Welcome to the Cisco Sizzle! Each month, we’re rounding up the best of the best from across our social media channels for your reading pleasure. From the most read blog posts to the top engaging content on Facebook or LinkedIn, catch up on things you might have missed, or on the articles you just want to see again, all in one place.
Let’s take a look back at the top content from May…
Work-Life Balance … Or Work-Life Integration? Achieving a work-life balance can be tough, but Cisco’s CTO Padmasree Warrior takes a different approach. Instead of trying to balance the demands of work and home separately, she embraces integration and combines the two together whenever she can.
IoE: Powering Supply Chain Management Cisco is connecting the Internet of Everything to get supply chains perfectly linked. Watch this video to explore how IoE instigates meaningful actions to happen faster.
Cisco Ranks High With Young Professionals Career Bliss recently compiled a list of the top 10 companies where young employees are happiest, based on more than 48,000 employee-generated reviews. It’s no surprise to us – Cisco was ranked as #5 overall! Many thanks to our employees for this honor – you make us happy, too!
How Organized is Your Cabling? Any IT guru will agree: this is an amazing feat of organization. Extra credit to anyone who can keep cabling in line like this!
What Keeps a CEO Up At Night? In this latest installment of Leadership@Cisco, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers talks about his love for adventure, the importance of family and the characteristics that make a good leader. Learn what he’s most passionate about, where he sees technology going in the future and what keeps him up at night in this video.
Cloud Curious? Cloud computing is fundamentally changing the way businesses and people consume information. It is enabling IT as a service, evolving collaboration and changing content delivery. See for yourself how Cisco is helping service providers of all sizes navigate the world of many clouds:
Coordinated Attacks Against the U.S. Government and Banking Infrastructure In this blog post, Mike Schiffman and other Cisco employees inform us of a round of planned cyber attacks that have been launched against the U.S. government and banking systems. They provide an overview of the situation along with resources and best practices to prevent and respond to the attacks. For more information on how to protect against these attacks, don’t miss this post:
Maybe you’re like me, looking for any excuse to hop on a plane to Boston! In this case, I happen to have a good one, Red Hat Summit, which kicks off on June 11th.
Cisco is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for the event and we’re showing up in full force with a larger booth, more demos, a Cisco keynote, breakout, and a number of new solution areas that we plan to showcase. We’ll have a number of product and solution experts available to share our view on how Cisco Solutions, hosted on UCS infrastructure, are building a better data center.
One presentation you should be sure not to miss is the Cisco Keynote on Wednesday, June 12th at 9:30 AM with Ram Appalaraju, Vice President of Technology, Products and Solutions Engineering at Cisco. It’s safe to say, Ram has an important role at Cisco. He is essentially responsible for delivering Cisco’s Unified Data Center strategy in the form of products and solutions. This will certainly prove to be a presentation not to be missed!
In addition, Han Yang, Product Manager for Cisco Nexus 1000V, will discuss the Nexus 1000V on KVM with OpenStack Integration. Since Han was one of the original Engineers developing the Nexus 1000V, this makes him uniquely qualified to present this breakout. This session will be held in room 312 on Thursday, June 13th at 1:20 pm.
Please see below for the four key solutions that Cisco is showcasing at the Partner Pavillion:
Jack is responsible for worldwide marketing for MapR Technologies, the leading provider of a enterprise grade Hadoop platform. He has over 20 years of enterprise software marketing experience and has demonstrated success from defining new markets for small companies to increasing sales of new products for large public companies. Jack’s broad experience includes launching and establishing analytic, virtualization, and storage companies and leading marketing and business development for an early-stage cloud storage software provider.
Big Data use cases are changing the competitive dynamics for organizations with a range of operational use cases. Operational intelligence refers to applications that combine real-time, dynamic, analytics that deliver insights to business operations. Operational intelligence requires high performance. “Performance” is a word that is used quite liberally and means different things to different people. Everyone wants something faster. When was the last time you said, “No, give me the slow one”?
When it comes to operations, performance is about the ability to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise. To do this requires the ability to quickly monitor what is happening. It requires both real-time data feeds and the ability to quickly react. The beauty of Apache Hadoop, and specifically MapR’s platform, is that data can be ingested as a real-time stream; analysis can be performed directly on the data, and automated responses can be executed. This is true for a range of applications across organizations, from advertising platforms, to on-line retail recommendation engines, to fraud and security detection.
When looking at harnessing Big Data, organizations need to realize that multiple applications will need to be supported. Regardless of which application you introduce first, more will quickly follow. Not all Hadoop distributions are created equal. Or more precisely, most Hadoop distributions are very similar with only minor value-added services separating them. The exception is MapR. With the best of the Hadoop community updates coupled with MapR’s innovations, the broadest set of applications can be supported including mission-critical applications that require a depth and breadth of enterprise-grade Hadoop features.
