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Urban Sustainability – Not Just A Dream

As world leaders ponder how to meet the growing demand for energy and resources, while reducing global carbon emissions, cities are challenged even further. The exponential growth of cities has resulted in enormous urban challenges:  scarcity of resources; skyrocketing passenger, cargo, and digital traffic; and outdated and overloaded infrastructures.

The continued expansion of the Internet and our society’s increased connectivity seemingly amplify these urban challenges. However, Cisco and Schneider Electric see an opportunity to create a new future for cities, and they are already making cities more efficient and connected today.

The key is transforming a city from the inside out:

  • Developing an efficient infrastructure for the utilities network, transportation systems, buildings, and public services.
  • Adding connectivity to integrate these efficiency solutions, and including people in the social conversation.
  • Reducing carbon emissions and environmental consequences of urban life to ensure sustainability.

This transformation requires that the city’s operating systems, such as utilities and transportation, function with optimal efficiency, allowing data collection for operations optimization. In order to solve the “pain points” that negatively affect city residents (such as power outages), it is critical to optimize each individual system, as well as the overall structure and connections among systems. Efficient integrated operating systems that create connections will improve services, offer better information sharing, and enhance a city’s sustainability and livability, transforming it into a Smart City.

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Building Trust in the Expanding World of Big Data Retailing

These days, the generation of data has become almost as constant as breathing. With every click or swipe, today’s mobile, hyperconnected consumers exhale an ever-expanding trail of digital details, revealing troves of information about their wants, needs, interests, well-being, and aspirations.

All of that data offers great promise for retailers looking to know their customers in deep, new ways in order to provide carefully targeted products and services. But it is also a source of headaches. Those same retailers are wrestling with a complex new realm of Big Data analytics, where a deluge of information from new sources like video, mobile, and social media threatens to swamp their capacity for processing. That is, if they can properly access those new data streams in the first place.

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Observations from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show

I am just back from attending the 2013 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas where I was meeting with customers and visiting the massive show floor. CES is an intriguing blend of extremes and contrasts: biggest and the smallest; connected and unconnected; wired and wireless; high tech – low tech.  As personal and business technologies converge through the “consumerization of technology,” CES provides an exciting window into the current and future world of technology.

The following are my personal observations and extrapolations from the show based on my conversations with customers, colleagues and walking the floor.

  1.  New Next Generation TV Again – You could be mistaken for thinking that CES is really the TV show.  Televisions are everywhere and every company seems to produce one.  Manufacturers are still selling 3D television, but it has taken a back seat to the next big thing -- bigger and thinner new OLED sets and specular ultra-high definition screens.
  2. Connected Home – CE companies continue to try to connect all of our home devices.  But now appliances are getting in on the act.  There were lots of examples of connected refrigerators and washing machines.  Now you can even control how your clothes are washed from the comfort of your couch with your smartphone or even on your TV.
  3. Content Sharing and Mirroring – At last, Read More »

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Improve Decision-Making: Collaborate to Execute

January 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm PST

This is the last of a four-part series. The previous posts introduced decision-driven collaborationengagement, and evaluation.

Evolving your organization’s ideas around collaboration is an important element of connecting people and empowering them to work together to make better, more-informed decisions. Cisco IBSG calls this “Decision-Driven Collaboration” and outlines within it three core elements that build upon one another in decision making:

  • Collaborate to Engage: Identify key contributors, solicit input, share ideas.
  • Collaborate to EvaluateShape the matter to be decided, consider viable alternatives.
  • Collaborate to Execute: Make a clear decision, align relevant parties, put it into practice.

Execution is more effective when the context, rationale, success factors, expectations, dependencies, and so forth are transparent to those affected. As the IBSG report outlines, this level of transparency requires that leaders: Read More »

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CES 2013: An Explosion of Innovative New Devices

The annual Consumer Electronics Show, held last week in Las Vegas, has been called the “Super Bowl of Technology.” This year’s event was no exception. The largest in the 45-year history of CES, it featured 3,250 exhibitors, 150,000 attendees, and more than 20,000 new products unveiled. But while it may have been impossible to nail down every trend, breakthrough, and future implication, some key themes emerged as I wandered the sea of vendors and engaged in many customer discussions.

Particularly from a service provider perspective, here are a few of the most important trends that seemed top of mind throughout the show:

  1. An Explosion of Endpoints. In recent years at CES, particular devices, such as the iPad, or new technologies, such as 3D, proved dominant. This year, however, the show was characterized by the sheer, massive breadth of innovative new devices. This vast permutation of media-rich gadgets is the result of accelerated innovation that is bringing ubiquitous, mobile access to all endpoints. Even the TV is “becoming mobile” as it gains the ability to access content wirelessly. At the same time, these devices are getting “touchy-feely,” if you will, as touchscreen technology grows equally ubiquitous.
  2. Going Ultra. One new technology, Read More »

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