Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Data Center and Cloud

Use SDN Strategically – and NOT as a “Band Aid”

December 17, 2013 at 10:55 am PST

hammer nut

The other week I attended the “Software Defined Networking 2013” conference in London.  This is a UK-based event for the discussion of SDN, OpenFlow and Network Virtualisation Solutions from a strategic perspective.  There were quite a few interesting perspective s I picked up at this conference.  In particular, the conference for me reinforced the potential of SDN – but if you apply it to the wrong problem, you may not get the return you hope for!

Top of mind for me, then, coming out of this conference was a demo of “What SDN Can Do For You” from one of our competitors.  At best, the phrase “using a sledge hammer to crack a nut” comes to mind.

The demo came from our friends in Palo Alto, who once (boldly but incorrectly!) predicted  that “Cisco UCS would be dead a year after launch”. They gave a SDN-focused demo that, when I “peeled back the onion”, didn’t demonstrate a compelling SDN use case.  Rather, it convinced me that if you have this particular problem as illustrated in their demo, you don’t need SDN: you need a new vendor!

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

UC and Video – Phones of the Future

What will phones in the future look like?  If our experience at Cisco is any guide, there will be more and more phones, and they will look like almost anything. They will all have two things in common:  they will all bring people together – and they will do it with voice and video.  Always video.

The video may be on a small screen that fits in your pocket, or expands to your pad or laptop, a bigger screen that fits on the desk, or screens that cover the wall bringing people, lifesized, to your meetings from around the world.

At Cisco, we’re using all of these “phones” (although only one or two looks at all like a phone), and they all work together to bring people together, face to face.  Some share more than voice and video, adding presence information and contacts and instant click to call or click to chat or click to share desktops

Here’s Rich Gore from Cisco IT, to give a quick look at these different “phones” in use at Cisco today.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Visit Cisco at the ATA Fall Forum: Get Your Complimentary VIP Exhibit Hall Pass Now

American Telemedicine Association Fall Forum

If you are planning to attend the American Telemedicine Association Fall Forum at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto, be sure to make time to visit the Cisco booth.  I will be on hand, along with key members of the Cisco Canadian healthcare team, and we look forward to discussing your upcoming telehealth projects.

You can even register for a complimentary VIP pass to the exhibit hall by using this code: EXHVIPFF2013.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

New Bills in U.S. Government Show Commitment to Video

Being effective in your job doesn’t always mean that you need to be there.  In fact, many would argue that their productivity increases drastically when they are given the flexibility to work wherever they want as long as they can stay connected.  If that means staying off of a plane for a business trip, even better because it also saves the company money.

Enter video conferencing, the tool that enables users to be part of the discussion without being there.  But what does “there” really mean in today’s world? With mobile technologies, including video, transforming how and where we work, the concept of “there” is really anywhere you want it to be. “There” can be a traditional office that is now equipped with video technologies that enable collaboration with others across the world without having to travel in order to conduct business. It can also be working remotely and still being part of your business community with mobile video and other applications that allow users to work at home, at a coffee shop or anywhere they like.

The move to stay connected at anytime from anywhere has been engaged by many organizations including the U.S. Federal Government. To help agency’s ensure productivity while cutting travel costs the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would allow absent Congress members to vote via video conferencing. The bill allows members to cast votes remotely over video and be treated as if they were present in person at meetings.

Government members are also extending this sentiment beyond the walls of Congress as Representative Michael Fitzpatrick also introduced a new bill — H.R. 2643, the Stay In Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013 — to review agencies’ efforts to reduce travel spending and develop a plan to cut travel expenses by 50 percent through the use of video conferencing technologies.

Is it really going to make a difference? Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

More mobile devices than people by the end of 2013 – is your business prepared?

By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per person. As the consumption of mobile devices increases, so does the need for businesses to change the way they work to reap the benefits. Investment in IT is vital if businesses are to take full advantage of new ways of working – with the best tools and solutions to achieve high levels of workforce connectivity.

The increase in mobile devices creates a great opportunity for businesses. A workforce using mobile devices allows for flexible working practices and more freedom to work whenever, wherever, making the workforce better connected. 82% of visitors to the Cisco Jabber Hub say improved productivity is a direct result of a better connected workforce. Better connections mean quicker decisions are made, improving employee response rates and decision making speed.

Businesses need to address the IT challenges of created by mobility and invest in the most suitable solutions for their business. Unified Communication solutions like Cisco Jabber integrate voice, video, instant messaging, presence, voice messaging and conferencing capabilities. It allows staff to choose the most suitable tools for their needs. This means the workforce can be productive from anywhere, on any device. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,