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Evolving Networks

Two new stories demonstrate the changes IP-based communications are bringing about in our living and working environments.In Colorado, The Children’s Hospital said it will work with Cisco partner Global Technology Resources to provide a Unified Communications system at its new, 10-story 1.44-million-square-foot campus in Aurora, scheduled to open in the fall of 2007. The hospital selected a number of products from the Cisco Unified Communications portfolio, as well as from Cisco’s security, wireless, networking, and business transformation services that hold out much promise for improved patient care and hospital administration.The new network will be able to support a myriad of new applications. For example, hospital staff will be able to use hand-held devices to check medication levels, helping ensure that patients receive the correct dosage and type of drugs, Ryan Frymire, the hospital’s director of IT, told the Denver Post.In addition, a nurse-call system, which patients use to request water, assistance or medication will let patients have two-way communication directly with the nursing desk. That would allow tasks such as fetching ice chips to be handled by nursing assistants rather than registered nurses. In Las Vegas, Clark County’s new Regional Justice Center is deploying an IP multimedia communications network that promises much change in court administration.”The new network is helping government go to the people rather than the other way around,” Chuck Short, executive officer for Clark County’s court system said in a News@Cisco story. “We really want to take distance out of the equation for access to justice.”Clark County has already used video conferencing to conduct a divorce court case for a woman homebound on the East Coast due to illness. Additionally, Cisco’s wireless network in the Justice Center now lets visitors or workers log-on in the building. The network allows attorneys, for example, to use the wireless connection to display computer-based slideshows for courtroom presentations.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

“œGlobally, two-thirds of employees are cognizant of security risks when working remotely on company machines. That’s the good news. Of course, the converse is that one-third connect blindly to the Internet, in spite of hacking, theft and malware threats.”That’s how VARBusiness describes the results of a global security survey of more than 1,000 teleworkers in 10 countries.While most remote workers say they are aware of security issues, their behavior often doesn’t show it.The survey by an independent marketing firm commissioned by Cisco, was designed to better understand how teleworkers’ perceptions and behavior heighten security risks for the global network community, information technology (IT) organizations and the businesses they support. While two of every three teleworkers surveyed said they were aware of security concerns when working remotely, many admitted behavior that undermines and contradicts their awareness. Their reasons offer valuable insight for IT and security managers around the world, fueling a need for tighter, proactive relationships with end users. For example, more than one of every five remote workers surveyed allow friends, family members or other non-employees to use his or her work computer to access the Internet. In China, more than two of every five admitted to sharing their work computers. And in Japan, more end users share their work computers with others than those who use them for their own personal use. Top excuses: “I don’t see anything wrong with it”; “My company doesn’t mind me doing so”; “I don’t think letting them use it increases security risks”; “I doubt my company would care”; “Co-workers do it”"The immediate takeaway is that companies must do more to raise user security awareness and change risky computing habits,” VARBusiness wrote.

On Alliances and Communities

Cisco has achieved successful alliances with many companies. Among them are Accenture, Bearing Point, Capgemini, EDS, Ericsson, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, Italtel, Motorola and Siemens.Steve Steinhilber, VP, Strategic Alliances and Corporate Consulting Engineering at Cisco, who is responsible for driving the development of strategic alliances and managing those ongoing relationships, outlined Cisco’s view of such activities in a Q&A on News@Cisco. He sums up: “At the end of the day, what really motivates people is the chance to really do something different -- something that can’t be done by either company individually -- and to bring something of value to the market place.” Another activity Cisco is becoming involved in is community-based innovation, according to Dan Scheinman, Senior VP for Corporate Development. Traditional innovation goes on with research and development efforts as always, but new avenues of creativity are opening up to corporations. “Today’s rapidly changing business environment requires companies to augment these efforts by engaging the communities that care about the company to identify and capture new innovation,” Scheinman writes in an Executive Perspective on News@Cisco.

