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Cisco Releases Tenth Annual CSR Report

I am pleased to announce that Cisco has released its tenth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. The 2014 Cisco CSR Report outlines our strategy to use our expertise, technology, and partnerships for social, environmental, and business impact.

Each day, people around the world face many challenges: access to quality education, unemployment, poverty, and climate change, to name a few. We’ve learned that when we bring people together, they find innovative solutions to address these problems. And when you add technology to the mix, we can multiply our impact and uncover even greater opportunities.

For example, in France, a team of Cisco Networking Academy students used the connections between people, process, data, and things to create a networked walking stick for the blind. Watch this video to learn more:

Our CSR Report contains many more examples like this, organized according to five pillars:

  1. Governance and Ethics: Promoting responsible business practices at every level—with employees, suppliers, distributors, and partners
  2. Supply Chain: Working closely with our 600 global suppliers to maintain our high standards for ethics, labor rights, health, safety, and the environment
  3. Our People: Attracting, retaining, and developing talented people through an inspiring workplace, engaged management, and flexibility
  4. Society: Combining technology and human creativity to solve social issues and help communities thrive.
  5. Environment: Creating new business value for our customers using sustainable Cisco technologies, products, and solutions

Here are just a few highlights from our 2014 CSR Report:

  • We updated our Human Rights Roadmap to align with the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and we launched an online human rights training program for our employees.
  • 58% of our key suppliers set goals to cut their greenhouse gas emissions — up from 45% in 2013.
  • We ranked number 55 on the Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
  • We made $275 million in cash and in-kind contributions to community organizations worldwide; and our employees volunteered 136,000 hours to support organizations in their own communities.
  • Employee-led “Pack It Green” projects saved approximately 888 metric tonne of packaging material and are expected to save over $6 million annually through material and freight cost reductions.
  • 97% of Networking Academy students who participate in a selective internship program with local IT companies in Italy get jobs; the partnership is creating a pipeline of tech talent while combatting a youth unemployment rate over 40%.

Read More »

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TU Darmstadt Rolls Out Cisco Unified Access to Prepare for 802.11ac

May 27, 2014 at 11:31 am PST

Technische Universität Darmstadt, usually known as TU Darmstadt is a research university based in Germany. It was founded in 1877 and over the last 137 years has grown to be among the largest and most prestigious public universities in Germany serving over 25,000 students per year. It is the alma-mater to many world-wide leaders from Nobel prize winners, a CEO of a fortune 500 company, a president of a country and multiple World Robocup champions.

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No wonder, they have a reference from Albert Einstein!

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In 2009 TU Darmstadt embraced BYOD with the 5508 Series Controller managing the 1140 802.11n Access Points. Recently we talked to Thomas Vogel, the Head of Network Group and Andreas Liebe, the Network Services Manager who have over 15 years of experience managing WLAN environments. In this blog, we will describe some of the details of WLAN deployments using the 3850 Series Switch and the 5760 Series Wireless LAN Controller to address the new requirements in the school environment. Read More »

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My #InternetOfEverything Perspective: Why the Global Society Needs IoE

Glen Hiemstra, CEO of Futurist.com, shares his perspective on why the world needs the Internet of Everything. See the latest “My #InternetOfEverything Perspectives” blogs from Tom Touchet of City24/7 and Dave Barnes, CIO of UPS.

The role of a futurist was a little different in the pre-Internet world. During the 1980s, I had the chance to hear Willis Harmon, a futurist at Stanford Research, speak about computers and the global society. He discussed that everyone has this perception that the “computerization of everything” was making the world more complex. Rather than confining to everyone else’s opinion, he offered up a more unique perspective. He wanted people to consider that maybe the increasing complexity of global society was causing computerization. It’s a classic chicken before the egg debacle.

The same line of reasoning can be applied to the Internet of Everything (IoE). Rather than thinking of all the changes that IoE is bringing or enabling, it may be useful to think of all the global challenges that could be solved by connecting people, process, data and things. Cisco’s Chief Futurist Dave Evans recently discussed how the IoE is making the world a better place, and I want to expand on his ideas a bit and showcase how valuable, networked connections are enabling a more efficient future.

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Here’s a look at just two ways IoE is changing how we address multifaceted issues on a global scale.

The Internet of Everything Enables Connected Environmentalism

Have you ever considered that the civilization we created in the last 100 years, and the Internet of Everything for that matter, depend heavily on our ability to locate new sources of long-dead plants and animals, dig them up, and light them on fire? I heard Bruce Sterling discuss this idea from his book “Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next 50 Years” once at an event.  It’s true -- we live an extremely primitive life when we sum up what Sterling refers to as the “human race’s primary industrial enterprise.”

We are well aware of the future problems that this life is creating.

