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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Cloud and the Smart City: It’s All Connected

Cities around the world are facing some big and complicated problems, with few easy answers at the ready. Rising energy costs, environmental concerns, and new government initiatives have inspired a focus on sustainable IT operations. But how can cities be expected to solve these crises, while also improving citizen services and ensuring future economic success?

Advanced information and communications technology (ICT) is a great answer, but this is easier said than done. Cities frequently face logistical hurdles on the road to becoming Smart Cities. I believe the key is creating a more effective “connected transformation,” harnessing the power of cloud computing for cost reduction and the delivery of vital services.

We’ve seen this in the enterprise sector: An intelligent IP-enabled information network provides a single, multiservice infrastructure to support productivity and cost initiatives—all achieved remotely, via cloud management. Government agencies are beginning to follow this lead. The public sector, for example, is finding new ways to measure such things as power consumption, thereby controlling energy output, reducing costs, and increasing operational efficiency. For government as well, the cloud is becoming an important tool for achieving greater sustainability.

Overall, the cloud is helping to create more effective city management, and it enables the network to become:

  • Observable. Cities can monitor systems, power flows, and equipment, with no physical or location constraints.
  • Controllable. Providing remote two-way communications and data between stations, systems, and equipment will maintain effective operations.
  • Automated. Hands-off processes allow for greater cost efficiency.
  • Secure. Layers of defense throughout a cloud grid will assure service reliability, prevent outages, and protect citizens.

The result is an intelligent, integrated cloud infrastructure that is pivotal to a Smart City’s evolution. Some amazing technology advances are making it possible for complex systems to be managed—and self-managed—remotely and efficiently. A flood of recently published case studies show how, in practical terms, high connectivity is essential to a new future for buildings and cities, and to the urban economy as a whole.

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Build Customer Loyalty, Boost Store Revenue

Do you want to increase sales by providing shoppers with the information they need when and where they need it – in your store?

Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences solution can help you do just that. Connected Mobile Experiences is a new solution that helps enable retail organizations to use Wi-Fi location services to deliver engaging store experiences and generate valuable shopper insights.

View this 45-minute on-demand video webcast to learn how to captivate your shoppers with new mobile apps supported by Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences. Discover how real-time location intelligence from your wireless network can enhance customer loyalty, improve store operations, and help you:

  • Deliver a personalized in-store shopping experience that increases customer intimacy
  • Provide important information at critical purchase decision points Read More »

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Using TrustSec to simplify Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment

We recently discussed the perfect IT storm that is currently brewing in business. BYOD, Unified Access, Video, the Many Clouds, SDN… all happening at once, on current infrastructure, and yet demanding more.

Some of the comments you made further emphasized the need to have an architectural approach.

VXI/VDI deployments are no exception.

Discussing VDI deployments with our customers in EMEAR, two things really are at the centre of our discussions from an infrastructure standpoint.

-         Security, which I’ll  discuss in today’s post.

-         Latency and user experience.  Two recent posts, here and here, provide great insight on how to tackle this challenge.

I have therefore asked Steinthor Bjarnason (sbjarnas@cisco.com), Senior EMEAR Security Consultant, based out of Norway, to give me his perspective.  He has 15 year experience in the security space and his perspectives are drawn from numerous customer projects, both in the Enterprise and the Service Provider space. Read More »

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Question: Are you PCI Compliant? Are you Secure? Part 2 of 2

Last week, we sat down with Bart McGlothin and Christian Janoff from Cisco’s security team to discuss PCI Security for Retail to better understand “What is PCI Compliance?” and “How does that affect Retailers?”

As a quick re-cap: PCI Compliance is a 12-step process to secure credit cards. Any retailer that accepts credit card payments must be “PCI Compliant” (i.e., follow those 12 steps). Compliance is enforced by the Retailer’s acquiring bank (the financial institution that processes the credit card payments for the Retailer).

Q. So, we know that Retailers need to be PCI Compliant. How can Cisco help?

A. Cisco has a PCI design and implementation guide for merchants to use.  It really stands alone in the industry because it provides holistic guidance in three key ways:

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T-Mobile Helps Drive New Standard to Simplify IPv6 Deployment

T-Mobile USA has been one of the first carriers to widely deploy IPv6, seeking to overcome the lack of IPv4 addresses and to lay the foundation for their network for the Internet of Everything. However, one of the headaches they’ve faced is that some applications which work fine over IPv4 don’t play nicely with IPv6. That’s a real challenge for service providers, impacting their ability to migrate completely away from IPv4 and complicating their network operations.

T-Mobile helped Read More »

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