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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014 at 9:03 am PST

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

We are getting really, really close to Cisco Partner Summit 2014. I have not started packing yet, but I will start planning that out soon. Oh never mind, who am I kidding? I am the world’s worst procrastinator when it comes to packing. I’ll probably still be stuffing things into my bag on the way to the airport.

Regardless of my lack of planning when it comes to what I’ll be wearing in Las Vegas, we have put together a great social media plan for our partners heading into this year’s Partner Summit. We have already shared with you our general kickoff information and the social media contests for this year. This week we have some more Partner Summit information for you, but first, let’s talk about the latest post from Richard McLeod. Read More »

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Navigating Security Threats in a Mobile World

Security plays an important role in the success of mobility implementations worldwide. We assume security threats are always present; however, it’s not always apparent where threats may arise from. Being aware of these potential risk areas is crucial.

Since mobility solutions offer users the ability to use devices on a range of networks and in a wide array of places, threats may come in unsuspected ways, or be inadvertently introduced into your enterprises network. For example, one recent study reveals that 80 percent of corporate security professionals and IT leaders recognize that “end user carelessness” constitutes the biggest security threat to an organization.

In addition, information from the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report sheds light on the persistent security attacks that enterprises face. From hackers to malicious malware, it’s clear that security threats arise from unsuspecting places.

Given this knowledge, business decision-makers must gain insight into where these breaches are occurring. They should also understand why it is important for them to care, and how they can be aided by technical decision-makers to solve these issues moving forward. In this post I’ll discuss the where, the why and the how of embracing a secure approach to enterprise mobility and what it means for business leaders.

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From the Mine Shaft to the Store Shelf — an IoE Revolution in Manufacturing

Since Henry Ford, the alchemy of turning raw materials into mass-produced products has been complicated and challenging. At best, it has been a delicate and precarious balancing act; at worst, something akin to herding cats.

The trick has always been to align ever-shifting patterns of customer demand with far-flung ecosystems of miners, designers, suppliers, engineers, factory workers, truck drivers, sellers, and so forth. Yet the process of orchestrating such intricate value chains has often been based on art (hunches) more than science (data).

Today, however, the Internet of Everything (IoE) — the ongoing explosion in networked connectivity among people, process, data, and things — is transforming manufacturing in startling ways, just as it is changing so many other industries.

IoE delivers seamless, intelligent connections to every corner of the manufacturing value chain, optimizing the flow of products, information, and payments in real time.

The Cisco IoE Value Index study found that in 2013, manufacturing had the largest potential share of IoE Value at Stake, at $224 billion. Yet, it was poised to realize only 46 percent of that potential bottom-line value.  The key to closing that gap lies in much-improved machine-to-machine and machine-to-people connections, resulting in smart factories, smart grids, and connected supply chains, among many other IoE-related innovations.

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Surviving the Conference Call: There is a Better Way

Wall Street Journal writer Sue Shellenbarger makes some great points in her recent article “Surviving the Conference Call.” She points out many of the downsides of not collaborating in person — people multitasking during calls, bad audio, the inability to build rapport.

I remember those days well. For me, they’re in the past because I use video on nearly every call I make, whether it’s a group conference call or a 1:1 conversation with a co-worker.

Shellenbarger reports that about 65% of all conferencing is still done via audio calls, according to Wainhouse Research. To some, video may seem like the future, but it’s really available and affordable here and now. It’s moving from an executive-only tool to something available to everyone.

At first I was surprised that Wainhouse predicts time spent in audio conferences in the U.S. will continue to grow 9.6% a year through 2017. But in context, it’s pretty slow growth compared to predictions for video conferencing (check out Figure 14).

True, video is a new concept for many of us. Just the idea of being heard and seen is a hurdle for some people. I used to hide from cameras at parties and now I use one throughout the day. The benefits quickly outweighed any awkwardness. I found right away that the ability to have eye contact with people and see their physical reactions during a conversation makes a significant difference in the communication. Read More »

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Introducing This Year’s Cisco Partner Ambassadors

March 13, 2014 at 6:26 am PST

Heading into Partner Summit in Las Vegas at the end of the month, we have been bringing you waves of news related to this year’s event. Well it’s time we made the conversation less about Cisco and more about Cisco’s partners.

This marks the third year of the Cisco Partner Ambassador program. It provides partners with the opportunity to share their thoughts and impressions about the news they hear about during Cisco Partner Summit. As we continue to evolve the Partner Ambassador program, we are working hard to shape the mix of global resellers, distributors, and Independent Software Vendors (ISV) to more closely represent the participants at Partner Summit. Just like last year, we even have some partner ambassadors who won’t be onsite in Las Vegas, but will be joining us via Virtual Partner Summit (VPS).

Our partner ambassadors will be blogging and tweeting before, during, and after Partner Summit. As always, we’re excited to hear their perspectives and look forward to sharing their content with you. Be sure to follow our hashtag, #ciscops14, to follow their content and to offer your own feedback. We also created a convenient Cisco Partner Ambassadors twitter list to make it easy for you to subscribe to all handles, including some related twitter handles from the partner ambassadors.

Now let’s meet the ambassadors for Partner Summit 2014. Each partner ambassador was kind enough to provide some information about how they play in the Cisco Ecosystem and where you can track their social media information. Read More »

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