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Two Ways Broadband Internet Is Improving Health Care and Education

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post ImpactX.

In many parts of the world, being able to download information on a smartphone, tablet or laptop in a few seconds is the norm. In Silicon Valley, wireless high-speed Internet connections are more ubiquitous than Starbucks.

Broadband has changed the way we work, shop, watch movies and communicate with loved ones, allowing us to access more robust types of content, services and applications. Yet if we look beyond our own personal use, we can see that broadband Internet access is not merely a convenience: it is a powerful force for social change.

In education, broadband technology can have a huge impact. Educators face a number of challenges, including teacher shortages, limited access in rural areas and gender disparity. For example, the world would need 3.3 million primary teachers and 5.1 million lower secondary teachers in classrooms by 2030 to provide all children with basic education, according to UNESCO’s 2013-2014 Education For All Global Monitoring Report.

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John Oberon Joins Cisco as Vice President of IoT Software Platforms

I am delighted to announce that John Oberon has joined Cisco as Vice President, IoT Software Platforms. His responsibilities include the development of platforms that enable developers to access Cisco’s IoT infrastructure capabilities.

John’s hiring is significant because delivering on the promise of the Internet of Everything – the intelligent connection of people, process, data, and things – means making it possible to deliver vertical solutions to specific industries. To do this, we need to enable a broad ecosystem of technology partners with the right vertical-specific expertise. We will do this by providing the right kind of application platform that offers open APIs and application development environments for customers, partners, and third parties to design, develop, and deploy their innovative solutions.

Crucial to Cisco’s strategy is to provide IaaS and PaaS for IoT applications and SaaS offerings to run at the extreme edge/fog. John’s joining Cisco and taking on this leadership role in IoT Systems and Software is critical to our being able to deliver these services to our partners, customers, and the broader IoT developer community. Software was indeed a hot topic at Cisco’s Partner Summit 2015 last month in Montreal. It’s clear that the market needs the right application platform to enable the services that customers will require, and Cisco is recruiting and developing the talent we need to deliver these software platforms.

John has extensive experience building robust developer communities for software platforms – especially within the SaaS and PaaS space. He will be an important Cisco representative in the IoT developer community.

Before joining Cisco, John was the Chief Architect, General Manager, and Vice President of Engineering at Mashery, an Intel business that is a leader in application services governance. Earlier in his career, John was the Director of Product Development at Intuit. He also worked 12 years in key roles at Microsoft.

“I am excited to have a vital role developing Cisco’s IoT software platforms and expanding the horizon of what we know as the Internet of Things,” John said. “The time is perfect for bringing in top talent and continuing the journey to bring Cisco’s IoT software platforms to market.”

You can follow John’s tweets, read his LinkedIn blog posts, and look for him soon at major developer and Cisco events.

 

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Event Recap: Cisco at American Manufacturing and North American Manufacturing Excellence Summits

We recently attended the American Manufacturing Summit (AMS) and North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit (NAMES) held in Chicago, IL where Cisco was a main sponsor at both events. AMS provided a great opportunity for industry executives to have in-depth discussions on IoT and its impact on manufacturing while NAMES brought together manufacturing executives looking to implement a better, more efficient way of manufacturing.

Major themes from the American Manufacturing Summit:

Manufacturers stand to reap the greatest benefit from the IoT transition. This is based on the opportunities for manufacturing through the entire value chain – from R&D, to Connected Products, to Connected Plants, to Omni-Channel Sales and Services. Lots of attendees stressed that they want to do a better job of optimizing technology. At the summit, we looked at case studies across the value chain and different industries and discussed best practices, lessons learned and risks.

Specifically, the summit highlighted four primary use cases:

  • Connected Products – How are manufactures connecting their products and what is the value proposition?
  • Smart Factories – IoT is enabling manufacturers to lighten their manufacturing floor increasing OEE
  • End-to-End Supply Chain Synchronization – How manufacturers are digitizing information to increase visibility
  • Omnichannel – Using connected products across a variety of platforms to improve sales and customer service in the field.

