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Home For the Holidays…Virtually with Cisco TelePresence

December 27, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

Having already been to North Carolina three times this year to show off our new son, Jack…and, now that he is an active, crawling, exploring, fidgety, creeping, one-man wrecking crew 10 month old…we thought it prudent to skip the cross-country flight this holiday season. Jack did, however, want to see his Earnhardt Grandpma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc…all of whom (most of whom) are still in North Carolina. Last year, this would have been a quandary…this year, however, we all got together via TelePresence. Jack, my wife and I were in San Jose…our Earnhardt parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins were in Raleigh, NC…a mere 2800 miles away. Cisco set up a program called “Home for the Holidays” to have Cisco families use our Telepresence systems to “see” loved ones that they ordinarily would have missed this holiday season…as you can see from the pictures, all the Earnhardts were/are very appreciative on both ends of the system. These “virtual” visits (which are high-definition and life-size) will come to be fairly common in the years to come as more and more systems are set up (possibly in retail for rentals) and then in three or more years in the home. And, we’re told, at some point, they will be holographic visits and you’ll feel that much more Obi-Wan Kenobi. Read More »

Charlie Giancarlo Departure

December 20, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

You have likely already seen the news that our Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President Charlie Giancarlo is leaving Cisco to pursue new professional opportunities. Charlie is a great guy and a great leader and his presence at Cisco will definitely be missed.Our Chairman and CEO, John Chambers, offered these kind words about Charlie: “”œCharlie has been a close colleague and a good friend during the 14 years he has been at Cisco, and he has made many significant contributions to the company during that time. He has built a seasoned management team that has the strength and skills to execute against our technology vision in order to capture growth opportunities and market share. Cisco is very proud to have had Charlie as one of its leaders, and he will always be considered part of Cisco’s extended family.” Read More »

Congratulations to Wake Forest: NCAA Champs in Soccer

December 17, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

I congratulated Italy when they won the World Cup. I congratulated Wake Forest when (we) they won the ACC in football last year…first time in 30 years. And, now, the little-school-that-could, Wake Forest University (my alma mater) has defeated the Big 10 juggernaut Ohio State for the NCAA National Championship in soccer. Total enrollment of undergrads at The Ohio State University: 46,690. Total enrollment of undergrads at Wake Forest University: 4000. Sure, Ohio State can only put 11 players on the field at a time and not 10 to our 1, but still…There is no real point to this blog, other than to perhaps gloat a bit…okay, a lot. But, a larger point here (if there is one) is that strength in numbers is only an advantange when you can put the full force of those numbers behind an effort. Wake Forest could never win against Ohio State, say, in a water balloon fight. We’d get pummelled. Ten Ohio State students barraging each Wake Forest student with water balloons at once would not be a fun thing to watch. You put our best 11 soccer players on a field against their best 11 players and we have a shot…and, in fact, we won. Which should be a lesson for us all.How can I bring this back to Cisco, you ask? Cisco is THE networking company. We have over 63,000 employees worldwide. We invented routing and switching…the technology that manages the flow of information from point A to point B…be it voice, video and/or data. We are slowly, but surely, taking daily steps towards our goal of becoming the most important technology company in the world. We, however, can never gloat…or rest. There are hundreds of great competitors out there who are waiting, lurking and watching for us to make a misstep so that they can step in with their technology and take our business away. This is why we always must remain vigilant and LISTEN to customers constantly. We may be the biggest networking company with the best technology, but we can never lose that “healthy paranoia” that Andy Grove taught us so well. Read More »

C-Scape Wrap-Up

December 13, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

Our industry analyst conference, C-Scape, wrapped up yesterday and the vast majority of the comments I heard about the conference were very positive. As a company, we are always listening to customers, analysts, media, shareholders, employees, etc. and the feedback we get from conference attendees will surely be used to make next year’s conference better and more useful for attendees. Ellen Daley of Forrester and Jon Collins of Freeform Dynamics offer their feedback via video on our blog.Dan Scheinman (Cisco Media Solutions Group) gives his overview of social networking and where Cisco is going in this space and Bob McIntyre (SP CTO) highlights of some of the new business models that service providers are looking at. I was also able to capture some video from John Chambers’ Telepresence session with the CIO of P&G; Group Controller Future Media at BBC; and the Director, MIT Center for Digital Business.You can also view the webcast archive of the “big tent” sessions here…including John Chambers keynote as well as from Rob Lloyd, Charlie Giancarlo, Rebecca Jacoby, Don Proctor, Tony Bates and more.Download photos and get more info at our News@Cisco site.Congratulations to the entire C-Scape team (lead by Skip McAskill) for a very successful event. Now, we have five minutes to exhale…

VIDEO: Preston Jay Waite Talks of IT in the U.S. Census

A national population census might not sound like riveting stuff-until you talk to Preston Jay Waite. The deputy director of the U.S. Census Bureau, he was part of the team that counted America in 2000 and will be overseeing the count again in 2010. As he reels off some of the facts around the project, you start to realize that this is a really serious undertaking. It is the nation’s largest peacetime mobilization, with more than 500,000 temporary workers and a budget in excess of USD$11 billion. The aim of the exercise is to count everyone once, and in the right place. That is a task in itself, and as he points out, not everyone wants to be counted, which makes it all a lot more difficult. This time, though, the Census is counting on technology to make a big difference, cutting costs and improving efficiency across the board. As a plenary speaker at this year’s Cisco Public Services Summit, he shared his thoughts and plans with us in this video.