We’ve been networking both U.S. political conventions since 2000. We’re doing it again in Denver and St. Paul this go ’round. Stephani Condon of CNET has a write-up on the technical side of what is happening at the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field in Denver: “As the official ‘Network Solutions Provider’ for the Democratic convention, Cisco is providing what it refers to as unified platforms for voice, video, data, and mobile applications for the convention staff. “As an example, DNCC’s staff will be able to move among (venue locations like Invesco Field and the Hyatt Hotel at the convention center) with their Cisco IP phones as they relocate depending on their changing functions,” said Cisco spokesperson Jennifer Greeson. The company is providing wireless technology for both data and voice coverage in Denver. It is also supplying digital signage throughout the facilities and on-site support services.” Full piece is here. NetworkWorld’s Ann Bednarz has a piece on the technology behind the Republican Convention here. The Democratic National Convention Committee press release of Cisco’s involvement in Denver is here. There is a pretty cool YouTube time-lapse video of the Republican Convention site at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul here. I worked for Vice Presidential nominee Senator Joe Biden back in the day, so my sympathies are clearly with the Democrats this political season, but perhaps not sympathetic enough for me to go to my fourth Democratic National Convention in a row. However, I can get all the convention converage I want now that the Olympics are over. I can go to the respective Democratic Convention site or Republican Convention site and watch all the online video of the proceedings I can handle. And, of course, you may just want to follow Jon Stewart and The Daily Show’s converage of the conventions.
Education has long been a passion of Cisco. Our CEO often says there are two great equalizers in life: “the Internet and education.” Early Cisco employees started out jumping the fence of a neighboring school to volunteer there (see; Costano School in East Palo Alto, CA). A Cisco engineer created an online networking class to help fill the skills gap of networking (see; Cisco Networking Academy Program.) And, when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated many parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, Cisco wanted to do something to help the schools rebuild…better, stronger and for the 21st Century. We created a program called “21S,” which is short for “21st Century Schools.” We have now committed $80 million to this effort. Part of that funding is to help teachers learn about how they can use technology in the classroom. Read what our partners at the Smithsonian American Art Museum wrote about this program. We are proud to contribute in any way we can to helping rebuild this region and help share best-practices in this web 2.0 world.
I met with a new colleague today for lunch and took her on a little tour of one of our “Cisco Connected Workplaces” – which is kind of our version of an office of the future. It very much resembles a newsroom in a newspaper. There is collaborative space, some quiet rooms, and individual workstations that are very close to one another. We didn’t see any individual offices. It maximizes space and colleague interaction and takes advantage of wireless and IP technology to make each and every employee more collaborative and productive (or, at least that is the pitch). It hasn’t yet been implemented on my team, but it is coming soon. My initial reaction is that I HATE IT!!After I got over my gut reaction for this coming change (actually, I’m still working on getting over it), I stepped back and thought about it a bit. I don’t like it because it is different from what I know. I like what I know, so, therefore, how can I like what I don’t know, right? The truth is that I didn’t like being in a cube when I first moved from my office in DC either. I got over it. Now that they want to move to this workspace I don’t like that either, but, I’m sure I’ll get over that too. The space that we toured today was clean…looked efficient…and while many people were there, it was respectfully quiet. True, not a lot of people were on the phone, but there were conference calls taking place in quiet rooms, so it reminded me a bit of the ol’ stacks in a library where people would study right next to each other and, gasp, fully function. I’ll write an update when we move to our new workspace, but I would be interested to hear how other workplace experiments are going.
Speaking of Cisco Connected Workplaces, hop on over to ZDNET.com’s “The Green Enterprise” page to view a great video on Cisco’s “Green” strategy including a tour of Cisco Connected Workplaces, an overview of Cisco TelePresence and some other stuff that we’re doing on the green front…the video includes a good interview with my former boss and Cisco eco-board co-chair, SVP Global Policy and Government Affairs Laura Ipsen, talking about Cisco’s overall green vision. See the full piece here.
We have been focused on the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market for some time now and I wanted to point your attention to an announcement we made today around our SMB go-to-market strategy. In order to better meet the needs of small business customers and the channels partners that serve them, we are very pleased to share that Cisco is integrating the Linksys Partner Connection program into the Cisco Channel Partner Program. This includes bringing the Linksys by Cisco Business Series products into the Cisco small and medium-sized business (SMB) portfolio and giving our channel partners access to one of the largest SMB portfolios on the market today. The SMB market represents a tremendous growth opportunity for Cisco and its channel partners and we are committed to providing our customers and channel partners with a wide variety of technology options. SMB customers are nothing if not diverse and a broad portfolio helps partners win more customers. Read More »