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” Good Enough” Switching is not Good Enough for Public Sector Customers

Public Sector customers continue to debate the trade-offs of prioritizing lowest price switching, point product solutions, over designing and deploying Cisco network architecture solutions which provide a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

On February 23, 2012, Deloitte Consulting presented the findings of an in-depth research study that examines the operational, financial, and risk factors associated with the use of single-vendor and multivendor approaches in different types of complex networks which may be viewed here along with the report itself.

They key findings are summarized in the following 7 items:

  1. Within the context of total IT spending, the use of single-vendor or multivendor architectures does not present material cost differences on a long-term basis. Initial cost savings realized in multivendor network implementations are mitigated by the incremental operating costs over the life of the equipment.
  2. Enterprise networks are considered critical production systems, key to business operations. Networks must be managed with an appropriate operational risk perspective.
  3. Customers prefer a single vendor to be responsible for all network components and services. The operational risk associated with network support, not the cost, is the primary factor when influencing the decisions to use single or multivendor architectures.
  4. Staffing costs are not significantly impacted by the use of multiple vendors; it is more influenced by the mix of functions supported and the types of network services provided.
  5. Using products from different vendors can bring down initial costs for certain products, but adds higher operating risk in service, support, and operational integration.
  6. The use of multiple networking vendors introduces additional operational risk based on the need for customers to assume increased risks for integration, interoperability and support.
  7. When using multiple vendors’ products, customers frequently do not recognize the interdependencies of functionality, long-term costs, and impact on operational risks

And be sure to watch Director of Public Sector Systems Engineering,  Dave West on youtube present his version of why low-cost, ” Good Enough” Switching is not Good Enough for Public Sector Customers looking for a reliable, secure, highly available, well supported and investment protected network.

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The Library of the 21st Century

Today we live in a fast-paced digital world. And increasingly, towns and municipalities are expected to keep pace. Close to home here, I can say that the Town of Los Gatos is doing just that. In fact, it recently updated its network to allow for more future-ready capabilities—for the town library and many other services, as highlighted in the video, “Building Networks that Last.”

After attending the opening of the Los Gatos Public Library (LGPL) earlier this month, my perception of what a library is and what it can be has changed forever. With a completely new ‘green’ building and state-of-the-art technology throughout, the library has thrown out its old ways and stepped up to meet the needs and desires of the 21st century.

Recognizing that we are dependent on the internet, the library has updated its wireless to the high-speeds of 802.11n and has added 29 new double booting iMacs. Adjusting to the increase of people working remotely and wanting a place to work, LGPL has provided ample seating –some group spaces and others more private –all with outlets nearby or built into the tables. Hundreds of windows and study rooms with glass walls allow a generous amount of natural light into the library, creating a pleasant atmosphere and saving energy at the same time. It has also ditched the old rules of no eating or talking, so people can answer cell phones and have snacks while they work.

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Cisco Certification Firsts

As cyber security threats increase, meeting the rigorous standards set forth by the Common Criteria community, the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, and the Defense Information Systems Agency is more important than ever.

Cisco is an industry leader when it comes to government product certifications. Cisco’s Government Certifications ensure that its products meet the rigorous testing and certification criteria that are considered prerequisites for many of the world’s defense, civilian government and public sector network deployments.

Cisco leads and drives innovation in policy, requirements, solutions, architectures and standards enabling solutions to ensure mission success.

As a leader in providing certified and evaluated products to the global marketplace, Cisco maintains an active product certification and evaluation program for global government customers.

Check out the video below for the latest updates on Cisco government product certifications.

Stay tuned for more information on how Cisco continues to lead the way in government product certifications.

YouTube: Cisco Certification Firsts

For more information, please visit: http://www.cisco.com/go/govcerts

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Innovation in the 21st Century City

As a global director of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group’s Urban Innovation team, I’ve seen how broadband connectivity can radically transform urban life, while forcing us to rethink our entire approach to designing and managing cities. I recently had the opportunity to share some of my ideas on the subject at the 2011 World Council of UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) in Florence, Italy.

The Council represents nearly half the world’s population, from 36 countries and more than 1,000 cities—everywhere from Istanbul and Dakar to Helsinki and New York. In Florence, more than 400 mayors, along with municipal ministers, directors, innovators and other experts, met to discuss the daunting challenges facing today’s cities, while offering solutions in a creative and interactive forum. Topics ranged from transportation, utilities, and infrastructure to tourism and environmental sustainability.

Mayor Matteo Renzi of Florence, the host of the event, has worked with Cisco on innovation initiatives in his city. In addition to helping him plan the conference, I was granted the opportunity to moderate some sessions on urban innovation. Read More »

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A Public Manager’s Guide to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing—delivering infrastructure, services, and software on demand via the network—offers attractive advantages to the public sector. For example, it has the potential to reduce information and communications technology (ICT) costs by virtualizing capital assets like disk storage and processing cycles into a readily available, affordable operating expense.

One of the most significant cloud computing opportunities for the public sector is the ability to share ICT resources among multiple agencies. While governments have tried hard to create frameworks geared toward shared services, these have not always been successful. Cloud computing offers an easier and less burdensome route to more efficient and effective public sector information management.

Of course, cloud computing is not without its challenges:

  • A service provider residing outside of a government’s legal or territorial jurisdiction may put access or security at risk.
  • Open standards and interoperability may not be guaranteed, leading to the risk of vendor lock-in.
  • Data privacy is a concern when using public clouds. This can be addressed by the development of private clouds.
  • Business continuity will continue to be a concern. Cloud computing, however, may also mitigate this risk, as cloud vendors are likely to use more robust and better-maintained computing platforms that provide more redundancy and are less likely to fail.

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