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Cisco, Customers and Partner Speak of Possibilities at ITxpo

We all know something about the evolution of agriculture.  Once upon a time, a horse pulled a plow, led by a man who spent days upon days in the fields.  And small, local rivers were dammed to redirect water to crops.  Today, monster machines plow acres in minutes.  And irrigation systems feed farms that are hundreds of miles away. 

The long-term evolution of productivity and efficiency was dramatic.  But what does the near-term evolution of business processes look like?

I hope you can join Cisco at Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo.  You’ll get near-term business evolution insights from folks like Barry Libenson, CIO of Land O’ Lakes, Inc., and Ron Gilson, CIO of Johnsonville Sausage, Inc.  They’ll join Marie Hattar, Cisco’s Vice President of Enterprise Segment Marketing and Bhavani Amirthalingam, World Wide Technology Inc.’s Vice President of Information Technology on Monday, October 22nd at 3:30 pm to discuss the topic, “Work Your Way: A Mobility Strategy for Business Success”.

Cisco’s Unified Workspace makes “Work Your Way” possible

Just a short decade ago manufacturers communicated by phone, by email and by foot. Many business conversations occurred in the same geographic location. Product management, operations meetings and training often occurred on the same campus. A company’s culture and reputation was defined by things like face-to-face meetings, hallway conversations, employee recognition and the attention provided to customers.

Today, employees, supply chains and processes are widely dispersed.  Meanwhile, skilled workers are retiring and they’re harder to replace.  What evolutionary solutions are manufacturers choosing in order to bring remote and shrinking resources together?   Read More »

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Technology and the Future of Neighbourhood Policing

As delegates gather for IACP 2012, policing in democratic societies faces the twin challenges of increasing demand and diminishing resources. The period from the mid-1990s has seen the widespread adoption in Europe, North America, Australia and elsewhere of neighbourhood or community policing models. Governments and police forces have responded to popular demand for policing to be responsive to local demand to address crime and antisocial behavior, and to do so in a way which reassures the public that issues of public safety are being actively addressed. It has been an agenda which is rooted in an understanding of and responsiveness to the priorities of local communities.

Public sector budgets almost everywhere are under pressure, and so is neighbourhood policing. Prevention and reassurance are at risk of becoming the focus for cuts, whatever the longer term impact on reassurance and public safety.

So if there is to be a successful future for community policing, it needs to be on a sustainable and innovative basis. This is not just a question of technology, but technology can play its part. There are three areas in which this is the case: Read More »

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Classrooms Go Mobile to Enrich Student Learning

School is back in session, and from all the parents I’ve talked to, there’s been a new addition to the old school essentials list – notebook, lunch and now,  a smartphone. We’ve reached a time where mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are entering classrooms at an accelerated rate. In fact, recent numbers in Canada showed that the back to school season is starting to rival the holiday season for buying cellphones.

In 2011, we asked nearly 3,000 college students and young professionals how fundamental they feel the Internet is. An astounding one in three respondents equated the Web’s importance with air, water, food and shelter. It’s safe to assume the younger set feels the same:  Research conducted by Project Tomorrow found that from 2009 to 2010 smartphone use for middle and high school students jumped 42 percent, so younger student are obviously adapting early expectations of anywhere, anytime online access.

If schoolchildren are using mobile devices on their own time to connect with parents and friends, it makes sense for schools to be working these devices into the learning mix, too. In fact, according to The Journal’s Mary McCaffrey, schools must go mobile to better personalize their students’ learning experiences.

Here are three ways mobile collaboration contributes to the learning environment: Read More »

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Cisco Acquires ThinkSmart

Today, Cisco announced its acquisition of ThinkSmart Technologies, a software company that delivers location data analysis using a Wi-Fi infrastructure.  Together, Cisco and ThinkSmart will enhance the wireless network infrastructure by providing location analytics to service provider and enterprise customers to more effectively reach end users.   

ThinkSmart – headquartered in Cork, Ireland – provides insight into Wi-Fi location analytics alongside historical trends, enabling customers to have greater visibility into movements and patterns of trending data. By integrating ThinkSmart’s technology into Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), customers will be able to aggregate, analyze, predict and react to consumer behavior. Read More »

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The Three Dimensions of Learning

A large part of my job is explaining things to people. You can have the greatest technology in the world, but if you can’t explain to people why it is important, and how it will make a difference in their life or their business, then you have only done half the job.

That is why I am interested in different learning styles. One of the more widely-known models to describe different learning styles is Neil Fleming’s VAK/VARK model. Fleming postulates that there are three different types of learners: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. To vastly over-simplify Fleming’s work, some people learn best by seeing, others by listening and still others by touching and doing. While this might seem self-evident, understanding a student’s learning style can be a vital tool for teachers. Moreover, knowing your own learning style can significantly increase the amount you can learn and retain.

Read More »

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