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The Future of Cloud, Part 1: Six Cloud Providers and Their Vision

This year’s Cisco Live! was tremendous, with 25,000 attendees on-site and another 200,000 attending virtually.  There was a lot of excitement around all things cloud, from how the Internet of Everything will change the way we live, to the role of the Intercloud in forming a seamless fabric between the world of many clouds.

During the show, I spent time with six of our partners who offer Cisco Powered cloud and managed services.  In this series of blogs, I’ll introduce you to each of them and what they shared with me about the future of cloud.  Each of them had a different perspective, but all of them agreed: the cloud represents an incredible opportunity for businesses around the world.

Here are some of the highlights I’ll share in upcoming blogs:

Part 2: Chris Kemmerer, Director, Mobility Solutions, Verizon, shared that part of Verizon’s mission is to bring together the pieces needed to unlock the value of the Internet of Everything for their customers.  “The Internet of Everything has deep meaning to us as everything becomes connected, whether it’s business to business, people to people, people to machines, or machines to machines.  When you have all these things exchanging data, you can improve the way enterprises interact with each other, how consumers interact with enterprises, by leveraging all that connectivity.”  He also shared how Verizon adds value to cloud services by layering applications on the underlying architecture.

Part 3: The importance of transparency in the high performance cloud was described by Dusten Tornow, Director of Infrastructure Products, from OneNeck IT Solutions.  “When we decided to build out our cloud infrastructure, we knew that we wanted to align with enterprise vendors like Cisco because their technologies resonate with our customers as being high performance.  They recognize that if they were to go out and build their own cloud, it would likely look and feel a lot like what we’ve built.  Being able to be transparent with what our equipment is made out of and built upon is a huge advantage for us.”

Part 4: Derek Siler, Director, Solution Engineering – Channel Sales, Sungard Availability Services talked about how building a resilient cloud that can carry businesses into the future requires a resilient foundation.  “We’re building our cloud future around Cisco and around enterprise-grade architectures.  For us, Cisco is absolutely vital.”

Part 5: The value of integration to cloud services was another important topic at Cisco Live!  For Chris Ludwig, SVP GTM Cloud and Hosted Solutions from NWN Corporation, applications integrated with on-premises equipment still have to work when migrated to cloud.  “That was something we did a lot of research on, to make sure that all of the third party companies that we work with on-premises are going to work in the cloud.  We certainly look to Cisco for guidance.  It’s very helpful knowing that if they’re part of the ecosystem, we know that they are going to be a good partner.”

Part 6: Steve Harris, Senior Vice President, National Alliances at Peak 10, echoed the value of a partner ecosystem.  “Today it takes an ecosystem to deliver the business outcome that clients are looking for.  We’ve gone beyond the point where clients are just interested in the technology.  They want the technology to provide a business outcome for them.  Being able to provide that seamless solution with the Cisco ecosystem of partners is incredibly important.”

Part 7: Finally, I spoke with Andy Bird, Executive Director, Product Management and Development at eLoyalty, a TeleTech Company.  He expressed his excitement about Cisco’s Intercloud Fabric.  “Imagine trying to take your data from one cloud and move it to the next.  It’s very difficult to do, because when you look at clouds, you end up getting hooked into them, just like if you were to buy premise gear.  What Cisco has been starting to enable to happen is the idea of creating a fabric between the clouds that allows me to migrate data.  When somebody gets on my platform, they have the ability to go and leverage Cisco in other places.  So they have a different level of confidence.”

Next time: my interview with Chris Kemmerer at Verizon.  Until then, you can read more about how providers are addressing the need for enterprise class services in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.

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#SmartConnectedCity Series Wrap-up: IoE, Smart+Connected Communities, and the Future of Cities

Imagine what a city could and should look like in several years. What do you see?

  • What will be top of mind for citizens?
  • How will citizens be accessing information and engaging with city agencies?
  • What tools will be needed in this future of cities?

Well, look no further because the city of the future is here today. Insight related to those questions, and many more, is provided by Cisco’s Wim Elfrink in Huffington Post, as he explores innovative concepts for urban sustainability and new possibilities for an improved citizen experience, as well as how the Internet of Everything (IoE) can help enrich people’s lives.     Read the full article via Huffington Post, published today.

IoE, the Smart+Connected Communities Framework, and the Impact on the Public Sector

Throughout the New Cities Summit, as well as throughout our #SmartConnectedCity blog series, we took a look at how IoE and technology are helping to re-define cities by providing a framework for city and local government leaders to improve agency agility and performance, to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs, and to enhance on-demand citizen services. Below, for additional insight, Anil Menon and Wim Elfrink elaborate on this topic from New Cities Summit last week, as well as kick off a discussion about the subsequent impact on the public sector, which includes expanding access to education and healthcare. 

