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Cisco Is Bringing Some Big Stars to ISE 2016

Integrated Systems Europe is once again upon us in chilly Amsterdam, and Cisco Collaboration will be attending for the third year in a row. We always bring along our industry-best collaboration gear to showcase alongside the amazing AV equipment at ISE. This year, we have some particularly bright stars in the mix.

Starring the DX80
If you’ve seen the Oscar-nominated movie, The Martian, you might have noticed that Cisco video conferencing technologies play a key part in helping to bring home the stranded astronaut played by Matt Damon. The Cisco DX80 desktop collaboration system starred in that endeavor. Come see it for yourself at the Cisco booth. And, in case you haven’t seen the movie or just missed the scenes, you can also see a clip of the DX80’s cameo in the movie*.

Interoperability and Scale
Speaking of stars, one of the brightest stars in collaboration is joining us at ISE. We just closed our acquisition of London-based Acano. We’ll be together for the first time publicly at ISE and will share how we plan to extend our respective leadership in interoperability and scale to truly bring video to everyone, everywhere. And we have a never-before-seen demo that you won’t want to miss.   Read More »

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Live #Ciscochat Feb 23rd: Cyber attacks ahead. Are you ready?

As Mike Riegel pointed out in his recent blog, ‘Financial services is the prime example of an IT-intensive industry.’ Financial institutions rely on consistent technology and innovation to compete and to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Customers put a lot of trust in their financial services provider to secure their data and privacy.

On the other hand, cyber criminals put financial institutions in their sights in efforts that, when successful, can damage customer trust and an institution’s reputation. Financial institutions around the world are targets for malware, phishing, ransomware, and ATM skimming. The most serious losses come from targeted attacks. According to the Cisco 2016 Annual Security Report, malware is becoming increasingly sophisticated and cyber criminals are launching attacks through a variety of attack vectors, including tools that users trust or view as benign. Furthermore, targeted attacks are on the rise and the cyber criminals are unrelenting in the execution their mission.

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From Connected Devices to Smart Services: The Real Value of IoT

If you follow me on Twitter (@rowantrollope) you might have followed along this past Christmas as, home with the family, I started writing some code and building some hardware devices to connect more of the things around my house. After all, these days anything can be a smart device; from a toaster that delivers perfectly browned slices to a Christmas tree that automatically waters itself, the ideas are endless.

As a hacker at home, writing some simple code or building a connected hardware device is easy with today’s software and hardware platforms. But moving from a side project at home to building a business is quite another matter. How do you collect and analyze data from these connected devices, scale to manage more and more connected devices, and eventually find a way to monetize your connected devices? In other words, how do you turn a good idea into a great IoT business?

That’s why I’m so excited by yesterday’s news about our intent to acquire Jasper. Jasper’s approach is unique because it is so simple – they manage connectivity of IoT services for any device, from connected cars to connected printers, all through the cloud. It’s not just about connecting devices, but helping our customers to collect data, act on that data and deliver services to their end customers based on that data. Read More »

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Cisco Encourages Individuality

Cisco Hair Color

Can you be a professional, powerful person in the workplace while still setting trends?

May Le had always wanted to dye her hair purple, but having just started a job at Cisco, she wondered if it was the right time. Was there something in the “rule book” that would prevent it? Would it be accepted? Maybe it’s just too edgy, too much for a corporate tech company. “Purple hair might be off the table,” she thought.

But she wanted to be herself, so she thought she’d ask her manager, who surprised her with the ALL IN Cisco attitude. “If you’re going to do it – just rock it!” she said.

“Cisco has this reputation out there for being a boring, stodgy company,” May laughed. “That’s just not the case.”

May says the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and her hair has even been a great conversation starter. From the break room in San Jose to telepresence networking opportunities she’s experienced, and even amongst our Executive Leadership Team – which loves her boldness.

“Our Chief People Officer, Fran Katsoudas saw me on campus and recognized me from a photo I posted in social media, where I said #IChoseCisco because I can be myself! It really showed me how progressive of a company Cisco is, and knowing that I can be myself even at work and freely express my individuality was a defining moment in my career.”

It seems that May was a pioneer for fun hair at Cisco.

I started at Cisco a few months ago, myself. I was coming from the hospitality industry, where it was okay to have hair dyed “naturally blonde,” but not okay to add any touches that would be deemed “not normal,” because that would be disruptive.

For weeks I devoured any documentation that came my way to see what Cisco’s stance on purple hair was (as if they’d have a section called “PURPLE HAIR RULES”). Hindsight being 20/20 – I suppose simply asking the question would’ve been easier, but coming from a world where the answer was a hard “No.” – and, really, a question not to even be entertained – fear of getting rejected latched on to me.

That’s when I also saw May’s #IChoseCisco photo on Twitter, and in one swift moment I was excitedly texting my hair stylist, “I found a girl with a full head of awesomely purple hair…when can I come in?”

It may sound absolutely ridiculous, but as I sat there staring at the finished product – with vibrant purple in my hair – I couldn’t have been happier. I finally felt like “me” again. Cisco gave me that.

Purple hair was my “normal” – and at Cisco that kind of disruption was welcomed energy. In fact, it was almost a non-issue. Why would the color of one’s hair, or a tattoo, or any representation of self keep you from doing great work?

This colored-hair thing was something that my colleague, Carmen Collins, had wanted to try for a while as well.

“When I posted May’s photo on Twitter from the #IChoseCisco contest, I didn’t know her story. I just thought ‘cool hair! I want!’ My issue wasn’t whether Cisco would approve, it was whether everyone else would. (Silly me.)”

Carmen and I would talk about taking that step. We would talk about it here and there throughout our week, and while she would weigh the options – I would egg her on. “Just do it!” I’d say, “It’s just hair color!”

“As I learned May’s story, and saw Casie rocking the look, I decided to let my inner rocker show!”

A few days later, an ombre look with bright pink tips was Carmen’s new adventure. “I decided to go as far as to change my profile images and use the one with my pink hair – even on LinkedIn! I felt like if you’re going to interact with me – you should know who I am. And this is who I am.”

We recently ran a story on our blog about 3 Things to Look for When Choosing a Company. After the “hair revolution of 2015” at Cisco, the three of us thought it would be appropriate to add a fourth reason. Choose a Company that Encourages You to Be Yourself.

I think it’s safe to say that for May, Carmen, and myself – we’re glad we chose Cisco. Where being fun, powerful, and professional – while expressing your individuality – is not just encouraged, but expected too.

 

 

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Reimagine Work to Maximize Digital Value

As Cisco’s Chief Digital Officer, my entire focus is on enabling Cisco and our customers to accelerate the digitization of our businesses, countries, and cities.

Digitization provides an enormous opportunity to enable, differentiate, and define new business models; yet at its core, the success of the transition is predicated on the capacity to reimagine and reinvent the actual work. This includes building on the Internet foundation to extend the mobility of work, the distribution of work, the immediacy of work, and how and where work will take place.

Being digital isn’t just about technology. It requires companies to reexamine their entire way of doing business — and how they offer it — to deliver new value to customers and partners through fast innovation and operational efficiency.

Winners will be those who equate digitization not with basic automation, but instead with the notion of reinventing systems and tools to create a continuous cycle of innovation in a company’s product portfolio and operating model.

As we begin 2016, companies are under more pressure to accelerate digitization than ever before.

In fact, according to a 2015 study by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), “digital disruption” will displace nearly 4 of the top 10 incumbents by industry over the next five years. The average time to disruption is a mere three years!

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