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VIDEO: NBA’s Steve Hellmuth at 2008 All-Star Game

Cisco’s Molly Ford interviews Steve Hellmuth, Senior Vice President, Operations and Technology NBA Entertainment. Hellmuth discusses his views on the use of technology in the NBA and how they look at “fantasy sports,” China, Cisco TelePresence and Digital Signage, and the future of entertainment. He also talks about Chris Bosh’s videos, Baron Davis’ movie reviews and Gilbert Arenas’ blog.

The NBA All-Star Game and the Heart of Human Communications

This weekend marks Cisco’s second participation in the NBA All-Star Game. As it takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana, it takes on a twin importance for us: both global and local.We share the NBA’s commitment to the revitalization of New Orleans and the Gulf region — we, through our 21st Century Schools Initiative (21S) and the league through its NBA Cares program — still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Secondly, we share a vision of sports as an ultimate venue where technology can dramatically enhance the total and global experience of sports.And for many of us, our identification with sports begins in childhood and spans our entire life: from the soccer fields, blacktops, sandlots and schoolyard venues of youth to metaphor of work/industry competition to the persistent personalization of a lifelong fan.While sports can be narrowly reduced to athleticism, it is so much more about teamwork and collaboration. No less a management expert than Mike Krzyzewski,”Coach K” of the Duke Blue Devils basketball program (and coach of the U.S. Olympic Basketball squad) notes: “effective teamwork begins and ends with collaboration-people want to be part of a team. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be in a situation where they feel that they are doing something for the greater good.” Read More »

Technology: Bringing Us Together on Valentine’s Day

There is a vocal part of the populace who says that technology disconnects people from other people. They say that being head-down in a computer is no way to connect with other humans. To this, I say, “Hogwash.” I’ll speak personally here, but I know that there are others who are in the same boat. I have never been MORE connected to family, friends and colleagues. Through e-mail, facebook, myspace, linked-in, youtube and other collaborative and “connecting” technologies, I know what a heck a lot more of my peeps are doing now than ever before. Sure, I still like getting the holiday card updates and personal e-mails and phone calls, but technology allows me to track my (Cisco plug alert!!) human network seamlessly and keeps me more connected to people, not less.So, on this Valentine’s Day, I say, connect with your universe through technology, send your loved ones an e-card, order flowers online, book a restaurant reservation on opentable…or, go to or yahoo personals or whichever site and meet the person of your dreams online…and, back on the personal side, I met my wife online some four years ago and couldn’t be happier. Happy Valentine’s Day, Bella!!

New CFO at Cisco

Dennis Powell is passing the Cisco CFO baton to Frank Calderoni. This morning, they jointly opened the NASDAQ stock market and on Friday, February 15th, Calderoni officially assumes the role of Cisco CFO. I’ve had the pleasure of working with both men and while I’m sad to see Dennis go, Frank is a great replacement. I first got to work with Dennis when he was our executive in charge of Y2K operations and planning when I managed the media for that “event.” He is a great guy and, just as his predecessor Larry Carter is missed daily at Cisco, we’ll miss Dennis as well.I’ve now had the opportunity to work with Frank over the past year or so and he is a great successor to Dennis and Larry’s legacy of a strong, transparent, conservative finance organization that focuses on shareholder value. You can read more about Frank and his approach to his new role here. The press release announcing the transition is here.nasdaq - cisco - 12 feb 2008.jpgFrank Calderoni (left) with Dennis Powell (right) at the opening of NASDAQ in New York this morning.Here’s hoping that Dennis will focus on working to lower his golf handicap and that Frank’s skyrockets. : )

Chambers redefines ‘mobility’ at Mobile World Congress

It’s not easy to wow a mobile phone industry audience just after they have heard from the bosses of Vodafone, Nokia and China Mobile. Yet that was the task facing Cisco chief executive John Chambers at this year’s Mobile World Congress opening keynote speech in Barcelona, Spain. Where previous speakers had pointed to the unstoppable progress of the industry so far-with 3 billion subscribers worldwide, mobile is officially the fastest-growing technology innovation in human history-Chambers provided a startling vision of the future.Chambers foresaw a new phase of Internet productivity driven not by business but by consumers; the provision of everything (not just software) as a service; and emerging countries taking the lead in global innovation. Read More »