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Hershey Teams Up with Cisco to Deliver Telepresence to Students in Ghana

April 29, 2013 at 8:00 am PST

I’ve always liked The Hershey Company. Before now it was mostly for the delicious morsels they stack candy shelves with, but now I’m even more impressed with the company because of what it’s doing for the underprivileged youth in both the U.S. and Ghana.

In the summer of 2012, Cisco’s own Ed Schermerhorn worked with Hershey to help deliver telepresence to 80 elementary students in the U.S. and Ghana. The goal of the project? To provide an enriched educational experience by creating a collaborative learning environment where students were provided with curriculum developed by teachers in both Hershey, Pennsylvania and Ghana.

It’s such an interesting story and quite an adventure Ed went on. To hear more about his journey, read about it first hand in Ed’s latest post: A Delicious Experience: Connecting Kids in Rural Ghana with Kids at Hershey’s via Telepresence

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White House and IT Industry Partnership Prepares Servicemen and Women for the Workforce

Approximately 1.2 million armed forces personnel are expected to transition from the U.S. military to civilian life over the next several years, with as many as 300,000 in the next 12 months.  Many of these veterans will look to move quickly into the next phase of their careers and need to find fulfilling jobs that will enable them to build upon their military experience and support themselves and their families. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 10.1 percent jobless rate for post 9/11 veterans and exceeding 30 percent for veterans ages 18-24. It is imperative that, as a country, we come together to fix this. We must provide the training, certifications and jobs that our veterans have earned and deserve.

As an example of what we hope public private partnerships will do for our veterans who have given so much for our country, I look at Courtney Beard, a Cisco employee, who transitioned from active duty Air Force service in September 2011 with very little IT training. Coming from a family with a long history of military service, she knew at a young age that she would serve her country but she did not think much about what life would look like after she returned home. Highly skilled, and capable of excelling in the most difficult of circumstances, she still faced challenges finding a meaningful job aligned with her future goals; the process included resume critiques, regular attendance at job fairs, and participating in the Warrior to Cyber Warrior training and mentorship program with other veterans.

People like Courtney are the driving force behind the White House IT Training and Certification Program – an initiative to help transitioning military personnel make the difficult shift to the civilian workforce by obtaining the necessary training and certifications needed for high demand IT jobs.  Debuted today by First Lady Michelle Obama, the program – in partnership with Joining Forces and the President’s Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force – will actively engage 1,000 transitioning military personnel in training, certification and career resources. The concept and platform behind the program was developed with leadership from Cisco and Futures, Inc. This public-private partnership exemplifies business and government working together to make a difference in our economy, our businesses and our country.

Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – April 26, 2013

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Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.

Off The Top

Cisco Marketing Velocity wrapped up late last week with a call-to-action from Sherri Liebo, vice president, global partner marketing. In Cannes, Sherri urged partners to consider WISDOM – “what I say and do differently on Monday” – as they use Velocity takeaways to plan, build and run their revenue marketing strategies. Sherri also stopped by the Channels blog to offer a sneak peek of what’s in store for Cisco global partner marketing in the coming months, including top priorities for growth.

If you missed out on the Marketing Velocity action, fear not – we’ll be providing details about replays and archived content over the next few weeks, and you can also check out our various recaps and the Cisco Marketing Velocity YouTube playlist.

Several analysts and members of the press were also in attendance in Cannes; CRN’s Kristin Bent recapped key messages and also posted some snazzy scenes from Marketing Velocity, and Forrester’s Peter O’Neill offered tidbits and takeaways on his blog.

Read More »

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Collaborations Innovators: Jerry Bruckheimer Redefines Hollywood Collaboration with TelePresence

It’s no secret that when people get together to collaborate, great things can happen. Nowhere is this more evident than in the stories of our customers. That’s why we are bringing their voice to the forefront in a new series called Collaboration Innovators. It’s our way of showcasing new innovative use cases of collaboration technologies and bringing some stories to light that inspire a different way of thinking about technology.

To kick off the series we are highlighting Jerry Bruckheimer, one of the world’s most successful and innovative film producers. Bruckheimer is using Cisco TelePresence to change the collaboration game in Hollywood by bringing on-set and remote directors, editors, and talent together to produce award winning films.

In Bruckheimer’s upcoming film Lone Ranger, Read More »

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The Future of Payments and Commerce: Digital Payment Strategies in the Age of Omnichannel Banking

Banks, for the most part, have realized the importance of mobile as a channel. Across the globe, empowered executives are being appointed to head up digital channel programs. Their primary mission: define and implement the mobile banking channel and seamlessly integrate it with the other major digital channels—online banking.

For the most part, they have focused their strategies on ”forklifting” online banking features to mobile without worrying much about mobile payments. However, the new reality of channel migration is a bit more complicated: the merger of virtual and digital channels in this new age of ”omnichannel banking” is bringing digital channels into bank branches, customer homes, and places of business, and transforming the world of payments and commerce.

So, how is the omnichannel reality affecting the world of payments, and why should banks care (aside from the fact that payments-related revenues can account for up to 25 percent of total retail banking revenues)?

Most of us are familiar with mobile apps that allow us, when in a retail store, to scan a product bar code, access online reviews, and potentially buy the product from Amazon.com (or a nearby retailer) at a discounted price. This capability is the new reality (and challenge) of omnichannel in the retail world. Such changes, however, will not end here: imagine receiving offers, digital coupons, credit card loyalty points, and more on your cell phone so that you can seamlessly apply them to your purchases when paying with your mobile device upon checkout (at the physical store or online).

The promise of connecting mobile payments and commerce through new capabilities embedded in the mobile wallet is real, and several mobile-wallet providers have emerged, including a number of non-financial-services players (telcos, tech companies, retailers, and others). Read More »

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