“This trip was worth everything I left behind for it. Now I have 36 sisters.” Thekra Dwairi is one of 37 women to participate in the inaugural TechWomen program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The program paired women in Silicon Valley with their counterparts in the Middle East and North Africa for a professional mentorship and exchange program at leading technology companies.
Cisco had the honor of hosting the closing session for this 5 week program at its San Jose, CA headquarters. Each of the mentees presented their key technical and cultural learnings as well as their action plans for when they returned to their home countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, West Bank and Gaza.
Loubna Haouam discusses her goals upon returning to Algeria: exchanging knowledge, encouraging women to learn English and providing computer access
The mentees ranged widely in terms of their backgrounds. Some work for international corporations, while others are local start-up founders. Some are world travelers. One woman mentioned that this is her first time out of her hometown! It was humbling to hear about the challenges these women manage on a day-to-day basis. Just applying for the TechWomen program was a challenge for Egyptian participants. The application deadline, February 1, was at the same time that the government shut down the internet—happily, an extension was provided. Read More »
Tags: algeria, anitaborg, Egypt, gaza, government, iie, inclusion, Inclusion and Diversity, jordan, lebanon, Middle East, Morocco, north africa, statedept, techwomen, techwomenmena, west bank, women
Hello all. I’m here at Cisco LIVE preparing for the Public Sector Open Session. At the PS Open Session, you will hear about Cisco’s offerings around Cloud, Cybersecurity and Collaboration. I also hear that they have a special treat for those attending. Someone said something about the Alaska Wildlife Preserve. We had our rehearsal session this morning, so I got a bit of a sneak peak, but you’ll just have to join us Sunday afternoon to see more.
I will be providing updates on a daily basis, including some videos, of the happenings going on here. Please check back to see what’s happening, some of the highlights, and what Cisco is doing for Public Sector customers.
I would also like to mention that we have some new ways to communicate with us. We have a brand new Twitter account where you can follow what’s happening at @CiscoGovt. And, we’ve recently brought up our Public Sector Community, a place where you can talk with your peers at the Public Sector Customer Connection. This is a place for you to discuss your concerns, issues and wins with other Cisco customers without having Cisco people interfere. Rest assured, we will be listening, and we will make sure you know who is listening, so that you can be sure your conversations are being heard by the right people. But this is intended to be a place where you can talk openly about whatever is on your mind. I look forward to seeing your conversations.
That’s if for now. Watch for further updates, videos and happenings from Cisco LIVE 2011.
Tags: Cisco Live 2011, cloud, collaboration, government, public sector
Inclusion in some government lists may not be such a good thing… for example, the government “no fly list” could be a bummer as you board your flight on your next family vacation. Yet, other government lists can make or break you when it comes to doing business with the Federal Government. Last week, the award winning Cisco CleanAir technology was placed on the all important DoD Unified Capabilities APPROVED PRODUCT LIST (DoD UC/APL). The DoD APL happens to be the official product list that DoD agencies are required to work from when making new acquisitions for network equipment such as routers, switches, WLAN, voice, video etc. With the latest Cisco DoD APL certification, the Cisco CleanAir 3500 Series Access Point becomes the first DoD approved product that supports “built-in” system level spectrum intelligence in support of mission critical wireless networks.
In some ways, the DoD APL is like an exclusive club for a select group of IT vendors –either you are a club member or you stand outside the gate. The process to get products listed on the APL is no cakewalk. First, even before products can be considered for the APL process, the products must meet a series of stringent DoD requirements and certifications such as DISA STIGS, FIPS & Common Criteria. Next, a DoD sponsor must agree to represent the vendor’s products throughout the APL certification process. The actual certification process itself involves several months of rigorous interoperability and Information Assurance compliance testing.
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Tags: airforce, certification, certified, cleanair, dod, federal, government, navy, spectrum analysis, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wlan
The federal government is a perennial target, always subject to accusations of waste and inefficiency, among other allegations. But recent developments in technology and new legislation hold out hope for a more efficient, effective, and greener federal workforce. The U.S. Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 generated tremendous momentum toward increasing workforce mobility options for federal employees. The act paves the way for the federal government to unlock significant benefits, including greater productivity, resilience, environmental sustainability, and employee inclusion. It creates accountability for achieving these objectives in the form of telework managing officers (TMOs), senior officials responsible for telework policy development and implementation.
Realizing these objectives will require a significant departure from current practice. To date, agencies have focused on increasing telework participation rates through advertising, employee training, and resolution of technological barriers. Meaningful progress toward the act’s other goals-including emergency readiness, energy use, recruitment and retention, performance, and productivity-will require moving past first-generation strategies aimed at increasing telework participation rates and, instead, pursuing integrated mobility strategies explicitly linked to agency business objectives.
TMOs should not view the act as just another administrative burden that requires compliance. As the first TMOs assume their roles, they have a unique opportunity to use workforce mobility-including telework and a broader range of tools and systems to enable productivity anywhere, anytime, and on any device-as a catalyst to create a more flexible, productive, and inspiring federal workplace.
Achieving this vision requires a sober assessment of the current situation, an ambitious, goal-driven strategy linked to agency business objectives, and a new management posture aimed at transforming mindsets and behaviors rather than resolving technological challenges.
For perspectives on these issues, read the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) white paper, “Telework: Achieving Higher Levels of Federal Employee Productivity, Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability.”
Tags: Cisco, federal, government, IBSG, Internet Business Solutions Group, mobile, mobility, telework, telework managing officer, TMO, U.S. Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, workforce
Cloud computing is ubiquitous – directly or indirectly, enterprise organizations, governments and consumers have been actively using or engaging with hosted application platforms for some time and will continue to do so for many years to come. Lately we have been bombarded by cloud conversations, market analysis on whether cloud is greener, more secure, more cost effective or if it’s here to stay. The din of these conversations sometimes dulls out the reality that cloud is simply a necessary and expected evolution of the way we consume, access, and deliver information over the network. Click here to learn how some private sector organizations are already realizing the benefits of cloud.
With the proliferation of mobile devices, applications and social networks, consumers’ behaviors are changing and access to information anytime, anywhere and over any platform has become a norm. As devices become more relevant, more intelligent and more embedded into our day-to-day lives, we begin to expect that same seamless connected experience across the services we receive from our cities, governments, schools, etc. Cloud enables these connected devices to go beyond the limitations of our 1:1 interactions and extends our access to services and information. With cloud computing, governments and industries can deploy more dynamic services to grow cities, deliver faster, more reliable services to citizens, and ensure greater access to a global market of opportunities and experiences.
Cloud is really about economies of scale. Tangible upfront cost savings are difficult to measure, but if you look at cloud as a means to achieving organizational agility through efficient virtualization processes, then the savings are more quantifiable. Cloud computing won’t solve all our IT problems, but it gives us an opportunity to look beyond a siloed approach to IT and information sharing and experience the next generation of collaboration that is dynamic and reliable enough to evolve the way we currently deliver services and operate.
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Tags: cloud, government, Hybrid Cloud, private cloud, Public Cloud