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Innovation: The Cisco and Librestream Video Collaboration Solution

March 2, 2011 at 11:08 am PST

I’m really excited by this new Cisco and Librestream MMVC solution. Lots of information out on the web, and lots of questions so I thought I’d put a brief video together to give you an introduction and to see if we can get a discussion going and also to see if we can answer some of the questions for you. The video starts talking about what really matters. What are the pain-points that manufacturers and industry have today? How do they get hold of the right people to fix things if something goes wrong, and how can they say ‘I see what you mean now’ -- and really mean it?

All this matters because keeping things running matters. Being able to communicate effectively in real time using video, speech and pictures -- globally, if need be -- matters. Knowing what’s going on and having clearer visibility matters. Working out what to do next, whether it’s developing a new product or fixing an operational problem fast, matters a lot.

I was fortunate to catch up with Librestream’s Vice President of Marketing and Client Services, Marieke Wijtkamp, and let her answer some of your questions. You’ll see what Marieke has to say and find out more about the solution in a moment… Read More »

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Cisco Industrial Intelligence liberates the Factory

Introducing Cisco Industrial Intelligence.  Neither James Bond gone corporate nor Cisco gone espionage, Industrial Intelligence is the enabling of business enterprises and municipalities to more intelligently and responsively manage industrial operations globally, and it’s one of Cisco’s latest adjacencies as part of the Borderless Networks solutions portfolio.  Having IP-data and control flows converged with voice, video and virtualization creates a more intelligent platform for innovations that connect devices to measure, monitor, and manage resources for greater efficiencies, to connect people in less time and space, and to connect ideas that generate solutions to today’s industrial, operational and environmental challenges.

Chet Namboodri talks about how the Cisco Industrial Intelligence solution can help to improve operational efficiency, safety, agility, and use of assets.

Read More »

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How do I keep iPads off of my factory floor?

This question was posed by the Manufacturing IT Director for a major Pharma producer, as part of an annual customer advisory board hosted jointly by Cisco and Rockwell Automation. One answer:  Good luck! …And why would you want to?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diHUhLh5VH4

Chet Namboodri talks about how consumer products are entering production and maintenance workflows and how “Rockwell and Cisco are in the forefront of enabling those solutions” during a recent customer innovation council session.

The migration of technology and applications from Consumer to Business to Industrial has become a well worn path, and the use of Smart Phones, Tablets, Mobile Video and other Operator Interfaces powering work flows and industrial intelligence has become a mainstay for Manufacturers.  Read More »

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5 Tips for Community Managers on Surviving the Holidays

Recently Mashable posted an article on 5 common ‘Community Killers’. Since December marks the season of giving, here are 5 Tips for Community Managers on how to survive the holiday season.

1.       Be prepared for the holidays! While this typically means running out to get extra gifts for unexpected guests, for community managers, you can prepare for the holidays by understanding there will be a drop in participation. With in-laws visiting, holiday door busters and an overwhelming rush to deck the halls, your members have their hands full. Acknowledge this busy season and don’t be disappointed if your dialogue isn’t so lively.

2.       Silent Night(s). Community members will most likely be juggling holiday parties, school plays, and vacation days during this busy time. Make sure everyone is on the same page and set some ‘quiet hours’. Alleviate some holidays stress  and let them know it’s okay to be offline.

3.       Deck the Halls. While members are preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, use this time to review your community.  Have members been asking for new enhancements? Explore your space and, if you need an update, get it in while members are dreaming of sugar plums dancing in their heads (Hopefully you can do this during #2’s silent night).

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Three Key Factors When Selecting an Ethernet Exchange

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of an Ethernet exchange, it’s a fairly simple one. An Ethernet exchange is a place that enables service providers or large enterprises to interconnect on a neutral basis using Ethernet -- instead of SONET/SDH -- to provide higher bandwidth at lower costs. The real issue for a service provider or enterprise is not if, rather it is how to choose the right exchange to join? Or, at least which one to join first?

All of the major players offering an exchange are members of the Metro Ethernet Forum and are adhering to the latest standards. All seek to offer resilient carrier class services and a mix of Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet service rates. At first glance they might seem similar, but there are actually three critical factors that differentiate the experiences and that should be considered when evaluating an Ethernet exchange operator. 

  1. Does the operator take a network-based approach to extend its reach?
  2. Can it provide a personalized service portal?
  3. Is it able to help with end-to-end interconnect oversight and management?

The reason why each of these is important is spelled out in the white paper, “Fast Forward to Ethernet Exchanges,” but let me provide a quick summary here.

The network-based approach is critical to making it easier to offer Ethernet services. Consider that the value of an exchange is largely based on the number of possible connections enabled by membership in that exchange. For example, a service provider linked to a one exchange with five members means that up to five connections could be made. However, if that same SP was connected to a networked Ethernet exchange in five different cities, each with five members, then that SP could connect to (and buy from / sell to) 25 other exchange members with just one Gig-E connection. Some exchanges take care of this inter-exchange network for you.

exchange locatorThe second point is around portals. The whole point of the exchange is to make it faster and easier to connect disparate customer locations. Being forced to manually look up which buildings are “lit” wastes time and slows down the sales process. User portals that can be personalized and provide details on which buildings are “on network,” which cell towers are connected, and what circuits are available are just as important as the actual physical hardware itself.

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