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Cisco Netriders Global Champions Tour Company Headquarters

January 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm PST

This week Cisco is proud to host 17 NetRider Champions from 13 countries around the globe at Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California. These tech wizards are students from the Cisco Networking Academy program who competed against more than 10,000 applicants in 85 countries. They range in age from 20 to 37.

The annual Networking Academy NetRiders competition is an interactive networking skills contest. It utilizes Cisco’s Web 2.0 technologies to challenge students to achieve high standards of competence, enhance classroom learning, and motivate them to further pursue technology education and training.

NetRiders_2013_web_1 Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders winners are visiting the Cisco San Jose, California campus from 13 countries.

Cisco believes in educating people with new skills for life, as well as in providing aid to those in need. Networking Academy is Cisco’s largest and longest-running corporate social responsibility (CSR) program; it was established in 1997 to teach IT based skills to people around the world, helping them get good jobs and encouraging long-term, sustainable economic growth in communities by providing highly skilled network professionals to support local industries. The 10,000 Cisco Academies around the world teach more than 1 million students in over 165 countries each year!

Brian Forward, the NetRider Champion from Canada, was particularly attracted to the interactive element of the competition. “Participating means that I have had the chance to compete with the countries’ and continents’ finest, while showcasing my talents and skills, and enhancing them while representing my home Newfoundland,” he said. “On a forward-looking note, it has created confidence within me that propels my learning.”

The contest is such a good way to motivate students that Tracy Granlund from the Networking Academy Student Advocacy Team says, “We hope to see the competition grow to 50,000 student participants.” The winners are in California to meet with Cisco staff and tour our offices, labs and data center; the Stanford University campus; Intel Museum; coastal Redwoods and beaches at Santa Cruz; and attractions in nearby San Francisco.

We’ll keep you posted about what the NetRiders are up to throughout the week.

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Video Calling: The Case for Interoperability – Part 3

January 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm PST

Video calling is changing the world we live in.  Healthcare is using video conferencing to provide services by doctors to patients in rural areas or those too ill to travel.  Schools use video calling to enable their students to interact with experts and professionals across the country without having to leave the classroom.  And courts are increasingly using video communications for specialized skills, such as language interpretation.

All of these rapid advancements will make a greater impact if our technologies work together. In a recent Cisco study, two-thirds of respondents believe that innovation is what keeps companies growing, that innovation is fostered through interoperable devices, and that it’s better if companies agree to common standards without government intervention. As new technologies are formed, these innovations are the fuel for economic growth and community well-being.  It’s important to understand the role that interoperability plays in forming our technological foundation.

Interoperability infographic

 

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Three Tips for Partners Delivering TelePresence to the Financial Sector

January 30, 2013 at 11:45 am PST

This post is the first in a series where we’ll be featuring success stories from some of our partners on how they are helping customers achieve their goals by using Cisco technology. The author of this post is Kevin Kiser, Director of Marketing, Core BTS.

When you think of the “old boy’s club,” certain industries come to mind: insurance, legal, and finance, to name a few. Those industries also carry the stigma of belabored processes and aged tools. So, how then, can we—the partner community—bring the financial persona into the 21st century? We can start today by showing them the opportunities of tomorrow, in a three-step process.

Recently, teleportation through the use of TelePresence in the financial industry was the main focus of a Cisco print ad in Fast Company’s July/August issue. While the ad describes the ultimate benefits of the technology, the three-step process to bring the ad to life is evident in the continued success of New York’s North Country Savings Bank (NCSB), whose Cisco TelePresence initiative has brought it closer to its customers than ever before. You can learn more about how Core BTS and NCSB worked together to design, implement, and support key technology solutions to drive their business and enhance their customers’ experiences in the video below.

So, what is the three-step process partners can use today?  Read More »

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Multiscreen Video Delivery: Tangled Solutions, Smoothed by the Cloud

bill-Gerhardt11By Bill Gerhardt, Director, IBSG Service Provider

Online video is growing at a rapid — if not explosive — pace, with innovation and disruption spreading across all areas of the value chain. Some of the greatest innovation is currently occurring around multiscreen delivery and related services.

To better understand the climate for video consumption, in March, 2012 the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) surveyed 1,152 U.S. broadband consumers between the ages of 13 and 75+ to gain a better understanding of how they watch video: their habits, preferences, and the devices they use.

The study found that consumers spend more time watching Internet video today than watching DVDs/Blu-ray Discs, video on demand (VoD), or live premium cable channels — and they want to watch streaming video across a variety of screens. In the future, multiscreen delivery will take on greater importance as laptops, tablets, and smartphones advance and become even better video devices.

Service providers must address these Read More »

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From the Front Lines: How IT Is Taking Advantage of the Cloud Today

The cloud is here and here to stay. No one expects a wholesale move to the cloud overnight, but I’ve been hearing recently from numerous customers whose journeys are well underway, and some common themes are emerging as businesses explore various deployment models. Business agility, flexibility and balance sheet liquidity will drive cloud adoption, and, as the popularity of hybrid models increases, users will demand a seamless end-user experience between the cloud and on-premise systems.

A few weeks ago, I included these themes in my predictions about the future of cloud collaboration. This week I had the chance to speak with two Cisco customers about why issues such as flexibility, cost savings and user experience drove them to deploy cloud collaboration technologies and other cloud solutions. Sheila Jordan, senior vice president, communication and collaboration IT, co-hosted the discussion with me and offered her insights from an IT perspective. She also recapped the discussion, sharing some specific tips for how IT managers can best take advantage of the cloud.

John Jackson, vice president of global infrastructure and vendor management for D+M Group, said that he can relate easily to the prediction about business agility, flexibility and cost when thinking back to his company’s decision to move to the cloud. D+M Group employs people in several different operating divisions around the world and grew through a series of acquisitions, leaving the company to globalize shared-services IT team that did not previously exist. Read More »

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