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Robot Soccer? Staying Connected at Bowdoin College

October 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm PST

As our team has prepared for Educause 2013 this week, we have been talking a lot about technology in higher education and how it’s impacting colleges, universities, students and staff. Of course, robot soccer was not the first thing that came to mind, but it’s a great example of how different technologies are changing education forever.

Bowdoin College, which you may remember from last year’s #1 Most Connected College, is one of my favorite case studies because it points out that people have to TRUST technology for it to really be effective. Trust is a big word, really – I know I’m not the only person who is a little gun shy when I think about updating my phone to a new software version. So, when a professor has a class full of students and says “let’s all stream this video right now”, it’s important that it actually works – or professors risk losing student attention, losing time and facing maximum frustration levels.

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Mobility: No Longer a Risky Business?

Risk. It’s not just a strategic board game; in business it’s the analysis that determines the potential for loss.CiscoSecurity

In today’s organization, the consumerization of IT has led to groundbreaking developments in the mobility space. The broad deployment of BYOD, coupled with the availability of corporate data and applications, have challenged how we define security. And with recent news reports citing the rise of mobile hacking and network threats, the security of mobile technology and the data it carries seems to be at risk.

Fortunately, all is not lost.

Mobility gives employees and providers options for the workplace and creating a mobile experience that is efficient and innovative. It is also helping businesses save and make money. Today, employees in any place on any device can access any application across any network in any cloud. As a result, there are challenges associated with implementing a comprehensive BYOD policy that encompasses a proliferation of devices connecting to a network.

Even though mobility can cut costs and increase productivity, 60 percent of IT professionals recently surveyed believe mobile devices in 2013 present more of a risk to their organization than they did in 2012. And even with the growing concerns over mobile security, it still appears that only 60 percent of organizations require security technology for mobility plans. Why isn’t that number higher? After all Android Malware grew 2,577 percent in 2012 alone.

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A Financial Service Organization Speaks Out on Secure Access

October 14, 2013 at 9:41 am PST

Are your finances secure with your financial institution? Vystar Credit Union in Florida, USA speaks out on one of their recent efforts to ensure highly secure access at their institution. With the pressures of compliance and the need to protect their institution’s network and assets, Vystar deploys ISE and AnyConnect with great success. Most recently coming from Gartner IT conference in FLA I had a chance to speak with other organizations that expressed secure access concerns. Read More »

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The Sidelines That Had a Big Win

As the Internet of Everything continues to progress and more people, process, data and things begin to connect to each other, it’s getting easier to see how the future will fit together. The pieces of the IoE puzzle will no longer be disparate things, but a single, connected unit with technology at the core.

A great way to demonstrate this connection is to think of everyday situations. A child’s big game is important to any parent, and the CFO of a Fortune 500 company is no exception. But when the CFO is double booked with a meeting and his son’s big soccer game, he might worry how to balance his life at home with his life at work. Thanks to IoE, he doesn’t have to choose.

The Internet of Everything connects the CFO’s phone and car, which communicate to keep him on a conference call with his sales team while he travels to the field. He knows that when home phones become work phones – thanks in part to technology like Cisco Connected Mobile Experience – work can fit in anywhere. At the field, his connected tablet provides updates on the real-time sales data of products sold nationwide. Instead of having to step aside from the game to check in with the office, the CFO can watch his company break the all-time sales record as it happens, virtually with his sales team via Cisco WebEx, while celebrating his son’s win, in person on the sidelines.

And that is just the beginning. Imagine that the soccer ball is instrumented to provide feedback to individual children, helping them to improve their game, while at the same time providing the coach with play-by-play replays on his tablet. Video feeds of the game can be sent to grandmothers in other states so they can watch their grandchildren play. And as the play clock ticks down, uniforms monitor the kids’ vitals to ensure no one gets dehydrated, sending alerts to the parent volunteers when a child needs an extra water break.

This is the kind of experience the Internet of Everything is making possible. Explore the interactive image above to learn more. No longer must people choose between things such as work and play. IoE is integrating the two, creating opportunities for flexibility, security and real-time success.

Tell me, how can you see IoE making a difference in your world? Leave a comment here or join the conversation on Twitter to add your thoughts.

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New Video Services and The Impact on Networks – Part 1

Video based services have become a strong focus point of today’s business and personal needs. Whilst low-resolution video services with limited immersive capabilities have been around for two decades, the technology and infrastructure has finally grown to a point where services requiring good, or excellent, user experience can be delivered in an optimal manner.

Furthermore, the evolution of the office space from centralised and corporate owned employee application devices to a flexible Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach is moving the trust model from physical devices to application-based authentication, thereby increasing the need to redefine the rules for video delivery.

These changes are putting pressure on network infrastructures to keep up with the growth of those services.

I have therefore asked Thomas Kernen, Consulting Systems Engineer, to provide me with some insight into those changes. Thomas leads Cisco’s participation in many video industry and standards fora. Read More »

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