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How IoE Enabled the Automotive Connected Factory of the Future

For most manufacturing companies today, product and services innovation, the introduction of new models, and the need for flexibility and workforce engagement are some of the business drivers requiring a new way to look at factory automation. Often, the ideal opportunity to tackle these challenges arises when a company is expanding capacity or building a new production facility ‘greenfield’. The Internet of Everything plays into this opportunity perfectly as easier and more seamless ways to connect people, process and data have emerged. Mahindra and Mahindra, one of India’s leading automakers, seized just that opportunity to deploy a Connected Factory of the future, building the Chakan facility north of Pune in Maharashtra, to expand capacity on existing models and introduce brand new Mahindra model categories. Read More »

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Opportunities and Value Through Data Science (Part 1)

I recently attended the Strata + Hadoop World Conference in San Jose, and came away impressed with the accelerating pace of innovation in the world of Big Data. Companies and startups are innovating in every area of the Big Data value chain – from automating how data is collected, cleaned, and organized; to data governance and management; to data storage using a plethora of NoSQL database technologies; and to the numerous emerging tools for data science. Read More »

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Reset Your Sales Focus to Gain the Biggest Returns

Most sales professionals hit the ground running every work day, focused on meeting with customers and prospects, doing what we can to move deals forward, and completing a multitude of other tasks necessary to get the job done.  Often the weeks fly by without the chance to step back to take a breath and look at the bigger picture. But one of the most impactful things you can do for your business is to take the time to re-establish priorities and objectives for the coming year. Most larger companies have formal planning processes but smaller businesses and individuals often neglect this aspect of their business.

For most sales people, their focus and priorities are governed by their employer’s objectives. This works well for setting annual sales goals and associated job duties.  But the business climate is changing at an astoundingly fast pace. Companies and individuals who don’t keep their finger on the pulse of industry changes miss the opportunity to stay in front of the competition. This translates to lost sales and credibility gaps with customers.

Looking for ways to reenergize your sales focus and stay on top of trends? Follow these tips:

  • At least once a quarter, meet with your sales team to share insights on any new trends, concerns or opportunities you are seeing in your market over and above the day to day operational focus.
  • Make sure you subscribe to at least two trade magazines, BLOGS or RSS feeds to keep up industry changes and announcements.
  • Schedule time on your weekly calendar to actually read the magazines, BLOGS and feeds.
  • Make a mental point to share your insights with customers and business partners to heighten your credibility as a go-to expert.
  • Network with peers and new prospects on an ongoing basis. Networking is one of the most effective ways to find prospects and keep up to date with your local market.
  • Attend at least one tradeshow or industry specific training event annually to maximize your exposure and keep up with new learnings.

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#DigitalTransformation Fueling the Need for Workforce Transformation

Digital disruption is transforming virtually every role in every industry. Every day I see how the proliferation of online, mobile, and social interactions has created the need for completely new marketing strategies—and completely new skillsets for marketing professionals. We can see this same disruption across industries, as the Internet of Everything (IoE) creates fundamental transformation through the networked connection of people, process, data, and things.

For example, we recently published a new report that shows a global oil and gas (O&G) industry awash with disruption, and primed for digital transformation. Low oil prices have upended the sector, spurring an urgent rethinking of strategy by oil and gas executives—and accelerating the adoption of IoE.

This disruption is one of many factors impacting the oil and gas workforce today—from field workers all the way to the executive suite. Not only will new skills be required in an industry transformed by IoE, but new digital processes will also be needed to transfer knowledge, collaborate to solve problems in real time, and capture insights from a torrent of digital data.

To become agile enough to compete in the IoE Era, the oil and gas workforce must possess a mix of technical skills, industry knowledge, and business acumen. With talent shortages due to massive numbers of professionals retiring over the next few years—and a lack of necessary digital skills among those who remain— O&G firms need to make bold moves to transform their workforce strategy.

  1. Extend the reach of existing expertise –Video-based collaboration can help bridge the expected talent gap by making the most of professional expertise that is spread too thin, as well as providing ongoing training throughout the organization. Video and web collaboration can effectively bring remote experts to any location, without the need for travel. For example, Saipem, an Italian oilfield services company, has employed high-definition video conferencing to cut travel costs, boost productivity, and provide subject-matter expertise throughout the company and with partners.

Real-time collaboration tools are increasingly important for far-flung oil and gas organizations.

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Introducing “Cisco Refresh”

In 2001, Cisco Capital introduced Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment (CCRE) a program designed to sell Cisco’s high-quality refurbished products. To address the growing secondary market, and provide a price-competitive and trusted alternative in those cases when buying new equipment is not an option, Cisco Capital is evolving its CCRE program to become Cisco Refresh. Available through Cisco authorized resellers and the Cisco Commerce Workspace, products sold through Cisco Refresh are remanufactured and backed by the same Cisco warranty and service support options as if buying new. Providing a range of value-added lifecycle solutions, Cisco Refresh also introduces a new sales tool and expanded profitability opportunities for partners.

  • 1 Click Tool (1CT) availability: Now available to all partners worldwide, this tool allows easy blending of customer’s bill of materials along with a simple way of identifying the right discount required to close the deal. The tool also introduces “Watch List,” a new feature that allows partners to insert certain part numbers they are tracking, and automatically be notified when these parts become available.
  • Expanded portfolio: Approximately 500 products have been added to the Cisco Refresh portfolio providing partners with extra revenue potential and product availability. The inventory – consisting now of nearly 4,000 offerings – includes products from all technology areas, including switching, routing, wireless, IP telephony, security, and other advanced technologies.
  • Cisco Refresh Partner Incentive Program (RFIP): Partners registered in RFIP may be able to receive an additional rebate on eligible Cisco Refresh sales.
  • Distributors: Global distributors have full access to the Cisco Refresh inventory and can carry a range of products either in stock or available on request.

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