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The Collaboration Evolution – A Strategy for Transforming Government Collaboration

The traditional office is not what it used to be.  I’m not referring to Mad Men, where smoking in the office was acceptable and having a cocktail in the middle of the day was the norm.  I’m talking about when and where work gets done.   For me personally, being  part of an organization that embraces collaboration, I am able to work from home, the coffee shop or the airport terminal without compromising communication or efficiency.

The rise of mobility, video and other collaboration technologies is prompting government organizations to rethink the way they approach communications. As more agencies, like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, embrace teleworking options they’ve found that their employees are happier and their workforce is more flexible and able to work around things like natural disasters or more commonly, a snowstorm.

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Collaboration Evolution: Why it’s Time to Upgrade to VoIP

Communication is key, yet too many government agencies voice platforms are living in archaic times.

As government agencies are turning to collaboration technologies like voice, video and mobility to increase efficiency and lower costs, many are faced with outdated voice platforms like Private Branch Exchange (PBX) and Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) .  However, the shift to VoIP enables organizations to modernize their communications platform for more robust communication applications, while significantly reducing operating costs.

VoIP provides significant net savings by allowing the management of managing one unified network and no longer needing to sustain a legacy phone system. It also provides enhanced features and VoIP services that improve the user experience. Advanced call routing, image transfer, phone portability, as well as integration with other collaboration applications, such as voicemail delivery via email, voice call button on email are examples of functionality users have come to expect. Read More »

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National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic 2013

There are so many things that make me proud of Cisco and its employees, but one of the most gratifying is the work we do to support our nation’s heroes – our warfighters and veterans. This week, nearly 400 of those heroes will take to the slopes, ride snowmobiles, try scuba diving, and enjoy rock climbing and other activities at the 27th annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colo. from March 31-April 5.

Snowmobiling at the 2012 Winter Sports Clinic

Snowmobiling at the 2012 Winter Sports Clinic

The Clinic provides adaptive winter sports instruction for U.S. military veterans and active duty service men and women with disabilities. It is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and supported by other sponsors, including Cisco.

I look forward to this event every year. It is truly inspiring to share these experiences with such great men and women, hear their stories and see them take on new challenges. Personally, my favorite activity is snowmobiling, although I enjoy skiing as well. But by far the best thing about the Clinic is the opportunity to give something back to, and show our appreciation for, our nation’s finest. Read More »

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With Second Term Ahead – What Tech Initiatives Matter Most for Government Agencies in 2013

President Barack Obama has been reelected as the 44th president of the United States. And while he may still be holding on to his treasured Blackberry, most of us are more interested in what technology trends he and his administration will pursue to make public sector agencies smarter, faster and more efficient.

Throughout Obama’s first term he made significant headway with data center consolidation, cloud computing, information transparency and cybersecurity, and it seems like he’ll be keeping tech initiatives on his agenda.

To solidify his commitment to furthering technology, Obama made mention of it in his victory speech:

“But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future; we want our kids to grow up in a country where they access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation. With all the new jobs and new businesses that follow.”

So looking at Obama’s track record and guarantees, what should the public sector have its eyes on? Take a look at the four technology trends identified by many as likely second-term priorities: Read More »

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GPON in the Campus Network – A Misuse of Perfectly Good Technology?

What’s wrong with running my campus network on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology you ask?

Let me count the ways!

I was just reading a White Paper by Nick Lippis of the Lippis Report entitled, “GPON vs Gigabit Ethernet in Campus Networking” that lays out the issues pretty well in my opinion, and concludes up front that GPON is “suited to niche applications” and that “many GPON assertions and claims are overstated.”

Nick does a nice job of contrasting the two approaches, a last mile SP technology (GPON) that might be a good choice for the home & kids, with a Highly Available Ethernet Design that should be used to run a real business.

I’ll leave it to you to read the details, but he covers facts on all the key areas from power consumption and cabling costs to network scaling, single points of failure, and troubleshooting capabilites.

All this adds up to GPON being a poor choice in the Campus when you look at the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) even though the initial acquisition costs might be lower for the hardware itself.  When you look under the covers, the real price is quite high for GPON in terms of a “lack of flexibility, greater power consumption (certainly not green), limited network capacity, upgrades are system-wide events, troubleshooting tools and skilled technicians are limited and lacking, and multiple single points of failure exist.”

He goes on to say, with the Ethernet market being tens of billions of dollars, research and development is assured while competition privdes the motivation for innovation and feature enhancement.  An Ethernet campus network is a safe investment.

Caveat emptor!

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