To see more actual examples showing the impact of technology and IoE on cities and the public sector, click on the image below. Read More »

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#SmartConnectedCity Series: Accessing Remote Experts for Government Services

June 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm PST

Following last week’s New Cities Summit, I have renewed interest in some of the technologies being implemented to improve citizen services. For example, as a citizen of the Dallas metroplex, I was intrigued by many of the solutions and applications the City of Dallas has put into place on its quest to become a smart and connected city.

With so many cities being pressured with the need to spend less yet meet growing citizen needs, we are seeing a growing interest in solutions such as the Remote Expert Smart Solution for Government Services (REGS). Many of us don’t have frequent need to engage with a city expert or professional, but when I have, the experience has been less than stellar. Too often, citizens end up in lines, waiting, having to take off work and in the worst case scenario – leaving without the information we needed.

Let’s say my grandfather needed to renew his driver’s license. With the REGS solution, the city could place a REGS units (or POD) inside a REGS_podlocal commercial complex, within the public library or even the local bank. My grandfather wouldn’t have to go all the way to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  He could simply go to the local POD location, enter the POD, be greeted and start a virtual face-to-face consultation immediately with an expert who would walk him through the process. The expert and my grandfather could see one another and the expert could share a browser or document and even print off any forms my grandfather needs before he leaves.

REGS_howitworksAs Cecile Willems wrote yesterday, citizen engagement is critical to making our cities better. With solutions that make services easier to access, easier to use, and more effective for both the citizen and the city, we may just see that  an engaged citizen is a happy citizen.

 

Is your city taking steps to improve citizen services? (check out what they are doing with REGS in Brisbane, Australia, by the way)

Interested in learning more about Smart+Connected Solutions such as REGS? 

To learn more about what cities are doing to create new possibilities for improved citizen engagement and a better citizen experience, register  for the entire #SmartConnectedCity blog series, or visit Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities page and Government page on Cisco.com.

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#SmartConnectedCity Series: IoE-fficiency through Interactive Citizen Services

One of the key themes that emerged this year from local government leaders at the New Cities Summit is that citizen engagement is a critical component to make our cities better. This theme was reiterated over and over throughout the sessions to really underscore its importance: more effective citizen engagement leads to better outcomes for cities and communities.

Customer Experience in the 21st Century and IoE

Technology is enabling a changing customer engagement model across the city landscape. There are now new options to get information and to create engagement. To engage citizens effectively and to improve the citizen experience, local government leaders and cities have to provide a compelling user experience and relevant information and services anytime, anywhere.

This brings in the concept of the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the catalyst that can transform the citizen services of yesterday into interactive, citizen engagement for today. It’s a platform to connect the previously unconnected thereby creating smarter, more connected, more efficient government agencies and cities that deliver better, faster, real-time services through improved citizen engagement.

Read More »

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Summary: #SmartConnectedCity Series: A Smart City is a Safer City: Look to the Internet of Everything

Increasing safety used to mean finding budget for additional personnel, vehicles, equipment, radio networks, and other traditional IT. But thanks to an influx of connected technology, cities all over the world are reimagining what’s possible.

One question that is on the minds of many government leaders is: how can my community bring the LindsayH IoEsame amount of funding and resources, achieve effective and secure collaboration and information sharing, and leverage new technologies —  such as BYOD and Internet of Things (IoT), as part of a scalable architecture?

The answer is the Internet of Everything (IoE).

The bringing together of people, process, data, and things (like sensors) in new ways can create powerful change. Here are a few examples:

The Internet Of Everything at Work: A New Zealand Police officer is more efficient on the streets thanks to the Mobile Responder app.

New Zealand Police Officers Spend More Time in Community. About 6,000 New Zealand Police officers now have about 30 extra minutes each day to spend in the community thanks to an intuitive mobile app called Mobile Responder. Instead of having to drive to the station to access law-enforcement databases, the officers rely on the power of the Internet of Everything to request assistance and help fight crime.

Hurricane Sandy Responders Used Video for Situational Awareness. During Hurricane Sandy, traffic lights at a major intersection in Queens, New York, lost power. The resulting gridlock had become dangerous to residents trying to evacuate. A fire department chief put in an urgent request for police officers to direct traffic, but the request was buried among hundreds of others. However, through the use of IP video cameras relaying the severity of the situation in real-time, a fire chief was able to escalate the evacuation request.

Accelerate Threat Awareness and Response. Problems like a flooded sewer system or downed power line hurt the local economy. Now, utilities are finding out about safety problems sooner, using their existing network. A sensor in the sewer system, for example, can report a problem before residents do. And the dispatcher can find the closest person—from any agency—with the expertise to fix the problem.

To read more about how the Internet of Everything is creating safer cities at a lower cost, read the full article: #SmartConnectedCity Series: A Smart City is a Safer City: Look to the Internet of Everything.

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