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Cisco Helps Make Brand Loyalty a Slam Dunk for the NBA

In a world of digital distractions and shrinking attention spans, brand loyalty and customer engagement often wind up “out of bounds.” But forward-thinking organizations — including the National Basketball Association (NBA) — are using technology to create some exciting new scoring opportunities.

One of the keys to establishing brand loyalty lies in enabling an experience that sparks an emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. The NBA is a great example of an organization with an ardent fan base whose loyalty is based on an emotional bond. But to transform that passion into higher merchandise sales and social media buzz, the NBA has been adopting some unique concepts.

Some of this innovation will be on display at the NBA All-Star Jam Session, which will take place in New Orleans, February 13-16. There, the NBA is deploying Cisco’s Virtual Mirror done with partner C-InStore. The full-length mirror enables shoppers to see enhanced virtual images of themselves. And while Cisco’s Virtual Mirror might not make a customer look 7 feet tall (yet), it will render an image of him or her wearing the official All-Star jersey, shorts, and other licensed apparel. That digital snapshot can then be shared with friends and family, capitalizing on the excitement of being at the event. Those who engage with the mirror will also receive a 20-percent discount off event merchandise, redeemable through a coupon sent automatically to their phones.

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Software-Enabled Services Create Lucrative New Partner Opportunities

When I meet with partners around the globe, I hear a steady drum beat that sounds like this: Customers are shifting their focus from “make my network work” to “give me operational outcomes.” This is a clear sign that customers are moving from an IT-centric view of networking to a business-centric view of the value that networking enables. In short, customers now expect services tied to business outcomes.

This is good news for several reasons. First, this outcomes-based market is much bigger than the support market. Second, services delivery will increasingly rely on centralized, non-labor-based tools and assets. (My boss likes to remind customers that we can no longer service a car without software.) What do these changes mean for those of us in services? The answer is clear: From here on, success in network life cycle services will require tools, resources, and intellectual capital-based assets.  And I assure you that there are many lucrative services opportunities worth exploring. This is especially true for those of you willing to expand your services practice with software-enabled services. – which is exactly what I want to take up in this second installment of my blog series. Read More »

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Internet of Everything Opportunity is there for our Partners

Those of you that attended the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show last month heard Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers’ keynote address discussing the potential $19 trillion opportunity in the Internet of Everything (IoE). John even mentioned that the combined value of the opportunity might be conservative. (If you missed John’s speech you should definitely check out the highlights.)

John talked about “connecting the unconnected” and that this area is where our Partner Ecosystem has to be ready to do some serious work. We know we have to evolve with you and make sure we are all prepared to tackle that $19 trillion opportunity that is out there.

There is real value in our partner ecosystem and in connecting partners with each other. We will certainly be talking about this more and more as we move further into 2014, especially with such a large focus on IoE. Read More »

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…And The Momentum Continues! New Nexus Data Center Innovations AND Customer Deployments!

You probably have already heard that during CiscoLive Milan, we have unveiled the new additions to our Data Center and Cloud networking portfolio:

New Nexus Switches

  • New Nexus 7706 and a high density F3 Series 1/10G module for Nexus 7700 provide increased deployment options for data center interconnect, core or aggregation.
  • The next generation Nexus 5600 family offers VXLAN bridging and routing capability, line rate L2/L3, and 40G uplinks, to deliver high performance in a compact form factor for 10G Top of Rack, 1/10G FEX aggregation deployments.
  • New Nexus 6004 Unified Port LEM Module brings industry’s highest UP port density in a four RU form factor simplifying LAN and SAN convergence.
  • New Nexus 3172TQ top of rack 1 RU switch delivers industry-first 1/10G BaseT copper server access and superb performance combined with robust NX-OS features.
  • New Nexus 1000V on the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor brings OpenStack cloud a fully integrated network virtualization solution that can be deployed consistently across VMware, Microsoft, and Linux based software platforms.


Data Center Nexus Networking Momentum

From Nexus 1000V to the Nexus 9000, Cisco’s holistic approach resonates with customers because it provides increased business agility, operational efficiency, and empowers IT to rapidly evolve as business requirements change.

Here are the latest examples of why our customers chose Nexus:

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Summary: Tackling Mobile Security Risks for Government

As mobility becomes more pervasive, these concepts of cyber crime have become engrained in our work/life culture. These issues have earned national news headlines as governments across the globe grapple with how to build both secure and mobile-enabled infrastructures.

A few weeks ago, Cisco and Mobile Work Exchange released findings from a self-assessment tool that highlights some interesting statistics, enabling us to better understand mobile security best practices and vulnerabilities. The report specifically looks at government employees, 90 percent of whom claim to use at least one mobile device for work, and reveals that many government workers (41 percent) are putting themselves and their agencies at risk. Read More »

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