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Firetrucks, Trains and Video

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

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 Enhances Expert-Level Talent-Development Program

As part of its continuing emphasis on talent development, Cisco today announced extensions and revisions to its award-winning expert level certification program, including the availability of the new Cisco 360 Learning Program for CCIE ® Routing and Switching. In this entry, Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, general manager for Learning@Cisco, shares how Cisco is focusing its expert-education services on today’s more sophisticated and scalable technologies, new applications and mapping capabilities within relevant job roles that will enhance customer and partner success.1. Why is talent development so important to Cisco? 2. What is Cisco doing to accelerate the development of technical skills across the globe? 3. How critical is expert level talent in driving global workforce development? 4. What advice would you give to networking professionals interested in attaining the CCIE or CCDE certification?5. You mentioned the 360 Learning Program, could you tell us a little bit more about the upcoming launch of the Expert-Level Talent Development Program?For more information, please go to The Cisco Learning Network site here.

Innovation without Boundaries

Any company no matter how big it grows needs to be humble enough to constantly seek and nurture new ideas both from within and outside – to stay nimble, to remain competitive and to deliver continued value to its customers, partners and employees. Cisco is no exception. As we build upon our traditional areas of expertise, and embrace new ones -it is our constant endeavor to collaborate and learn, and make the vision of the Human Network Effect a reality. For the first time in our company history, or at least as far back as we can recall, we’re launching an exciting worldwide contest targeted towards application developers, called the Cisco”Think Inside The Box” Developer Contest. It is open to individuals or teams of up to three people, over the age of 18. Up to US$100,000 in total prize money will be awarded to three winning teams. It is a two phased contest that we expect to last at least through May 2009. For more details on the contest, please visit the official contest website. This flash provides a quick preview of the contest coming from the dynamic duo and Cisco TechWise TV hosts Robb Boyd and Jimmy Ray Purser.image Read More »