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The #InternetOfEverything Ushers in Opportunity for The Last Product Recall

In our consumer-centric society, product recall announcements grab headlines and attention. As their costs continue to climb, enterprises have weathered recent recalls with record-breaking costs that have soared into the billions. Beyond the bottom-line, product recalls can also be costly to people’s quality of life – an outcome that both companies and consumers are motivated to avoid.

Thankfully, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is on track to make the last product recall a reality.

Imagine a world where organizations can predict failures, patch code and remove parts from the supply chain before defective products reach consumers, completely preventing product recalls. What if issues could be fixed with wireless software updates so that consumers didn’t have to physically return and replace products?

Recently, I had the chance to discuss these ideas and more in a new Future of IT podcast episode with Matt Littlefield, president and principal analyst at LNS Research where we discussed how IoE is making the last product recall a reality.

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Embrane

With agility and automation as persistent drivers for IT teams, the need to simplify application deployment and build the cloud is crucial for the data center.

Today, Cisco is pleased to announce its intent to acquire Embrane, a provider of a lifecycle management platform for application-centric network services.

As we continue to drive virtualization and automation, the unique skillset and talent of the Embrane team will allow us to move more quickly to meet customer demands. Together with Cisco’s engineering expertise, the Embrane team will help to expand our strategy of offering freedom of choice to our customers through the Nexus product portfolio and enhance the capabilities of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

With this acquisition, we continue our commitment to open standards through programmable APIs and multi-vendor environments. More importantly, we remain committed to the rich ecosystem of partners and customers in production through the automation of network services, cloud and system management orchestration and automation stacks.

The Embrane team will be joining the Insieme Business Unit. We expect the acquisition to be complete before the end of the current quarter.  Financial terms are not disclosed.

 

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Cisco Committed to Diversity and Tolerance

This weekend our President and Chief Operating Officer, Gary Moore, tweeted to reiterate Cisco’s commitment to a culture of diversity and tolerance in response to Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In doing so, we take pride in joining the largest Indiana-based employer, Eli Lilly and Co., which called the law “bad for Indiana and bad for business.”

Cisco is a company of many thousands of employees with different beliefs, different histories and different backgrounds. We come together to make the world a better place. And doing so requires that we work together, across the multitudes of our differences, with basic standards of behavior and engagement.

We favor laws that encourage open and effective collaboration, not those that seek to gain by dividing instead of uniting all people. That’s why we join Apple, Salesforce, Eli Lilly and so many others in urging that the law be amended to make clear that “religious freedom” isn’t presented as a way to discriminate against our fellow citizens.

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The Future of Retail Banking

During your morning workout at the gym, a device on your arm measures each step and connects with…your bank. By monitoring your healthy lifestyle, the bank can then arrange a lower rate on your health insurance. Later, when walking toward your office, you notice an apartment for sale in a neighborhood you have been scouting for real estate deals. So you point your smartphone at the building to view an augmented-reality image superimposed on the building. In turn, you see the price, square footage, and a live link to your bank’s virtual mortgage advisor.

These kinds of scenarios could become commonplace, once banks embrace the opportunities of the Internet of Everything (IoE) era. While today’s digital consumers demand experiences that are relevant to their current context, many feel that banks don’t understand their needs. Contextual interactions may be common when buying books or streaming movies, but customers sense a “value gap” with their banks. And many are willing to trust disruptive innovators from outside the traditional realm of financial services to fill this void.

Banks can keep pace with customer demand by adopting IoE-enabled solutions that offer expert advice, value-added services and convenience, whenever and wherever customers need them — and do so securely. Wearables and augmented reality are among the more forward-looking innovations that banks should be exploring today. But there are many other ways for banks to reconnect with customers.

In a recent Cisco survey of banking customers in 12 countries, respondents were extremely receptive to five core IoE-enabled banking solutions centered on advice (virtual financial advice, virtual mortgage advice and automated financial advice) and mobility (branch recognition and mobile payments). Seventy-five percent would move their money to another provider for one or more of the five concepts. In emerging markets, respondents are twice as likely to move their money.

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Becoming a Woman of Impact

Be Fearless! That was the theme of an incredible Cisco Women of Impact Conference last week, and like most of the 4,850 people joining from about 80 sites around the world, I came away inspired and energized by all I heard and learned during the day.  We came together as women (and men) that wanted to learn, connect and share ideas on how we could personally make a bigger impact.  I know I took home many new ideas and many new friendships.

I’m very proud and extremely fortunate to be the EMEAR executive sponsor of Connected Women.  The Women of Impact day is one of our key events – designed to provide ideas and insights, help women connect, and encourage them—no, all of us—to reach for more.  It’s a powerful reminder of the power of diversity in our business.

So, what does it mean to be fearless?

First of all, it’s about going beyond fear.  It’s about recognizing fear when it crops up (and believe me, it will), and then having the courage to set it aside and to move forward, whatever the obstacles.  Effective leadership often means stepping into the unknown, disregarding fear and focusing on how you can make an impact.

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