As 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.
Once a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen today stands tall among the world’s most technologically enlightened cities.
Most everyone knows that Denmark’s capital is praised worldwide for its green initiatives, which are obvious from the pure air, clean sidewalks, ever-present bicycles and fresh-water canals, which I’ve enjoyed swimming in over the years.
There’s good reason Copenhagen topped the 2012 Global Green Economy Index and was recently named “The European Green Capital 2014.”
Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, explains how Cisco IT is transforming the way it manages and operates to increase the ability for Cisco technology to bring maximum value to the business. This transformation involved creating an architecture that is “context aware” and allows IT to deliver different levels of services securely.
Another Enterprise Connect has come and gone; now that the booths have been rolled away and sales teams begin the process of doing follow up with prospects met at this year’s show, I had some thoughts about UC applications in the cloud.
Unified Communications services deployed from the cloud was all abuzz during the show; from Sprint announcing its Complete Collaboration suite to many vendors discussing how they are moving their contact center offerings to the cloud. Even analyst Zeus Kerravala offered his observations following a cloud panel he moderated during last week’s show.
Specifically, Zeus mentioned that one of the key takeaways he heard during his panel was when organizations are deciding when to implement a UCaaS model, they think about which UC service they currently don’t have and deploy it through the cloud. This had me thinking about what features an organization should look for as they explore the possibilities of a cloud collaboration model.
If there was ever a doubt that our service provider customers did not see the market opportunity to leverage the cloud and deliver enterprise collaboration services to their business customers, that uncertainty continues to decline.
Today, AT&T announced the availability of its Unified Communications Service, a new way for its business subscribers to offer a complete collaboration suite of features to employees in a secure and cost effective way. At the heart of AT&T’s enterprise collaboration solution is Cisco’s own Hosted Collaboration Solution, the foundation that many other providers such as Verizon and Orange have turned to, in helping them offer the best customized collaboration solution to their enterprise customers. Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers. Read More »