WebEx video conferencing is green IT because it reduces travel for people who typically attend meetings in person. Using WebEx allows virtual teams to easily collaborate with distant colleagues and clients. Of course it also saves time and money.
The Green IT Summit is a yearly event held in the Washington D.C. area around Earth Day.
Today we live in a fast-paced digital world. And increasingly, towns and municipalities are expected to keep pace. Close to home here, I can say that the Town of Los Gatos is doing just that. In fact, it recently updated its network to allow for more future-ready capabilities—for the town library and many other services, as highlighted in the video, “Building Networks that Last.”
After attending the opening of the Los Gatos Public Library (LGPL) earlier this month, my perception of what a library is and what it can be has changed forever. With a completely new ‘green’ building and state-of-the-art technology throughout, the library has thrown out its old ways and stepped up to meet the needs and desires of the 21st century.
Recognizing that we are dependent on the internet, the library has updated its wireless to the high-speeds of 802.11n and has added 29 new double booting iMacs. Adjusting to the increase of people working remotely and wanting a place to work, LGPL has provided ample seating –some group spaces and others more private –all with outlets nearby or built into the tables. Hundreds of windows and study rooms with glass walls allow a generous amount of natural light into the library, creating a pleasant atmosphere and saving energy at the same time. It has also ditched the old rules of no eating or talking, so people can answer cell phones and have snacks while they work.
Long commutes and being in an office at a certain time with limited flexibility is gradually becoming a thing of the past. The future will see an increase in workplace mobility creating the “anywhere office,” a place where employees can work anytime from anywhere.
In terms of sheer mass, the Asia-Pacific region will have the largest amount of mobile workers, topping out over 700 million people and making up for 62% of all the world’s mobile workers. In regards of being the leader in mobile penetration, the US will lead the world with Japan in tow with roughly three-fourths of all employees having workplace mobility options.
One of the challenges all of today’s manufacturing companies face is global operations that require increased attention from a diverse and oftentimes shrinking or aging workforce. Manufacturers and machine builders are faced with challenges every day in terms of getting the right engineer or expert from her office to the plant floor half the globe away. If the plant is down or operating inefficiently there are huge cost impacts to the manufacturer, huge support cost to the machine builder, and just tremendous impact to the value chain.
At Cisco we have shaved hundreds of millions of expense dollars from our budget by using a variety of collaboration tools. These start with Unified Communications but they include tools like WebEx, TelePresence, Video and Active Collaboration Rooms. These all add on to the existing capabilities of Borderless Networks. Many of our manufacturing customers already use these tools and are successfully stripping cost from their Operations every day.
Imagine the power of walking into a conference room, pressing a button on the phone and instantly seeing your assembly operations in China and Germany, being able to share data with the operations people from both plants with your staff in Michigan. Finishing that meeting you can capture the action items via your interactive whiteboard, set up follow-up calls via WebEx (all without printing, by the way! A Green feature!). Then you can get a cup of coffee and head back to your office and handle the call from Brazil about the packaging machine that wraps half the skid, then shuts down – and you do that from your phone, finding the design engineer that is at a customer site in Australia. And you did this all without having to fly anywhere, and you had visual contact with everyone. Read More »
Since 2009, when Cisco formally entered the “smart grid” market, we have made great progress in leveraging Internet Protocol (IP)-based technology to enable the transformation of the global energy industry. Through pilots, industry partnerships, acquisitions, and hiring key leaders from the energy industry, we’ve gained insights and are contributing innovative architectures and solutions to our customers.
As with every new business, we must be vigilant in applying lessons learned and willing to adapt our strategy to evolving conditions, be they economic, technological or policy-related. So after several customer pilots, we are refining our strategy so we can most effectively apply our experience and expertise in IP-based communications to the electric, gas and water networks globally.
Over the past two years the home and building energy management markets have evolved in such a way that we believe we can provide more value to our customers and the industry by enabling interoperability through our core networking products and solutions (for example, EnergyWise) as part of our integrated architecture within the broader smart grid effort.
For building energy management, this means we are actively pursuing several strategic options for Cisco’s Network Building Mediator and Mediator Manager product line, with an emphasis on minimizing the impact on current customers, partners and employees. For energy management in the home, we will transition our focus from creating premise energy management devices to using the network as the platform for supporting innovative applications and architectures that will improve our customers’ value proposition in the consumer energy management market.
By driving the network as the platform, leveraging our broader Cisco product portfolio and partner ecosystem, and by incorporating lessons learned into our Connected Grid Architecture, we can enable active customer participation in markets, grid operations, and service innovations. We can also drive open standards-based solutions and interoperability between existing products. This decision will enable Cisco to best serve its global customers by giving them the flexibility they need to be responsive to market transitions and consumer desires.
Enabling collaboration among public and private stakeholders within the industry is also vital to the success of our customers and partners. Cisco is hosting a Global Energy Summit on Tuesday, September 27th with John Chambers and thought leaders from the Energy industry including: former California Public Utilities Commissioner Dian Grueneich, former Commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Suedeen Kelly, President and CEO of Digital Energy for GE Bob Gilligan, Secretary General of Elia Group Pierre Bernard, President and COO Global Energy for Itron Philip Mezey, and many more distinguished guests.
Our commitment to the industry remains strong and our vision for energy management and Smart Grid has not changed -- to transform energy production, distribution, consumption and management using an end-to-end IP platform. By learning and adapting to changing market conditions, Cisco can better enable a 21st century model of energy management and the future global energy infrastructure.