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The new manufacturing workforce enabled by Cisco Unified Access

July 31, 2012 at 4:34 am PST

My eldest nephew is a recent college graduate.  He lives in Boston and walks to work, which is less than 2 miles from his apartment.  When I was his age, I commuted fifty miles in bumper-to-bumper traffic to get to work (uphill, both ways)!

Young, skilled workers who want to live, work and socialize locally are pushing companies to locate in cities.  Many employers are accommodating the hiring demands of the new workforce, as a means to recruit and retain new talent.

An estimated 10 million manufacturing jobs are currently unfilled due to a growing skills gap.  As the talent pool shrinks, companies are paying close attention to what the next generation of skilled workers wants – all with the end goal of employing, retaining and keeping workers away from the competition.

Watch the video that I refer to later in the blog

An undeniable truth is that these young workers, and most of their not-so-young co-workers, want the freedom to use their own personal smartphones and tablets at work. And more than ever, they want to use them from anywhere, even when they’re on the move. This mobile BYOD desire is causing an avalanche of new devices (15 billion by 2015), applications and cloud-based services.

Business and IT leaders are paying attention.  A May 2012 Cisco IBSG Horizons Study reveals that IT is saying yes to BYOD. A whopping 95% of respondents say their organizations permit employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace.  Have a look at Peter Granger’s blog to learn about how manufacturers are implementing BYOD.

Working according to our own terms does present a variety of new business and IT infrastructure challenges. And thanks to Cisco Unified Access, employers can safely accommodate the demands of the new workforce, and enhance their own business productivity in the process. 

The new workforce’s insistence on working their way may not only change the way we do business; it just might ease that bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic!

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Behind-the-scenes Technologies at Sea: Norwegian Epic and Cisco Networking

July 18, 2012 at 9:01 am PST

Several years ago, I went on a cruise with my family. There were fun things to do on board the ship, and we even had ample time left over for other things after dining, exercising, and relaxing on the sun deck. At one point, I came across a brochure about the on-board power system innovations that really impressed me. In the past, dedicated diesel engines were used for different purposes such as propelling the ship and generating electricity for cabins. The new system pooled output from these engines to form a single power plant that delivered power for everything on board, allowing greater control of power and better efficiency. That was an excellent example of system resource consolidation and pooling to me, which is showing up in other technology areas as well, such as data center virtualization.

A newly published Cisco switching case study provided a lot of insight on how Norwegian Cruise Line deployed the latest technologies to innovate guest experiences in the cruise ship industry,
and to optimize IT operations. Whether guests want to completely unplug or still stay connected, Norwegian is enhancing guest experiences with better access to entertainment, communications, goods, and services through a more advanced network on its newest ships.

The Norwegian Epic, Norwegian’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, debuted in 2010 with a long list of never-before-at-sea features. What keeps the 19-story high “city at the sea”, 4100 cabins and 1900+ crew members all together? Here’re some ideas:
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