remember 5.25” floppy) disks?  The disk contained software that would entertain us, make us more productive and educate.  If you don’t remember that, how about going to the record store and perusing the aisles for hours reading the CD boxes that were twice as big as the CD.

Well those days seem long past; and inserting a disk in anything these days….well, seems a bit ancient.


We’re now spoiled with the conveniences of iTunes,, Facebook, Youtube, Yahoo Mail, etc..  In addition, we’re all too familiar with the seemingly millions of applications that run on a myriad of mobile appliances.  None of these programs run on our PC’s hard drive.  They’re browser based applications that are essentially utility services which we share with thousands of users.

So, I began to ponder the question, “What’s the big deal about the Cloud in Manufacturing and Enterprise?”  Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,