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Midland County, Texas Builds Library of the Future

What happens when libraries transform from traditional, quiet places to engaging spaces that inspire learning? The old perceptions of libraries are swept away and energized by interactive, connected learning for the entire community.

That’s exactly what the strategy is at the Midland County Library in Texas. When the county decided to upgrade one of its public libraries, it was determined to create an innovative facility to change people’s perceptions of a traditional library.  The library partnered with Cisco to develop its IT infrastructure, incorporating interactive technology to entice new populations to visit the library, creating “the library of the future.” As a result, the Midland County Library now has a state-of-the-art, interactive facility, featuring digital walls, e-book rentals and training programs on how to use new technology.

As I’ve written today on the education blog, the technology transformation is proving successful; since its opening, the new library has had more than 1,000 visitors daily.

This weekend, if you are attending the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual conference in Fort Worth, join me for Midland County’s 8am workshop on Sunday – Using Interactive Technology to Drive Citizen Engagement in room 202 D.

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Midland County, Texas Builds Library of the Future

Technology is a wonderful thing, at least in my opinion; especially when it’s used to inspire creativity, knowledge and to make learning fun and interactive. New and interactive technologies inspired the Midland County Library in Texas to change people’s perceptions of what a library can and should be. Coined as the “library of the future”, community members now engage in a wide-variety of activities inspired by not only the books on the shelves, but the entire world around them.

Take a look at the video and see how Midland County is changing the definition of “library”:

Changing longstanding perceptions of public libraries is necessary to attract children and adults to visit, read, check out books and ultimately, learn.  When a library positively changes the way people interact and gain information, education goals become limitless. The technology transformation is proving successful too; since its opening, the new library has had more than 1,000 visitors daily.

Midland County Library partnered with Cisco to develop its IT infrastructure, helping incorporate new technologies, such as interactive digital signage, to entice new visitors to the library. The a state-of-the-art, interactive facility features digital walls, e-book rentals and training programs on how to use new technology.

This weekend, if you are attending the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual conference in Fort Worth, join me for Midland County’s 8am workshop on Sunday – Using Interactive Technology to Drive Citizen Engagement in room 202 D.

 

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Collaboration and Interdependency, Anywhere

Change is afoot on a big scale and fast. We see it around us, we feel it, we talk about it, we experience it. We even know its name — the Internet of Everything (IoE).

Briefly put, IoE is a new way of connecting people, processes, data, and things.  Looking back, you can almost say that the Age of the Internet and of the Internet of Things have merely been preliminary stages designed to lead us where we are today: on a course that radically changes how we interact with the world around us. We have started on a new exciting journey. At every step we are uncovering new ways to create and share value, not just for the organizations we work for but in our personal lives as well.

Let’s take the world of business first.  It’s changing dramatically as we speak.  Here are a few leading transformational trends the effects of which I’m sure you have experienced yourselves  in one way or another.

We Are More Interdependent

Marthin_CL_Slide

More and more expert surveys are finding that employees are working more collaboratively  now than they were in the not very distant past. For instance, according to research from the Corporate Executive Board  (CEB), two thirds of employees are doing more collaborative work today than they were just three years ago.  Collaboration technology is a big part of making us increasingly effective in this environment, delivering benefits including those that help us become: Read More »

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Understanding Today’s Customer: How Data Mining Can Help Insurers Increase Customer Satisfaction

Imagine a customer calling their insurance provider and reaching a representative that has never spoken with them and is unfamiliar with the customer’s claims history or company policies. That doesn’t sound like a good experience. Now imagine after a quick verification from the customer, the same representative is able to access the customer’s complete insurance profile, detailing coverage history and other necessary information needed to forward their inquiry to the proper agent or broker. The latter experience is now a reality, made possible by connecting data sources across the Cisco enabled network. By bringing together data, it allows insurers to get a full picture of their customers and allows them to create a differentiated customer experience, helping increase customer satisfaction, retention, loyalty, and referrals.

Call Center

Insurers are continually looking for the best way to attract and retain customers while also increasing cross-sell opportunities. By employing data mining coupled with collaboration technology, insurers are changing the way transactions are conducted. Many insurers are using technology to their benefit; not only through offering differentiated services or channel choices to customers, but also by the information gathered from customers. Read More »

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Is Your Company Prepared for Gen Y? Cisco, Twitter and Google Share Their Thoughts

We’ve all heard about Gen Y, or “millennials,” and how this new generation is poised to take over the workforce and change the face of Silicon Valley. Next Tuesday, July 16th at 6:30 pm, I’ll be joining thought leaders from Twitter and Google on a panel at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, to discuss an issue of critical importance – how to attract tomorrow’s talent and prepare for the incoming Gen Y workforce.

Gen Y is expected to make up nearly 75% of the workforce by 2025. How will this change the way we work, and what kinds of opportunities and challenges does this pose for local Silicon Valley companies? During this panel, I’ll share my thoughts on the biggest shifts in culture, management style, and recruiting strategy needed to attract the best talent of this new generation.

As many of you know, using today’s enterprise tools can feel like taking a trip back in technological time.  For businesses to succeed in the future they are going to have to adapt to the needs of Generation Y and that will often mean offering them more flexibility. According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 66% of employees place higher value on workplace flexibility than on salary.

But it will take more than offering a flexible Read More »

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