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The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Still About People and Trust

This week, I’ll navigate Davos with hundreds of global business and government leaders to tackle the opportunities and obligations we have to improve the state of the world. The theme for this year, “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” could not hit closer to home. Klaus Schwab of WEF has defined the Fourth Industrial Revolution as the “fusion of technologies across the physical, digital and biological worlds, creating entirely new capabilities and dramatic impacts on political, social and economic systems.”

These conversations about the almost infinite potential of technology are ones we have on a daily basis at Cisco. We believe in the power of technology to transform industries and lives, and we see it moving faster every day. Our conversations, however, go far beyond the technology. They are about the people, the relationships, and the trust necessary to execute against the opportunity in front of us.

Even in a digital world where machines can now learn on their own and mimic our intelligence, it is still about people. It is people who build and benefit from the technology, and it’s also people who must adapt in order to participate in this world where technology is pervasive across every aspect of our lives.

We have much to learn from the past three industrial revolutions. In each case, the disruption of the various industries has led to a disruption of the workforce where new skills were necessary for economic survival. Often times, the reskilling of workers lagged far behind the revolution, creating significant societal challenges and even leaving much of an entire generation stranded. I know we can do better this time. In the last year, we have committed – together with the local leaders – to train nearly one million new students in countries around the world such as France, Italy, Australia, India, UK, Saudi Arabia and Germany. These public-private partnerships are immensely powerful – a country can lower unemployment while creating new, higher value jobs, and a company can address talent gaps in critical areas and train a loyal base of future employees. The time to move is now, the opportunities are significant, and the obligation is ours.

Another important focus area is the significant global shortage of security talent. As technology connects everything, the amount of data generated is growing exponentially – and it’s only going to increase. In this new world, data becomes one of the most critical assets that any organization has, and we need to start thinking of it relative to its importance to our future. This data is incredibly important, therefore protecting this data is more critical than ever. Read More »

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A Great Day at Cisco

There is a cultural evolution happening at Cisco, driven by our business, our innovation and technology, and most importantly, our people. It is being shaped by feedback from our employees and it is helping us define who we aspire to be as a company.

It starts with Our People Deal, which is simply the understanding of what Cisco can do for our people and what we expect in return. Our People Deal sums up what it means to be part of Cisco and it shapes everything we do. Every interaction, every communication and every experience.

By connecting everything, innovating everywhere and benefiting everyone, Our People Deal is transforming our employees’ experience by delivering on the Moments that Matter ─ those defining career and personal moments that are important to them. As you can see from the visual below, these moments range from taking your birthday off to healthcare options to focusing performance management on development.

Cisco employee career 'moments that matter'We have recently announced a few more that we are excited about.

Time2Give

Giving back is a part of Cisco’s DNA. Last year, Cisco employees gave a combined $12 million in donations and matched funds, as well as more than 155,000 hours of volunteer time, to the nonprofits and causes of their choice. And our employees want to do even more – they’ve identified giving back as one of their Moments that Matter. We recently announced Time2Give, a global program that gives our employees five days of paid time per year to volunteer, in addition to any paid time off or vacation they already have. Employees can choose where they contribute their Time2Give. By empowering our people to take time off to volunteer, we’re collectively helping to change the world through active participation in our communities.

Pay Parity

Another way we can provide an unmatched employee experience is to ensure everybody is compensated fairly and equitably. This is an important conversation for us, and an integral part of Our People Deal. Our Pay Parity initiative builds on our long-standing commitment to fair pay and is being integrated with our existing strategies for pay for performance and market competitiveness. Pay Parity is an ongoing commitment – not a point-in-time initiative. We are proud of the results of our preliminary review which demonstrated that we have a healthy and equitable compensation program. This new agile framework introduces more analytics, targeted strategies, new accountabilities and enhanced decision making tools built for us – by us – to support our commitment to drive and maintain a highly inclusive and equitable compensation environment.

Time Swap/Job Swap

With a focus on development we will be rolling out a new program that promotes and supports talent rotations and agility. Time Swap/Job Swap allows employees to either swap ~20 percent of their time with another individual for a defined period or swap roles for a limited time. This enables our people exposure to another part of Cisco’s business, while also helping them develop their own skills and bring innovative thinking and ideas to programs and among broader teams.

