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Life after an Innovation Center

AS91675Cisco Innovation Centers are where start-ups, accelerators, developers, researchers, ecosystem partners and the venture community come together to create ground-breaking technology and innovative solutions for the future. We have nine of them around the world, and we wanted to share a little insight about what it’s like for a start-up to be part of one. In this guest blog, Jacoby Thwaites, founder of SPARKL, discusses the time he and his team spent at the Cisco-backed IDEALondon innovation hub, how it helped the firm grow, and his journey since leaving. The following copy comes directly from Jacoby:

A great emphasis has been placed by industry leaders and governmental bodies on supporting innovation at a grass roots level, to drive industry growth, explore new ideas and create jobs. As a result, hundreds of start-up accelerators have sprung up across Europe and the United States. But what happens when a start-up finishes its placement, and goes off to make it in the real world? Drawn from my own experiences at IDEALondon, here are some of the ways a Cisco Innovation Center can help a firm move to the next level:

Let’s connect

Innovation centers are naturally busy places, with people from all sectors and professional backgrounds passing through. As a result, you build up an amazing range of contacts which can really open doors for a start-up.

Often, it’s the introductions you don’t think will be particularly useful that turn out to be really valuable! For instance, a contact made at the beginning of our time at IDEALondon recently got back in touch to introduce us to an innovation lab at the Level 39 tech accelerator in Canary Wharf, London, which might be very useful for SPARKL in its next phase of growth.

Innovation labs such as IDEALondon, which are not industry-specific, also expose you to people from a wide range of sectors. This allowed us to connect with firms from manufacturing, aerospace, retail, finance and more. This is all incredibly valuable – not just in terms of future business leads, but also in obtaining feedback and insights that help you rethink the possibilities of your product. Read More »

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From desktop to Data Center…changing the game with graphics

What if you were able to give everyone in your organization the flexibility and freedom to securely work anywhere in the world and on any device? What types of productivity gains would your company see as a result? What efficiencies or cost savings might your IT department receive from moving desktops to your datacenter and managing these virtual workstations through one single pane of glass?


Our Cisco UCS team is excited to present the new Maxwell generation NVIDIA Tesla M6 GPU for the Cisco UCS B200M4 Blade and the NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPU for Cisco 2U Rack Rack Servers. Cisco and NVIDIA have joined forces to deliver this new graphics solution.  Combining security, reliability and manageability from Cisco UCS and adding NVIDIA’s GRID technology, we’re able to deliver performance and speed needed to run high-end applications on virtual desktops. What’s better is that you have two form factor options to fit your organization’s’ data center footprint. 

The M60 Rack GPU is supported with UCS Manager 3.1(1) and later & Cisco Integrated Management Controller (CIMC) 2.0(9) and later; the M6 Blade GPU is supported with both UCS Manager 3.1(1) and 2.2(7) and later.


With Cisco UCS & NVIDIA GRID, you can now expand your virtualization footprint without compromising performance or user experience while also increasing security. This means, you can empower your workforce to create anything around the world, from any location with the ease and flexibility.


The new Cisco & NVIDIA M6 Blade GPU solution is fully integrated with the flagship B200M4 Server, supporting all CPU configurations and performance on par with NVIDIA K2 GPU, at less than half the power profile!  With two of the M60 GPU’s on Cisco UCS C240M4, you can now enable high density NVIDIA Tesla Compute and GRID 2.0 VDI user consolidation, which is over 8,000 CUDA cores & 32GB of GPU memory for up to 64 GPU-accelerated virtual desktop users.

This is especially exciting for organizations in the Oil and Gas, Manufacturing and Design industries since historically, this type of work demanded high-end applications like ESRI, AutoCAD, Petrel and Siemens to be used in on-site with workstations. But now, these types of applications can be powered virtually through your data center to any device.

Take an airplane manufacturer for example. With a follow-the-sun working model, this organization can now empower its employees to design from anywhere in the world with the device they prefer, while all working on the same application in real-time. This helps the company save time, money and fuels rapid innovation. Last but not least, this is all done while maintaining security for the organization.

Empower your employees to create flexibly, securely and from any device and any location in the world. Now possible with Cisco UCS & NVIDIA GRID.   


Productivity, mobility, security, and flexibility for all. This changes everything.

Learn how others are transforming their data centers with Cisco UCS.

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2016 Prediction #1 – Production Application Development and Deployment Rapidly Transforming to Microservices Architecture

As I look back on 2015 and the great effort of the and teams, I am reminded of the efforts I had in the initial cloud computing efforts 8 years ago. The buzz and market interest in cloud computing then was not accepted by traditional hosting and telecommunications companies. A retail company understood that their business needed agility and rapid delivery of software to accomplish the goals that the business vision had before them. This was one of the first examples of software disruption as this retail company 8 years later is larger than all the hosting, telecommunication, and cloud service providers combined. How did this happen? It’s quite simple, they paid attention to one simple rule: application architecture and programmability are critical to agility and enable the business applications and services to differentiate from the competition. The requirements to accomplish what the business applications need are defined in terms of agile software development, infrastructure as code (IaaS) and automated interfaces through Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs).

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2016 and Beyond: Technologies and Trends that Will Change the Future of IT

AQ77082 (1)2015 was a wild year in technology advancements and decay, and there is no reason to think that 2016 won’t follow suit…

We have seen the biggest tech acquisition in history with Dell snapping up EMC for $67 billion; HP splitting into two companies; Google turning into a subsidiary of Alphabet; and Cisco entering in a new era with Chuck Robbins becoming the new CEO.

Last year we also saw the Tesla model S car drive itself, an ever-growing number of drones in the sky, and SpaceX launch the first reusable rocket into orbital space. We predicted that without apps as part of their IoE strategies, businesses would suffocate from the missed opportunity that mobile offers and Smartphones continued to rule as we spend more and more hours every day with them.

The race to connect the unconnected will continue as well, whether we speak about connecting the next 4 billion people, introducing more wearables, creating body implants or enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), where billions of sensors are changing the way we live our lives. In the coming year, we will continue to march toward IoT with more than 11.5 billion mobile-ready devices and connections – 4 billion more than there were in 2014. Read More »

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Cisco Innovation Centre Toronto Creates Big Bang in Digitization Universe

Technology innovations fueling the mass digitization of countries, cities and companies are reignited today with the highly anticipated opening of Cisco Innovation Centre Toronto – the first in North America and ninth worldwide.

Yes, the opening created a Big Bang in our expanding universe of Innovation Centers made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT). Toronto – North America’s fourth largest city – is the perfect catalyst for innovation.

Why? There are multiple calculations, proof points and experiences that help determine the right hubs for incubating, co-creating and prototyping innovations that can be applied locally and scaled globally. All the complex ingredients seem to converge quite neatly in Toronto.

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