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Collaborating thanks to my dog

May 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm PST

The friend who inspired me to embrace social media does not follow me on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.  She follows me around the house.

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Technology Changes the Game for Next Generation Governments

May 22, 2012 at 10:02 am PST

Economic development is out and new economic competitiveness is in and the basis of government process is evolving. The old model no longer works as technology is fundamentally changing the way human beings go to work. Today’s technology can deliver a far greater impact at a far lower cost than ever before, and it’s not just a single trend (i.e., broadband, virtualization, cloud computing).

However, governments often make the mistake of evaluating technology based on the sticker price rather than diving further into the full lifecycle of systems to understand their true and lasting impact; I like to call this the Total Economic Impact (TEI).

A new whitepaper, “Economic Game Changer: Powering the Next Generation Government,” and published by the Center for Digital Government, dives into the importance for governments to consider the TEI rather than ROI. Read More »

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Congratulations to This Year’s Computerworld Honors Gold Medal Laureates

May 22, 2012 at 9:36 am PST

Each year the Computerworld Honors Program recognizes individuals and organizations that create and use information technology to promote and advance public welfare, contribute to the greater good of society and change the world for the better.

We are proud to say that four Cisco nominees from public sector, including one school district and one university, were selected as Gold Medal Laureates because of their innovative uses of collaboration technology. Brief descriptions of all four are listed below. Read More »

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The Consumerization of Popcorn… and IT

May 21, 2012 at 6:58 am PST

Technology continues to change not only the tools we use, but the language we use to describe it. Wikipedia describes consumerization as:

…an increasingly accepted term used to describe the growing tendency for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into business and government organizations.

Consumerization absolutely affects technology, but confining the definition to information technology too narrowly defines it. The etymology pins the emergence of the term itself as early as 2001, which is a long time in dog years and at least a half century in technology. But the concept goes back far before Y2K. I could delve into Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, but I’ll stick to less distant history.

Before we get to IT, consider the impact of consumerization on time and choice.

Consumerization & Time
In some ways, our experiences with consumer technology have changed the very speed at which we live our lives. We don’t make time for things the way we used to. We want them now.

It’s the popcorn. OK, it’s the microwave oven. Food is both a human necessity and great motivator. The microwave changed our concept of time and convenience. We haven’t abandoned traditional cooking, but how often do you compare the conventional-oven directions to those for the microwave and think, “I want this to take 45 minutes, 3 minutes just isn’t long enough to wait”?

Popcorn showcases the evolution of our concept of time. Once upon a time, popcorn preparation was at least a 12.4-minute process, start to finish, including the ceremonial melting of butter and cleanup. Plus it required mastering the technique of keeping the pan in constant movement, carefully timing removal to optimize the number of kernels popped.

The mid-1970s arrival specialized popcorn appliances and Jiffy Pop brought popcorn faster and required less clean-up time, while largely eliminating the need for technique. Satisfaction came more quickly and with reduced effort.

And then came the microwave oven and magical little flat packages that fluffed up with aromatic salty goodness in three minutes. Clean up consisted of wiping the buttery stuff off your hands and tossing the bag in the trash. Instant gratification. Near zero effort. Our concept of time? Changed forever.

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Technical Rehearsal 2: The Final Hurdle Before The Games

In a few months, thousands of athletes will face the biggest tests of their careers at the Olympics. But, before all that, they need to qualify. It’s the final hurdle before all the years of dedication and hard work are put to the test. It’s also crunch time for us at Cisco, as we go through the final preparations for the Olympics. And there’s a fair amount of pressure on us to get it right too. The IT systems for London 2012 will process 30% more information than any other games in history and Cisco networking is at the heart of it. We’ve supported BT and Atos on a Games Network that connects all competition and event-critical sites.

The numbers

30% more information than any other games doesn’t really give you an idea of the scale, but hopefully a few quick numbers will. Our borderless network infrastructure will run at 94 sites. We’ve set up 1,800 wireless access points and installed 16,500 IP telephones. That’s not to mention the 65,000 active connections and 80,000 data ports. And it all needs to be tested. We need to make sure that, come the Games, we perform to the best of our ability because the network infrastructure is behind everything from big screens at the live sites to information for organisers, competitors and fans. Critically, it’s also behind the results process. It makes sure the venue results system feeds into central information systems and the Internet.

Working together

You can see why the IOC mandates two full technical rehearsals. Information is at the heart of the Games.

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