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Building Customer-Centric Organizations – Cisco at CIO Finance & Insurance Summit

The CIO’s Finance Summit and Insurance Summit were recently held in Atlanta, GA and Cisco was a main sponsor at both events. The CIO Finance Summit provided a great opportunity for executives to have in-depth discussions on the best practices and strategies necessary to build customer-centric organizations. The CIO Insurance Summit brought together C-level executives from the property and casualty, life and annuity, and health segments, along with innovative solution providers and analysts from the insurance industry to discuss the critical technology issues affecting insurance organizations.

Major themes discussed at the CIO Finance Summit:

CIO Summit 1Channel Integration: Bridging the Business – IT Gap: Many banks are now addressing the gaps between business and IT as they move forward with channel integration and an omnichannel strategy. Marvin Cortez, Cisco Banking Practice Advisor discussed the criticality of building an appropriate business with IT roadmap that supported these initiatives and how Cisco is working with retail banks.

Customer Centricity and Interaction – What Will it Look Like in 5 Years? Meaningful client relationships are fundamental to retaining and attracting consumer and commercial customers. Customer preferences and increasing tech sophistication are causing distribution channels to evolve. Al Slamecka, Cisco Banking Practice Advisor, outlined the evolution of customer interaction and addressed the challenges and opportunities banks are now faced with to create the optimal client experience.

Major themes from the CIO Insurance Summit:

As consumers become more educated and savvy about their insurance choices, carriers are addressing the need for greater customer centricity holistically with better insight, optimized processes, and enhanced customer reach through direct and indirect channels.

CIO Summit 2Bridging the Gap, Today and Tomorrow! This session focused on how business and technology gaps are creating both challenges and opportunities. Cisco’s Rob Cornwell, Insurance Practice Manager, and Don Canning, Financial Services Practice Partner Manager, addressed how insurance industry trends are impacting lines of business and the resulting impact on IT strategy across Data Center, Networking, Collaboration and Security as we move toward the Internet of Everything.

IoE for Insurance Roundtable: In this lively exchange, roundtable participants discussed how the Internet of Everything is affecting the Insurance industry. Cisco’s Insurance Practice Advisor, Jeff Tumpowsky, opened with the observation of how the industry is seeing new data sources and how this data is driving new products, intelligent processes, tailored communications and new insights around risk. He explained where opportunities lie, first mover advantages, and what value is at stake for insurers doing nothing.

These two summits provided an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas, share successes and paint a vision of where the banking and insurance industries are evolving to as they address customer centricity, omnichannel sales and service and creating new business models. If you attended, let us know your feedback from the event in the comments section below.  And if you could not make the event, please join the conversation.

 

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The Not-So-Silent Revolution: The Internet of Everything in Higher Education

Change has come slowly to higher education.  This is understandable given the relative success that the American university system has had in granting four-year degrees that have helped students garner higher long-term earnings.  Regardless, the traditional university system is facing crushing pressure from increasing student loan debt, rising costs, and expectations of hyper-connected students who want to learn anytime, anywhere from any device.

While the MOOC movement raised eyebrows and started people thinking differently about new delivery models, the sort of cataclysmic change some thought would happen with the advent of MOOCs didn’t.  Most institutions, while including some form of virtual learning in their course line-ups, have remained doggedly tied to the traditional, in-person lecture-hall format for the majority of their classes.  Talk about the need for a major revolution.

We believe that the Internet of Everything (IoE) is the catalyst for a revolution that we necessarily need to see in higher education. In fact, I believe that IoE will take the industry by storm.  Successful universities will quickly learn how the IoE can and is helping to create compelling, Connected Learning Experiences for faculty, staff, and students, and then they will begin leveraging this important trend to transform how they’re educating students now and in the future.

IoE is the networked connection of people, process, data, and things and represents the confluence of multiple technology trends: mobility (ubiquitous, high-speed mobile networks, smart devices, and apps); cloud computing, social networks, instant collaboration with anyone, anywhere; data analytics, and finally, an explosion in connected “things,” via inexpensive, intelligent sensors.  IoE brings these elements together with standards-based IP networks, and Cisco projects that it will generate a staggering $19T in value over the next ten years.  Of this, $258B of the IoE value-at-stake will come from solutions for Connected Learning alone.

The network, which is at the heart of IoE, must be stable, scalable, reliable, and capable of handling the increased rate of traffic from the explosion of mobile devices, the use of video, and the implementation of new applications for communications and collaboration.   It must be safe, secure, wired, and wireless, easy to manage and administer, and it must be designed to meet future growth requirements.

