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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.

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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:

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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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A New Approach to Connect Processes in a Hyper-distributed World

In a recent blog  written by Mala Anand, she discussed how hyper-distribution of assets in organizations is creating demands for new insights and enabling new interactions and experiences across every industry. Mala shared how our hyper-distributed world has created remote centers of data which require access by people and processes within and beyond your organization. And, it is your ability to connect data, connect processes and connect experiences that will be the cornerstone to succeeding in this new digital era. Through this blog, I want to focus on some of the top considerations when deploying and integrating systems and processes in today’s complex hyper distributed environment.

Surviving in this hyper-distributed and digital era requires new levels of business agility and re-imagining existing processes. Yet there exists a big divide. A report published by Gartner Research Consulting—Cisco IoE Engagement Findings, December 2014 states: “78% of organizations have not yet established the capability to manage and transform processes across different parts of their organization.” This transformation requires extending the value of existing infrastructure; integrating partner ecosystems to streamline and automate processes within your enterprise and across your value chain of partners, service providers and customers.

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Figure 1: The importance of integration.

Here are some key considerations as you embark on this journey:

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IoT Disruptors: Announcing Innovation Grand Challenge Semi-Finalists

I am thrilled to be the first to announce our 15 semi-finalists in Cisco’s second annual Innovation Grand Challenge. Culled from more than 3,000 entries in over 100 countries since June, I can sum up the semi-finalists’ innovations in one word: Disruptors.

Innovation signI want to congratulate all the semi-finalists for making it this far. It gives me tremendous pleasure to identify them below. I wish all of these bold pioneers much success in the weeks ahead as we begin the countdown to the three winners in early December at the IoT World Forum in Dubai.

Will One Be the Next Uber?

Will one of the semi-finalists emerge as the next Uber, Airbnb or Pandora that disrupts and transforms whole markets with unforeseen business models? By looking over these entries, which leverage the possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT), I can easily imagine this distinct possibility.

These IoT trailblazers also validate my view that today’s daring new developments can come from anywhere in the world. These 15 are dispersed throughout North and South America as well as Europe, including Argentina, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Another observation is the power and potential of converging technologies around IoT have captured the attention and imagination of the entrepreneurial community worldwide, reflecting the growing trend of globalization and diversity of technical talent.

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