By the end of the next decade or so we will either have figured out how to use smart technology to reduce the carbon and other green-house gas impacts of our insatiable global energy generation needs, or make significant cut-backs in life-style will be on the horizon. Evidence for the global climate crisis is likely to continue to accumulate, and thus we will see greater social and political pressure for major change in the energy picture, including more efficiency and cleaner energy.

None of that happens without a highly connected data network, which enables both smart people inventing new things, and smart devices and infrastructure and vehicles making leaps in efficiency (and safety too!). This social movement is likely to become more powerful if the ice in the Arctic fully melts out one summer in coming decades, as many experts suspect that it will.

The Internet of Everything Drives the Future of Transportation

Our everyday transportation has its benefits, like getting us to and from work. However, as more car crashes continue to claim lives, the rise of smart transportation, connected workers and changing attitudes about driving could help improve safety and positively impact the environment.

In addition, recent surveys prove that younger generations are less likely to obtain their driver’s license. Does this mean that we are over the thrill of driving? Seems like it. Surveys show that if given the option between having a car or having a smart device, people increasingly choose the smart device. In fact, our main reason for driving since the car was invented was to commute to and from work. According to some recent Tweets, people today desire four major things during their commute:

1)      Get from point A to B

2)      Get work done

3)      Improve or not damage the environment

4)      Enjoy their personal interests

What if we could experience all four of these things without driving?  A smart infrastructure combined with smart private and transit vehicles capable of autonomous driving could make this happen. But we have a long way to go if that kind of future transportation is to be made available, including the need for smart roads that provide extensive information and smart vehicles that talk to the infrastructure and each other.

Being a futurist has definitely changed in the last 30 years, and I am sure it will be much different in the next 30 years. But one thing is for sure: if we still want to even have a future, we need to solve today’s global problems, starting with the environment and transportation.  And the IoE is just the way to make it happen.

Do you know of any other global challenges that IoE can solve? Share them with us in the comments section below or join the conversation, #InternetOfEverything. And be sure to listen to the new Future of Mobility Podcast I recently participated in with Dave Evans, Cisco Chief Futurist. A summary of the podcast can found on SlideShare.

Additional Resources:

Future of Mobility Podcast : Wearable to Aware-able _ Contact, Connections and Context from Cisco Business Insights

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The Future of Wireless: Times are Changing Before Our Eyes

We live in amazing times, ask anyone who ever had to look up a phone number in a phone book. In the past this was the only way you could find the number to your favorite restaurant if you wanted to make a reservation. Today, all we need to do is reach into our pocket or purse and grab our mobile device, open an application and in a few seconds (not minutes) we have the phone number. Not only that, but we can see the menu and make a reservation right from the device. Over time we have become dependent on carrying the world (both personal and professional) in our pocket. With mobility, we are always on, always connected: nothing—whether it’s your team’s latest score or that email from a vendor you need to send to your boss—is more than a quick search away.

What once seemed unfathomable, this way of always being connected is now commonplace. However, as the application developers sit and think of the next killer app, the IT team has to make sure the network can not only support this new app, but also assure the performance meets the higher and higher demands of new apps. This requires the network to be more application-aware. And the reality is that more applications that require higher network performance are coming at a faster rate. Add to it new devices that use these applications are becoming accessible to everyone. On top of that, the people that use these applications and devices are becoming more demanding in terms of reliability and experience. So what is an IT person to do?

“We were ahead of the times,” says Joseph Tufano, VP and CIO of St. John’s University. “But times have changed. You see it everywhere: for example, if you go to a basketball game on campus, and there’s a timeout, everybody is using their mobile devices.”

IT is always working to increase the wireless performance of the network. However, as more bandwidth becomes available, users increase their usage and consume that bandwidth. Read More »

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Increasing Demand for Higher Location Data Resolution

Cisco has been playing a critical part for retail, healthcare, hospitality and transportation organizations to gain an understanding of how end-users move throughout an organization’s physical location. This is done through our Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution.

With all the valuable information CMX provides, the demand for even more accurate data has been growing. Location accuracy has been a hot developing field and, as I mentioned in announcing our Best of Interop Finalist status in the wireless category last week, Cisco’s taken the lead in redefining how this location-based data is acquired.

In the past many solutions have relied on the probing performed by the mobile device to acquire location-based data.  In recent months this approach has shown diminishing returns. The underlying issue is that this data is reliant on how frequently the mobile device probes an access point. A couple issues that arise include:

-       Mobile device manufacturers are reducing the frequency of device probing to conserve battery. This reduces the number of data points collected and impacts the accuracy of the data

-       Different manufacturers probe the access point with varying frequency so some devices deliver more accurate information than others skewing the location analytics data.

At Cisco’s annual Partner Summit event we are revealing some key areas of focus for the upcoming Cisco v8.0 release. Although the list is not inclusive of all new functionality, I would like to highlight some steps we are taking to bring CMX to meet the ever-evolving demand for location-based data.

Step 1: Increasing Data Resolution Read More »

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