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Celebrating Innovation at Cisco

If I could sum up last week in one word for Cisco it would be:  impressive!  Earlier in the week, the Boston Consulting Group released their rankings of the world’s most innovative companies for 2014 and Cisco jumped to #14, up from #46 the previous year.

Pankaj post

Source: Boston Consulting Group

In their report, The Boston Consulting Group simply states, “Innovation is hard.”  “Breakthrough innovation is harder.”  I couldn’t agree more.  We have celebrated many breakthrough innovations that have dramatically redefined the way we live, learn, work and play over the years at Cisco and this year was no exception.

We celebrated some of the year’s best innovations at the 16th annual Pioneer Awards last week. We have a long history of celebrating the prestigious finalists and winners, who are respected for their disruptive innovation, risk taking and ability to grow Cisco’s business.

I am truly in awe by the level of talent and passion I see from our employees around the world at Cisco, year after year and this year was no exception.   Our engineers are constantly redefining our extensive technology portfolio as well as driving disruptive innovation.   This year I am especially proud because we have multiple-year Pioneer Award winners and 3 of the awards are in the areas of automation, virtualization and cloud; all areas of thought leadership which are fueling Cisco’s growth and helps address and solve our customers’ complex business problems.

The four categories that the finalists are evaluated on are Core Technology, Product Innovation, Productivity Solution and Value Engineering.

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Enterprise Cloud Service Brokerage—A New Identity for IT, CIOs

As enterprise cloud use expands rapidly to include public, private, and hybrid clouds, CIOs need to evolve their IT business model and become enterprise cloud service brokerage (CSBs).

A cloud service brokerage, as defined by Gartner Group, is “an IT role and business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more (public or private) cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers of that service.” Gartner recently challenged CIOs to explore how they should position themselves as CSBs within the enterprise by “establishing a purchasing process that accommodates cloud adoption, and encourages business units to come to the IT organization for advice and support.”

Why not just bring in an outside organization to manage cloud vendors? Indeed, many new companies have sprung up recently to help IT departments procure their cloud services. However, as a recent CIO Magazine article points, “it remains IT’s responsibility to make sure that cloud-based services used by the enterprise comply with enterprise governance, security, and compliance policies while minimizing enterprise risks, and efficiently brokering the right cloud services is increasingly essential in multi-cloud environments.”

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Play Ball! Giants vs. Royals Game 7: Last Game of First Live-Streamed World Series

Cisco technology helps enable first live streams of World Series action

With the World Series wrapping up with game seven tonight and a new champion to be crowned, it’s a great time to reflect on the game and its impact on fans.

Baseball is much more than a game in America.  For well over 150 years, the sport has been woven into the fabric of our cities, neighborhoods, families and culture. For millions like me, the World Series has produced memories that last a lifetime. Every October, I reflect on the heartbreak I suffered in 1985 when my beloved St. Louis Cardinals blew a 3 games to 1 lead to the Kansas City Royals.

And all along, Major League Baseball has used technology to make the fall classic available to as many fans as possible.

The 1921 World Series between the New York Giants and Yankees was the first World Series to be broadcast on radio. The 1947 World Series was the first to be televised, and the 1955 World Series was the first televised in color.

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Now, another first in 2014, as large numbers of fans have been watching the first live streams of World Series action, representing a milestone in Major League Baseball broadcast delivery and allowing fans to watch on the go with an MLB.TV subscription. Each Giants-Royals game televised by FOX in the 110th Fall Classic is also available live online and via mobile to existing MLB.TV subscribers at no additional cost.

For the first time in the history of baseball, Read More »

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Balancing Innovation and Evolution: Cutting Through the Noise

Thinking back to how much the data center has transformed in the past ten, five, or even two years is enough to make your head spin. Keeping pace with these changes has been nearly impossible for IT departments, and it’s not getting any easier. When looking ahead, consider what changes the Internet of Everything (IoE), application-centric architectures, software-defined networking (SDN), and everything-as-a-service (XaaS) will bring. Confused? It’s no wonder.

My recent blog post described what every IT leader already knows: Running a data center is hard. Making matters worse are high-tech vendors who aren’t focused on addressing near-term customer needs. I feel that our industry, including Cisco on occasion, confuses customers with too much hyperbole around vision and strategy.

I spend a lot of time with customers all over the world, and there’s been a reoccurring theme: What customers tell me they need are solutions that will work for them today. Balancing innovation and evolution is important, but that burden needs to be carried by us—the tech vendors—not by our customers. It’s rare that customers have the time to slow down to sort it all out. Even as their IT operations are evolving, they need to “keep the planes in the air.”

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The Internet of Things: Moving Beyond the Hype

We recently wrapped up a spectacular Internet of Things World Forum 2014 (IoTWF) in Chicago.  By reviewing the highlights, it’s clear that the Internet of Things is here, it’s now… it’s big, and it’s bold. And by all accounts, IoT is advancing multiple times faster than any other technology movement in history.

More than 1,500 thought and industry leaders shared visions and real-world use cases of IoT adoption and advancement, ranging from mining and oil and gas operations to caring for the elderly with remote- and self-controlled robots. Our second annual event featured 13 keynotes and 36 workshops laser focused on setting a strong foundation for IoT developments, encompassing security, standards, protocols, governance models and much more.

We had an opportunity to hear from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, and CIO Brenna Berman, who in addition to their hospitality shared with us their goal of establishing Chicago as THE IoT Center for cities.

Participants learned that while IoT gets most of the current buzz from consumer-driven products, more rapid growth and value are shifting rapidly to enterprise-wide applications that already have improved operational performance and efficiency. Today, 37% of total device (things) connections to the Internet come from industrial applications, and industrial connections will surpass consumer-based connections in 2017.

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