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Event Recap: Cisco at the EEI Annual Convention

I had a great time recently at the EEI Annual Convention on June 7-10 in New Orleans, LA. EEI is the Edison Electric Institute, the industry association of the Investor Owned Utilities in the U.S. with international utility membership from all over the world. The Annual meeting is a unique event that includes the attendance and presentations by the CEOs of member utilities. The theme of this year’s conference was “Electricity Matters”, exploring the exciting changes happening all across the electric power industry.

The first day was full of excitement, with presentations from Ted Craver and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Moniz shared his thoughts about the dramatically changing U.S. energy landscape, outlining the recommendations defined in the administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), particularly relating to grid modernization, resiliency, and infrastructure investment.

EEI Chairman Ted Craver led a thought-provoking discussion with Elon Musk, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, who was joined by Tesla Motors Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder JB Straubel. The three leaders discussed electric transportation, energy storage, and the role of technology and innovation for utilities and their customers. Other sessions on the first day included:

  • Approaches to Grid Security and Resiliency – panel moderated by PPL Corporation Chairman, President and CEO Bill Spence, discussing specific actions and approaches the electric sector is taking to improve grid security and resiliency.
  • The Role of the Utility in the Evolving Distribution Grid – Company leaders, regulators, and consumer advocates highlighted the role of the utility in four areas: planning, design and operation, infrastructure enhancement and customer education and protection.
  • Complying With the EPA Clean Power Plan – moderated by Gerry Anderson, Chairman and CEO of DTE Energy, the conversation centered on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and highlighted how new and innovative technologies can quickly change a state’s strategy for complying with the new rules.

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Digital Transformation in the Oil & Gas Industry: “Drill, Data, Drill!”

“Drill, baby, drill” makes for an easy mantra when it comes to energy exploration, but the oil and gas (O&G) industry moved past simply drilling long ago with the introduction of digital information processing. For example, integrated production modeling was introduced in the 1970s. With the recent turmoil in the energy industry, the stakes are even higher for O&G companies to work smarter and more efficiently. Forward-looking businesses are making the transition to true digital transformation, which requires the adoption of the Internet of Everything (IoE)—the networked connection of people, process, data, and things—throughout the entire O&G value chain. According to a recent Cisco study, of these four IoE elements, essential “data” is the component most in demand—and the element that needs the most improvement.

Survey respondents identified “data” as the area of IoE they need to improve most to drive insight and value.

Survey respondents identified “data” as the area of IoE they need to improve most to drive insight and value.

However, in many cases it’s not data that’s lacking; O&G firms are awash in data generated by sensors and machines spread throughout their far-flung operations. The struggle comes in capturing real-time operating data closest to the point it’s created, analyzing it in real-time and applying the results to improve functional and business capabilities. To capitalize on the wide range of data IoE generates, O&G firms must overcome three key challenges:

  • Automating the collection of data
  • Integrating data from multiple—and often far-flung—sources
  • Analyzing data to effectively identify actionable insights

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Experience the Digital Community at Cisco Live

Cities, states, and other communities continue to face an increasing variety of challenges: traffic congestion, parking, public safety and security, waste and water management, and access to education and healthcare. As such, government leaders are looking to technology to solve these challenges, while also finding more efficient ways to provide better services, reduce the carbon footprint, and enhance livability.

SCC2Solutions enabled by the Internet of Everything (IoE), such as the Cisco Smart+Connected City Operations Center, can successfully enable communities to become digital and to address these challenges.

This means improved operating models to drive efficiency, safety, and better citizen experiences overall.

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Buckle up! It’s time to take off for Cisco Live 2015 in San Diego (#CLUS)

Cisco Live provides a rich lineup of education, with over 700 sessions to increase your knowledge and propel your career.  You can also network with likeminded professionals and industry thought leaders providing additional value from your involvement long after the conference ends.

To help you get the most from your Cisco Live experience, be sure to take advantage of these social media opportunities:

  • Expand your professional network – Cisco Live offers multiple opportunities to enrich and broaden your network.  Start with the arrival tweetup on Sunday night at 5:30 – 7:30 pm in the Social Media Lounge.  Meet new friends and connect with Cisco Live veterans over food and drink while you plan your exciting week ahead.
  • Join the conversation – Start engaging on Twitter and join the #CLUS conversation while meeting other attendees.  Share #CLUS content and you might be our first Yellow Cape winner awarded Sunday night.  But don’t stop there! Download the mobile app and check out a list of gaming opportunities to enhance your Cisco Live experience and win prizes along the way.
  • Start scavenging – Cisco Live’s popular Scavenger Hunt launches on Monday. Take photos from the scavenger hunt list in various locations and post them on Twitter or Instagram with #CLUS and #CLScavenger hashtags for points towards a daily and grand prize. You could win a daily prize of a $500 Amazon gift card for the most retweeted photo or a $100 Amazon gift card for the most creative and fun photos. The grand prize is a $1,500 Amazon gift card!
  • Get the picture – Receive your personalized digital photo from John Chambers, Chuck Robbins, Aerosmith, and Mike Rowe.  Starting Monday, June 8, request your personalized photo here, beginning with John Chambers.  It’s John’s last year at Cisco Live as CEO.  You don’t want to miss this!
  • Participate in a #CiscoChat – At this year’s Cisco Live, #CiscoChat is bringing you conversations right from the event floor. With topics ranging from digital transformation to women in technology, each social chat will feature experts who will pose and answer questions and engage with participants. This is a great way to be involved whether you are attending the conference in person or joining from home. A complete #CiscoChat schedule can be found here.
  • Follow the hat – Have some fun following @TheCiscoHat, as an anonymous attendee chronicles the Cisco Live’s 2014 Customer Appreciation Hat’s journey to Cisco Live and the discovery of the 2015 hat.

Don’t wait until you arrive in San Diego. Start networking today. Add yourself to @Networkingnerd’s Twitter list and participate in the conversations on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. The benefits of #CLUS can start today.

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Cisco Education: Learn Without Limits

There’s no doubt that learning is changing. In the past, learning was constrained by time and place. We all might remember, fondly or not, the traditional classroom, static desks in rows, plumes of chalk dust permeating the air, and trips to the library on foot as a group. 

Now, lecture halls are emptying out, and in many classrooms across the country, students can become bored and disengaged. The very educational business model itself is forcing educational institutions to cut costs and find new revenue sources. 

Today, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is opening a new world of opportunities for faculty, staff, and students. Students are learning in new ways, in new places, and with new connections to resources around the globe.

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