A World View

The concept of global reach took on added meaning this week at Cisco.Cisco President and CEO John Chambers went to the White House where Pres. George W. Bush announced that Chambers would help direct a U.S.-Lebanon Partnership Fund to assist in that country’s reconstruction. From there, he traveled Central and Eastern Europe, where he announced a $275 million investment in Turkey.The U.S.-Lebanon Partnership Fund will be headed by Chambers and Craig Barrett, Chairman, Intel Corporation; Yousif Ghafari, Chairman, GHAFARI, Inc.; and Dr. Ray Irani, Chairman, President and CEO, Occidental Petroleum Corporation. They will lead the fund in an effort to raise money to complement the more than $230 million in aid to Lebanon already pledged by the U.S. government.Bush_Chambers.jpgMembers of the delegation recently returned from a trip to the region in which they surveyed the relief and reconstruction efforts, met with Lebanese officials and business leaders to address the devastation and assess where U.S. donor assistance is most needed.”The situation in Lebanon is of great concern to us, and it is our goal to support the reconstruction effort in Lebanon and in turn help provide greater access to education and economic opportunity,” Chambers said.”By focusing on long-term solutions, we hope to contribute to a better future for this region.” For more information about the fund and contributing to the effort, visit www.lebanonpartnership.orgFrom Washington, Chambers traveled to Central and Eastern Europe. In Ankara, Turkey, he discussed investment plans with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, focusing on enabling Turkey to better compete globally through the adoption of information communications technology and improved education.”Technology is able to drive the productivity and standard of living for communities and countries on a global basis, and Turkey understands the critical importance and transformative impact technology can have on businesses, governments, societies and the overall economic growth of the country,” said Chambers. Among the initiatives Cisco will support, is the establishment of 200 new Networking Academies in the country over the next five years to provide enhanced technical programs in concert with leading local universities. There are currently 47 Networking Academies across Turkey.

Cisco and Telluride

Blogging the Digital Video RevolutionA look back at Cisco’s participation in the Telluride Film Festival earlier this month shows the company’s focus on the digital video revolution hit a cord that reverberated through the blogosphere.blog_telluride.jpgCisco’s panel discussion, called “The New Media Future: The Impact of Broadband on the Creative Process and Content Distribution,” included Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, Josh Goldman from Akimbo Systems, Yair Landau, President of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, director Kevin MacDonald (Touching the Void, Last King of Scotland) and Dan Scheinman, SVP of Corporate Development for Cisco Systems.Alex Williams’s feedia blog pointed to the important issues at stake as broadband changes the entertainment equation.”I am listening to a News@Cisco podcast. And it’s pretty good. Why? It’s a great discussion from the Telluride Film Festival about the movie business, the long tail, You Tube, machinima and all the impacts that people are having all over the world as they continue to get online and make stuff.Kim Voynor, in her Cinematical blog, chimed in:”I was about as happy as a film-geek girl could be after meeting Nair and seeing a great film, but there was more to come. After the film, we headed over to Chair 8 where Anne Thompson from The Hollywood Reporter was moderating a panel- This was a lively panel with a full crowd, with lots of interesting things to say about digital media, the impact of YOU TUBE, blogger versus journalists and more. The very nice Cisco folks told me the entire panel will be podcast on the Cisco site, so as soon as they send me the link, I’ll point you to it so you can check it out.”Anne Thompson, deputy editor of The Holoywood Reporter, blogged about the same panel discussion from her perspective as moderator.”œI missed the first screening of Little Children because I was prepping and then moderating a panel put together by the folks at Cisco on the digital broadband future-a topic I seem to come back to a lot. I bonded with Cisco exec Claudia Ceniceros on last year’s Telluride panel, and she signed me up for this one,” she wrote. “Cisco sr vp of development Dan Scheinman talked about creating set top boxes to intermediate between consumers and their TVs; Josh Goldman, CEO of 3-year-old Akimbo, also believes that set top boxes act as curators for audiences who need someone to point them where to choose in a long tail digital world. “Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired and author of The Long Tail, described how the internet dissemination of little music files has been followed by little YouTube video clips and now short TV shows,” Thomspon added. “Long movies will take more time, he said. Sony Digital president Yair Landau said that audiences crave stylized animation in a world where it’s difficult to suspend disbelief when everyone knows too much about movie stars. Filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (who arrived at the panel just after seeing the 130-minute Little Children) added that the flip side of Landau’s observation is that audiences are responding well to documentaries because they are so real. Macdonald, who filmed Last King of Scotland in 16 mm with a digital intermediate but is shooting his next on DV, also talked about a Nokia contest involving movies for mobile phones that are 15 seconds long.”There’s much more on News@Cisco on Telluride. Check out the following content:Audio Podcast -- The New Media Future: The impact of broadband on the creative process and content distribution Video -- The New Media Future: Panel highlights and 1:1 interviews with panelists: Video: -- Telluride Film Festival Attendees Address Digital Video Q&A with Dan Scheinman: Broadband is Revolutionizing the Film Industry