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Innovation: Coke benefits from Cisco in the Warehouse with UC Voice Picking

April 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm PST

I was reminded by a colleague who visited the Promat 2011 event recently of a case study that catches the imagination whenever we talk about it. My colleague had met up with the folks from Datria at the event. Datria were showing the Cisco and Datria Unified Communications (UC) Voice Picking Solution that Coca-Cola Refreshments U.S.A. (CCR) uses (CCR used to be called Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. before acquisition) in 100 locations or more to date.

Coke fork-lift truck drivers Use these Cisco phones with headsets to pick products more accurately and drive more safely.

For years Coke used a manual pick system Then they moved to a semi-automated one that could deal with full pallets, but then, with more and more products being added, Coca-Cola Refreshments U.S.A (CCR) found that it needed a better system to handle mixed pallets and make less shipment errors. Enter Cisco and Datria.

Way back in 2007, CCR began looking for differentiating technologies, techniques and methodologies that would improve order accuracy. A combination of Cisco, Datria and SAP proved the best solution as CCR chose the Cisco and Datria Warehouse Unified Communications Voice Picking Solution.The benefits have proved phenomenal for CCR.

As their order profile changed CCR could no longer rely on a manual system to deal with mixed cases (80% of the order volume is now mixed pallets). CCR needed to have order accuracy rates of over 99.5% to get preferential supplier treatment from customers like Walmart. The Voice picking solution gives CCR 99.8% overall accuracy and 100% in some locations. And there’s more… Read More »

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Out of the Closet Intelligence

March 29, 2011 at 4:00 am PST

I am still pleasantly surprised that the title of this show “Intelligent Switches Come out of the Closet” has not been yanked by our censors. The show is a good one of course, and double entendre aside, this notion of moving out of the switching closet and putting switch resources right at a critical point of entry is exactly what we are talking about. This is another of our three shows taped at CiscoLive in London, the Borderless team released a new line of ‘compact switches’ purpose-built for a very unique environment.

You can watch the full show by clicking here (this link will take you into our virtual environment which does require registration the first time you go…nice thing is you only have to do this once and you can poke around to see the rest of our content).

Lets review a bit about the content

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Interop 2011—Join Us!

Tune in for an overview of Cisco’s participation at Interop Las Vegas -- May 8 -- 12: including borderless networks, data center, virtualization, wireless, WAN and more.

To learn more about what you’ll be seeing from Cisco at this year’s Interop Las Vegas, go to www.cisco.com/go/interoplv

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IPv6 MTU Gotchas and other ICMP issues

From my home network, I can successfully ping or traceroute to some IPv6 hosts, but I cannot subsequently open a web page or use other applications with it.  How can this be?  Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) gotchas…

HISTORY

There is a subtle difference between IPv4 and IPv6 fragmentation strategies. IPv4 routers fragment traffic in the network when needed and then the receiving host reassembles those fragments.  This generally works well, but there are a number of potential issues.  Because of these issues, the IETF developed means for higher layer protocols such as TCP to determine the smallest MTU on a path and send appropriately sized datagrams in order to avoid fragmentation. The IPv6 designers presumed the presence of this Path MTU Discovery so that in IPv6, fragmentation no longer happens in the network but only at the hosts -- and then only in special cases in that absolutely require it.

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Borderless Networks and Manufacturing

So here we are, in the middle of March Madness. Lots of people that don’t normally follow college basketball, but still a great social environment and an opportunity to get together and pretend we know the teams we all picked in our brackets. Sometimes we pick based on “loyalty” and other times there are other reasons.  We all have various “borders” we deal with every day.

So, bring on Borderless Networks. In the manufacturing area we still tend to think of a “border” between the factory and the business. After all, how can those people in the front office know what we need in the factory, right? Well, that separation gets smaller and smaller every day. Why? Because we’ve blurred the border. Sure, there are appropriate firewalls and security between the various layers. But every day we run into people that tell about needing data from the plant, from the machine, from the supplier, from the sales force, from the channel, from the customer. And sometimes we’re not in the office, we may be at home, at a different supplier, in an airport, at a concert or ball game with our kids.

The point becomes, there is data there and I am not there but I need to make a call and affect my plant productivity or answer a question from my CEO because there is a big opportunity or a major customer disappointment about to happen.

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