We want every day to be a great day at Cisco and that starts with our employees’ experiences.  We have incredible people doing extraordinary work. Together, we’re #allin to make every moment matter.

#wearecisco
#gladtobehere

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AT&T & Cisco Team to Build Smart Cities

As world populations migrate to urban areas, cities are often faced with new challenges, such as overcrowding, traffic congestion, pollution, resource constraints, and inadequate infrastructure, amid the desire for continuing economic growth.

To help address these challenges and identify new growth opportunities, Cisco and AT&T are forging a new alliance to build a framework to help cities better serve their citizens.

AR60504 2We will be using IoT innovations and bringing the smart cities framework to several spotlight cities across the United States. Communities and local universities will work together to build smart city environments. The spotlight cities and universities include Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Chicago, and Dallas.   We will also utilize elements of the Cisco Smart+Connected Communities portfolio to help city leaders better apply intelligent networking capabilities.

AT&T and its alliance members already help communities solve problems with solutions that connect utility meters, street lights and water systems. The new framework adds several new categories:

  • Infrastructure – Cities are able to remotely monitor the conditions of roads, bridges, buildings, parks and other venues. Maintenance crews can identify slick roadways during freezing weather or detect bridges that may need repairs.
  • Citizen Engagement – Mobile apps give people information to stay better prepared. For example, you can be notified in real time if a traffic light isn’t working on your route. You can also remotely view parking meters and reserve spaces ahead of time.
  • Transportation – Digital signage lets commuters know in near real time when the next bus or train will arrive. People can rent electric bikes at stations across the city to reduce traffic.
  • Public Safety – Cities can better manage traffic patterns of pedestrians at stadiums, parks, and busy intersections. Gun fire detection technology helps law enforcement know where a shooting occurred. It also helps them determine the number of people involved and rounds fired.

att_horiz_color_smlAT&T is also developing a new digital dashboard that gives cities a high-level look at their communities’ conditions. The Smart City Network Operation Center (SC-NOC) offers cities a dashboard view of how assets are performing in near-real time. City officials can keep tabs on power outages, water leaks, traffic issues, and more – all from one location.

Such bold thinking for such worthy goals make this initiative all the more impressive. We salute AT&T for taking on such challenges that can benefit society and we thank them for choosing Cisco to be among their leading team members to help make these goals a reality.

 

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Analytics: Building a Winning Strategy in Manufacturing

Machinery, supply chains, and raw materials have always been core concerns in manufacturing. Today, another asset is just as critical — data.

General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt said it well: “The industrial world is changing dramatically, and those companies that make the best use of data will be the most successful.”

I certainly agree. If manufacturers want to gain the agility, innovation, and hyper-awareness needed to compete and win, they must start thinking like technology companies. That means leveraging data — and the real-time insights derived through analytics — in impactful new ways.

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A Defining Moment for IoT and Digitization

In the next few years we will reflect on the third annual Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) this week and realize that 2015 was the inflection point for the Internet of Things (IoT) and digitization. Leaders from around the world convened in Dubai this week, all witnessed real solutions that are now fundamentally changing the way we will live and do business. It’s a dramatic change that will touch everyone.

Digital transformation – the connection of cities, companies, and countries to the Internet – has emerged as the most transformative means to ignite sustainable growth and improve society. Those countries and companies that get ahead and embrace the digital transformation will uncover limitless possibilities to drive innovation, growth and jobs of the future.

However, only 1 in 4 leaders* say they are being sufficiently proactive about digitization. And while 75% of businesses will become digital by 2020, only 30% of digitization efforts will be successful. The number one reason companies don’t succeed? They fail to innovate or reinvent. Those that don’t will be left behind.

It is fitting that this defining moment in the future of digitization is taking place here, in the Middle East. My discussions with its leaders on the future of the digital and the global landscape have only strengthened my admiration for their visionary approach but also the speed of change that comes through aligning all government smart initiatives together under one smart-city ambition.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for Dubai to be the ‘Smartest City in the World by 2017’ is well under way. Sensors embedded throughout the city will connect everything from utilities to urban transportation, from entertainment to energy, and from policing to politics. All of it developed to improve the lives of citizens, reduce energy consumption and to capture the potential added value of US$ 4.87 billion (AED 17.9 billion) by 2019.

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