A number of universities have embarked on major change initiatives that take advantage of the IoE shift, and they are yielding concrete results: San Jose State University, Duke University, the 4-Virginia Universities, and others.  These institutions are providing ubiquitous wi-fi, access to a world of experts, immersive learning environments, collaborative workspaces, blended learning environments, and a sharing of courses, content, professors, and credit.  They have acknowledged that change is coming and that new technologies are accelerating change.

We are kicking off Educause today in Orlando, and we will undoubtedly be hearing a lot about IoE this week. Come by and visit the team in our booth at #Edu14, and check out this SlideShare to learn more about how IoE is transforming Higher Education.

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Cisco and Service Providers – Transformation for the Internet of Everything

Just a few years ago, I’d go out for an occasional weekend drive to take in the splendor of Northern California, and leave my mobile phone and various gadgets behind.

Those days are long gone.

Over time, smart devices and connectivity have transformed my life – as I’m sure they have yours – and become essential to function in today’s modern world.

By 2020, there will be an estimated 50 billion objects connected to the Internet. Organizations and even individuals that effectively use these connections will achieve significant advantages, including more efficient and enjoyable experiences.

And service providers are in an enviable position, sitting at the center of the Internet of Everything (IoE), bringing together people, processes, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. IoE is turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.

The stakes are high.

From smart grid and smart buildings to environmental sensors and mobile consumer experiences, Cisco predicts that between now and 2022, $19 trillion in value is at stake for organizations willing to take advantage of the immense IoE opportunity.

 

Today, Cisco made announcements that demonstrate our commitment to partnering closely with service providers and enabling them to capture more of this opportunity, as hundreds of them already have. Their businesses can thrive by increasing revenue, decreasing operating expenses, and enhancing agility.

First, we announced Read More »

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Your Next Great Idea? It Could Come from the Guy with the Mop

In the Internet of Everything (IoE) economy, innovation is the name of the game.

IoE demands constant innovation and to keep pace companies must access creativity wherever it may arise. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 34 percent of today’s workforce comes from outside our organization, and their fresh perspective can support innovation. Indeed, cross-pollination of industries is a key to innovation.

This scenario was illustrated in the below story shared by physicist David Matheson last week at the Frost & Sullivan’s GIL 2014: Silicon Valley conference, which I was honored to attend as a presenter.

A Futurist Perspective from Joseph M Bradley

 

Decades ago, a group of engineers were working late in the research lab run by their Silicon Valley employer when they noticed a cleaning man doodling his way through a dinner break. But these weren’t just ordinary doodles. The man had enormous artistic talent. Just the sort of talent the engineers — and the company — needed to depict their technology solutions on the printed page.

Excited at their discovery, the engineers rushed to their bosses the next day Read More »

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New CSA Survey Highlights Opportunities for Data Privacy Harmonization Across Cloud, IoT and Big Data

Responses in a recent Cisco-sponsored Cloud Security Alliance survey (hyperlink) illustrate that many data privacy challenges previously cast in the  “too hard” basket can be more readily navigated though focusing on universal principles across Cloud, IoT and Big Data.  Survey responses showed a surprisingly strong level of interest in a global consumer bill of rights and responses were overwhelming in favor of the OECD data privacy principles facilitating the trends of Cloud, IoT and Big Data.

Following are the most significant findings:

Data Residency and Sovereignty

Data residency and sovereignty challenges continue to emerge.  However, there was a common theme of respondents identifying “personal data” and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as the data that is required to remain resident in most countries.

User Consent

73 percent of respondents indicated that there should be a call for a global consumer bill of rights and saw the United Nations as fostering that.  This is of great significance with the harmonization efforts taking place in Europe with a single EU data Privacy Directive to represent 28 European member states. As well as with the renewed calls for a U.S. Consumer Bill of Privacy Rights in the United States and cross-border privacy arrangements in Australia and Asia.

Privacy Principles

Finally we explored whether OECD privacy principles that have been very influential in the development of many data privacy regulations also facilitate popular trends in cloud, IoT and big data initiatives or cause room for tension.  The responses were very much in favor of facilitating the various trends.

The survey report includes an executive summary from Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Former Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada and commentary from other industry experts on the positive role that privacy can play in developing new and innovative cloud, IoT and Big Data Solutions. Read the Data Protection Heat Index survey report:

Data Protection Heat Index Survey Report – Sep 2014 from Cisco Data Center

 

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