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The Evolution of Collaboration

June 27, 2013 at 8:10 am PST

Early on, companies looked to Collaboration technologies to capture extraordinary financial and productivity returns. This hasn’t changed. But more and more, companies are looking for strategic benefits as well, such as the ability to open up new markets, radically improve relationships with customers and transform entire industries.

There are seismic shifts taking place in our increasingly connected business world with the advent of mobile, video and cloud technologies. This opens up new opportunities to tap the full talent of people and move with greater speed and innovation.

In an interview at Cisco Live, I shared my thoughts on the rapid move to the cloud, the advantages of video embedded in business processes, and the role of collaboration in the Internet of Everything. Hear more in the video below.

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How Mobile Phones Are Driving Business and Social Impact

If you look around and think everyone has a mobile phone, you’re right. There are almost as many mobile subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people in the world (7.1 billion), according to the International Telecommunication Union.

Even in developing countries, the mobile penetration rate (the number of mobile phone numbers within a specific population) is 89 percent. Between 2011 to 2016, the number of mobile phones in Africa is expected to double from 500 million to 1 billion–nearly the entire population. But how are we all using our mobile phones?

What we’re learning is that a mobile phone can transform someone’s life, especially for underserved populations and/or those living in remote locations. They enable financial inclusion for the 1.8 billion people with access to a phone but not a bank. They provide farmers with information on market prices and weather reports, and they link micro and small entrepreneurs to markets and potential buyers. And, they provide mothers with important information to keep themselves and their children healthy. All this relevant and actionable information is getting to people who aren’t able to access this type of information via the Internet or in person.

Belinda and her child never fell sick during and after her pregnancy, thanks to messages that she received that told her about proper nutrition and exclusive breastfeeding. Photo courtesy Grameen Foundation

Belinda and her child never fell sick during and after her pregnancy, thanks to messages that she received that told her about proper nutrition and exclusive breastfeeding. Photo courtesy Grameen Foundation

But we’re also learning that organizations — large, for-profit corporations and small, nonprofit social enterprises alike — are using mobile technology to operate better and smarter. Organizations are using mobile phones to gather real-time data that help them make informed business decisions and that yield social impact.

Let me introduce you to two organizations that have developed innovative technology tools that are driving this double bottom line business and social impact.

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LIVE from the 2013 SITA Air Transport IT Summit – Industry Insights & Connected Mobile Experiences

I’m here at the 2013 SITA Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels with hundreds of the industry’s decision makers gathered to hear CEO’s and CIO’s address the community. In partnership with SITA, Cisco displayed the next generation of passenger monitoring and flow management solutions using Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) Solution and SITA’s industry specific customizations at the summit.

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The main themes emerging in the sessions from the experts sharing their insights for the future of the industry are the ‘mobile explosion’, the demands of next generation passengers and, of course, the challenges of business intelligence & Big Data.

After talking with many people about their visions and concerns for the future of the industry, it’s clear to me how CMX can help airport organizations stay aligned with these trends and overcome the industry challenges in order to be more efficient, profitable and competitive.
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Unlocking the Business Value in Wi-Fi Networks

Wi-Fi networks seem to now be everywhere.  Once primarily confined to the home or office, we now expect Wi-Fi access in coffee shops, hotels, airports, stores and even in sport stadiums.  Not only are these Wi-Fi networks providing valuable Internet access to appreciative mobile users, they are collecting massive amounts of useful information.  Innovative businesses and operators are now learning how to unlock this valuable information to turn Wi-Fi networks into key enablers of business value.  We have identified eight technical characteristics of Wi-Fi networks that can help to deliver real value to the bottom-line:

 1.     Recognizes All Wi-Fi Enabled Devices

Recent research by Cisco IBSG shows that consumers have an average of 2.6 mobile devices, most of which are now Wi-Fi enabled.  These devices are constantly signaling of their existence to Wi-Fi networks.  As a result, Wi-Fi access points are constantly collecting information on these devices and the movements of their owners without users having to authenticate on the network.  This means that venues are collecting information on a large number of people at an – effectively anyone who enters with a Wi-Fi activated mobile device in his pocket.  However, this does not raise personal privacy issues because only the MAC address of the device is collected and the information is aggregated across all users.

2.     Hyper-Sensitive Location Read More »

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[Cartoon Catalyst Blog Series] The New Age Textbook – Implications of BYOD on K12 Education

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Today we’re talking tablets versus textbooks in the first of a series of blog posts inspired by cartoons. Does anyone have a good memory of their education textbooks?  Textbooks are cumbersome… anyone disagree?  Most textbooks are a bulky nuisance weighing down backpacks of elementary to high school students nationwide.   What I’m wondering is: why burden shoulders and backs with textbooks when the solution is already present in mobile education?  Cisco BYOD Solution for K12 Education transforms education allowing the freedom to go anywhere on campus with a mobile device and still perform the tasks you would on a wired network.  Here’re my two cents on why schools should consider making the switch away from textbooks. Read More »

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