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No Limits on Learning

EDUCAUSE 2015 – one of the leading events in higher education – will take place starting on October 27th in Indianapolis, Indiana. The conference gives national education experts a chance to hear from industry leaders and learn about the latest technology developments in higher education.

Here at Cisco we’re excited to return to EDUCAUSE again this year as we explore the new possibilities technology and the digitization of education can bring to colleges and universities. This includes solutions that help students to Learn without Limits.

In the past, learning has been limited by time and geographic constraints. But with the Internet of Everything (IoE), new opportunities are opening up for students to move beyond the limits of traditional education. We’re looking forward to exploring how IoE, cloud, mobility, and collaboration technologies – among many others – are being used to help educators engage with students in new and exciting ways. These new environments will help students learn anytime, anyplace, and on any device.

If you’re attending EDUCAUSE 2015, come visit us at Booth 1302, where we will be showcasing some of our Cisco Education solutions. Joining me at the conference will be:

  • Mary Schlegelmilch, Business Development Manager, Education
  • Tony Morelli, Vice President, SLED East
  • Kim Majerus, Vice President, SLED West

We’re also excited that our friends at the Universityof La Verne will be presenting a session at this year’s event on Thursday, October 29th at 8:00 AM in Meeting Room 140 titled, “The Digital Revolution at University of La Verne.” Here are the presenters: Read More »

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The Next Frontier: Service Creation in the Era of Instant Delivery

Every service provider I talk to these days wants pretty much the same thing: a faster, less expensive way to develop services. Faced with increased competition on all sides, along with increasing demands for more mobile and richer media offerings, speed to market and efficient operations are everything.

For many, networks have become cumbersome, resulting in long services lifecycles. Slow processes—from creation to modification and end of life—hamper business agility and make networks too costly to manage. And as new, more agile competitors without legacy burdens enter the market, the intense pressures on profitability continue to mount.

So how do you do things faster and at lower cost? What is the right investment strategy?

Innovate your way to success.

You have several options for developing new services in an inflexible infrastructure environment: Get out your crystal ball. Go with your gut. Or wait and see where the market goes, then catch up.

That’s right, these aren’t options at all. None are sustainable in today’s market conditions.

You have to innovate. Get the right partner and tap into the wide innovation engine that is the world. Make your network your innovation platform. It is the platform on which to build a more successful business.

1Why flexibility is essential

To compete, you need to evolve to a network with built-in flexibility. A flexible network helps you adjust to market demands quickly, enables you to automate network functions, and supports innovation—for you and others. Doing this via open software becomes essential.

This is much more than an IT strategy. It’s a business strategy that’s absolutely essential to compete and profit. It’s also the foundation for a broader culture of innovation, where people inside and outside your organization can act on ideas and develop solutions quickly.

The path to the modern network

As I work with service providers, I make two key recommendations to bring flexibility into their network: Read More »

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What it Takes to Be a Digital Predator and Not Become Digital Prey

For organizations looking to take advantage of the wave of digital disruption that’s sweeping industries on a global scale, getting into the heads of their customers is probably the best place to start.

With tech trends like social, mobile, cloud and Big Data converging, organizations who want to remain competitive are in a race to adapt to the new realities of digital disruption. A March, 2015 Forrester Research Inc. report, “Digital Predator or Digital Prey?” has shed new light on what these trends can mean for business vitality, serving as a wake-up call for organizations.

According to the in-depth report, by 2020, every business will become either a digital predator, able to achieve digital mastery and create new value sources for customers or digital prey, industry “dinosaurs” who’ve adapted too late or not all – eventually becoming extinct. And though many industries have gotten ahead of the trend, others are woefully behind, remaining static in an Internet of Everything-connected world that simply flows around them.

Interestingly, research conducted through the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco initiative, revealed that 45 percent of companies don’t see digital disruption as a subject worthy of board-level attention. And another third of respondents have adopted a “wait-and-see” approach to decide whether or not they will re-examine their end-to-end customer approach in regards to digital.

