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Deaf and a diplomat

It wasn’t something I’d ever considered before, disability in the diplomatic service, because I unfortunately, like most people, have quite entrenched images of what a diplomat looks like. So I marveled when I heard that a female diplomat who was deaf had risen through the ranks.

But unfortunately whilst the story starts there, it isn’t where it ends.

Jane Cordell worked in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) from 2001 and in 2010 was offered the post of deputy head of mission in Kazakhstan, only to have the offer revoked when the FCO decided that making adjustments for her disability would be too expensive. They deemed the cost of her posting was beyond the “reasonable adjustments” which employers are obliged to make for disabled staff.

But I wonder if they’ve overlooked the value they’ll be missing out on, given the extra abilities and commitment Cordell’s disability generates.

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A world beyond clichés and labels

Whether it’s in a television comedy or a real life scenario, we’ve all experienced those excruciating moments when someone tries too hard to be culturally appropriate and ends up getting it wrong. Many of us avoid attempting shows of cultural awareness for fear of the offence we have the potential to cause.

In a global marketplace, many brands (including our own) are looking to build brand awareness and customer loyalty in new markets where social mores and cultural histories are in marked contrast to their own. Yet customers in new markets can often share needs and characteristics with those in originating markets, making a global brand offering eminently possible.

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Gartner Report: Cloud Adoption at Risk without Big Channel Investment

You can’t turn around without seeing new stats on the growth of cloud adoption. (One of our favorites stats states that by the year 2015, 50% of all CIOs expect to operate the majority of their applications and infrastructures via the cloud.)

While growth is imminent, many customers are still wary and concerned about risk. To both help partners better prepare for growth and help address customer concerns, we launched the Cloud Partner Program with three tracks: Cloud Builder, Cloud Provider, and Cloud Services Reseller.

On the heels of that news, Gartner released a report titled “Cloud Adoption at Risk without Big Channel Investment.” We’ve summarized a few of the key findings and recommendations for partners:

  • Through 2015, cloud service brokerage will represent the single largest revenue growth opportunity in cloud computing.
  • The channel has an opportunity to play a significant role in aggregation and brokerage services. The challenges facing enterprises building private cloud services or leveraging public clouds are significantly more complicated than just technology.
  • Read More »

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Do you use the word “today” in your emails?

The other day I was reading a blog post from the Guardian’s Mind Your Language Blog and was interested to learn that The Guardian is following in The BBC’s footsteps and has dropped most references to words like “today”, “tomorrow”, “yesterday”, “tonight” and so on from reports on their website. Many of their readers are spread out across the globe and such words will have different meanings for them, depending on which time zone they are in. These national newspapers feel that by including words like “yesterday” and “today” (unless a day is still relevant), they are in fact excluding a large sector of their readers. Read More »

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Kudos to the Global Web Team: Top 3 Global Site

Hearty congratulations to our global web team! was just once again rated in the upper echelon of global web sites – just behind Facebook and Google. In the respected ByteLevel Research Web Globalization Score Card for 2011, garners an impressive #3 ranking among 250 web sites for global corporations.  Cisco has consistently held this #3 position overall since 2007 – and finishes first in its industry category (Enterprise Technology).

Picture of Scorecard.

Also heartening for our web team, Cisco is specifically called out as a regular of the top globalization list: “Companies like Cisco, 3M, Philips, and NIVEA have become regular faces in the top 25.”

It takes an incredible amount of energy to design and regularly update our major 85 regional sites, and our Global Team works literally around the clock to keep things humming  (and  I know that for sure because sometimes I am often invited to attend their midnight and 6 AM meetings!)

You can read a little more about the 2011 Web Globalization Score Card at ByteLevel Research’s web site.

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