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Evolution of Cisco’s Energy Strategy

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.

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Smart Grid Progress in Russia

Earlier this month, Cisco and the Federal Grid Company of Russia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that establishes a long-term collaboration to improve the reliability and efficiency of the country’s power grid.

This MOU is the latest concrete step that Cisco has taken to help transform Russia’s energy infrastructure. Just about a year ago, Cisco set the mark by announcing a $1 billion investment in Russia over the next decade to drive entrepreneurship, sustainable innovation and energy efficiency. The investment includes the development of a collaboration model with Russian business in verticals such as smart grid.

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Cloudy With a Chance of Data Center Savings

June 29, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Ah, weather – one of life’s multi-purpose tools.  Conversation filler (“Quite the weather we’re having.”), alleged indicator of world’s end and source of inspiration for comic book writers to empower heroes and villains alike.

Weather can also be a Data Center’s best friend.  Solar energy can be harvested to help generate power, for instance, such as is happening at Cisco’s Data Center in Allen, Texas.  (Look for the 100 kW solar array on the right side of the Data Center’s roof.)  Wind energy as well.  Rainwater can even be collected for cooling system usage or to irrigate landscaping.

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Behind the Scenes with Alice Waters: WebEx On-Demand Delivers Delicious Insights

In early 2009, Michelle Obama started working to get us re-focused on healthy eating. She brought back the White House garden with the goal of bringing homegrown food into the White House. This kind of garden was a dream of California chef Alice Waters.

Alice a leader in the movement to use locally grown organic foods.

She had discussed her idea for a White House garden with Mrs.Obama and she organized a Washington dinner before President Barack Obama’s inauguration that served foods bought from local producers at an area farmer’s market. Mrs. Obama and Ms. Waters made the headlines again yesterday.

We had a chance to meet with Alice Waters in her kitchen where we held a live WebEx with her in Berkeley! It was a terrific discussion and she even shared a quick recipe with us.

Click here to watch the WebEx.

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Cisco TelePresence Turns Cities “Smart”

June 2, 2011 at 8:54 am PST

A trip to the DMV -- a thought that causes mild apprehension and dread -- can require a lofty time investment. By lofty, I mean that if you go on your lunch break, don’t count on being home for dinner. It’s just one of those necessary hassles we’ve come to grudgingly accept.

But behold the DMV in the energy efficient city of the future, and behold it from your living room couch: a Cisco TelePresence connection that lets you renew your license in your PJs. No emissions from the drive to the office. No lines once you get there, which helps to conserve your energy -- and sanity.

It’s all part of the development of Smart Cities —energy efficient urban centers of the not-so-distant future. With telepresence, Cisco is on the cutting edge of these cities’ evolution.

Witness Songdo, South Korea, a new city built with the “greenest” of standards. Cisco is working with Songdo’s developers to put telepresence technology in every home, with the aim of reducing energy consumption. At the GigaOm GreenNet conference in April, Cisco’s Marthin De Beer discussed telepresence’s role in Songdo and 100 other urban development projects, including a retrofit of Charlotte, North Carolina. In Charlotte, Cisco partners with the city and its utility to decrease building energy use by 20 percent.

De Beer noted in his remarks that telepresence has saved Cisco $800 million in travel expenses during the last five years, writes Greentech Grid’s Eric Wesoff. Translate those savings into municipal dollars, and you find more money for education, infrastructure, and countless social services. Cities adopting Cisco TelePresence technology stand to not only curb energy consumption, but also to enrich the lives of their residents (and DMV employees) in many ways.

I don’t know about you, but the grass sure is looking greener on the smarter side of town.

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