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Friend or Foe? When IoT Helps You Get Hacked by Your Security

IoT Needs Physical and Network Security 4Earlier this year, the number of connected devices reached the 10 billion mark, surpassing the world’s human population, and experts expect that number to reach 50 billion over the next two years. This phenomenon, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), comprises a highly distributed model of connected objects, devices, and sensors that are used to communicate data. Everyday products can then use that data to analyze, plan, and make intelligent decisions. While IoT promises to fundamentally change our daily lives, arguably the most significant impact of IoT will be to the business world.

While consumers will enjoy new levels of connectivity with IoT, businesses will receive the lion’s share of the benefits. IoT will usher in a wealth of intelligence that businesses can use for planning, management, policy, and decision-making that will help them maximize productivity and efficiency while minimizing costs. In fact, some of these business applications already exist. For example, by connecting their cameras to the network, retailers can use analytics tools that can help them improve customer service, understand traffic patterns, and enhance inventory decisions. Read More »

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Take a Fresh Look at your VIP Strategy

Cisco’s Value Incentive Program (VIP) is in its 22nd consecutive period and has more than ever to offer. Over the years we have invested billions of dollars into VIP and into you, our partners. For this launch period, we want you to take a fresh look at your VIP strategy to get the most from this incentive program.

New Revenue Opportunities with VIP 22
Every six months we re-launch VIP to focus on the newest technologies and incorporate your feedback from previous periods. For the launch of VIP 22, we’ve included some exceptional changes which will help make you more successful:  Read More »

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The Benefits of Listening and Delivering in Customer Care

One of the things I enjoy most in my role leading Product Management for Cisco’s Customer Collaboration business is listening to our customers and partners to ensure we deliver products that meet their needs.  Our focus on delivery and execution sets Cisco apart in the industry.

So I’m very pleased to see that, for the second year in a row, Cisco was recognized as highest in “Ability to Execute” in Gartner’s Contact Center Infrastructure (CCI) Magic Quadrant.  Gartner bases Ability to Execute on a number of criteria–including the quality, maturity, and overall breadth of a vendor’s applications; their customer support capabilities; and their ability to deliver solutions in formal contact centers within companies, outsourcers, and service providers.  In addition, we improved our positioning in “Completeness of Vision”, with noticeable movement to the right in the June 2013 CCI Leaders Quadrant.

Cisco’s achievement in this year’s CCI Magic Quadrant is the latest recognition that our contact center business is truly firing on all cylinders.  The product development aspects Read More »

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First Step to Enterprise Mobility: Build the Mobile Structure

Over the last several years, the role of an enterprise workforce has evolved from a select few mobile-enabled employees to a robust, global network equipped with advanced capabilities at their fingertips. As this workforce grows and evolves, how can enterprises, specifically their IT departments capitalize on opportunities available through mobility while meeting their ever-increasing workforce expectations?

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Click to see the First Step in action

Today we are launching a blog series featuring Vine-format videos that will highlight key insights from a recent Cisco whitepaper, “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility.” In the coming weeks, we will be examining each step enterprises can take to enable new and more efficient ways of working in today’s mobile world. Today’s post highlights the first phase – How enterprises can build a mobile structure. Just as any building project should begin with efficient planning, here is a quick checklist to guide your own mobile strategy development:

1.       Clearly articulate roles around the what, how, where, which, who and when.

For many enterprises, planning can take a back seat as increased mobility keeps IT departments reacting to the influx of requests for mobile devices to receive wireless access. Too often, enterprises can find themselves focusing on only one aspect of mobility. For a system-wide approach that keeps application performance, security and rich experiences top-of-mind, enterprises must develop a comprehensive mobile strategy. Read More »

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As Connections Surge, Unique IDs Will Be Key

Uniquely Identifying Things Enables the Internet of Everything to Thrive

In February 2014, patents are set to expire on selective laser sintering, the key to industrial-grade 3D printing.3D Printing Opportunities This is expected to cause an explosion in 3D printing.

In a recent interview, GE CEO Jeff Immelt cited his company’s rapid adoption of this technology in manufacturing its new line of jet engines. “3D printing allows you to make that product right the first time,” he stresses, adding that it is “worth a lot of investment.” The UPS Store also sees the importance of this potentially game-changing technology. It is running a test program that will make it the first national retailer in the United States to offer 3D printing services targeted at helping entrepreneurs, architects, startups and other retail customers.

In the Internet of Everything realm, 3D printing promises exciting opportunities by enabling unique identifiers to be printed directly onto a product or product part. In the GizMag article RFID be gone: Why you might soon be 3D printing the Internet of Things, author James Holloway explores the emerging field of terahertz imaging (Tz). Scientists have developed a way to print a unique 3D tag called an InfraStruct, which is added within the object as it is being printed. These tags take on various forms or patterns, giving an object a unique fingerprint, or “watermark”. The InfraStrut can be read by a scanner using terahertz radiation. The terahertz band falls between microwave and infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Current RFID technology requires a chip that can slow the printing process and increases the cost of the item; printed Tz IDs would greatly simplify and streamline the process. Terahertz could ultimately provide new ways to connect certain objects at a lower cost by recognizing items without the need for a chip.

Looking forward, a Tz scanner could be built into your smart phone. You could then scan the aisles at your local retailer for the precise plumbing part to mend your broken sink — or the right color cartridge for your home printer. Retailers, in turn, could associate special deals with your buying history. Scan that sofa through your shopping app and up pops a personal discount aligned with your level of brand loyalty!

The success and growth of the Internet of Everything depends on connecting staggering numbers of people, processes, data, and things. Discovering novel ways of connecting new things —including being able to make those connected objects uniquely identifiable — will continue to be crucial.

What are other ways do you see emerging that will uniquely connect things?

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