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Creating More Sustainable and Innovative Cities, Regions, and Nations

Post by Gordon Feller, Director, Urban Innovations, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group

Perhaps more than ever before, public sector leaders are concerned about their organizations’ ability to respond to new policy and service demands, budget reductions, and the need to engage new technology platforms for innovation and service delivery.

This scenario is further complicated by today’s uncertain and volatile socioeconomic environment, and by the growing imperative to make sense of the complex interplays that link natural ecosystems with the infrastructures that move our energy, people, goods, waste, and water.

Resilence has become priority No. 1 for the public sector—both in terms of coping with unexpected shocks (economic, natural, environmental), and in having the agility and capacity to anticipate and address the risks and opportunities that accompany big transitions and socioeconomic changes.

These challenges and opportunities are major themes at this week’s Meeting of the Minds 2011 conference in Boulder, CO (September 22-23). Presented by Toyota, with global co-sponsorship by Philips, Deutsche Bank, and Cisco, Meeting of the Minds allows participants from the public, NGO, and private sectors to engage in lively discussions on how to “connect the dots” across key sectors: mobility, building systems, energy and water resources, and finance.

More than 200 leaders from a dozen countries will explore a rich variety of smart design, planning, policy, and technology innovations that enable cities, regions, and nations to respond to increasingly difficult challenges.

As a global sponsor of Meeting of the Minds 2011, Cisco and its global consultancy, the Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), have helped shape the conference agenda and will present recent thought leadership on topics including “The Resilient Society,” Urban Innovation, Connected Vehicles, and Work-Life Innovation.

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Are Sunny Days Possible in the Cloud?

Yes, but only if there is Trust…

Do you remember not too long ago hopping into your car, driving, across town (when gas was $1- something) to your local retail store and searching the computer department to purchase a cereal box that contained between 2- 8 3.5” (or are you “wise” enough to remember 5.25” floppy) disks?  The disk contained software that would entertain us, make us more productive and educate.  If you don’t remember that, how about going to the record store and perusing the aisles for hours reading the CD boxes that were twice as big as the CD.

Well those days seem long past; and inserting a disk in anything these days….well, seems a bit ancient.

Cloud

We’re now spoiled with the conveniences of iTunes, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Youtube, Yahoo Mail, etc..  In addition, we’re all too familiar with the seemingly millions of applications that run on a myriad of mobile appliances.  None of these programs run on our PC’s hard drive.  They’re browser based applications that are essentially utility services which we share with thousands of users.

So, I began to ponder the question, “What’s the big deal about the Cloud in Manufacturing and Enterprise?”  Read More »

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Machine Builder Business Models, Sustainability and Innovation

So my wife and I recently took a two week vacation to Alaska – without computers or anything but camera’s and our ever important smartphones. I didn’t realize that Marie Hattar, our Segment VP was going to write a blog about the importance of vacations and productivity – see that here. Imagine that, I overachieved via a vacation!

At any rate, back to the vacation – we left on Sunday so Saturday was reserved for clothes washing and packing. Great plan until the motor on the washing machine froze. We ended up Saturday night finishing the wash at her father’s house. Then after the trip (that was fabulous by the way. Everyone needs to take a cruise through the Inside Passage!) we ended up having the repair service visit to confirm the motor was shot (new motor cost more than the washer was worth, so conclusion: buy a new one) and using his washer/dryer for another week. That meant bundling up two plus weeks of wash, carrying it to his house, doing the wash for a few hours, etc.

I was reminded of the challenges a manufacturing company would have due to an unexpected machine breakdown. You have to isolate the problem, get appropriate repairs, possibly upgrade the machine, possibly line up alternate manufacturing capability, etc. I’ve blogged before about the needs for continuing MRO schedules and the importance of properly servicing your manufacturing machines and lines. But how do you prepare for a critical machine that suddenly breaks? Can you rapidly sub out the work? Can you quickly get the machine replaced? What if the newer machine doesn’t fit in the line directly? Read More »

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An Historic Look into the Future

Earlier this week I came across a great bit of history, thanks to All Things Digital. It was a look back at an AT&T campaign from 1993, featuring a remarkable voiceover by Tom Selleck. What made it so remarkable was that Selleck was positing about futuristic capabilities that in the past 18 years have all come to be—thanks to the power of innovation.

If you haven’t seen the spots, here’s a list of the rundowns of “Have you ever?…” that were included in the campaign.

  1. …Borrowed a book from a thousand miles away
  2. …Crossed the country without stopping for directions
  3. …Sent someone a fax from the beach
  4. …Paid a toll, without slowing down
  5. …Bought a concert ticket from a cash machine
  6. …Tucked your baby in from a phone booth
  7. …Opened doors with the sound of your voice
  8. …Carried your medical history in your wallet
  9. …Attended a meeting in your bare feet
  10. …Watched the movie you wanted to, the minute you wanted to
  11. …Learned special things from faraway places

What struck me about these predictions is that Cisco has really been at the forefront of delivering this stuff. And with AT&T as a valued partner, we’ve nailed what began as pure imagination—not a bad track record from 1993 to 2011.

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Leveraging technology to support an Accountable Care Organization initiative

It is of particular interest to me to see how technology can be leveraged to help care providers meet legislation requirements and improve care delivery and outcomes at the same time!   One of our most recent examples of how this alignment occurred was through collaboration with Saint Thomas Health as part of the MissionPoint Health Partners pilot. We have been working on this project since 2010 to bring our Cisco HealthPresence Solution to underserved communities in Tennessee.

Cisco HealthPresence is one of the solutions designed to facilitate better and more regular care.

The objective is to help extend the reach of healthcare delivery, simplify healthcare communications, and connect patients with medical providers and specialists to enable examinations in a convenient and efficient manner.

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