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Moving to IPv6: Rebuilding the Heart of the Internet Without Missing a Beat

Within the coming decade, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) will be key to enabling 50 billion connections among people, processes, data, and things in the Internet of Everything (IoE)But how we get there from here is not a simple matter.

I’m very pleased to invite Mark Townsley, Cisco Fellow and recognized industry expert on IP, to discuss this important transition in the second of our three-part blog series on IPv6. The first blog in Mark’s series was “Demystifying IPv6”.

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Three years ago, I organized a conference in Paris where I thought it would be fascinating to bring together the original designers of IPv6 alongside the engineers who were finally deploying it at scale more than a decade later. During this discussion, Steve Deering, one of the “fathers” of IPv6 in the 1990s, was asked one of the most common questions about IPv6: Why wasn’t it designed for backward compatibility with IPv4? After all, wouldn’t it be easier to make the transition if the two versions could transparently coexist? Steve answered that the problem is not that IPv6 wasn’t designed to be backward-compatible—the real problem is that IPv4 wasn’t designed to be forward-compatible.

Steve was making the point that IPv4 was designed with a fixed address space. Given the number of computers connected to the Arpanet throughout the 1970s, this fixed-length address field seemed to be sufficient—at least for that version of IP. IP had been replaced before, and it seemed perfectly reasonable at the time that it might be replaced again. Read More »

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Understanding Today’s Customer: How Data Mining Can Help Insurers Increase Customer Satisfaction

Imagine a customer calling their insurance provider and reaching a representative that has never spoken with them and is unfamiliar with the customer’s claims history or company policies. That doesn’t sound like a good experience. Now imagine after a quick verification from the customer, the same representative is able to access the customer’s complete insurance profile, detailing coverage history and other necessary information needed to forward their inquiry to the proper agent or broker. The latter experience is now a reality, made possible by connecting data sources across the Cisco enabled network. By bringing together data, it allows insurers to get a full picture of their customers and allows them to create a differentiated customer experience, helping increase customer satisfaction, retention, loyalty, and referrals.

Call Center

Insurers are continually looking for the best way to attract and retain customers while also increasing cross-sell opportunities. By employing data mining coupled with collaboration technology, insurers are changing the way transactions are conducted. Many insurers are using technology to their benefit; not only through offering differentiated services or channel choices to customers, but also by the information gathered from customers. Read More »

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Networking Academy Instructors Help Close Widening Job Skills Gap

Starting tomorrow, hundreds of Cisco Networking Academy instructors from the United States and Canada will travel to San Jose, California for the 2013 Academy Conference.

Networking Academy instructors prepare people to design, build, maintain, and secure computer networks. Demand for these skills is growing as more and more industries – from healthcare to entertainment to education – are relying on computer networks to do business.

In the United States, jobs in computer systems design and related services are projected to grow 45 percent between 2008 and 2018. And Canada will need 106,000 new information and communications technology (ICT) workers over the next 5 years, according to the Information and Communications Technology Council, which began partnering with Cisco to deliver the Networking Academy curricula in Canada in 1998.

Nearly 4200 instructors teach the Cisco Networking Academy curricula at 2120 high schools, community colleges, universities, military bases, and other community-based organizations in the United States and Canada. They help open doors for people like Kelly Gheesling, who says being part of the Cisco Networking Academy and getting her Cisco CCNA certification was “probably he single best thing I did for my professional career.”

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“Even though I didn’t really have any experience at all professionally in the field, I had the accreditation that I went through the Cisco Networking Academy, so they said come down, we’d like to interview you face to face,” Kelly said of her interview for a contract position at Ford Motor Company. “Next thing you know I was packing up my stuff and moving down to Columbus [Ohio] for my first job as a network engineer.”

The annual Academy Conference is a chance for instructors to meet one another, learn about updates to the NetAcad curriculum, discover new teaching technologies, tour Cisco demo labs, and more.

Cisco Networking Academy was founded in 1997 and today teaches 1 million students worldwide each year, including 174,000 in the United States and Canada. Networking Academy courses prepare students for entry-level career opportunities, continuing education, and globally recognized Cisco certifications.

Want to teach and inspire with your passion for technology? Learn how you can become a Networking Academy instructor.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – July 12, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Every 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

We’re continuing to evolve our leadership team inside the Worldwide Partner Organization (WWPO), and as you hopefully saw earlier today, we’re once again moving a familiar face into a new role. Andrew Sage, well-known for his work with Small Business channels and most recently as VP, Worldwide Partner Led, is taking over as our new VP, Americas Distribution.

“Andrew will be responsible for all aspects of sales, marketing, operations and logistics for the Americas Distribution Channel, which represents over $6.3 billion in revenue and is a cornerstone of our Partner-Led sales strategy,” wrote Julie Hens, VP, Worldwide Distribution and Wendy Bahr, SVP, Americas Partner Organization, on the Channels blog Friday.

Send congratulations to Andrew, and read on for all of this week’s hot topics.  Read More »

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Is Your Company Prepared for Gen Y? Cisco, Twitter and Google Share Their Thoughts

We’ve all heard about Gen Y, or “millennials,” and how this new generation is poised to take over the workforce and change the face of Silicon Valley. Next Tuesday, July 16th at 6:30 pm, I’ll be joining thought leaders from Twitter and Google on a panel at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, to discuss an issue of critical importance – how to attract tomorrow’s talent and prepare for the incoming Gen Y workforce.

Gen Y is expected to make up nearly 75% of the workforce by 2025. How will this change the way we work, and what kinds of opportunities and challenges does this pose for local Silicon Valley companies? During this panel, I’ll share my thoughts on the biggest shifts in culture, management style, and recruiting strategy needed to attract the best talent of this new generation.

As many of you know, using today’s enterprise tools can feel like taking a trip back in technological time.  For businesses to succeed in the future they are going to have to adapt to the needs of Generation Y and that will often mean offering them more flexibility. According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 66% of employees place higher value on workplace flexibility than on salary.

But it will take more than offering a flexible Read More »

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