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Let’s CHILL… an IoE innovation acronym

Last week, I attended a very interesting meeting in San Francisco for a program we call CHILL – Cisco Hyper Innovation Living Labs. The session, facilitated by the Factory, an incubator backed by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, included key leaders from retail, consumer products, and finance industries.

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Six-Year-Old Role Models at the White House Science Fair

I had the opportunity to attend the White House Science Fair last week, and I was blown away by the creativity and curiosity of the young men and women who presented their inventions.

The team that really stole the show was a group of 6-year-old Girl Scouts called the ‘“Super Girls” Junior FIRST Lego League Team,’ who showed off a battery-powered robot made of Legos that can turn pages for people who are disabled.

What a truly amazing group of girls!  They’re a real inspiration and role model to girls around the country and the world who want to grow up to be the next great entrepreneur or inventor.

Blair--White HouseScience Fair

 

But all too often, these girls are the exception, when they should be the rule.  Today, simply put, not enough girls and young women are choosing to go into the fields that make up STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of computer science degrees awarded to women peaked at 37 percent between 1984 and 1985. Compare this to only 18 percent of the degrees awarded to women in the period between 2008 and 2011, and it is easy to see the dilemma STEM employers are facing today.

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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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