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John Chambers at Cisco LIVE 2011

While it’s not a virtual field trip to Alaska, a conversation with John Chambers is anything but dull.

You can see Jennifer Geisler and John Chambers here getting ready for their interview for Cisco LIVE’s Vibe.

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Welcome to Cisco LIVE

Hello all. I’m here at Cisco LIVE preparing for the Public Sector Open Session. At the PS Open Session, you will hear about Cisco’s offerings around Cloud, Cybersecurity and Collaboration. I also hear that they have a special treat for those attending. Someone said something about the Alaska Wildlife Preserve.  We had our rehearsal session this morning, so I got a bit of a sneak peak, but you’ll just have to join us Sunday afternoon to see more.

I will be providing updates on a daily basis, including some videos, of the happenings going on here. Please check back to see what’s happening, some of the highlights, and what Cisco is doing for Public Sector customers.

I would also like to mention that we have some new ways to communicate with us. We have a brand new Twitter account where you can follow what’s happening at @CiscoGovt. And, we’ve recently brought up our Public Sector Community, a place where you can talk with your peers at the Public Sector Customer Connection. This is a place for you to discuss your concerns, issues and wins with other Cisco customers without having Cisco people interfere. Rest assured, we will be listening, and we will make sure you know who is listening, so that you can be sure your conversations are being heard by the right people. But this is intended to be a place where you can talk openly about whatever is on your mind. I look forward to seeing your conversations.

That’s if for now. Watch for further updates, videos and happenings from Cisco LIVE 2011.

jc

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National Town Hall on Cybersecurity

May 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm PST

Cyberspace has emerged as the “fourth commons” after sea, air, and space in the defense world, and a broad variety of private and public networks make up the critical infrastructure that enables governments to provide essential services. The network has become both a platform for innovation and a mission-critical resource for the civilian, defense, and intelligence operations of governments. - Cisco’s Don Proctor, SVP -- Office of the CEO

The growing number of attacks on our cyber networks has become, in President Obama’s words, “one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces.”  Addressing these issues means working across the government, partnering with the private sector, and empowering the general public to create a safe, secure, and resilient cyber environment, and promote cybersecurity knowledge and innovation.

If you are, or want to be part of this effort, please join us at the National Town Hall on Cybersecurity, a provocative on-line discussion, May 24th at 1:00 PM ET.

It’s free, and you can register here.

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Solving the “Cost/Reach Equation” in the Public Sector

When the world economy went into recession, many political officials and commentators talked about “not wasting a crisis” – making sure we took the opportunity to learn some lessons from the downturn and solve problems that would make the economy — and the world — more cost efficient. Today, while there are brighter signs around economic recovery, we still face a seemingly intractable parcel of outstanding issues.  Indeed many countries around the world are still struggling with both growing their economies and reducing budget deficits.

Rather than “not wasting a crisis” perhaps we should be thinking about not making a “crisis of waste.”  Said simply, there are enormous efficiencies available to public entities to improve the lives and well being of citizens through transformational efforts that can lower the cost and increase the availability and quality of citizen services. 

Across the globe, the public sector faces one clear and present challenge: the reality of increased service requirements bonded to constrained or declining budgets.  Demographic shifts, growing social expectations, and an increasingly more complex and dangerous world are driving enhanced public sector requirements to serve and protect citizens.  However the need to address deficit spending remains the defining paradox. The conundrum created by increasing need to serve and decreasing ability to pay is a “cost/reach gap.” 

For the first time in several generations public leaders worldwide are rethinking both how they deliver citizen services as well as how they consume information technology.  Many experts believe governments should not revert to traditional processes and IT practices.  Instead, they should look for ways to improve both cost effectiveness and service.  Indeed, the public sector could actually lead the private sector in transformational approaches to building efficiency and driving customer satisfaction through innovation in cloud computing services, cyber security, mobility, and video. 

Governments are looking to technology to improve efficacy and efficiency of service delivery in key mission areas – intelligence, defense and security, economic development, education, and health care. In the area of healthcare, practitioners and payers are looking at remote forms of care like Cisco’s HealthPresence to extend the reach and availability of medical services, and particularly to help leverage and defray the typically high cost of specialist consults and other services that are typically geographically scattered.  Being able to remotely “visit” with a medical specialist means less waste for everyone. For the patient, it means greater availability and quality of service, for the health practitioner, it means more time helping patients and less time travelling, and for the employer it means lower productivity losses.  

Cloud computing is another area where governments and other public entities are cutting waste.  Replacing large one-off department and agency- level system resources and sharing IT capabilities through a secure government cloud, or G – cloud, are becoming realities and gaining traction in the UK and Germany as well as a range of other nations.  

While in the past technology has been often lauded for streamlining back office operations and speeding transactions, today’s challenges mean thinking about technology in a much bigger and more far-reaching way. Today’s needs are about cutting costs, for sure. What’s new is the triple expectation of reducing costs while increasing high-quality public support and driving new and higher-performing internal processes that connect people to solve problems and advance new ideas in highly useful and efficient ways. 

A good example of this was recently announced by our partner, AT&T, with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).  The GSA recognized that it needed to accelerate collaboration among a range of government agencies and put in place a managed, pay-as-you-go TelePresence service.   The GSA took advantage of a public/private partnership with AT&T so regional meetings, training, inter-agency planning, crisis management, partner and supplier discussions can all use this service and pay for it on an hourly basis, avoiding agency start-up costs. 

This is just one example of public and private partners working together to overcome the cost/reach gap and it is the tip of the iceberg.  As technology solution providers like Cisco and forward-thinking public sector leaders work together to address how to best support increasingly complex public needs, I believe we will build a new public sector paradigm that will address the cost/reach gap in ways that will be both cost effective and provide new and better solutions for our citizens.

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Engage With Us On The Government Blog!

Welcome to our government blog!  I hope you will become an active participant and visitor to this community.  Each week, we will explore various topics that are top of mind in government.  I encourage you to share, comment, and probe so that we can have genuine discussions about what is happening in this ever-changing industry.

The experts on our team, who bring together decades of experience in advanced technologies and government know-how,  will be blogging about cloud, cybersecurity, security, teleworking, innovations in government , and much more.  If you have a topic of interest related to government and technology that you would like to discuss, please comment on this post. We’d love to hear from you!

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