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A Delicious Experience: Connecting Kids in Rural Ghana with Kids at Hershey’s via Telepresence

I am often asked what it takes to create a successful telepresence experience. Usually, I respond with requirements like: a high-speed network, great lighting, good acoustic space and the right equipment. However, after a trip I took late last year, I’m going to add “stable power” to the list, and here’s why.

In late 2011, my customer The Hershey Company – you may have heard of them – invited me to be involved with a new project they were kicking off with the goal to enrich the education of underprivileged youth in both the U.S. and Ghana. Hershey wanted to create a common, virtual classroom so 80 elementary students could learn together based on a curriculum developed by teachers in both Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Ghana. The obstacle they faced was how to connect the students, which ultimately led to my visit to Ghana.

Throughout the summer of 2012, I worked with the Hershey Telepresence support team to equip a space at the Milton S. Hershey Foundation headquarters with a C90 codec, two Precision HD cameras, an AudioScience Microphone array, a document camera and some displays. The plan was to duplicate this setup at the Assin Fosu school in Ghana. The ever-revealing reality of a “less than ideal” environment for telepresence required scaling back the Ghana design to an SX20 codec, one display, two microphones and a document camera. The endpoints at both locations were then registered to a VCS Expressway to enable firewall traversal and easy connections across the public Internet.

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Cisco to Show Off Its Collaboration Technologies at U.S. Courts Conference

May 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm PST

This month Cisco TelePresence will be heading to Orlando May 15-17 for the 2012 Conference for Federal Defenders, an arm of the administrative office of the United States Courts.

Collaboration efforts are becoming common place among U.S. Courts as the need for effective communication is more important than ever. Now is the time for Connected Justice. Video conferencing, specifically, is increasingly making its way into courts around the world and proving to government organizations that it deserves a spot in their technology strategies. Its demonstrated benefits include reduced costs and enhanced operational efficiency.

At the event, Cisco will be showcasing its complete collaboration portfolio that is helping court systems around the world save on operational costs and creating in-person experiences.

The following collaboration solutions will be demonstrated:

This conference will be a great opportunity to highlight the affect collaboration can have on U.S. Courts to ensure effective communication while maximum ROI is delivered.

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Meet the Creators of Cisco’s Social Business Network: Quad

I was over in Cisco’s building 32 the other day and was about to meet with the collaboration team when I saw something that looked a lot like Facebook running on a Cius and an iPhone.  As I went over to explore, I met Raghurama Bhat and Ashish Chirputkar, the two ‘humble’ engineers who created Cisco Quad, our enterprise social collaboration platform.

I started wondering how Bhat and Chirputkar had the time to develop Quad, how internal development began, and why a Facebook,Twitter or LinkedIn for the enterprise makes sense.  So with my HD video camera already in hand, I recorded this interesting feature interview.  These two engineers and their team had a huge impact on how work is now done at Cisco where over 70,000 employees live their days in Quad to get their work done and collaborate.

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