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The Digital Renaissance Is Here. Is Your Company’s Culture Ready?

Sooner or later we all feel like throwing up our hands and cursing the complexity of modern life. But while technology may seem the chief culprit in making things unmanageable, it is also the ultimate solution to complexity.

In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, it is particularly important for business leaders to understand the power of technology to simplify our lives and support JBradleySAPinformed decision making. And this was a core theme at Sapphire Now 2014, an event in Orlando, Fla., that I was privileged to attend last week.

By using network technology to integrate people, process, data, and things, IoE counters complexity in unprecedented ways. In a city, this can involve something as simple as cutting the time it takes to find a (connected) parking space. Or IoE technologies can scale up to reroute traffic lights; for example, to head-off highway backups before, during, and after a large event.

In a brick-and-mortar retail setting (a key area of discussion at Sapphire Now), IoE can alleviate the complexity of managing customers, staffing, and products. With data from multiple sources comes heightened, real-time awareness, empowering managers to react faster than ever. For example, they can then stock shelves and reorganize staff in response to constantly changing levels of demand. With predictive analytics they can even respond before a customer rush begins.

The idea of hyper-aware, real-time decision-making resonated during a Sapphire Now panel discussion titled Thrive in the Digital Networks of the New Economy. I was honored to share the panel with such luminaries as Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT; Michael Chui of McKinsey Global Institute; and Jai Shekhawat, Deepak Krishnamurthy, and Vivek Bapat of SAP. And there was much discussion on the impact of bad decisions on failed organizations. Which is why we all take such an interest in technology that enables good ones.

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IPv6 in the Cisco Live World of Solutions

Just recently I wrote about the IPv6 enabled logo program here at the Cisco Live 2014 World of Solutions (WoS). It is now time to share some of the results! In what follows I will say that I did not have enough time to exhaustively visit every single demonstration in the WoS. My time there was confined to a short window on the Tuesday morning, where I went to investigate and locate the IPv6 enabled demos myself.

Armed with my phone camera and IPv6 enabled logo stickers, I began my journey in the WoS starting with the Cisco demonstrations.

It didn’t take me more than a few steps to find the first one - Cisco Autonomic Networks. My colleague Amit Dutta was showing this technology in action and here you can see him alongside the demo which is tagged with the IPv6 enabled sticker. Check out the technology and the logo! Also leveraging the Autonomic feature set, Cisco was featuring the Autonomic Train with my colleague Toerless Eckert. Read his extensive blog that explains the demonstration in details and watch the video.

Another place in the Cisco campus where I found IPv6 in action was with the Cisco VIRL team. My colleague Joel Obstfeld was showing VIRL in action and v6 is fully supported by VIRL which was on clear show in the WoS. See Joel here alongside the VIRL demo and the IPv6 enabled sticker is on clear view.

onePK provides IPv6 capabilities and were demonstrating this. Jason Pfeifer is seen here alongside his demonstration on the Cisco stand bearing the IPv6 enabled logo.

Cisco Prime also has extensive support for IPv6. I found my colleague Gilles Clugnac demonstrating these capabilities and we identified his demonstration as being IPv6 enabled.

Then I talked to some of the Partners:

  • Citrix Nestcaler provides server load balancing for IPv6 and provides an IPv6 proxy function that allows Data Centre’s and hosted web server to enable a dual stack presence. I met Charles and David on the Citrix stand and they showed me v6 in operation.
  • APCON was showing their Network Monitoring technologies which were fully v6 enabled. Timothy Kcechowski showed me this in operation on the APCON stand and we placed the IPv6 enabled logo on their demo.
  • Netformix has a suite of tools that have long supported IPv6 and they were also happily showing v6 in action. This picture shows Justin Giffen and Mario Oliver alongside the Netformix platform with the IPv6 enabled logo on display.
  • SevOne provides Network Performance Management tools for Big Data. Jason Smith demonstrated this to me and here is his picture alongside their stand with the IPv6 enabled logo on display.
  • Infoblox has a fully featured IPAM/DHCP solution and it is fully capable of IPv6 support. This platform was on display on the Infoblox stand and Ken Crozier showed me IPv6 in operation.
  • Network Instruments provide Monitoring and Analysis tools. They were IPv6 enabled and received their sticker. Here you can see Charles Thompson on the Network Instruments stand alongside the monitor showing the IPv6 enabled logo.

