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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series: The Strategic Value of the Cloud for State & Local Governments

Almost everyone has heard of the “cloud,” as a result of advertising by computer companies and frequent mentions in the news media. “Cloud” refers to technology resources used by an organization that are not at their own location, but available over the global data communications network (otherwise called the Internet).  Moreover, the cloud is not just a question of getting access to some big data center in the sky; ultimately, it means gaining authorized access to any data or computing resource that is part of the Internet, and even combining data and software components from physically distant computers.

Public officials may have heard about how the cloud is being used in the public sector. For example, the United States Conference of Mayors had a session on this at its 2011 meeting where various mayors spoke about how their cities were using such services as shared email “in the cloud.” At the National Association of Counties, there have been sessions describing a cloud that is restricted to trusted government agencies at the state and local levels — what some call the “private cloud” because its services are not available to every organization, thus helping preserve the privacy and integrity of government data.

But the reasons state and local government officials might want to use the cloud are not often explained.  This post will describe the various ways that the cloud can provide strategic value to state and local governments.

Cost Savings

Most people have first heard of the cloud as a means of saving money, which is especially attractive at a time of tighter budgets. So instead of buying hardware and software, a government agency rents what it needs, when it needs it. This approach means you can shift from using bonds and debt service to an approach that matches your IT budget with the real demand each year.

And, often, the software services available in the cloud, such as email, can cost less per employee than licensing equivalent software in-house.

Resilience, Flexibility & Faster Technology Adoption

Potential cost reduction is not all there is to the story. There are other positive benefits as well.

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A New Paradigm for Desktop Collaboration

Market trends are impacting how we collaborate. A key trend is the need for pervasive video delivered to every desktop, so that all users can benefit from rich interactions. A second important trend is towards cloud services, the ability to deploy and access services and applications from the cloud.

These trends are truly driving a new paradigm in desktop collaboration, and Cisco is leading this industry evolution with our recent announcement of the Cisco Desktop Collaboration Experience DX650. This new Android-based desktop endpoint – our next-generation IP phone – delivers Cisco’s entire suite of collaboration capabilities through an intuitive touch screen. It combines two things we all know and love Read More »

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Cisco Collaboration Comes to the Rescue for INTEGRIS Health

More than 20 years ago when INTEGRIS Health chose to invest in collaboration technologies, little did they know they were making a decision that would one day save lives.

With more than 16 hospitals and 9,000 employees throughout Oklahoma, INTEGRIS is the state’s largest health care system. An early adopter of telemedicine, they implemented video technology in the early 1990s. But what started simply as an effective way to connect hospitals has grown into a life-saving program that has decreased stroke mortality rates and increased access to health specialists.

What’s INTEGRIS’ secret? A team of top medical professionals armed with Cisco’s leading edge collaboration technologies. Solutions like Cisco TelePresence and Cisco Jabber allow two-way, interactive collaboration between doctors and patients to support INTEGRIS’ telehealth programs that treat everything from mental health illness and speech impairments to stroke and Hepatitis C patients.

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Cisco Supports Connected Collaboration at Skoll World Forum

skoll_worldforumCisco is the official technology sponsor for the prestigious Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship (SWF) happening April 9 to 12 at the University of Oxford in England.

The goal of the Forum is to help advance entrepreneurial approaches to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. SWF is an annual event with 1000 of the world’s most influential social impact thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, and the people and organizations who fund them from 65 countries. It is co-produced by the Skoll Foundation and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Saïd Business School in Oxford.

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Learn About the Power of Integration at Hannover Messe 2013

This Monday is the beginning of Hannover Messe Faire noted by companies and organizations as the world’s premier industrial technology showcase.  This years Faire has a clear focus on core technologies and services that enable industrial production, innovation and efficiency.

As I mentioned in my previous blog,  Cisco will feature our industry leading technology and product solutions that empower “The Integrated Industry” in Hall 8, Stand D14.  In addition, there will be many Cisco Subject Matter Experts in attendance to discuss topics that are specific to your business and technology imperatives.


Integration and convergence is the core value proposition that Cisco brings to the market. The theme of our booth is “Cisco Is Making the ‘Integrated Industry’ Real Today.”  We will showcase how our customers are deploying:

  • Integrated and validated architectures supported by a broad portfolio that works seamlessly and securely
  • Integrated  industrial networks and information technology networks (OT/IT)
  • Integrating machines on the factory floor, datacenters in the core, and applications in the cloud
  • Integrating the entire manufacturing value chain from R&D, to supply chain, to operations and logistics

If you aren’t one of the 250,000+ attending Hannover Messe Faire from April 8th – 12th….. not to worry.  We will be providing live updates from the show floor. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, “Like” us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube and join our LinkedIn group

Cisco is uniquely positioned to help customers develop a robust, resilient, secure, future-ready and cost effective converged network infrastructure for their factory and business applications. Our displays will demonstrate our differentiation, and Cisco’s ability to integrate the functions and applications throughout the entire manufacturing value chain.

See you at the show!

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