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Check out the video for Cisco’s Women’s Spring Forum Gender Diversity Event

I have the pleasure of sharing with you a YouTube video of the “Printemps des Femmes”/”Women’s Spring Forum” a gender diversity event, initiated by Cisco and co-organized by 9 companies which took place in France on March 21, 2011.

The idea for this event came from Cisco. Sandy Beky, a Business Operations Manager in Cisco’s European Services organisation and an Inclusion and Diversity Ambassador, attended the 2010 edition of the Women’s Forum Global Meeting where she met many diversity leads from other corporations. Sandy felt that these diversity events often attracted the same attendees and wanted to create an event to provide women (who contribute to gender diversity related employee resource groups) the opportunity to network with other women to  share and exchange their corporate best practices in the area of gender inclusion and  diversity.

In true diversity style, nine different companies – Areva, Bain&Company, Cap Gemini, Cisco, Deloitte, Lathams&Watkins, Nissan, Orange et Sodexo – worked together to virtually organise the Women’s Spring Forum. Between 10 to 15 female representations from these companies attended the afternoon event, which began with a plenary session facilitated by a well known speaker in France; Veronique Preaux Cobti, Founder and Managing Director of DIAFORA which specialises in promoting gender diversity in corporations. Veronique gave her audience top tips on how they can widen their professional and personal network, explained about the importance of networking and the barriers women can impose on themselves. This plenary session also gave women hints and tips on effective networking; for example how to introduce oneself at the event and how to continue networking after attending an event like this one, and Veronique encouraged women to practice this both during the event and after the event too.

Following this session, attendees were encouraged to attend practical workshops on the following topics: Personal Branding, Mentoring, Telecommuting, Assertiveness and Leadership. Each workshop gave women tools that they could immediately implement and take back into their everyday life. Feedback from the event was extremely positive – 88% of the women scored the event 4 or 5 on a scale from 1-5.

As a young female employee of Cisco, I cannot stress enough the importance of networking events like the Women’s Spring Forum. Cisco is founded on the principle of networking – Welcome To The Human Network after all! And although women make up approximately 60% of graduates, there is still a shortage of women going into the technology sector. Networking events like the Women’s Spring Forum show the opportunities technology companies like Cisco can offer to women. I myself do not have an engineering degree and if you asked me to fix your computer or explain to you how a computer works, I wouldn’t be very useful! However, Cisco has provided me the opportunity to not only put my strength – including creativity, interpersonal skills and being able to take a complex idea and make it simple – to good use but also do what I love the most – communications. And Cisco has also opened my eyes to new opportunities like Inclusion and Diversity. It is one of my goals in Cisco to share my experiences with other young women and to encourage more females to apply for jobs in technology.

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Reliable Data Access Reduces Small Business Anxiety

Expandable network storage takes the pain out of record keeping for a growing dental practice.

Small businesses depend on information. If you can’t access the data you need you need when you need it, your business comes to a standstill. And if you can’t serve customers, you’re losing business. Having reliable network storage to both store and serve data helps contribute to your company’s success.

Skye Cosmetic Dental Center —our fourth small business profile for Small Business Week—knew that to offer the best in modern dental care, it needed a business-class network with fast, reliable access to data. Using a Cisco NSS 300 Series Smart Storage device to store critical data, including patient records, the practice has quick access to information, reducing costs and improving productivity and patient care. In addition, having a digital, paperless record system helps Skye Dental make a positive impact on the environment.

Watch the video to learn more!

Expandable network storage takes the pain out of record keeping for a growing dental practice

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The Right Partner Can Help You Navigate Rough Network Waters

La Petite Baleen keeps its network operating swimmingly and has grown the business with the help of a Cisco Partner.

When you’re running a small business, you can’t do it all, like managing your own network. And, oftentimes, you can’t justify the cost of an in-house IT staff. This is when having the right IT partner can help keep your business running.

Our third small business in the spotlight during Small Business Week is La Petite Baleen, a swim school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not large enough to support an in-house IT person, co-founder John Kolbison turned to IS-WORKS, a Cisco certified partner. As La Petite Baleen has expanded from one location to three swim schools, IS-WORKS has helped the company grow, connect, and manage its network. This partnership helps keep La Petite Baleen’s business afloat by improving productivity and minimizing network downtime.

To hear more, watch the video!

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It’s Your Lucky Day, We’ve Got Your Top Cisco News Headlines

Many believe that number 13 equals bad luck. And on Friday the 13th some may take extra precautions to ensure nothing bad happens. There are literally hundreds of myths out there around things that could bring bad luck: a black cat crossing your path, walking under ladders, and breaking mirrors, to name a few.

One thing that’s guaranteed to bring good luck to all, however, is watching the latest Partner Update newscast. What could be more lucky than getting all of the latest Cisco partner news in less than five minutes?

It’s been a busy week! In this newscast, we share ways that Cisco is simplifying and making easier to do business with us, we cover the top networking myths, new IT cloud and print solutions, give you a recap of our B2B lead generation and marketing webcast with tips on turning leads into customers, a way to turn your customers’ old networking equipment into money for you, showcase B2B blogging tips, and highlight our Tweet of the Week.

Keep reading for highlights and links to everything we covered in this week’s Partner Update along with timestamps so you can easily jump to each item. Read More »

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Talkin’ Tech: Switches

A new series that defines the terms behind the technologies that run your business.

When it comes to technology, there’s so much to know that it’s often overwhelming. As a small business owner, your brain is already overflowing with the myriad details and tasks involved in running your company. With our new Talkin’ Tech series, we define the basic terms behind a product category so that you can more easily understand and make decisions about the technologies that run your business.

In this first Talkin’ Tech, we tackle switches. The cornerstone of any reliable network, switches are the glue that connect your business to your employees, giving them access to the resources they need to do their jobs, including laptops, servers, printers, and storage devices. Switches are used to create a local area network (LAN). Although there are many different types of switches, the list below provides a glossary of the essential terms common to this category.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Talkin’ Tech series next month, when we’ll take a look at the terms behind unified communications. If there’s a product category you’re interested in having defined, we’d love to hear from you.

Read More »

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