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Cisco TelePresence provides a bright spot at Retail’s Big Show

Cisco’s TelePresence is proving a surprise hit at the National Retail Federation’s ‘BIG Show’ in New York this week.Industry icons such as Walmart CEO Lee Scott Jr have offered a very pragmatic perspective there on the industry’s prospects for the coming year, a sentiment which has delegates focused on saving money, strengthening customer relationships and better communicating with staff. Cisco TelePresence is generating a lot of interest as a result for its ability to cut travel costs, make remote experts easily available to customers, and visually connect staff across remote stores and offices.My colleague Chris Barker, who is on the ground in New York, tells me folks from retailers including Sports Authority, Gucci and Careerbuilder.com have been standing in line to get a peek of the technology (which we are demonstrating with our partner AT&T)…and are coming out of the demo somewhat awed! What better time to put a camera in front of them to get their reaction? Oh, and if you’ve never seen TelePresence for yourself…you might want to check out a recent commercial for the product.

Collaboration is Critical to Educational System Transformation

Posted on behalf of Michael Stevenson, vice president of Global Education, Cisco It’s no good teaching 21st century skills and then testing students on traditional facts and knowledge. During the Learning and Technology World Forum in London this week, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft called upon educational leaders, governments and other companies to work together to transform education, and to concentrate especially on the problem of assessment.The three companies have brought together OECD and some of the world’s leading experts to devise a new approach to assessment. We hope that through this collaboration we will enable countries around the world to use ICT to assess their students’ competence in 21st century skills by 2012.In so many countries today, the talk is of economic transformation. But the only way these transformations can happen is if the education systems are fixed first. In fact, all around the world, people are struggling with the age-old problem of improving education standards quickly and at scale.The key is to make sure students leave school with the skill sets they need to succeed in the 21st-Century economy: problem-solving, team-working and critical thinking are the ones most people name first. But this is a tall order for governments to achieve alone. It really requires a long-term, collaborative commitment from the public and private sector. We look forward to being a part of this process.

Online Video Expands its Reach

Until recently, I can’t say that I was part of the generation that used the Internet for anything other than email, basic research, and a social site or two. It was only in the past year that I began to watch TV episodes from fox.com. But, over the holidays, I reached a tipping point and joined the ranks of the millions of viewers who seek out video. Read More »

Cisco @ 98th Annual NRF Conference in NYC

In preparation for the 98th annual National Retail Federation (NRF) Conference, Lindsay Parker, Director of Global Retail Solutions, discusses her advice for retailers during these challenging economic times and how technology can help retailers. She also does a technology demonstration on a product recall using Cisco technology. For more information on Cisco in the retail space, please visit: http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/retail/index.html Also, please listen to (or download) our podcast on “Wireless in Retail.”

John Chambers op-ed in San Jose Mercury News: “Time to Broadband Our Economy”

Wanted to bring this op-ed in yesterday’s San Jose Mercury News to your attention by our Chairman and CEO John Chambers. Entitled “Time to Broadband the Economy” he discusses the stimulus package and gives some advice to the incoming Obama administration.

He states, in part, “President-elect Barack Obama’s ambitious economic recovery plan has a goal to create 3 million American jobs in the next two years. Broadband is a part of the answer.Broadband has the potential to transform our country. It will create jobs in the growth sectors of our economy — jobs that are driving the collaboration and interaction economy. Obama deserves our full support as he looks to revitalize our economy. An economic stimulus package that focuses on infrastructure must put America’s broadband infrastructure at the head of the list. We have the opportunity to bring broadband to those who do not have access to it today and to dramatically improve the quality and speed of existing broadband to 21st century standards. Broadband is the highway to our future.”