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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – January 8, 2016

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Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a nice and relaxing holiday break. Personally, I was lucky enough to head back to my roots to visit friends and family in St. Louis.  Let’s just say the there was no shortage of food and drinks!

But, alas, it’s always good to jump back into the structure of the work week and get back to business.

It’s been a fairly slow week, as one could expect coming off the company holiday break. But, there were definitely some highlights.

For one, the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 (CES) is under way. Follow all the action via the official hashtag #CES2016. You can also see how Cisco is a part of the conversation here.

And here’s what you might’ve missed in the news since we last spoke.

In the Channel News

Good Reads

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Five Strategic Insurance Business Imperatives for 2016

One of these days the ground will drop out from beneath your feet
One of these days your heart will stop and play its final beat
One of these days the clocks will stop and time won’t mean a thing

“These Days”, Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

 As we kick-off 2016, the time is now for industry decision-makers to make a profound difference in the way Insurance business is transacted. Not just for competitive position, but for future generations, shareholders and most importantly, for the customer. Peer group competitors are formulating action plans now to address the most pressing tactical and strategic business imperatives across the enterprise for 2016 and beyond. Are you? Here are five top focus areas for 2016 that I am hearing from insurance executives across both Life and P&C:

  1. Digital Strategy
  2. Security
  3. Collaboration
  4. Talent Acquisition and Retention
  5. Business Outcome Approach

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We Hear You: Retail Security Should Be Simple and SAFE

Retailers are in the business to sell, not to be stolen from. And they don’t set up shop to buy security products from companies like Cisco. However, attackers who target retailers have discovered that it’s much more lucrative to shoplift virtually rather than physically. So even if you focus on security rather than selling, you face a daunting task.

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The challenge of retail security is that it gets more complex by the minute. The combination of mobile devices, distributed services, increased customer expectations, virtual systems, and changing business goals creates a huge attack surface for fraudsters. Add in a pantheon of security vendors offering specialized products that don’t always work well together as well as a dwindling supply of qualified security personnel, and feelings of frustration and futility are understandable.

Our industry desperately needs a resource that addresses the problem from end to end and makes security easier to understand. Enter Cisco SAFE, a comprehensive and credible solution portfolio. SAFE uses a model to organize retail networks into areas that can be more easily understood from a security perspective. It looks at the threats that exist and the best practices available to defend against them. It helps manage the design, build, and maintenance of today’s retail networks.

SAFE provides “how to” guides tested in Cisco’s laboratories for complex security challenges. It maps your threats to the security capabilities you need at this time, which can help you avoid overspending and overcomplicating the defenses you need to protect your business.

Come see me at the National Retail Federation show in New York. At a Big Idea session, I’ll be speaking about how Cisco SAFE helps simplify retail security. We’ll be in Room 4, Level 3 of the Expo Hall, on Monday, January 18, at 12:45 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Learn more.

I look forward to meeting you there!

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Transform the Digital Experience from Free Wi-Fi to Interactive Mobile Experiences

Having grown up in Denver, I’m a big fan of the Denver Broncos. Although I currently live in San Diego, I really enjoy the opportunity to see at game at Mile High Stadium any chance I get.  Sure, I could always upgrade my TV services to include a NFL package or subscribe to the Bronco’s fan club for updates, but nothing can replace the experience of attending a game in person.  Delivering a truly unique, unforgettable fan experience is a goal that is transforming the way stadiums and venues interact with fans today.

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Enhance the Fan Experience

In fact, most sports fans report that they want a more connected, personal experience. According to Gartner, in 2016, 89% of companies will compete on the basis of customer experience as compared to just 36% four years ago.  Companies will differentiate themselves, attract new customers and identify new sources of revenue using customer experiences as a driver.  To create truly personalized customer experiences, companies are turning to technology—a trend that is typically referred to as digital transformation.  In my last blog, I wrote about how new mobile engagements are improving the guest experiences in Hospitality. Sports and entertainment provide another example of how mobile experiences are enhancing the fan experience.

Build Loyalty with the Connected Stadium

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AT&T & Cisco Team to Build Smart Cities

As world populations migrate to urban areas, cities are often faced with new challenges, such as overcrowding, traffic congestion, pollution, resource constraints, and inadequate infrastructure, amid the desire for continuing economic growth.

To help address these challenges and identify new growth opportunities, Cisco and AT&T are forging a new alliance to build a framework to help cities better serve their citizens.

AR60504 2We will be using IoT innovations and bringing the smart cities framework to several spotlight cities across the United States. Communities and local universities will work together to build smart city environments. The spotlight cities and universities include Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Chicago, and Dallas.   We will also utilize elements of the Cisco Smart+Connected Communities portfolio to help city leaders better apply intelligent networking capabilities.

AT&T and its alliance members already help communities solve problems with solutions that connect utility meters, street lights and water systems. The new framework adds several new categories:

  • Infrastructure – Cities are able to remotely monitor the conditions of roads, bridges, buildings, parks and other venues. Maintenance crews can identify slick roadways during freezing weather or detect bridges that may need repairs.
  • Citizen Engagement – Mobile apps give people information to stay better prepared. For example, you can be notified in real time if a traffic light isn’t working on your route. You can also remotely view parking meters and reserve spaces ahead of time.
  • Transportation – Digital signage lets commuters know in near real time when the next bus or train will arrive. People can rent electric bikes at stations across the city to reduce traffic.
  • Public Safety – Cities can better manage traffic patterns of pedestrians at stadiums, parks, and busy intersections. Gun fire detection technology helps law enforcement know where a shooting occurred. It also helps them determine the number of people involved and rounds fired.

att_horiz_color_smlAT&T is also developing a new digital dashboard that gives cities a high-level look at their communities’ conditions. The Smart City Network Operation Center (SC-NOC) offers cities a dashboard view of how assets are performing in near-real time. City officials can keep tabs on power outages, water leaks, traffic issues, and more – all from one location.

Such bold thinking for such worthy goals make this initiative all the more impressive. We salute AT&T for taking on such challenges that can benefit society and we thank them for choosing Cisco to be among their leading team members to help make these goals a reality.

 

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