Forrester’s Nigel Fenwick, co-author of the Digital Predator or Prey report, joined me as a guest of our Future of IT Podcast series to discuss this and more.

Future of IT Podcast: Digital Transformation- Digital Predator or Digital Prey from Cisco Business Insights

Read More »

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BC Hydro Powers up with Digitization

Here’s the latest Cisco case study on BC Hydro. Sure, I wrote about BC Hydro a while ago here: BC Hydro, Cisco and Itron – a Powerhouse in Canada.What’s new? Well, now I can give you some ‘Where are they now’ facts – it’s a real business success for BC Hydro, their customers, and for Cisco and our partners.

Companies like BC Hydro are in the lead when it comes to embracing digital business to deliver reliable, high quality services for customers and to enable remote automation and monitoring to keep the service levels high. As the main British Columbia electric distributor, BC Hydro now provides 1.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers with energy. The hydro utility has now transformed to a digital business with Cisco connected networking, security, and smart grid solutions.

New Picture

The power utilities industry is all about customer service, whilst maintaining safety and security within a strong regulatory environment. Sol Lancashire, senior telecom architect at BC Hydro, is quoted in the case study as stating “We needed a flexible, open architecture to support our evolving smart grid. Cisco provided an architecture, the necessary infrastructure, and ongoing support to bring the diverse elements together. The Connected Grid products are optimized for the electric utility industry and give us a reliable telecommunications foundation to be able to support increasingly challenging energy delivery requirements.”

BC Hydro Pic#1 compressedWell, enough of the Cisco selling (though where would we be without it?!). What about results? Well, one of the key benefits has been the ability to restore power faster in an outage. This actually improves safety for customers (imagine the dangers at nighttime od unexpected lights out). The important thing is that the system not only detects outages and enables faster response, but isolates the outage to a smaller geographic area – so less customers are affected.

There are cost savings too. Meters now automatically send hourly interval usage data twice a day (the old manual system meant the majority of meter data was sent once every two months!). Customers get better usage visibility, and they too can lower their bills by looking at their own consumption and making economies.

BC Hydro has used Cisco security solutions for years, where Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is used to secure the Wi-Fi in all offices, stations, remote substations, and line trucks in the field. The new integrated approach includes other parts of the infrastructure as Lancashire says:

“Now, using International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61850-based digital relays, Cisco Ethernet switches, and fibre optic cables we can achieve high-speed fault protection, allowing us to significantly improve the power quality and reliability to the residents of the City of Vancouver,” says Lancashire.

The transformation to a digital business is a journey. BC Hydro plans to enhance and expand its Cisco RF mesh network to accommodate additional distribution automation devices. Other services under consideration or being planned include automated demand response, smart street lighting, and insightful analytics. “We’re laying the foundation for a common, secure network infrastructure to enable grid automation applications that will improve the safety and reliability of the power system for our customers,” says Lancashire.

Read More »

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New Berlin Innovation Center Accelerates ‘Network Multiplier’

Berlin Innovation Center Blog Pic

Not your typical Cisco office: openBerlin is ready to innovate with the best startups and accelerators.

At yesterday’s inauguration of Cisco’s ninth Innovation Center in the world, Berlin’s smartest new facility was abuzz with startup-like excitement for the possibilities of what the new digital world can deliver. I mingled with Cisco colleagues, customers, partners, app developers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and the media in our latest showcase working lab, embedded with more than 10,000 sensors and all the networking hardware and software needed to co-innovate industrial solutions around the Internet of Things (IoT).

Indeed, the world is increasingly more connected. Some 13 billion devices are now connected through the Internet. And now, openBerlin, a Cisco® Innovation Center will link with an inter-connected network of eight other Innovation Centers in major cities around the world, sharing local expertise to support development of the latest outcome-based solutions that can be scaled and replicated globally. Read More »

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