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The $100 Billion Collaboration Stimulus Plan of 2009 – Part 1

“Can you come to a meeting right now.” 
”No, it’s almost lunch time. If I miss lunch my day will be 12 hours of uninterrupted misery.” – The Boss and DilbertInspiration hits you at unusual times. I was standing in front of the Cisco Telepresence Experience at the NBA All Star game last weekend (February 7-8) — watching a long line of fans stand in line to have virtual face-to-face meetings with players like Steve Nash and Kevin Durant, or chat with local sportscasters engaging them in trivia contests — when I realized this inspiring experience was enabling a once in a lifetime opportunity for the 900+ people who queued up for the opportunity. They could get closer to an NBA player than they ever imagined. Imagine meeting with your CEO or your customer’s?The best-known justifications for Telepresence are reductions in travel expenses and time lost in transit. But the singular benefit of this technology is the meeting experience itself; that is, the full engagement employees bring to these meetings. If reduced travel time and expense is the locomotive, engagement is the freight of the Telepresence train. Contrast this with the plethora of meetings you attend on a daily basis. How many of the meetings you attend would you classify as inspiring? How many would you call productive? Or fun? Read More »

VIDEO: Jefferson Parish (LA) School System Rethinks Education Post-Katrina

21S is a Cisco initiative that was initially launched to improve educational practices and learning outcomes in several Mississippi and Louisiana school districts that were affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 21S site states: “Imagine a school where technology is an integral part of everyday learning and where eager, young minds can tap into the world’s vast reservoir of knowledge right from their classrooms.”In this video, we see representatives from the Jefferson Parish Public School System (New Orleans Metro Area, Louisiana, USA) talking about technology integration into classrooms and its impact on education.

Cisco makes the case for WiMAX at Mobile World Congress

There is a big buzz at Mobile World Congress this year around Long Term Evolution (LTE) radio area networks. This is a radio access technology which Cisco fully supports and which promises to bring much greater speed and bandwidth to mobile networks. Hang on, though. This is pretty much what was promised with WiMAX last year. So what has happened to 2008’s great hope for high-speed mobile access? To help clarify the issue, Brett Galloway, Senior Vice President for the Wireless and Security Technology Group at Cisco sat in on a round table hosted by Intel. And the answer, it would seem, is that both have a bright future-although possibly not at the same time.According to the panel, LTE is still about five years away from production deployment. Read More »

WebEx Added to Smartphones at Mobile World Congress

Cisco WebEx became more useful than ever this week with the news that it was being extended to work with a range of business smartphones. The announcement, at Mobile World Congress, means users will be able to join Cisco WebEx Meeting Center Web and audio conferences on smartphones including the BlackBerry Bold, Curve 8900 and Storm from RIM, the Nokia Eseries and Nseries phones, and the Samsung Blackjack II.To use, you just launch Cisco WebEx Meeting Center through your smartphone browser and you get integrated audio and Web conferencing over 3G or a combination of 2G and Wi-Fi. You can join scheduled meetings and view presentations, applications and desktops with live annotations.There is also a nice function on WebEx whereby a host can send meeting invites via Short Message Service and a recipient can join simply by texting ‘1’ back. Cisco WebEx smartphone support starts in April this year. Cisco @ Mobile World Congress.

USAToday: Boom or Bust for Silicon Valley Companies

Jon Swartz of USAToday writes, “It’s boom - and bust - for Silicon Valley companies these days. Literally.”He continues: “Already, a few established companies with ample cash reserves are bolstering war chests that will help them snap up innovative start-ups. Cisco Systems has $29.5 billion in cash reserves and last week sold $4 billion more in bonds.””This is the biggest challenge of our lifetime,” Cisco’s (Chairman and CEO) Chambers says. “The question is, do we take the opportunity and come out significantly better? I think our country, and the tech industry, will.”Read full story here.