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Communications architecture without a network”¦prudent or not?

Post by Joe Burton, Chief Technology Officer, Unified CommunicationsA recent Forrester (May2007) study estimates that about 60% of businesses say that implementing a UC solution is on their agenda for 2007. Many of these businesses, will be faced with making architectural decisions for Unified Communications platform which might include having to choose between a client-software-based-architecture, network-centric architecture, or some combination of both.The question that often comes up is, “How do I bring workspaces together so that I can capitalize on the benefits of Unified Communications while controlling costs and ensuring a quality and consistent user experience”? The standardized desktop of the late 1990’s is quickly being replaced by a largely flexible set of workspaces, commonly represented by functional groups that have common communications and collaborations needs. For example, Knowledge Workers using connected laptops, desk phones, and instant messaging clients have different workspaces than Road Warriors who work mostly outside of the office using”smart phones”, Wi-Fi access, soft phones, text messaging, and continuously variable networks.Both groups give corporate security and compliance officers nightmares as more and more business critical traffic moves off network, and questionable traffic gets invited on to the corporate network. In addition, broader market trends towards the adoption of web 2.0 technologies like Wikis and mash-ups combined with an increasing mobile, virtual, and collaborative workforce leaves technologists struggling with how they can move beyond a”one size fits all” approach and meet the unique and varied needs of their workforce. Read More »

Cisco in Times Square on the NASDAQ Big Board

Our good friends at NASDAQ put Cisco up on the big board in Times Square (NYC) this week. It is very clear that we made a good impression to all who saw our logo and “Welcome to the Human Network” tagline. Just look at the big smile it put on Jennifer Aniston’s face.Thank you, NASDAQ and thank you, Jennifer. Or, as I call you, Jenny.Cisco Nasdaq - August 2007.JPG

August Productivity and the Network

Productivity is a key measurement for any company, country or individual. August, however, has to rank at the bottom of productive months, but my bet is that it is improving. Let’s review: The U.S. Congress is out of session for the month; much of Europe takes “holiday” during the month; many families take the last vacation before school starts at the end of the month; much of Wall Street (I’m told) is in the Hamptons or on the Cape; Cisco’s annual sales meeting is this week, so many colleagues and executives are there launching our FY08 plans…so, in a word, if people are away from the office or on holiday, you would think that less work is being done.However, (CISCO PLUG ALERT!!!) as the network allows you nearly anytime, anywhere connectivity to all your data, voice and video applications, you can seamlessly work from, say, St. John’s, Virgin Island (where I would like to be currently) and never miss a beat. But, wait, you say, I’M ON VACATION!!! Yes, I say, anytime, anwhere connectivity has its detractions. However, I honestly prefer to stay on top of e-mail and voicemail while away, so that when I get back I’m not more buried than I was when I left. Sure, other philosophies may differ, but it works for me. Read More »

FINAL UPDATE: Cisco.com Outage

Service to Cisco.com has been restored and all applications are now fully operational. The issue occurred during preventative maintenance of one of our data centers when a human error caused an electrical overload on the systems. This caused Cisco.com and other applications to go down. Because of the severity of the overload, the redundancy measures in some of the applications and power systems were impacted as well, though the system did shut down as designed to protect the people and the equipment. As a result, no data were lost and no one was injured. Cisco has plans already in process to add additional redundancies to increase the resilience of these systems. Again, we thank our customers and our partners for their patience during the resolution of this issue.

Math and Science Funding Vital for Future U.S. Competitiveness

President Bush today signed into law the America COMPETES Act, which, according to the White House is a “comprehensive strategy to keep America the most innovative nation in the world by strengthening our scientific education and research, improving our technological enterprise, attracting the world’s best and brightest workers, and providing 21st century job training.”Then-Cisco Chairman of the Board John Morgridge testified before the House Science Committee in the last session of Congress on these very principles and Cisco has supported more funding for math and science training for years.After the bill was signed into law by President Bush, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers stated, “One of the most important economic policy issues today is helping our nation remain the global leader in innovation, particularly through robust broadband deployment, math and science education, and resources dedicated to leading-edge research. We believe this compromise provides a strategic roadmap to ensure America remains the leader in the world economy. We applaud the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and their steadfast support of this vital measure to create tomorrow’s scientific advancement.”