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A Data Deluge, Driven by Tablets and Mobile Video, Is Disrupting Mobile Carriers

Only a few years ago, the challenges facing mobile providers seemed well within the realm of their traditional expertise. Their vast and complex infrastructures, built around towers, antennas, core networks, and the like, focused on providing the bandwidth and signal quality necessary for providing clear voice signals. Early mobile Internet applications were limited to services like weather, news, and stock quotes. As video entered the picture, it was mostly limited to a quick, manageable snack here and there on YouTube. After all, on a tiny, phone-sized screen, the prospects for a sumptuous two-hour movie feast were limited.

The situation, however, is being radically transformed. And at this years’ Mobile World Congress, which I attended last week in Barcelona, a clear focus was on a prime disruptor: the tablet and vast, media-rich applications. For with the sudden and phenomenal growth of the iPad—along with its Android-based counterparts—end users who had been limited to quick bites on YouTube are ready to indulge in long-form video buffets, anytime and anywhere. And while those game-changing tablets don’t quite provide an IMAX experience, their larger screens nevertheless offer the perfect mix of visual quality, mobility, and convenience.

For mobile service carriers, however, this has created a certain amount of havoc. Read More »

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Take a Look Inside Cisco IT – Our Newly Redesigned Website

March 5, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

Have you ever wondered how Cisco IT overcomes the challenges of deploying products and technologies in a large-scale, global enterprise – the same challenges that your customers face everyday?  Or how Cisco IT is transforming into a sharply competitive, services-centric organization? Cisco on Cisco: Inside Cisco IT shares our journey and lessons learned on these and many other fronts.

We’ve just redesigned our website from the ground up to make it easier and faster to find Cisco IT content relevant to you and your customers.  Head over to the Cisco on Cisco website to benefit from our IT Success Stories that include case studies, best practices, videos, and interactive content.

The new site focuses on content that YOU are looking for:

  • How does Cisco build a highly secure network that connects anyone, anywhere, on any device, at any time? Check out our Borderless Networks page.
  • How does Cisco enable collaboration, boosting productivity and enhancing myriad business processes?  Visit our Collaboration page.
  • Want to know more about the cloud, virtualization, service-oriented infrastructure, and unified computing? Our Data Center page can help.
  • How does Cisco IT achieve greater workplace efficiencies and help solve business process problems?  Learn more on our Business of IT page.
  • Click on our Events page to see when and where you can engage with the Cisco on Cisco team at industry events.

Take a look Inside Cisco IT today at  http://www.cisco.com/go/ciscoit.

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Social Media in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

February 13, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

This post was authored by my colleague Jessica Kelly (@JessGoddesse)

If you’re wondering why social media should be an key  part of your communications strategy, just note these current statistics demonstrating the ubiquity of the medium:

  • Facebook now boasts more than 800 million active users worldwide, and more than half of these log on to the network on any given day.
  • Twitter too is no slouch (and growing), with 200 million registered users, one quarter of whom tweet daily.

Want more justifying numbers? A recent infographic on MediaBistro lists more compelling stats―like, say, the fact that 56% of consumers are likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook, and 20% of marketers have closed sales using Twitter.

Given that social media networks are timely (if not immediate) communications platforms that are interactive, and therefore― if used correctly (that is, authentically)―engaging, their success in marketing should come as no surprise. Read More »

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Cisco: Helping Our Customers Innovate

February 3, 2012 at 4:11 am PST

As we all know, the world is changing at networked speeds and organizations need an IT partner that can help lead them through these challenges. Cisco is that partner.

To help further communicate this, we recently launched our new brand and advertising campaign. This campaign is to showcase that our true value is in what we make possible for customers with our innovative networking technology.  Our company strategy starts and ends with customer success. As such, the ongoing campaign will highlight Cisco customers and the ways that Cisco’s intelligent network empowers their business with new, more effective ways to connect, exchange ideas and innovate.

IMHO, Cisco is uniquely positioned to help our customers solve their most important business challenges. Our strengths are many: beginning with engineering depth and expertise, an ecosystem of partners, a passion for networking, and culminating in our vast experience at building and delivering Intelligent Networks that unleash business potential.  It’s our rich portfolio transformational business solutions that help CEOs and CIO/CTOs achieve greater innovation and momentum.

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Importance of the Network in Cloud Computing

On several recent occasions, in discussions with my customers, colleagues and industry peers, the importance of the network, as it relates to Cloud Computing and Data Centers, has been challenged. I am surprised that such a topic is even up for debate ! In my opinion, the underlying network infrastructure of any given Data Center is the architectural foundation for service and application strategy; be it Cloud Computing, Virtual Desktops, Video or even Hosting services.

If we look at a broader scale, no one can argue the complexity and at the same time, the intelligence the modern Internet brings to it’s consumers. How would enterprises and service providers alike, offer converged services like voice, video and data without any network intelligence ? Not to mention, security, application scaling and other managed services. Networks are no longer the traditional packet switching platforms, it’s the heart and soul of intelligence which integrates with other intelligent applications to differentiate the multitude of services that can be enabled over a common medium. As application requirements are increasingly becoming complex, the need for equally smarter transport is critical.

Virtualization is bringing a whole new perspective to this discussion. It’s true you can account for network, compute and storage virtualization within a given solution; virtual switch, virtual machine, virtual firewall, virtual load-balancer, etc.; but how far can we abstract the network ? One can absolutely argue, Cloud Computing is server/compute resource centric, however for most enterprises, when you combine this compute structure with application workload requirements from business, technology and operations perspectives, suddenly the foundation architecture plays a crucial role -- i.e. the network and it’s interconnects.

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