I had a great time meeting old and new friends and spent many an hour in very interesting meetings trying to help move IPv6 forward inside our customer networks. I look forward to Cisco Live in Milan in early 2015 when I hope to be able to place more IPv6 enabled stickers. See you there!

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Ciscolive! 25 Years of Networkers

CiscoLiveCisco hosted our first Networkers customer event, now Ciscolive!, 25 years ago.  Our first event was small with around 200 attendees focused on multiprotocal routing technologies.  This year more than 25,000 Cisco customers, partners, press, and analysts attended live in San Francisco, with over 200,000 participating online  with topics ranging from Intercloud, Collaboration, Security, and Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) to Connected Cities with Smart Parking, Traffic Management and  Public Safety, Connected Transportation, and Connected Government driving mission success to protect, educate, and serve.

I attended my first Cisco Networkers event 20 years ago in San Francisco and have worked on many exciting initiatives during my career the past 2 decades.  The role of networking technology as a platform for the Internet of Everything continues to evolve and accelerate more quickly being adopted and deployed in countries and communities around the world.

The week kicked off with keynotes and demonstrations highlighting the advances in technology as well as the potential for transformation in business and public sector.

KeynoteHighlights included:

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Wrapping up Cisco Live 2014

May 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm PST

Wow! It’s been a big, big week. This was my first Cisco Live and it did not disappoint. With more than 25,000 attendees on site, I have never been involved in such a huge customer event. I am always excited to interact with our customers and partners, and there were so many folks to talk to at this event it was almost overwhelming! Still, we whittled it down to a few folks that can give you an idea of why they make the investment to attend Cisco Live. Take a look at this video to see what some of our partners had to say.

Again, what an event! Here’s a quick wrap up of the last two days of Cisco Live 2014. Read More »

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“Second Wave” IoE Study Identifies U.S. Public Sector Value

At Cisco, we have identified the Internet of Everything (IoE) as the next wave of the Internet, an explosion of connectivity among people, process, data, and things. We have estimated that these connections in the IoE offer a staggering $19 trillion in Value at Stake over the next decade for both private and public sectors. And now that IoE is here, it’s important to talk about how both enterprises and public-sector organizations can take full advantage of this market transition. To help, Cisco is offering two comprehensive pieces of thought leadership to illustrate a roadmap for IoE. A Fast IT strategy helps enterprises capture their share of the IoE Value at Stake. The Internet of Everything in the Public Sector research explores how IoE is transforming government to demonstrate how public-sector organizations can capture their share of the IoE Value at Stake.

By Pat Finn

When we look at the concept of the Internet of Everything (IoE), we talk about how people, processes, data and things can help generate real business value and assist with better decision making.

But how is IoE properly embraced and executed within the U.S. public sector?

In January 2014, Cisco released an IoE public sector value at stake study that stated IoE could generate $4.6 Trillion in value for public sector organizations over the next decade. This week, Cisco unveiled a “second wave” public sector value at stake study that profiles more than 40 individual public sector jurisdictions around the world and how they’ve embraced IoE.

Furthermore, Cisco unveiled a Top Ten Tips List to teach organizations about practical approaches to IoE.

In this new study, we see that many U.S. jurisdictions have successfully deployed initiatives around IoE and therefore have become models for other jurisdictions.

Below are three stand-out use cases profiled in the study.

