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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.”

“What I Did This Summer” by Hilton Romanski

When he’s not leading a global team in our business development group which leaves him little room for sleep…or, recently welcoming his first child into the world which also leaves him little room for sleep…Hilton Romanski is surfing, getting massaged and showing off his favorite places in San Francisco to a film crew from the BBC…which also leaves him little room for sleep. All in a day’s work. I’ll quote Hilton who told me recently, “sleep is for the weak.”*Hilton will be featured on BBC World News’ “The Real San Francisco” this Saturday 30th August at 14.30 GMT and at 8.30 & 17.30 GMT on Sunday 31st (ie 9.30am PST). The show will also be repeated on Mon 1st Sept at 01.30 GMT (ie 18.30 PST on Sun 31st). San Francisco is the first show to be aired in this new series. Check out the video intro from Hilton on which gives a sneak preview of the program (click on San Francisco, then on Hilton’s picture). *He really didn’t say this, but it makes for good reading.

PostPath Acquisition and the Cisco Collaboration Platform

Post by Doug Dennerline, SVP, Collaboration Software GroupCommunications, globalization and automation have flattened the world and transformed the competitive landscape. The traditional competitive advantages of size and scale have been replaced by speed and flexibility. In this new world, effective, adaptive collaboration is critical to achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Today’s acquisition of PostPath is part of our commitment to create a comprehensive cloud-based collaboration platform. By offering an on-demand version of the PostPath solution, we can provide flexible, cost-effective email and calendaring integrated with our collaboration portfolio of Cisco Unified Communications, WebEx and Business Video. Read the full post here.

Cisco at the U.S. Political Conventions

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.

Technology + Art = 21st Century Education

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.