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CONGRATULATIONS, @PADMASREE!

It isn’t everyday that you get to send a shout-out to your colleague for being recognized as one of the most influential women in tech by Elle Magazine.

Congratulations to Padmasree Warrior! Congratulations also to Elle magazine, for showcasing the growing number of female leaders and influencers who are developing new technology and running technology companies—and are just all-around impressive women.

At Cisco, we believe that we need to be a company whose environment, culture and mix resemble the diversity of the world we live in and the communities where we do business.

The truth is that there is a tangible business value from inclusion and diversity. Even more so, there are proven links between inclusion, collaboration, and innovation that drive bottom line results.  According to a study by McKinsey, the management consultancy, companies with a higher proportion of women in senior management are on average 48 percent more profitable than rivals.

However, there is much more work to do!  I believe as leaders we not only have the responsibility to lead by example but also to understand the strategic advantage gained from a team made up of a diverse set of individuals.

But for today, I hope there are females of all ages reading Elle Magazine, who get inspired to chart their own path to leadership.

Follow me: @BlairChristie

 

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Cisco Announces Acquisition of Assemblage

Collaboration technology gives us the ability to work together anywhere, on any device, at any time. With more and more people using smartphones and tablets to do their work, it is more important than ever that enterprise collaboration delivers high quality voice, video, chat and online sharing instantly, to any device on any platform.

Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s acquisition of Assemblage to help us capture the ongoing market transitions of mobility, cloud and the Internet of Everything (IoE). Assemblage has built a talented team of web developers to deliver the tools and the infrastructure to enable simple, real-time collaboration through the browser to any device, without the need for downloads, plugins, or installations.

Assemblage offers real-time collaboration apps for shared whiteboarding, presentation broadcasting and screensharing. Users are able to collaborate simply via their browser with one-click, instantly accessing collaboration apps delivered via the cloud. Assemblage’s technology also integrates with popular third party cloud services and supports 40 different file types to enable quick and efficient collaboration.

With this acquisition, Assemblage brings a strong team of engineers with deep web development expertise to Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group (CTG), enabling Cisco to accelerate innovation and develop simple, easy to use, next generation collaboration solutions. In addition, Assemblage’s experience integrating with third party cloud ecosystem applications like Box and Google shows a close alignment to Cisco’s collaboration strategy and our commitment to simplicity and interoperability.

We are excited to welcome Assemblage to our collaboration team. Together, Cisco and Assemblage will provide simple, easy-to-use solutions that help employees work smarter together from virtually anywhere.

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What Is Mobile Cloud and Why Should Anyone Care?

As organizations seek ways to maintain real-time connections with their workforce and customers in an increasingly digital and mobile-centered world, the growth of mobile cloud will be a major force in shaping the business landscape and future tech decisions. The first blog post in this series, by Padmasree Warrior, explores how the convergence of mobility and cloud will deliver unprecedented transformation for all organizations. This post will answer the question of what mobile cloud really is and how it continues to provide new business opportunities.  

We’ve come a long way since the first brick-like mobile phones entered the market. Today, the proliferation of all kinds of smart devices – tablets, phones and wearables – that are connected to the cloud are changing how we connect both for business and personal uses.

As mobile user behavior continues to evolve, connection to the cloud becomes more critical. For example, according to our Cisco Global Cloud Index, by 2017, 69 percent of global data center traffic will come from cloud services and applications, increasing nearly fivefold from 2012. The report also shows an increase in global mobile broadband adoption, and how mobile device ownership and connections influence cloud-readiness.

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And with cloud computing becoming the new way of delivering and charging for IT services, the convergence of these trends – the “mobile cloud” – stands to significantly increase the overall value of mobility, as well as radically alter the way employees work and businesses operate. The mobile cloud will lead to “Empowered Employees” and “Engaged Customers”.

So exactly what is mobile cloud and more importantly, how is it impacting our industry and creating a new world of possibilities for IT?

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Open Innovation Everywhere: Extending Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence to Innovation Hubs across the U.S

Back in March, I wrote about Cisco’s continued focus on innovation and my personal goal of accelerating innovation by making openness part of our DNA. Similarly, at the recent Cisco Live event in San Francisco, I talked about the incredible Inertnet of Everything (IoE) journey in front of us and offered a few examples of what that future might hold. The IoE future of hyper-connected devices, people, data and processes will see retail, manufacturing, public services and health care fundamentally changed—and our lives made richer and safer. Today, we stand at the dawn of a revolution, and innovation will continue to lead the way.

With both internal and external programs to feed innovation, Cisco aims to nurture disruptive ideas. In this light, we are using our new startup innovation program, Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR), to spur open innovation and drive Cisco’s own leadership position in the emerging IoE opportunity.

The Entrepreneurs in Residence program offers financial support, access to a co-working space, basic software tools and a potential opportunity to collaborate with Cisco product or engineering teams. Each cohort lasts six months, and startups are selected through a rigorous multi-phase selection process that evaluates the viability of their business plans, the strength of their teams and their alignment with Cisco’s strategic focus.

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#SmartConnectedCity series: New Cities Summit media event reveals the future of #SmartCities is now

What is the future of citiesAs cities and communities prepare for the future and the Internet of Everything, they must confront a tsunami of challenges that can overwhelm how people live, work, play and learn. More than half the world now lives in cities for the first time, and the influx is growing faster than many cities can accommodate.

Today, about 500 million urban dwellers live in poverty, without access to healthcare or education. The world population will swell about 50% to more than 9 billion in the next few decades, placing huge strains on energy and food resources, jobs, transportation and more. The population in many mature cities continues to shrink while it’s booming in developing economies, triggering seismic demographic shifts worldwide.

21st Century is the Century of Urbanization

Indeed, the 21st century is shaping up to be the century of urbanization, and competition will be more between cities – not countries. That’s why it’s increasingly incumbent on all of us to foster more sustainable communities for our children – economically, socially and environmentally.

On June 18th, I had the privilege of hosting  a media roundtable at the New Cities Summit held this year in Dallas, Texas, to share insights with urban officials and experts about innovative solutions they are implementing to address many of these challenges. They have turned to “connecting the unconnected” through the power of the Internet of Everything to deliver more effective urban services that are improving everything from education and public safety to parking and even more direct and democratic exchanges between government and citizens.

At Cisco, we have identified $3 trillion of economic value that can be realized by cities alone over the next decade by leveraging sensors, applications and data analytics linked to the Internet through a common platform.

Here are some highlights of the media roundtable:

Midland County, Texas, Library:

In Midland, Texas, officials struggled with declining visitors, especially young students, at the county library, composed of an old building where technology was an afterthought. By converging new digital and physical architectures at the outset, they completely rebuilt the structure into one that’s the envy of libraries everywhere. This resulted in a 1,000% increase in materials circulated and 100% increase in traffic, stated Jason Bates, Midland County, Texas, Library’s IT director; and John Trischitte, the director of Midland County, Texas, Public Libraries.

They shared about how this award-winning library enhanced patronage experience via Cisco’s fast and reliable network and solutions, such as upgrading their portal site, interactive digital signs and kiosks, online book searches, video stories, computer rooms, access controls and much more. Today, they are gratified to see more young readers spending more time there.

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