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Tame Your Data with these 5 Strategies

We all know that data is exploding and in more places than ever before. Without the right strategy in place, it can be a real monster. When tamed, data holds the key to great insights about an organization’s business that could help grow sales, improve the customer experience and save a lot of money.

Unfortunately, in real life we don’t have an ‘Analytics Man’ superhero that can turn data into insight magically with the snap of a finger. However; with the right IT strategy in place, data can save the day!

In that spirit, here are five ways to help tame your data:

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In the Digital Age, Fortune Favors the Bold

The ancient Roman poet Virgil might feel at home in the Digital Age (once the initial future shock wears off!). He famously said, “Fortune favors the bold.” These words have never been more prescient.

In a recent article, we likened the current climate of ever-present disruption, innovation, and change to a Digital Vortex, in which ideas and technologies constantly break apart and recombine — often into highly disruptive and sometimes unexpected new business models (Apple, Amazon, Tesla, and Fortune magazine’s list of unicorns have benefited from this phenomena).

In the Digital Vortex, bold innovation and gutsy, disruptive new business models are a necessity. That is, if you want your company to be a disruptor rather than disrupted.

By their very nature, startups exemplify this bold approach. They are smaller, more agile, able to experiment, innovate and execute faster, and recover from minor missteps more quickly. Above all, they are digital. Read More »

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Accelerate Job Creation through Social Incubators

This post was originally featured on Huffington Post ImpactX

This week, I’m excited to be a part of the SOCAP15 (Social Capital Markets) annual conference. This event convenes more than 2,000 impact investors, world-class entrepreneurs, and incubator managers, working together to create a better future through social entrepreneurship and impact investing. When you’re surrounded by the world’s leading social innovators, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the energy and the “what if” possibilities all around us.


For example, what if we empowered a new generation of global problem solvers to innovate rapidly? And then, what if we enabled them to use their innovations to bring creative ideas to market and launch startups that generate more jobs through a global incubator network?

In a recent blog post, I talked about youth unemployment—74 million unemployed youth globally in 2014 (International Labour Organization, 2014)—and a recent Gartner Study that defines the landscape of job opportunities related to the Internet of Everything (IoE). In order for countries to thrive in the new economy fueled by IoE and digitization, we must address not only unemployment but also job creation.

Today, I want to share the UBI Global Social Benchmark 2015 Report developed in partnership with Cisco Corporate Affairs. The goal of this benchmark is to better understand and measure the success of social incubators using over 40 key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success factors, such as the value created for the participating client start-ups as well as the economic and social impact.

According to the UBI report, social incubators have created more than 90,000 jobs over the last five years. Job creation will no doubt play a crucial role in addressing the global unemployment challenge, including jobs created within social enterprises.

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Oil and gas operations made safer, more efficient, and more secure

The oil and gas industry is going through challenging times. Clearly the reduced price of oil is top of mind, and organizations are therefore accelerating their move towards digital business to address major business concerns such as profitability, market share, cost controls as well as safety and security. Here is a guest blog from our Global IoE Solutions Lead for oil and gas, Serhii Konovalov that addresses many key areas of concern for our clients:


Serhii Konovalov, Global IoE Solutions Lead for oil and gas

When our energy customers discuss business issues, two areas of concern often come up. Across the board, physical and cyber security are top-of-mind. They are also concerned that worker productivity levels should be higher.

Together with Schneider Electric, we have developed a Smart Connected Pipeline solution, which addresses both of these areas of concern. This solution helps to make pipelines more efficient and safer, and can reduce costs from losses and leaks. It will be of interest to oil and gas customers looking to implement green field (new) installations, or brown field (established) installations where they are looking to upgrade existing pipeline infrastructure.

This new solution addresses the broad pipeline infrastructure, including the control center and converged telecommunications systems. Schneider Electric is particularly versed in pipeline control systems and leak detection systems. They’ve combined their strength in operational technologies with Cisco’s experience in IT networking, security, and enterprise infrastructure. Together we’ve developed a solution tailored for the pipeline industry that:

  • Provides pipeline automation across a unified end-to-end network providing improved visualization in real-time, reducing accidents and detecting leaks faster
  • Can be implemented faster and delivers earlier return on investment because it is pre-engineered and validated.
  • Works with third-party intrusion (TPI) prevention and leak-detection systems (LDS)
  • Offers real-time control room visibility and response to out-of-line situations

Who’s using Connected Pipelines today?

A major integrated European oil and gas company that operates in around eighty-five countries around the world is using the solution to address some critical concerns.

The first concern was the risk of leaks: they wanted to detect and manage leaks better along the pipeline.

The second concern was security: they wanted to implement new physical security services along the pipeline itself, reducing theft and lowering losses. They also wanted to optimize the maintenance downtime to improve product throughput.

They had a mature infrastructure, about twenty years old, and wanted a more agile, responsive, and up-to-date digital solution. Read More »

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Digital Manufacturing: Transforming Your Business Model

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Today’s announcement of Cisco’s Digital Solutions for Industries at the Global Editor’s Conference highlights our unique approach to help customers capture the promise of digitization. As Tony Shakib’s blog notes, “Digital transformation necessitates a combining of business and IT strategy that connects everything, embraces analytics, and takes a holistic approach to data security that spans technology and operations.”

Digital disruption is already happening across manufacturing and other industrial sectors, and we’re stepping up to help businesses in these segments harness the benefits of digitization across their value chains. For example, using innovative models like machines securely connected (thru Cisco Connected Machines) for real-time monitoring and analytics across Cisco’s Intercloud, digital manufacturers are optimizing their plant operations with improved control, increased efficiency, less downtime, higher productivity and duty cycles, and more flexible manufacturing.

Research suggests that a significant number—as many as 40 percent—of incumbents will be left wounded, probably mortally, by digital disruption over the next five years. In the face of these pressures, CEOs recognize that those companies who can leverage digital technologies and business models will come out ahead. This video provides an overview on the challenges, opportunities and benefits of Digital Manufacturing:

For forward-thinking manufacturers, digital transformation is not just a new challenge but a major opportunity—maybe the most significant in decades—to pull ahead of competitors. Digital Manufacturers are seizing the opportunity Read More »

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