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Yao Ming on Visual Networking

It is hard to believe that scarcely more than a month has passed since the Beijing Olympics. The spectacle and glory of the games was made real to billions of people in the world through the power of video. Many of us experienced a view of China for the first time that was, simply, breathtaking in both its sheer beauty as well as the sense of economic development. Indeed several of my colleagues provided both industry and personal reflections on the event and the role networking played in the enjoyment and impact of the game.Two of the hottest stories around the Olympics were around basketball -with 20/20 hindsight, I have to give a shout-out to the”Redeem Team” — and the role of Internet. Before the games, Yao Ming, one of the biggest stories in basketball, was good enough to share his reflections on his career, the game, and visual networking through a multi-point TelePresence interview I did with him, the New York sports press, and Chinese reporters (during a television broadcast). Please enjoy the reflections of a global superstar on his sport and technology.

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About the Data Center But Were Afraid to Ask

Quentin Hardy pens the cover story in the latest issue of Forbes on our data center strategy. Entitled “Cisco’s Next Big Bet,” Hardy writes a very digestible piece about huge data centers as “the hot spot in technology.” Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers is quoted as saying, “The organization with the best vision of the market, from dashboard to product to strategy, will win.” I’m certainly betting on Cisco as that organization.

Tony Bates on ‘Bring on the Bandwidth’

Post by Marc Musgrove, PRCisco’s Tony Bates, was featured on BBC Radio 4’s “In Business” program this week with broadcaster Peter Day in a broadcast entitled ‘Bring on the Bandwidth’. Tony is a native Brit who has been working in California for the last 16 years and is a co-lead of Cisco’s service provider business globally. Tony talks about the impact video will have on bandwidth and conducts a demonstration of Cisco’s TelePresence virtual meeting solution and how we are today even using the technology to increase productivity and avoid travel for intra-campus meetings between buildings on Cisco’s campus in San Jose. Tony’s section starts at 19:45 minutes and you can download the whole show as a podcast here. Also featured are Gavin Patterson, managing director of BT Retail from London (at 16.55 minutes) who gives his perspective on fibre to the home in the UK, and George Gilder, author of “The Silicon Eye” (at 23 minutes 20 seconds) who discusses how video teleconferencing is the ‘killer application’ that could help push global bandwidth usage on the Internet into zetabytes.

Finding a Balance: Work / Life and Remote Access / Productivity

Posted by: Molly Ford, PRImagine a life with no morning rush-hour traffic on the way to work, having time to coach your daughter’s soccer game in the evenings and crossing more things off of that despised”to-do” list. Today, Cisco introduced Cisco Virtual Office solution, aimed at providing a secure and collaborative environment for the remote or distributed workforce. The Cisco Virtual Office has helped a countless number of employees obtain a satisfying work life balance, while helping the company to consistently rank in the top ten on Fortune Magazine’s”Best Places to Work” list. Before this product was launched to Cisco customers, it was used internally for year, we like to refer to this as sipping our won champagne. Currently, Cisco has 12,000 remote workers in 70 different countries using the Cisco Virtual Office solution to enhance productivity by accessing the same communication and collaboration technologies available to their office-based counterparts.Employees who use the Cisco Virtual Office solution, typically work three full days at home, and say they are 47% more productive working at home, rather than at an office. The average employee also gains almost three hours each week, in the past spent stuck in traffic, or relying on public transportation. View some inspiring stories from Cisco employees that have achieved a truly satisfying work life balance by having the flexibility to work remotely. Read More »

VOTE: Cisco TelePresence? OR Second Life?

Dan Farber, editor in chief of CNET, is in a video today chatting with Joe Miller, VP of platforms and technology development at Linden Lab, the company that created and owns Second Life. In the Between the Lines blog by Larry Dignan, he states Miller: “explains how Second Life has become a competitor to Cisco’s Telepresence in conducting international meetings, group projects, and even recruiting and job training.”So, all due respect to Second Life and other virtual worlds, which definitely play a role in the overall collaboration conversation, to suggest that having a virtual avatar in a virtual room is somehow as effective as being across the table from a life-size, high-definition picture of a real person (or persons) via Cisco TelePresence is pushing it. Nothing beats a real face to face conversation and, if you can’t have that, the next best thing is Cisco TelePresence. Collaboration has a lot of tools in the tool-box and WebEx and other unified communications tools play a role as well in this conversation, but, let’s be honest, Cisco TelePresence is the Dom Perignon, Rolls-Royce, Rolex, Bentley, etc. in the collaboration workspace. As stated, virtual worlds play a role too, but to suggest that Second Life is a competitor to Cisco TelePresence is a bit much. As Dignan says, “I don’t quite buy Miller’s take.”