One of the greatest things about the holiday season is the wonder and excitement it brings to families across the world. For the past six years, Cisco has ensured that children and their families who are unable to celebrate in the comfort of their own home due to illness are able to experience some of the festive traditions this time of year brings. Cisco’s annual Santa Connection Program virtually connects Santa Claus to thousands of hospitalized children worldwide. Through the magic of Cisco’s video collaboration technologies (TelePresence and Jabber for mobile devices), children virtually connect to the “North Pole” and are able to share their holiday wishes and Christmas lists with Santa directly.
At Children's National Medical Center in DC
This year, I was fortunate enough to visit Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and get an early glimpse into how our Santa Connection Program will help nearly 400 kids at this hospital experience the magic of the season alongside their families. The hospitals’ telemedicine area will undergo its transformation into a Winter Wonderland complete with snow, Santa’s sleigh and shimmering holiday décor, all to create a place of joy for the children spending their holidays in the hospital.
In this magical room, patients connected with Santa’s Workshop via Cisco Jabber for iPad and TelePresence carts, allowing these children to meet face-to-face with Santa (and his elves!). I know that the excitement and joy these children experience while speaking with Santa is a moment that will never be forgotten and Cisco is honored to be a part of this annual event.
Santa visits Children's of Alabama via Cisco Jabber
Currently in its sixth year, this is the program’s most successful season yet. From December 4-21, 2012 Santa will connect with nearly 3,000 children in 33 hospitals across the U.S. alone, and make additional stops to other hospitals across the globe, including the UK and Ireland and Canada. With this super-speed cyber sled, children can rest assured knowing St. Nick will have enough time to make his list and check it twice!
Stay tuned for more updates on Santa’s visits in the coming weeks as he virtually crosses the globe and delights thousands of kids during this special season. Here’s a first-hand account about Santa’s recent visit to Children’s of Alabama hospital in Birmingham, Alabama earlier this week! You can also read more about the program on our healthcare blog.
As part of our ongoing support of the Australian and New Zealand partner community, last week we hosted the second annual Cisco Marketing Excellence partner awards. These awards are designed to recognise the great work that our partners are doing in creating and promoting innovative Cisco campaigns.
The awards are given across both the partner and distributor categories as well as recognising a partner in the Premier/Silver category which is a new award this year.
I am pleased to announce the following partners as this year’s winners:
James Mackay from Express Data is the winner of the distributor category for developing creative marketing around the Cisco Front Row program. Gabrielle Kingston from Westcon was the runner up thanks to her innovative promotion of Cisco UCS.
In the partner category Logicalis’ Oliver Descoeudres was the winner for developing an integrated program promoting “Tomorrow’s Workplace”. The runner-up was Garrett MacDonald who created a cloud campaign for Data#3 featuring Cisco’s “Know the network” as a call to action.
For the new Premier/Silver partner category, Blair Burchill from Comscentre was judged the winner for a customer briefing he conducted with Cisco and a leading public sector customer.
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Tags: Australia, New Zealand, partners
Over the last several months, since Cisco announced its Open Network Environment strategy, there has been considerable progress on multiple fronts:
- Early field trials (EFTs) with several Enterprise and Service Provider customers
- Proof-of-concepts (PoCs) and customer feedback providing more insight into use-cases and product evolution
- Several acquisitions have been announced that complement the strategy we outlined
- Our engagement and leadership in all the standards bodies around various aspects of open networking continue to grow
During all of these activities and customer interactions, what stood out was the considerable appetite amongst customers and others to learn about these emerging concepts in a more structured way. They expressed a strong desire to break through some of the hype cycle that has pervaded the industry around some of these topics, causing some degree of confusion. They also asked Cisco to present information in an easily consumable manner.
Given the breadth of our portfolio and the diversity of our customer base, this was a bit of challenge for us. A lot of this information was disbursed across different landing pages, blog sites etc. So we had to take a fresh approach to accede to this request.
Based on efforts over the last several weeks, the team has built two foundational portals that serve the purpose of both information aggregation as well as hopefully a watering hole for knowledge seekers -
The Cisco ONE Knowledge portal: This is a centralized aggregated information repository of all the content that we are generating around the topic of open networking across the portfolio, whether it is more formal and structured, or more informal and social. The information here is organized in a more structured way, based on type of content and the chronology.
Check this out at www.cisco.com/go/one and click on the “Knowledge Portal” tab.
What you will see is some quality content manifest itself over time, as we bring the consolidated efforts from various Cisco thought leaders, customers, analysts etc. and assets including more demos, deployment use-cases, case-studies etc. We are also initiating a series of webcasts on this topic to do a deeper dive on technology topics with roughly a 4-6 week cadence, with Cisco CTOs across various technology groups mostly leading the sessions. The intent is to Educate in a more structured manner. For example, we’re kicking off the first of these Cisco ONE webinars with “An Introduction to OpenStack”. (If you have not registered for the webcast yet, please do so).
We sincerely welcome your feedback on how to continue to improve the content as well as experience with the Cisco ONE knowledge portal.
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Tags: Cisco ONE, Cisco Open Network Environment, Knowledge Portal, OpenStack, SDN
Yesterday at the Cisco Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China Partner-Led Network Conference that took place in Bangkok, we took the opportunity to announce the recipients of the Cisco Smart Service awards. The purpose of these awards is to recognise our partners and customers from the region who showed forward-thinking approaches in the delivery and integration of Cisco Smart Services. The winners were chosen for their innovation and expertise that enable “Smart Everywhere” for their end-users across the region.
The awards are divided up into three categories; partner awards -- for partners who used Smart Services to accelerate growth of their services business; vendor awards -- for vendors who have demonstrated innovation and operational excellence for Cisco Services; and customer awards -- for those customers that have used Smart Services to fuel their business performance, efficiency and productivity.
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Tags: Asia-Pacific, Australia, China, Japan
The first rule in improvisational comedy (I have heard) is to say “Yes, and…” to everything. How different would the current fiscal cliff debate be if improvisational comedy rules were followed?
White House: “I’d like to raise tax rates on the wealthiest 1%, so that we don’t have to raise taxes on the middle class.”
Congress: “Yes, and we’d like to lower the corporate tax rates so that we can be more competitive globally.”
White House: “Yes, and I’d like to cap tax deductions for our wealthiest so we can help reduce the deficit.”
Congress: “Yes and we’d like to decrease spending by 5% (you can take it from anywhere you’d like.)”
White House: “Yes, and I’ll see you at the bill signing ceremony.”
Congress: “Yes, and Happy holidays. Have a great break with the spouse and kids.”
White House: “Yes, and you too. Wait, I got you a gift. Just a little something to say thank you for your leadership.”
See how simple that was? Everybody wins and our nation’s optimism and predictability are restored!! Saying yes and being optimistic can have great rewards.
Actually, in my view, optimism and good cheer seem to be trending up. I was driving into work this morning feeling a bit surly because the traffic in the Bay Area was particularly bad. Then, I remembered that heavy traffic is actually a good sign. Heavy traffic in Bay Area means people are working. Generally, the worse the traffic the better the economy. I do try to be optimistic, but sometimes we all can lose perspective. There seems to be more optimism and good cheer going around generally. Is this an economic indicator? Or, is it because we’re into the holiday season?
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Tags: cnbc, fiscal cliff, improvisational comedy, optimism, rise above, UPS