During the AMS summit, Randal Kenworthy, Practice Director – Manufacturing, Americas Business Transformation, along with the support of colleagues, Dan Boutell, Senior Advisor – Manufacturing and Nandu Nandakumar, Practice Advisor – Manufacturing, Americas Business Transformation, had the opportunity to discuss the IoT impact in manufacturing – especially around acquiring data from sensors and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for use cases like increased connectivity and predictive maintenance. We also showcased Cisco’s Circuit Emulation over IP Network Modules (CEM) and Unified Wireless Location-Based Services solutions.

Attendees responded positively to the discussion. Interestingly, a lot of responses we received were that they are utilizing some aspects of IoT connected technologies now, but most of the data they are currently gathering is lost and not used. They don’t know what they don’t know, so data analytics will be a first step in the right direction.

Major themes discussed at the North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit:

As the manufacturing landscape continues to evolve, companies and industry leaders are constantly facing pressures to keep up with growing competition. Agility has become crucial as manufacturers manage complex issues like controlling escalating costs and managing a dynamic workforce; all while dealing with pressures to implement a better, more efficient way of manufacturing. Below are a few of the major topics addressed during the summit:

  • Continuous Improvement, Lean / Six-Sigma.
  • Employee involvement and Leadership.
  • Use of technology to drive organizational change.

Once again, our subject matter experts took part in a discussion centered on building smarter manufacturing with IoT. We asked the question, where is manufacturing headed and explained how IoT will fundamentally change how products are invented, manufactured, shipped and sold. With IoT, IP networks and analytics, manufacturers can become more efficient, improve worker safety and offer new business models. Manufacturers that master this new dynamic will have a variety of new opportunities for revenue growth and cost savings.

Attendees/customers shared some key concerns and questions around IoT integration in manufacturing, inquiring about how Cisco can help:

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Piston Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has fundamentally altered the IT landscape: dramatically boosting IT agility, while lowering costs. To realize the business advantages of cloud, organizations are shifting to a hybrid IT model—blending private cloud, public cloud, and on-premise applications.

To help customers maintain control and compliance in this hyper-connected, hyper-distributed IT environment, Cisco and its partners are building the Intercloud—a globally connected network of clouds. Today, Cisco is taking another important step towards realizing our ambitious Intercloud vision. We are pleased to announce our intent to acquire Piston Cloud Computing, which will help accelerate the product, delivery, and operational capabilities of Cisco Intercloud Services.

Paired with our recent acquisition of Metacloud, Piston’s distributed systems engineering and OpenStack talent will further enhance our capabilities around cloud automation, availability, and scale. The acquisition of Piston will complement our Intercloud strategy by bringing additional operational experience on the underlying infrastructure that powers Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud. Additionally, Piston’s deep knowledge of distributed systems and automated deployment will help further enhance our delivery capabilities for customers and partners.

To bring the world of standalone clouds together, Cisco and our partners are building the Intercloud. The Intercloud is designed to deliver secure cloud services everywhere in the world. Our enterprise-class portfolio of technology and cloud services gives customers the choice to build their own private clouds or consume cloud services from a trusted Intercloud Provider. The Intercloud provides choice of services, all with compliance and control. In a nutshell: we’re delivering cloud the way our customers need it.

Piston will join our Cloud Services team under the leadership of Faiyaz Shahpurwala, senior vice president, Cloud Infrastructure and Managed Services Organization.

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New Certifications Help Connect the Unconnected

The Internet of Everything (IoE) – bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – is accelerating the pace of digital transformation.

This new age of the digital economy presents unprecedented challenges for all CEOs and business leaders. In today’s dynamic business environment, enterprises are under more pressure than ever to drive business outcomes. Innovation, ability to quickly adapt to new challenges and market conditions, as well as proficient leverage of new technologies are all critical in determining success. In addition, the IT landscape is evolving with more connected and mobile endpoints, the growth of application based services, and the need to collect, analyze and utilize an explosion of data. Read More »

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