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From the Front Lines: How IT Is Taking Advantage of the Cloud Today

The cloud is here and here to stay. No one expects a wholesale move to the cloud overnight, but I’ve been hearing recently from numerous customers whose journeys are well underway, and some common themes are emerging as businesses explore various deployment models. Business agility, flexibility and balance sheet liquidity will drive cloud adoption, and, as the popularity of hybrid models increases, users will demand a seamless end-user experience between the cloud and on-premise systems.

A few weeks ago, I included these themes in my predictions about the future of cloud collaboration. This week I had the chance to speak with two Cisco customers about why issues such as flexibility, cost savings and user experience drove them to deploy cloud collaboration technologies and other cloud solutions. Sheila Jordan, senior vice president, communication and collaboration IT, co-hosted the discussion with me and offered her insights from an IT perspective. She also recapped the discussion, sharing some specific tips for how IT managers can best take advantage of the cloud.

John Jackson, vice president of global infrastructure and vendor management for D+M Group, said that he can relate easily to the prediction about business agility, flexibility and cost when thinking back to his company’s decision to move to the cloud. D+M Group employs people in several different operating divisions around the world and grew through a series of acquisitions, leaving the company to globalize shared-services IT team that did not previously exist. Read More »

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The World’s Wi-Fi Laboratory

I recently returned from visiting the world’s Wi-Fi laboratory – the United Kingdom. Everywhere you look in the United Kingdom, there is a sign promoting the availability of Wi-Fi, and my mobile device was constantly identifying a long list of available hotspots. The world’s oldest subway system – affectionately known as The Tube – even allows you to connect to the Internet as you await your train hundreds of feet below historical London. Visitors from around the world at the Summer Olympics were greeted with high-speed Wi-Fi access throughout the Olympic venues, allowing them to enhance their experience with instant access to additional information, videos, and communications through their mobile devices.

Our recent Cisco IBSG research, What Britons Want from Wi-Fi and Mobile, reveals that Britain is definitely leading the way in the availability and use of Wi-Fi. Our study confirms that Britons seem to be content with coverage in first-tier locations such as coffee shops, hotels, and restaurants, but are now looking for Wi-Fi to be just as pervasive in other places where they spend their lives. Hospitals, bus stops, retail stores, pubs, and the High Street (or city centers) top the list of additional locations where Britons would like to access Wi-Fi.

The study revealed that mobile devices are now Wi-Fi-enabled “nomadic” devices. Britons own an average of 2.6 mobile devices, almost all of which are Wi-Fi-enabled. Britons spend an average of 2.6 hours per day using their mobile devices in their homes, compared with only 0.6 hours per day in a typical “mobile” on-the-go world. Read More »

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Maple Leaf Wi-Fi

I recently returned from meeting with the majority of Canada’s service providers to share the results of our recent Cisco IBSG research, “What Canadians Want from Wi-Fi and Mobile.” Wi-Fi is everywhere in Canada, as exemplified by the photo that I took at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Our study confirms this, as Canadians seem to be content with coverage in first-tier locations such as coffee shops, hotels, and restaurants, but are now looking for Wi-Fi to be just as pervasive in other places where they spend their lives. Parks, bus stops, retail stores, shopping malls, and hospitals top the list of additional locations where Canadians would like to be able to access Wi-Fi.

The study revealed that mobile devices are now Wi-Fi-enabled “nomadic” devices. Canadians own an average of 2.4 mobile devices, almost all of which are Wi-Fi-enabled.  Canadians spend an average of 2.8 hours per day using their mobile devices in their homes, compared to only 0.5 hours per day in a typical “mobile” on-the-go world.

The Cisco IBSG study also revealed that mobile users are connecting their devices predominantly via Wi-Fi, including 75 percent of smartphone owners. In fact, on average, smartphone users use Wi-Fi one-third of the time to Read More »

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10 Technology Trends for 2012

Hollywood’s once high-tech future fantasies are not far off. Much of the technology depicted in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey is now reality, and smart houses like Eureka’s  S.A.R.A.H. might be sooner than we think.  But what will we see this year? Here are my top ten best guesses:

1. Old technology being used in a new way

This year will be about going back and using technology we already have in new ways. For instance, the new Ford Escape is reducing wind noise with pre-WWII technology.   Many items that showed up at CES like the Nest, used old technology (thermostat) and applied new technology (internet connectivity and new interface) to create a gadget that has flown off the shelves.

2. Internet-capable features dominating the television market

With the popularity of devices like Roku and Apple TV, this will put more pressure on innovation in the world of television manufacturers. The next natural step will be for simplifying the connectivity for smarter and easier connected entertainment.

3. Near instantaneous media streaming

Current “4G” is considerably faster than 3G and is making headway towards the low-bandwidth, high-information capability of ITU’s official 4G standards.

4. Second Screen Experiences- a household term

With our attachment to mobile devices and The Sundance Film Festival’s introduction of “The New Frontier Story Lab” last year, it is likely we will see more films made for the second screen experience.

5. Cloud-based networking expansion

Cloud is not just for businesses anymore as seen this year at CES. Many companies are switching to cloud-based networks for accessibility and safety. To help pave the way, Cisco is delivering powerful innovations in its switching portfolio.

Read More »

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Edison’s Predictions for 2011 – yes, there are still a few days left before 2012!

This is the time of year that some of us bloggers decide to pontificate about the New Year that’s to come and what it will hold. Well more of that from me and my colleagues in a few days time.

Edison - courtesy Library of Congress

With just a few days left in 2011, I see that the incandescent light bulb is on its last legs, according to legislation that passed through Congress in 2007, and is being enacted by the Federal government soon. California has already started it’s ban on the old light bulbs ahead of time – no more three-way light bulbs! What are we going to do now?! Poor Edison – one of his key inventions put out to grass as it were!

There are some things difficult to predict – Samoans will go to sleep tonight on Thursday and tomorrow wake up on Saturday, so that they can be more in line with their trading partners in the west, like Australia. That’s a way of localizing your supply chain. Who would have predicted that?

Manufacturing Gurus at work...

Caffeinated beer is on its way out too. Never tried the stuff myself, but I don’t think it will stop folks drinking energy drinks and vodka cocktails. I remember enjoying a couple of those at the Minus5 bar at CiscoLive 2011 in Vegas this year with some colleagues. It was a way for the sponsor to get us to take notice of what they did and work with them in the networking industry. Funny, but after a couple of those special drinks none of us could remember what on earth it was they were trying to sell us! Note to self: don’t use that method in our marketing campaigns!

So, back to Edison’s predictions. Oh yes, he made some in 1911 and predicted what the world would be like in 2011, so let’s see how well he did 100 years on. I predict that Edison’s predictions will be mostly 50/50 by the year end. Here’s why.  He said: Read More »

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