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Paying Attention to TCO can save the Government Millions in Transport Costs

December 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm PST

I’ve been thinking a lot about TCO recently and ways we can help the Government maximize the investment of our tax dollars. By chance, I ran across this incredible White Paper written by one of our top Optical Engineers  entitled “Government Transport Networks:  Minimize Lifetime Costs”.

It’s a good read, and if you are a Network Architect making purchasing decisions in this area, I would highly recommend it.  In fact, if you have any further questions on any of the data presented please reach out to me directly and I’ll put you in touch with the author.

This paper makes the case that transport networks represent a significant portion of government IT costs and is often overlooked in terms of TCO.  It guides the reader through the various Network Deployment Models (private, managed private, hybrid) and the benefits  in real dollars by going with one approach over another.

Transport networks affect government operational costs at least as much as campus or data center networks, and carefully selecting the platform can result in significant savings. In summary, a well-planned transport architecture can help agencies avoid the considerable expense of upgrades as they accelerate adoption of business video and virtualization. In contrast, a platform with lower upfront costs may have a shorter lifespan and require IT teams to continually add overlay networks that increase costs and management complexity.

So “caveat emptor” when considering your next network purchase.

To learn more about Cisco transport platforms, visit: http://www.cisco.com/go/optical.

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Can technology help government support community services and reduce costs?

Last week I had the opportunity to host two groups of visitors:  a group of community policing leaders from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and a delegation of foreign exchange students from Iwata, Japan.  I enjoyed meeting all the guests and the conversations we had about the many changes and challenges in our communities.

We discussed the impact of increased diversity and convergence of cultural values, critical budget issues facing government agencies, and the continuing need for citizen services for community safety and emergency response.  We brainstormed ideas for how technology can help.

Despite the severe economic and environmental challenges, both groups were optimistic about our future and the potential for technology to play a positive role.

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Intel Developer Forum: Unified Computing, New Blade Servers, and Fun

September 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

Intel Developer Forum (IDF) took place last week in San Francisco—this annual event brings together developers, designers, engineers, and a host of others looking to innovate and discuss challenges, best practices, and solutions. Cisco was a Gold Sponsor this year, hosting a booth with four demo stations.

I got the chance to make the trek to IDF (not a big hike for me, since I live in San Francisco) to take a look at how Cisco got involved this year and to scope out info for partners.

First I met with Jon Markee and Rob Kypriotakis, two of Intel’s Technical Marketing Engineers, who discussed how Intel is working with Cisco and its partners to enable new technologies in networking, such as 10GB Ethernet at a low price point. I also chatted with Scott Ciccone, Cisco’s Product Marketing Manager, who talked about the complexity that virtualization has introduced, and how Cisco’s Unified Computing System addresses challenges in the data center.

In addition, Scott filled me in on Cisco’s announcement of the UCS B230 M1 Blade Server, one of the industry’s highest density systems on the market today. This two-socket, Intel-based server delivers high performance and density in a compact, half-width form factor.

Keep reading to learn about the Cius’ role at IDF as well as an innovative video contest Intel and Cisco ran at the event…

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Addressing a New World of Learning

April 5, 2010 at 11:49 am PST

As a part of my job here at Cisco, I have the opportunity to meet with a range of customers in schools, colleges, and universities across the globe.  They have the wide and vast responsibility of educating students, preparing the workforce of the future, equipping students with different kinds of skills so that they can compete in the 21st century, ensuring that students are safe and secure, and a whole host of other responsibilities that will enable students to be productive and successful members of society.  Most critically, they have to do all this with increasingly constrained, and in developing nations, often non-existent, budgets.

The requirements for education have shifted over time as we have become more globalized, technologically advanced, and demographically different.  On average, people in the US change jobs about ten times before they’re 42.   In China and India, there is a massive demand for higher education.  And teachers are retiring in record numbers as the population of kids under the age of 15 has reached 1.8 billion.

Thomas Friedman has said that students today need to be special, specialized, anchored, or adaptable.  Not everyone can be special, and certain components of traditionally anchored jobs (for example, hairdressers, restaurant workers, and trade workers) can be outsourced.  This leaves jobs for which people need to be specialized or adaptable.   And this is where education is critical: students have to be able to access education that provides them with the specialization required to help them differentiate the value that they provide.  Think, tax planning for customers with major offshore assets, or biological technicians who are creating a biosphere in pace.  Or, education has to be able to provide them with the ability to obtain lifelong learning programs and capabilities to adapt to a broad range of careers and jobs that they will have over their lifetimes.

Existing systems on their own will no longer be able to meet the growing and changing demands for learning.  Educational institutions must necessarily deliver learning differently, and this is where technology can help.  Today, Cisco is partnering with educators to create what we call The Learning Society: a new way of thinking that harnesses the power of technology to help transform learning and allow people to learn anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Not only does Cisco offer a change model that integrates “best-of-the-best” research findings to help students flourish in the 21st century – wherever they are and whatever their culture or socio-economic status, or the economic situation of their country, may be (Education 3.0), but it also details the integration of innovative pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment strategies across whole systems—accommodating learner differences, linking learning to the real world, and setting high, yet realistic, expectations for every student. We encourage you to learn more by joining our Virtual Forum for Education Leaders on April 28th.

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