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Playing it Safe

In today’s age of digital information, data is everything. And when it goes missing, we break out in a cold sweat.A simple heist of a single laptop or PDA can have significant repercussions on a company and its bottom line. Just in the past month, a laptop was pinched, which belonged to an employee in the UK from Deloitte, putting at risk the pension data of at least 100,000 individuals. While this particular case, reportedly, was not considered a very high risk, the possibilities give one pause. Without a system of layered defense, a business can quite easily be forced to its knees. Read More »

Firetrucks, Trains and Video

October 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

My little guy, Jack, is not quite two and he is currently in a firetrucks and train phase. No telling when he’ll grow out of it, but I seem to remember wanting to be a policeman or fireman when I was growing up…and while I respect both of those professions immensely, I never went into them. We shall see if Jack becomes a fireman or a conductor. We read a book about nine thousand times a day called “Firetruck” where the little boy says “firetruck” the first thing in the morning…and the last thing at night…and then one day he wakes up and is a firetruck. Jack loves it…and nearly lives it. He is very passionate about firetrucks and trains (Thomas is still the favorite here.)Which made me think about Cisco’s passions. We LOVE video. TelePresence. WebEx. Web cams. VODs. IP Security cams. You name it. If it’s video, we love it. And, as the focus these days is clearly on the the economy (Note: Cisco is now in quiet period and we report Q109 earnings on November 5.), we think video will play an even greater role. As travel is scaled back, but face to face is still so important, why not try a WebEx meeting with video? Or, tap into Cisco’s network of Public TelePresence Suites. Or, tape a video, post it to the web and send it out to customers/friends/colleagues/family as a personal high-touch message…much more impactful than a letter or e-mail. There is nothing like being there is person, but when you cannot be, video is the next best thing.

Collaboration and Microblogging

An article in the New York Times on Yammer and Twitter caught my eye this morning. I’ve been experimenting with both sites and much to my surprise, I’ve actually added them to my regular tech routine. Even more relevant to our world was the accompanying blog pondering the business value of microblogging. Here at Cisco, we believe that collaboration is the future and recognize that as business becomes increasingly digital, work is more of an activity than a place you commute to every morning. Definitely feels like microblogging can be another tool for real-time collaboration, don’t you think?I guess only time will tell, but I’m seeing some breakthroughs- finding a new website or tool (like Twirl), reading an article recommended by a contact, knowing that a colleague is in Beijing for a week, and in the same stream getting the latest news from The New York Times or GigaOm. Microblogging is easy to use, keeps me informed, and doesn’t require a response. And when you do want to chime in, the tools make sure you keep it simple. For those of us struggling to control our inboxes, it makes a lot of sense. (although I’m also trying out Xobni for good measure).- Elizabeth McNichols, Director, Corporate Communications

TelePresence For Everyone

October 15, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

You’ve heard about TelePresence. You’ve read about TelePresence. But, you’ve not been able to experience it…yet. Now, you have your chance. TelePresence is life-size, high-definition video conferencing by Cisco and today we announced that those of you who cannot justify installing permanent TelePresence units can now access it in what we are calling TelePresence Suites. Read more about it here.I’m a Cisco employee and, hence, encouraged and, yes, spoiled by my access to TelePresence. I meet virtually with colleagues frequently…and even met with my family in North Carolina last Christmas. As our press release says, “This new model marks a significant step in Cisco’s vision of building a public global Cisco TelePresence network.” Sure, at some point, we’ll have a version of TelePresence in the home (don’t ask me when, but we’re working on it), but for meetings that you can’t justify travelling for, and for the environment, and for sleeping in your own bed at night, our TelePresence Suites may just be what the doctor ordered. For more info on this new service, check out Cisco TelePresence Suites.Here is a short video that will help you see what I’m talking about…if you want to hear what my voice sounds like, I’m the voiceover guy in the video*.*Okay, not really.

Cisco I-Prize Winners: Family Affair from Germany and Russia

October 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

As you may have already seen on VentureBeat, we announced our I-Prize winner today. The I-Prize was a global competition to help identify a major new business opportunity for Cisco. The winning team, based in Germany and Russia, presented Cisco with a business plan that improves energy efficiency by taking advantage of Cisco’s leadership in Internet Protocol (IP) technology. (Cisco news on the winner here.)The winning I-Prize team was led by Anna Gossen, a computer science student at the Karlsruhe University in Germany. Along with her husband, Niels Gossen, a computer science student at the University of Applied Sciences in Germany, and her brother Sergey Bessonnitsyn, a systems engineer from Russia, the team is eligible to receive US$250,000 in cash to be shared among the team members. Congratulations to Ms. Gossen, Mr. Gossen and Mr. Bessonnitsyn, who won from a group of more than 2500 entrepreneurs and innovators in the contest from 104 countries.You can learn more about the winning project from this video of Ms. Gossen…looks like there are bugs (insects, not code) in Germany this time of year…