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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 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.

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: 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.”

In Dreams Begin Responsibilities*

Like many of us, I am the child of parents born during the Great Depression who came of age in the great upsurge of the post-World War II economy. As a young man entering the workforce, my father, a WWII and Korean War veteran, found his perspective colored by the dramatic, expanding prosperity surrounding him juxtaposed next to strong childhood memories of breadlines for the unemployed. His generation enjoyed the increased spending power of their growing financial success tempered with a cold eye that always put away a little something”for a rainy day.”Tom Brokaw called them”the Greatest Generation,” a group of Americans that endured sacrifice and material scarcity but also enjoyed opportunities unheralded on a mass scale. For mid-20th Century government and business leadership, education and industry were the keys to economic prosperity. Investment in these priorities helped create the largest, most vibrant economy in the world. The defining government program for that generation was the”GI Bill” (officially titled Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944), which provided essential support for a massive increase in the number of veterans who could own a home and obtain a college education. As a result, the GI Bill enabled economic mobility for tens of millions of Americans by bringing the attainment of these two pillars of success to many beyond the affluent. We are now at a similar crossroads as the world economy struggles and as government and business leaders debate the best approaches to moving forward. Read More »

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 But, over the holidays, I reached a tipping point and joined the ranks of the millions of viewers who seek out video. Read More »