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To Mobility! And BEYOND!!!

It’s been over ten years since my last visit to the beautiful city of Washington D.C.  It’s always great to visit all my favorite monuments and historical landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.   I wish I could tell you more about my wonderful dinners at the Old Ebbitt Grill or Brassaire Beck; but onto more important things.

As I walk through downtown, looking around, I was thinking to myself, how much things have changed since my last visit.  Gone are the days of disposable cameras, brochures and maps  -- everyone around me is using a smart phone to take photos, launching Google maps to find the Smithsonian, or  scanning QR codes at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum  to view additional factoids as they were walking about the museum.  Everything is going mobile!

I’m here this week to attend the 12th semi-annual Telework Exchange Fall Town Hall meeting – “Mobility in the Fast Lane” focused on mobile IT and the mobile workforce.  While I was here, my colleagues and I had the utmost pleasure to interview 9 government and industry leaders discussing topics such as security, standards, technologies and telework benefits and challenges within their agencies.  It was fascinating to hear from these leaders how they are working in different ways to transform their agencies to better serve the American people,  grow their workforce and create  a balanced work-life environment for their employees. Read More »

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International Community Policing Series: Preview of IACP 2012

When police chiefs, international community policing leaders, and technology all come together, you get innovative solutions that make the world a safe place. With that said, I’m really excited that in a very short time period, I’ll be headed to San Diego for IACP 2012, which is the 119th Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition. This event runs from September 29 to October 3 and will showcase technology and bring together global leadership in community policing from around the world to share information and experiences and to work together to find solutions to issues they are facing as a community.

Check out the IACP video below featuring Police Chief William Lansdowne of the San Diego Police Department.

Read More »

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Video: Helping Government Agencies Ensure Safer Communities and More Efficient Services for Citizens

Global government agencies are benefiting from video technologies to help ensure safer communities, reduce costs, and deliver more efficient services for citizens.

National security, public safety and emergency response organizations face challenges and increasing demands to help ensure safety and security.  In a crisis situation, every second counts. Potentially life-threatening situations change in a heartbeat, and decisions must be made in seconds.  Video surveillance technologies enhance situational awareness and act as a force multiplier to scale critical resources.

Video technologies are also helping government organizations scale and increase efficiency and to better serve citizens.

Video can help protect people and communities, it can also help improve the delivery of citizen services and streamline traffic flows on congested highways.   Linking the intelligent network of real-time video sensors helps government agencies capture intelligence and deliver services for citizens.

A great example is in Dallas, Texas.  See how the Dallas County Tax Office:

  • Ensures security for citizens and staff
  • Increases tax revenue collection for the county
  • Adjusts citizen services and staffing support with real-time adjustments
  • Prevents fraud
  • Provides for remote viewing from multiple locations to study effectiveness of policies and procedures

This week at ASIS 2012,  Cisco introduced Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7.0 that delivers hyperscalable, flexible, and comprehensive physical security solutions.  The Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7.0 is certified for Cisco virtualized Unified Computing System (UCS) environments .  Read More »

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Hurricane Isaac, We’re Ready.

I moved down to D’Iberville, MS February of 2005.  A quaint up and coming starter community just North of Biloxi, MS.  I remember, while working for the State Police, taking my lunch to the end of a pier that was near by our office, sitting on the edge and looking out over the water.  I enjoyed the peace, especially since it wasn’t even two years ago before that I was in Afghanistan looking forward to holding my 6 month old daughter that I spent 5 days with before deploying.  I found this pretty little 4/2 split plan home less than a mile “as the crow flies” from the beach that August.  It was humble, but I knew it would be a good place to start my life over.  I remember watching and listening about some storm that month out in the middle of no where, thinking to myself, “I better hurry and close on that house otherwise I will not be able to get Home Owners Insurance.”  Well, my house luckily enough was not in a flood zone, it was the suckers across the street, so I didn’t need to pay the extra insurance at closing.  I closed August 25, 2005.  Looking back, it’s funny to think how I was barely able to get all of my belongings moved into the house before I had to board up and head for higher ground.  Little did I know at the time that the one night I spent in the house would be the last night.  I packed an over night bag, locked the door, and left.

Hurricane Katrina before landfall, Category 5

Intense Hurricane Katrina video of 28 feet of storm surge.

Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  She bolstered swells upwards of 30ft and reeked havoc throughout the Mississippi Coast Line with her devastation physically noticed over 160 miles inland to the heart of Mississippi, Jackson.  She claimed nearly 1900 lives, displaced more than 700,000 people (more than the Dust Bowl Migration of the Great Depression) and cost our country nearly $125 Billion Dollars in property damage and insurance pay outs.  To this day, there are still nearly 700 missing persons from that infamous day 7 years ago.

In Mississippi alone, over 200 lives were taken, 67 missing persons, and 5 still yet to be identified.  Over 65,000 homes were destroyed, including one that sat at 10229 Cottage Court Cove, D’Iberville, MS 39540, my home.  My neighborhood went under 15ft of water with about 7ft sitting inside my home before residing.  I remember looking through the portal of the front door, seeing the damage, the water line, the mud, everything.  I didn’t even unlock the door.  I did what I knew to do:  Report for duty.

I reported to the Emergency Operation Center in Gulfport, MS, linked up with the Director of the Mississippi Crime Laboratory, Sam Howell, and conducted Search and Recovery efforts with the Harrison County Coroner’s Office.  Search and Rescue teams would identify remains and our team would recover those remains and transport them back to the “Reefer Trucks” (Refrigerated Tractor Trailers) parked outside one of the funeral homes in Gulfport, MS.  We had recovery teams mobilized throughout the Gulf Coast.  My area of responsibility was Biloxi, MS.

 
 
Conditions were terrible.  I slept on a slab the first night across from the EOC.  Our communications were non-existent, the only service provider available was Cell South, now called C-Spire.  Our collaboration across the board with mobilized agency’s from law enforcement volunteers to the MS National Guard was decayed.  It was analogue and archaic.  There were next to no communications capabilities while we were deployed to our AOs.  Each team had to be internally self sufficient, bringing everything we needed with us that morning.  Response was slow, the people were restless, and resources were coming close to depleting.  We weren’t ready.
 

Biloxi, MS

Now it’s 2012.  On the eve of the Anniversary of one of the most catastrophic natural disasters of our time, Hurricane Isaac will eerily make landfall on this momentous day 7 years later.  At this point, as I listen to the News from the other room, Isaac has increased to a Category I.  The Army National Guard has already mobilized, the Joint Information Center (JIC) was deployed two days ago and is set up for distribution D+1.  The stage is set for one of the quickest responses that the state of Mississippi has to offer with every available hand poised and ready.  I myself, a Nationally Registered EMT-B, am also ready to provide assistance if need be.  Now, we are ready.

In the short time I have worked for Cisco, I have been part of an amazing team that has relentlessly worked to bring attention to Cisco’s technology in order to aid and assist First Responders so that they may seamlessly do what they do best:  Serve.  With Cisco’s TacOps team and NERV mobile command center those who respond will have at their finger tips what they need to provide assistance to the public.

Today, we are ready.

This was difficult for me to write and share.  As you finish reading this, please give a moment of silence for those that Hurricane Katrina claimed and their families.

Humbly Yours,

Mark Rogers

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The True ROI of Collaboration

August 27, 2012 at 7:16 am PST

As INSEAD and UC Berkeley Professor Morten Hansen says, “The goal of collaboration is not collaboration itself, but great results.”[1]  Working with many of our customers, we’ve developed a framework for assessing the true ROI of collaboration, and it falls into three distinct categories:

  • Operational ROI allows you to assess how collaboration eliminates or avoid costs associated with running your business. You might cut travel, reduce infrastructure needs, lower bandwidth or energy costs, save on office space and so on. Collaboration tools can replace or reduce the need for many of these types of costs.
  • Productivity ROI refers to savings generated from more efficient processes, accelerated decision-making and reduced cycle times. Collaboration can lead to significant productivity gains in any number of ways, such as optimizing within lines of business or matching your organization’s expertise to opportunities early on.
  • Strategic ROI can be the hardest to measure, but perhaps the most transformative. This kind of ROI occurs when collaboration enables your business to take a giant leap forward in areas like enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty, accelerating innovation, introducing new business models or entering new markets. These types of changes can also reshape an industry in fundamental ways.

These three types of ROI sometime manifest themselves differently across Read More »

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