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Unveiling Cisco Collaborative Operations and Secure Ops Solutions

July 24, 2014 at 10:32 am PST

Cyber security risk management and compliance for industrial control environments -- especially in the Oil and Gas Industry, and the ability to connect experts for mission critical communications and collaboration are key areas that Cisco is addressing with two new services-lead solutions.

We’re living in changing times. Cyber attacks are on the increase and critical infrastructures are under threat. Just finding oil and  extracting it economically is becoming increasingly difficult. These two factors are top-of-mind for the oil and gas executives I talk to. Whether it’s an Integrated Oil Company (IOC) like Royal Dutch Shell, or an Oil Services company like Halliburton, many companies are under pressure to secure their infrastructure to protect against cyber, geo-political or operational threats and reduce risks associated operational challenges.

You’ll remember from my recent post: High Energy at Cisco Live in San Francisco, where Alan Matula, EVP and CIO  of Shell talked to John Chambers at Cisco Live about how Shell and Cisco were partnering to secure critical infrastructure. Alan talked about how the changes in the oil and Gas industry -- in particular the new non-traditional methods (hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” and horizontal drilling) mean that hundreds, even thousands, of drill sites may be needed, rather than the more modest half dozen or so that were required in the past.

As the processes required become more complex, and the Internet of Everything enables improves workflows that were not possible in the past, organizations need more visibility into their business and need to have tools that will positively impact the bottom line by protecting against risks, improving efficiency and lowering site downtime.

That’s were the Cisco Secure Ops and Cisco Collaborative Operations solutions come in.

First off, let’s look at Secure Ops:

Greg Carter COS QuoteIt actually provides “Critical infrastructure security as-a-service” and uses a convenient service wrapper and attaches a set of service level agreements. What it does is support cyber security risk management and compliance for industrial control environments. It addresses risks using a combination of people, process and technology before, during and after a risk or security event takes place. It’s made up of tightly integrated Cisco and third party products and services.

  • It is designed to be “dropped in” to brownfield or greenfield environments and delivers unparalleled capabilities and security control mechanisms.
  • The integration extends into commercial arrangements with automation suppliers for services like qualified patch lists and anti-virus updates.

The business benefits are:

  • Business leaders gain situational awareness for security maturity and compliance within various parts of the business.

  • Site leadership and management benefit from reduced management complexity and increased consistency across individual sites, leading to optimized operational costs.

  • Site technical leaders are provided with a technical solution to help manage security and compliance on a per-site basis as well as valuable tools to increase it through standardized interfaces and capabilities

  • Corporate risk and compliance leaders receive near real time information on operational risks associated with cyber-security threats and adherence to compliance policies.

Here’s more about the Cisco Collaborative Operations Solution:

Phil Papatz SOS QuoteIt’s actually a collaborative portal that combines voice, video and data collaboration in a single, secure view. It’s an ‘always-on’ style of collaboration that can bring in multiple technologies like Cisco Video Surveillance Manager; Cisco IPICS; landline; mobile; two-way radios and remote speaker integration; chat functionality; WebEx and multiple application sharing. All on a single pane of glass (well, in an ops room that could be a huge wall screen!).

What it’s designed for is operations personnel working in distributed networks and lets remote experts help guide operations in real-time, afford greater reach per expert resource and minimize miscommunication driving faster, better decision making. It can combine multiple feeds, and individuals and feeds can ‘come and go’ as required during a collaboration period. In the case of an Oil Services Company, that could be weeks or months!

The business benefits for this solution are:

  • Platform enables communication between stakeholders at all times.

  • Remote Experts can be instantly connected with on-site personnel using voice, video or data.

  • Solution creates opportunities for workforce development and training, safety improvements, and risk mitigation

Whilst related solutions, many customers may start implementing one before the other depending on their particular circumstances. Remember this is largely a services offering, so customers have the comfort of knowing that Cisco, along with our partners, are ‘bringing this together’ for them to address key business issues.

There’s a lot more information at the cisco.com site here if you care to take the time to peruse. What do you think?

 

 

 

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The Cisco TelePresence SX Series – adding TelePresence to every screen

We have a little problem at Cisco: not enough TelePresence. This may sound strange since Cisco IT has installed over 1600 TelePresence endpoints already, which gives us about one TelePresence unit for every 50 employees. Utilization of these units is still greater than 60% worldwide (and some are in private offices or homes, which drives up utilization in the shared units). This means that it’s hard to find an available TelePresence room near you when you need it.  Read More »

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Collaboration Tools Unleashed

July 22, 2014 at 7:55 am PST

TWTV150 Collaboration

Customers spoke. Cisco listened. And innovated.

Simplicity has always been a pain point for video collaboration systems. The new DX and MX systems leverage the same interfaces and are available at price points that make video more accessible for any size company. Combined with Intelligent Proximity that allows control of endpoints, seamless handoff of calls from one device to another, the ability to better interact with your online meetings – collaboration now becomes a real part of how we interact with devices and our work day.

Episode Promo

Segment Details and Guests Include:

  • Tom Richards and Desktop Video
  • Jimmy Ray whiteboards Video Codecs
  • Kirk McNeil introduces the 8800 Series Phones
  • Ron Lewis covers The Boardroom and Meetings Spaces

More information at this handy Collaboration Endpoint Reference Page

Now -- be sure and watch the show right here

Robb, Tina and Jimmy Ray

@techwisetv

TWTV150 Collaboration

TWTV150 Collaboration

TWTV150 Collaboration

TWTV150 Collaboration

TWTV150 Collaboration

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3 Reasons To Pay Attention To Intercloud

Back in March, together with our partners, we announced plans to build the world’s largest global Intercloud. We consider this global network of clouds to be the next phase of cloud computing and a key part of the Internet of Everything.

Open and Secure Hybrid Clouds

This energy continues. In the following video, our partners share how they’re integrating our ACI and Intercloud strategies to meet the needs and demands of their customers.  I find the diversity of comments and approaches our partners share in the video enlightening.  Their projects represent a broad spectrum of technologies, highlighting the breadth of impact that the Intercloud will have on us all.  I can see why they are all so excited and why ‘Intercloud’ is fast becoming an industry term.

Read More »

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The World Cup, Piano Movers, and IVR

As I write this, it’s World Cup time, reminding me of an old saying that in football (or soccer, as we Americans call it) there are two types of players: piano players and piano movers. Piano players perform magic with the ball. They score most of the goals … and get the big endorsement deals. Piano movers, on the other hand, toil in relative anonymity. They don’t win many style points, but they get the job done.

In some ways, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a lot like being a piano mover. IVR is a mature, reliable, technology that’s often used to provide automated self-service to callers as a front-end to a contact center. IVR has minimal “wow” factor, and in fact it’s occasionally derided (typically due to bad application design). Yet more businesses are using it now than ever, because IVR is still one of the most cost effective ways to provide customer service.

People are often surprised when I tell them that Cisco is the world’s #1 IVR vendor--by a wide margin. Some of the world’s largest, most mission-critical IVR systems are built on Cisco. Moreover, Cisco was recently honored to receive a “Strong Positive” rating (the highest level) from Gartner in their annual IVR Marketscope report. In particular, Gartner noted Read More »

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