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The Internet of Food – Improving Lives

A sense of great pride came over me as I entered the Expo in Milan­ to attend the Cisco Internet of Food international press event. This event is where Cisco brings food and digital technologies together in a world of apps, services and technologies that are changing the way food is produced, distributed, consumed and depicted. My home town hosted this significant conference that focused on two of the most important factors that make our lives better: food and the Internet. What better place than Italy? This country is the world’s food voilà and has one of the highest number of mobile phones and Facebook users – to talk about building bridges between technology and food.

While there, I met with a group of international press and together with a few colleagues and industry luminaries, we discussed the Internet of Food, a natural offshoot of the Internet of Everything.

Cisco and THNK.ORG  have been working for the last 12 months to reimagine how the Internet of Everything changes the way we grow, manufacture, distribute and consume our food. Read More »

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Attention Agencies – It’s Time to Enable Your Mobile Workforce

I am drafting this blog on my laptop, sitting in the Embassy Suites lounge in Raleigh, North Carolina, enjoying the complimentary breakfast buffet. I share this not to disclose my breakfast habits, nor my whereabouts but to illustrate that we are relying more and more on mobile devices to keep us connected, both professionally and personally. In fact analysts predict that by the end of 2013, 80 percent of companies will allow BYOD (bring your own device) for employees.

As today’s workers embrace mobility, they have expectations that their experience outside of the office should mirror their experience inside the office.  With mobility trends like telework and BYOD on the rise, it’s important that government organizations stay ahead of technology trends to better deliver their employees with the right tools that allow them to collaborate from anywhere at any time.   Read More »

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Mission Accomplished: Federal Teleworkers Report Higher Satisfaction

AM86551Telework has become more prevalent within government agencies, and the latest intelligence from the Office of Personnel Management says employees are pleased! From the environment to the budget, the benefits are far-reaching. But perhaps the most important advantage is to the employees themselves.

Teleworkers say they are more engaged and satisfied than their onsite counterparts, according to the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Other reported benefits included a reduced number of sick days, increased employee motivation and greater workforce flexibility. As a teleworker myself, I can attest to these benefits.

All things considered, it’s no surprise  adopting collaborative tools in support of a mobile workforce is becoming a top priority for government agencies. These survey results demonstrate just how fast telework opportunities are growing:

  • In 2012, one out of three government employees were eligible for teleworking, up from one in four in 2012
  • Almost a quarter of the government workforce engaged in a form of teleworking over the past year
  • The General Services Administration and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation have the highest rate of teleworkers with more than 80 percent of their employees working remotely

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A Thoroughly Modern Government

From adopting more mobile communication to converting operational systems to cloud-based applications, the federal government undoubtedly has a modernizing makeover underway. Though challenges persist in terms of security and easing transitions, efforts to update technology help the government keep pace with the private sector and best serve its constituents.

These technology upgrades also open wide the doors to vastly expanded communication possibilities.  For example, let’s look at how the cloud lends itself to more streamlined, personal connections among colleagues, across agencies, and from government workers to their target audiences. I’ve written about agencies and officials using video and telepresence to forge in-person, real-time links for teleworking employees, to maintain continuity during business disruptions, even to conduct top-secret missions. Well, with cloud computing in the mix, telepresence can still perform all of its regular functions, but it does so in conjunction with access to scheduling mechanisms, global directories, and advanced media services that enhance video-hosted information-sharing. In essence, the cloud makes a critical communication tool like telepresence all the more powerful.

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