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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Cloud and the Smart City: A Brighter Tomorrow

In my last blog, I discussed the benefits of Smart City cloud management capabilities. An intelligent IP-enabled network unites multiple services onto one infrastructure, allowing for tight operations management and lower expenses. Operating this network remotely, through the cloud, further enhances the capability for sustainable, effective city management.

As Smart City visions emerge in various projects in local government, we will see a combination of new ways of thinking, designing, planning, executing, and managing. Busan, South Korea has already discovered the powerful benefits of cloud infrastructure to create Smart+Connected Communities solutions. The government partnered with companies to create a Mobile Application Center to utilize city assets and the connected network. (You can also watch a video series, “Cities of the Future,” on Songdo, South Korea and how this new connected Smart City was designed, planned, and built.)

There are some important steps that other cities and governments can take to harness the power of the cloud to become more connected, efficient, and sustainable. A process on how to answer the Smart City call to action is further outlined in Cisco’s POV paper, “Smart City Framework,” and video.

1.     Use one intelligent, multiservice IP network.

This is the overarching mantra of a Smart City—connect systems and services to improve city livability. While it can seem daunting, it’s important to remember the long-term benefits of a connected city, especially using cloud management. Some of the most promising Smart City projects have shown that it’s possible to use the network to achieve some major goals of state and local government, including efficient city management and economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Savvy government leaders are recognizing the untapped power of the network and incorporating its potential into the early stages of planning and development. Many cities have experimented with including information and communications technology (ICT) solutions through small-scale “proof of concept” projects. Since budgets are so limited, it can be difficult to adopt a purely centralized approach, which means trying new techniques and learning from the enterprise sector.

2.     Build a foundation for public-private partnerships.

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Cloud and the Smart City: It’s All Connected

Cities around the world are facing some big and complicated problems, with few easy answers at the ready. Rising energy costs, environmental concerns, and new government initiatives have inspired a focus on sustainable IT operations. But how can cities be expected to solve these crises, while also improving citizen services and ensuring future economic success?

Advanced information and communications technology (ICT) is a great answer, but this is easier said than done. Cities frequently face logistical hurdles on the road to becoming Smart Cities. I believe the key is creating a more effective “connected transformation,” harnessing the power of cloud computing for cost reduction and the delivery of vital services.

We’ve seen this in the enterprise sector: An intelligent IP-enabled information network provides a single, multiservice infrastructure to support productivity and cost initiatives—all achieved remotely, via cloud management. Government agencies are beginning to follow this lead. The public sector, for example, is finding new ways to measure such things as power consumption, thereby controlling energy output, reducing costs, and increasing operational efficiency. For government as well, the cloud is becoming an important tool for achieving greater sustainability.

Overall, the cloud is helping to create more effective city management, and it enables the network to become:

  • Observable. Cities can monitor systems, power flows, and equipment, with no physical or location constraints.
  • Controllable. Providing remote two-way communications and data between stations, systems, and equipment will maintain effective operations.
  • Automated. Hands-off processes allow for greater cost efficiency.
  • Secure. Layers of defense throughout a cloud grid will assure service reliability, prevent outages, and protect citizens.

The result is an intelligent, integrated cloud infrastructure that is pivotal to a Smart City’s evolution. Some amazing technology advances are making it possible for complex systems to be managed—and self-managed—remotely and efficiently. A flood of recently published case studies show how, in practical terms, high connectivity is essential to a new future for buildings and cities, and to the urban economy as a whole.

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How Are You Going to Secure Your Cloud Network Infrastructure?

BirenProfilePicture-e1349971468612-300x369By Biren Mehta, Senior Marketing Manager, SP Marketing in Routing and Switching, Cisco

Cloud computing brings a significant shift in how IT services will be deployed, delivered and consumed.  This promises to bring significant benefits to both consumers and suppliers in terms of agility, automation, and cost.  However, security remains a key barrier to realizing these advantages as enterprises question data security, trust, visibility, and control issues over the provider’s network.

Last week, Read More »

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Mobility = Motion = $$$$

Human beings are nomadic, social creatures by nature. Throughout the course of human history, we have innovated new communication technologies to help us stay in touch with our social networks while we roamed the globe. In today’s digital connected world, we have become “addicted” to mobility because of all the ways it enriches our life experiences. As proof of this fact, just watch how quickly passengers turn on their smartphones upon landing when you take your next flight.

Cisco is at the very center of the mobility technology revolution that is connecting the previously unconnected to benefit how we work, play, live, and learn. Our technologies and solutions have helped service providers build out their network infrastructure to give reliable mobile access to people and things in the places that matter most. Not far off on the horizon, mobile connections will be seamless and ubiquitous and the network infrastructure will be heterogeneous and transparent to the user.

Today, Cisco is Read More »

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Optimize Your Video Adoption with Cisco TelePresence

Today I am pleased to announce Cisco TelePresence Optimized Conferencing, a new cost-effective solution for video conferencing and achieving high quality, standards-based video across the whole organization.  With this, we are addressing the business challenges customers have around managing multiple conferencing options and reducing the TCO for their internal and external communications.

How does it work? Cisco TelePresence Optimized Conferencing:

  • Economically scales-up video adoption by optimizing resource allocation—dynamically orchestrates the use of bridge resources, pools multiparty units, and provides the right level of service for every endpoint
  • Connects natively with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM)
  • Supports everything from mobile clients to fully-immersive telepresence systems, ensuring a consistent video experience across endpoints

The result is an over 70 percent more efficient use of bridge resources in mixed mode (full HD, HD, SD) conferences. Delivered through software-only upgrades, it is available with the latest releases of Cisco TelePresence Conductor, Cisco TelePresence Server and Cisco TelePresence Management Suite (TMS).

As video adoption becomes more pervasive in enterprise organizations, telepresence solutions like this will be increasingly important for a successful video strategy, especially one that addresses the mobile and BYOD trends. We look forward to partnering with our customers to utilize Cisco TelePresence Optimized Conferencing for simple, cost-effective any to any video collaboration for the entire enterprise.

To learn more, visit the Optimized Conferencing webpage on Cisco.com.

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