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Communications and IT Services – It’s Personal This Time

Cisco MOI Forecasts the Opportunity

Comm and IT Image 1_11JAN2016I think most of us take for granted how mobile data services have evolved over the past decade. From simply being able to access email to now watching live video streaming on our personal devices, the pace has been dramatic. Our service providers have also evolved. Now we can log into our accounts and see near real-time information on our calls, texts, and data usage. I can adjust my plan online by myself – add or remove services, alter my data quota, etc.

Our expectation for easy access to and control of our personal services is creeping into our professional lives, as well. For example, I want to customize the metrics I see for activity on web pages to show what matters most to me or my organization. Also, I want to have those results tallied, visualized, and delivered automatically. This is not a one size fits all world anymore. Orchestration, automation, and virtualization, using NFV and SDN technologies, open the door to new possibilities for service providers to bring similar flexibility to their business customers’ experiences.

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Cisco Joins Facebook, NetHope, and Others to Expand ICT Support for Ebola Fight in West Africa

Today, NetHope, a consortium of 42 leading international humanitarian organizations and one of Cisco’s nonprofit Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners, announced a partnership with Facebook, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Cisco, EveryLayer, and Inveneo to expand their support for effective communications capabilities to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and promote sustainable recovery in the region. The joint Ebola Response Connectivity Initiative (ERCI) will deliver high-speed broadband Internet access to Ebola responders based in hundreds of Ebola treatment facilities, NGO offices, and additional logistical hubs in Sierra LeoneLiberia, and Guinea. Reliable communications capacity is an essential tool for response organizations combating the outbreak, which has killed more than 8,600 people according the World Health Organization.

Plans to extend Internet access to Ebola treatment centers in Sierra Leone. Courtesy NetHope

Plans to extend Internet access to Ebola treatment centers in Sierra Leone. Courtesy NetHope

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Making the Roads Safer Through the Internet of Everything

Over a decade ago, I started thinking about what life would be like with connected cars. Erratic drivers, speeding tickets and unfavorable weather could be avoided while driving. I read an article recently that takes a more in-depth look at the future of connected driving titled, Big Data: When Cars Can Talk by Jeff Bertolucci of InformationWeek. It begs the question: how can connected roads, cars and drivers make for a safer traveling experience?

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Digital Britain: The True Meaning of Innovation in Action

When you hear or see the term innovation, what does it make you think of next?  Is it a start-up, a product, a large corporate — or something else?

The term innovation is overused so much in today’s business world that I am getting tired of reading about it.  People have included the word on their LinkedIn profiles “…I am an innovative individual…’’

Are you, really?  What have you done that proves this statement? What new business venture have you started, or new product did you invent?

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, A Better Economy in the Cloud

My colleague Norm Jacknis (former CIO of Westchester County, New York) passed along a list of CIO concerns for 2013 that was prepared by Alan Shark of Public Technology Institute, a nonprofit that provides technology guidance to local government. The list for cities and counties included:

1. Big Data (Smart City)

2. Consolidation

3. GIS as centerpiece for strategic decision making

4. Mobility and broadband deployment

5. Cyber and network security

6. Cloud-based solutions

7. Legacy/modernization, RFP

8. Unified citizen engagement (311, social media)

9. Consumerization of technology (BYOD)

10. Shared services (across all jurisdictions)

What would you add or subtract?

I’d want to expand on a few of these items to include another emerging issue for CIOs and other government leaders: getting cities to embrace cloud and networking tools – while moving their urban economies forward.

Well, there’s good news to report on that overarching concern. There are several opportunities to learn more about how cities can embrace technology for economic growth:

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