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Networking and Cloud – Driving Change

I was given the opportunity at Interop NY last week to give a 10-15min presentation at the Cisco booth. If you were watching the twitter stream, you probably noticed the pictures of some of the full audiences we had throughout both days in the booth.

I spoke about cloud and networking, something that both Brian Gracely and James Urquhart blogged about recently. Read on for my slides and some narrative comments. I apologize ahead of time for not embedding the slides, but unfortunately that little feature doesn’t seem to be working currently. We’ve got a white paper on the same topic as well as a webcast series that Brian Gracely has been blogging about.

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Interop NY – From the Expo Floor

I was given the opportunity to walk around the expo floor at Interop NY 2011 today before I spent some time working in the booth, speaking with customers, and presenting in our theater on the show floor. There were many good conversations around the value proposition of UCS, the magic of service profiles (UCS Manager) to drive automation into server management and reduce operator time spent on tedious configuration chores, the new Nexus 7009, and Cisco’s Virtualized Multi-Tenant Data Center (VMDC) solution design for private and service provider clouds.

Here’s a quick video showing the booth very busy right after the 10:30AM opening of the show floor and a couple of interviews with attendees and bloggers Matthew Norwood (@matthewnorwood) and Andrew von Nagy (@revolutionwifi) about what they are looking for at Interop.

Follow along on twitter @ciscoDC and on the Cisco Data Center blog for updates from both Interop NY and Oracle OpenWorld from San Francisco. For details on sessions and demos, check out the Interop New York 2011 Cisco event page.

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John Deere avoids cost with Cisco Wireless Architecture

September 29, 2011 at 11:40 am PST

Maybe you’ve seen the recent article in RFID Journal: John Deere Planter Factory Gains Efficiency.

John Deere, working with integration and technology partners Prime Technologies (now Kubica) and AeroScout, used the existing Cisco Wi-Fi networking nodes that it had already installed throughout the facility to avoid the expense of installing RFID readers for a new manufacturing solution.

John Deere MaxEmergeXP

Here’s the story: John Deere’s  Seeding Group factory in Moline, Ill. was seeking an automated solution to improve on its manual work in process manufacturing system.  It wanted to increase efficiency in the way it replenished welding material as well as improve the way it carried out processes at its assembly stations at the plant. The factory in question assembles John Deere’s  row-crop planter machines -- the MaxEmerge XP range -  that are used by farmers to deposit a variety of seed in soils and seedbeds.

The new system uses a wireless back-haul to a Cisco infrastructure that enables the SAP, reporting and programmable logic controller (PLC) systems to communicate live.  It’s intended to improve material replenishment and reduce delays caused by waiting for materials in its welding areas.  It allows the equipment manufacturer’s kitting staff to boost material replenishment speed, and allows assembly workers to prepare for specific equipment as it approaches their assembly stations. The RFID Journal Story goes into excellent detail on the wip process and the process improvement, but I did want to reiterate some of the key business metrics:

“Our goal was to improve Takt time *,” says Shay O’Neal, John Deere Seeding Group’s project manager, who expects the reduction to increase from what he estimates may be about 5 percent improvement in Takt time thus far. He reckons there has been a 40 percent reduction in cycle time because of the improvement in replenishment. He has also seen a decrease in overtime work undertaken by kitting staff at the welding station. “I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the system met our needs,” O’Neal said in the RFID Journal article.

  • John Deere has seen a 40 percent increase in efficiency in welding due to improvements in material replenishment and fewer delays caused by waiting for materials in its welding areas.
  • On the assembly line, the system provides a view into the work in process (WIP), which thus far has reduced the cycle time (Takt) it takes to assemble a single product by about 5 percent.
  • Since existing Cisco Wi-Fi nodes read the RFID tag of each seeder as it passes from one assembly station to another, indicating where it has been and what its next assembly location will be, John Deere avoided the expense of installing RFID readers.

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Boeing Delivers First 787 Dreamliner. Cisco Delivers Solutions to Boeing. Congratulations Both!

September 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm PST

Congratulations to Boeing on shipping it’s first 787 Dreamliner to ANA (All Nippon Airways). The world has been waiting and US Manufacturing has delivered. But it’s not just US Manufacturing -- suppliers as far away as Australia, Italy, Japan and Russia, to name but a few countries have been working with Boeing Engineers to bring the airplane to market -- and using Cisco or Cisco Partner technologies to do so!

The video, courtesy Associated Press’ YouTube Channel, shows the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner Airplane being handed over by Jim Albaugh, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, to ANA’s President and CEO - with a large key!

Jim does talk about the delays -- but it was such a vast undertaking -- and in the ‘old days’ it would have taken a lot longer! There are plenty of Manufacturing improvements that have taken place over the decades that have helped speed things up. Here are three Cisco Solution areas where Cisco and its partners made a difference: Cisco WebEx, Cisco MMVC (Manufacturing Mobile Video Collaboration) Solution, and Cisco Context aware, many using Cisco Unified Industrial Architectures. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 for any manufacturer who wants to know the secrets. Here’s how, and with customer comments to boot

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The Right Network Can Change Everything

Taking a strategic approach to your network will support your business today and in the future

Did you know that in 2009, more data was created than in all prior years combined? That 60 percent of employees believe they don’t need to be in the office to be productive and efficient? And, that by 2015, companies will generate 50 percent of web sales via their presence in social media and mobile devices?

At the rate in which data is growing, technology is advancing, and devices are proliferating; you don’t want to trust your business to a network that’s just “good enough.” Taking a strategic approach to your network makes good business sense.

The right network is one that’s configured to fit your company’s needs, supports your business goals, and has the potential to transform the way you do business. The right network not only empowers the applications and services you’re using today but also those you’re likely to implement in the future—from reliable, secure connectivity for an expanding mobile workforce, to adopting cloud services.

Other benefits of having the right network for your business include:

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