As more devices, people and things become connected to the Internet, an unprecedented amount of data will be generated: data which can become a powerful tool for solving some of the greatest challenges facing our planet.
Carlos Dominguez and photojournalist Rick Smolan
I spoke with well-known photojournalist Rick Smolan about how we can turn data into wisdom, and the importance of capturing data in real time. Rick has worked at Time, Life and National Geographic and is the creator of the popular Day in the Life book series. In his most ambitious project to date, he tackled the subject of big data in the Human Face of Big Data project.
Cisco co-sponsored the project because we believe we’re entering an era of the “Internet of Everything” which will bring data as well as people, processes and things together to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before.
In today’s blog, we continue the conversation by focusing on how big data can improve our communities and the world.
Q: Rick, your project’s premise is that real-time visualization of data streaming in from satellites, billions of sensors, RFID tags, GPS-enabled cameras and smart phones, is beginning to enable us to sense, measure and understand aspects of our existence in ways never possible. Your recently published book The Human Face of Big Data has some wonderful examples on harnessing data to improve the world – do you have a favorite? Read More »
The early days of the Internet were a heady time of reimagining, rethinking, and, in effect, “e-enabling” a staggering range of business processes. Today, we stand on the cusp of an equally momentous paradigm shift driven by an explosion in connectivity—not just among devices, but also encompassing people, process, data, and “things.” This next-generation digital revolution will upend entrenched mind-sets and disrupt existing business strategies on a nearly unprecedented scale, transforming, yet again, the customer experience.
As I shared in Part 1 of my blog, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group projects that the Internet of Everything (IoE) economy will generate $14.4 trillion in Value at Stake for private-sector companies globally over the next decade. Nearly 26 percent of this total — $3.7 trillion — will be tied to IoE-driven customer experience advances.
But how do companies begin to tap the vast potential of the next-wave Internet? Since the Internet of Everything remains a work in progress, its uncharted waters and multidimensional scope will demand wholly new ways of thinking as organizations connect to a larger — much larger — universe. In order to meet IoE’s challenges effectively, your business will need a multidimensional toolkit — one that bridges marketing, design, engineering, economics, finance, or any other discipline required inside or outside your company.
The methodology that can enable these capabilities is design thinking. Drawing on methods used by design professionals, it combines empathy for the human context of the problem; creativity in the generation of insights and solutions; and rationality and feedback to analyze the solution within the customer context.
Design thinking is ideal for problem solving within highly complex situations. Which brings us to IoE. Its high level of complexity will demand that you rethink what you do for your customers, while redefining how issues can be addressed.
Knowing the customer is an age-old path to success. And at the heart of design thinking is a deeper understanding of the customer, citizen, or patient, pinpointing the human needs that fall between business objectives and the technology solutions. Employing user-centered qualitative research methods of observation, ideation, and prototyping, design thinking cuts to the essence of the human pain point and is centered on understanding the role you play in the lives of those whom you are serving. Defining and shaping the problem — in effect, determining the right question to ask — is key. Problem framing comes before problem solving and will be the foundation the creative insight in IoE innovation.
Unlike analytical thinking, which is based on a breakdown of ideas, design thinking concentrates on building up ideas with a broad focus, especially in the early stages of the problem-solving process. Once those early ideas are encouraged to develop, without judgment, they can spur creative thinking.
Here is an example of design thinking at work:
A retail client asked, “How do we increase sales conversions?” The client had the best merchandise selections, financing options, and competitive prices. Customers sang their praises in focus groups. Yet, they were converting only about 25 percent of shoppers. With a design-thinking approach, we were able to reframe the problem. Customers were attracted by the assortment, we realized, but they were overwhelmed by the choices. They were looking for guidance on the right solution. By reframing the problem (“How do we help customers make a personalized choice?”), we came up with great ideas that led to new services offerings. In the end, conversion increased significantly.
Design thinking is not a new tool—Procter & Gamble and GE are but two companies employing its concepts, and Stanford and Harvard both teach it. It isn’t a magical cure, either. But it could provide critical solutions within the complex scope of the IoE economy.
As in previous Internet eras, organizations that adapt and redesign the customer experience — essentially by knowing their consumers through empathy and innovative solutions — will thrive. IoE will reach its true potential only if it is seamlessly integrated into customers’ lives. And design thinking — with its emphasis on simplicity and empathy—could cut through the complexity of the coming IoE economy, while driving the creation of products and services that resonate with the way your customers live, work, and play.
After all, isn’t that the reason for creating those products and services in the first place?