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When It Comes To UC&C, One Size Does Not Fit All

This is the first post in a new series from Dimension Data and Cisco Channels looking at user adoption and integration of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Findings stem from Dimension Data’s 2013 Global UC&C Survey, developed with ICT researcher Ovum and featuring responses from more than 2,700 participants in 18 countries across 20 vertical industries.

We’ve all heard that selling UC&C solutions has to be less about flashy technology, and more about a comfortable, productive user experience. In other words, are video sessions, presence and other UC&C functions as easy and convenient to use as a traditional voice call? But user adoption of UC&C isn’t by any means the last step in a UC&C implementation. It’s actually a lot closer to the first step, as Neill Hart puts it.

“We don’t have to worry about user adoption with most other areas of IT,” says Hart, converged communications director for Dimension Data Europe. “If you put in a firewall on a Sunday night, for example, it’s at work the next morning and the user probably isn’t even aware it’s there. With most technologies, the user doesn’t even worry about it. But with UC&C, it’s everything. If I’m not entirely comfortably with technology, then I can find a way of not using it.” Read More »

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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resulted in enormous urban challenges:  scarcity of resources; skyrocketing passenger, cargo, and digital traffic; and outdated and overloaded infrastructures.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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Duct Tape for Cloud: Integration Features of Cisco Process Orchestrator and IA for Cloud

The Cisco Process Orchestrator has very rich integration capabilities, yet we often hear the question, “Does it integrate with…” or “Does it work with” [insert product]. The Cisco Process Orchestrator is a primary component in the Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud management solution.

The fact is that in modern environments with modern orchestrators the answer is always yes. The reality is that cloud automation requires a Process Orchestrator tie into a variety of different systems in order to start offering cloud services. Remember, Cloud is an operating model, not a product. This means that to deliver self-service, on-demand services requires all the elements of the service be orchestrated.

Cisco’s internal private cloud is one such example.

The graphic below shows the components in the deployments. You see integration with Cisco UCS, VMware and storage, as you would expect. It also orchestrates IP address management (that IP won’t provision itself), Remedy incident, CMDB, ActiveDirectory (so tenants can log in), image management and a few other things such as Service Assurance.

By the way, the architecture below is Cisco Process Orchestrator provision across multiple Cisco data centers.

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Cisco CIO Summit 2012: Starting with the customer, and ending with IT in mind

We’ve all heard the sayings “put the customer first” and “the customer is always right.”  According to Forrester Research, the days of manufacturing, distribution, and information being the primary ways successful companies dominate their industries are gone, and the new “age of the customer” is here. Newly empowered, informed, and demanding buyers are radically redefining the conversations, strategies, and planning of top IT leaders around the world. This year at the CIO Summit hosted by Cisco, I had the privilege to engage with seventy-eight Chief Information Officers from large enterprises and organizations who shared similar sentiments. 

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Lost in Social Media: The Proficient Reach Nirvana [PICTURE] #lostinsm

Figuratively speaking, of course. The Proficient state is the last stage in the evolution cycle. Before diving into things, let’s quickly review the 4 social media adoption phases that come before the Pros. The Missing, which I previously introduced as the Mistrusting, represent a group that is absent from social media for one reason or another. Then come the Seekers who are all about experimentation and discovery. Up next are the Integrators who are starting to uncover the place of social media in the bigger picture and are learning to connect different tools, activities, resources and programs. In the fourth phase, the Relators are taking integration to new levels and advancing their practices far beyond those of the Integrators…until they reach a point where social media becomes a part of their DNA. Welcome to Nirvana!

Business. In its ultimate phase, social media will be Read More »

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