Chicago Plows Forward with Data

It’s no surprise that the Windy City often experiences severe weather conditions. But as many local residents know, snowfall can be unpredictable and hit different areas of the city more than others. So to more efficiently dispatch plows to areas that need snow removal, the city of Chicago utilizes existing traffic cameras to monitor the streets for snowfall.  The city also placed GPS tracking devices on the plows themselves so that they could monitor what streets had already been plowed.

When cities capture data in this way, they not only create more efficiencies in day-to-day operations, they also make roads safer for residents.

Snow monitoring is just one example of how Chicago is thinking creatively about how to leverage data to produce smarter processes within government. Through bus and train tracker applications, the Chicago Transit Authority gathers, analyzes, and disseminating bus and train location information to more efficiently monitor performance for these modes of transportation.

But leveraging data internally isn’t the extent of Chicago’s innovation efforts. As a proponent of open data, the city has made roughly 500 city data sets available through an open, online platform that developers can access for creating their own apps. Civic hacking is just one more way to provide city data more directly to the residents.

To say that Chicago is a leader of IoE would be an understatement. And as the host location of this year’s Internet of Things World Forum this coming October, I look forward to watching Chicago expand and develop innovation as they prepare for this influential event.

UVA Telehealth Connects With Patients Remotely

Access to quality healthcare can often be a challenge for individuals who live in rural areas or in countries that have limited healthcare services.

To address these challenges, the University of Virginia (UVA) Telehealth program was developed so doctors and clinicians can connect virtually with patients using solutions like immersive telepresence and unified communications. Using these solutions, doctors can provide basic medical examinations and services in nearly 40 specialties for patients.

Not only are these doctors able to connect with patients located in the distant corners of Virginia, but the UVA Center for Telehealth program has been expanded so doctors can virtually connect with other doctors in areas of developing countries that are medically underserved. Having that capability to share medical knowledge and best practices will help doctors make better medical decisions and improve communication among doctors who work with each other within a single hospital.

Beyond patient-to-physician and physician-to-physician interaction, using these innovative technologies will open up opportunities for remote mentorship in the medical field all while saving money, time and travel.

San Antonio, Texas, Thinks IoE for the Municipal Court and the Streets

For some jurisdictions, embracing IoE could mean a long road ahead. But San Antonio, Texas, has proactively invested in IoE technology as a way to empower its agencies now and in the future to do more, better by connecting people processes data and things. According to the new value at stake study, a host of agencies in San Antonio have innovated on top of the city’s pervasive wired and wireless mesh network infrastructure – in many cases, in ways that were not thought of when fiber optic was laid.

San Antonio deployed a city-wide traffic control system that synchronizes and manages more than 1,200 traffic lights at the city’s intersections. By deploying a system that automates the timing of traffic lights, the city can expect smoother traffic flow, which may seem like a small matter of just a few minutes per vehicle. But according to city officials they estimate that city residents and business were spending an extra $2 billion prior to the project starting, based on the value of time and gas no longer spent while waiting at traffic lights.  To take it to the next level, the system also provides control over some traffic cameras, which can provide better visibility of traffic activity to the city’s traffic managers.

Off the streets, the city piloted a remote video system so Municipal Court judges and citizens can complete court hearings through video conferencing technology available through kiosks and link centers in the city. As an extension of this service, constituents may also complete other court related matters such as paying traffic tickets through an online payment mechanism.

Capturing IoE

San Antonio, like other leading jurisdictions, has identified not only practical, but cost-saving approaches that will allow for smoother, more efficient operations in the long term all while embracing IoE. These three profiles, and others in the research, are paramount examples of how jurisdictions large and small have successfully leveraged their existing technology resources, drafted long-term plans and goals for tangible benefits, and found the right partners to execute on projects which improve citizen experience and financial health of the organization – all with IoE technology.

Let these profiles be your guide when planning your own IoE strategy. If jurisdictions learn from one another and teach each other best practices, they can truly capture the benefits of IoE.

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