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Looking for Santa? Use Cisco Location-Based Wi-Fi!

As children all around the world are eagerly anticipating Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve, children in hospitals around the Americas were able to get their wish list in before the big day. This month, Cisco teamed up with several children’s hospitals with a Santa Connection project, which allowed children not well enough to visit Santa onsite to still communicate their wishes to him from their bedside using Cisco video.

I was able to work with one of these hospitals, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, to augment the Santa Connection experience with a ‘Santa tracking’ app, which allowed children to know how close Santa was to making his virtual appearance to individual rooms in the hospital. An elf traveling ahead of the Santa Video team carried an iPad displaying a live webpage showing the location of the much-anticipated video visit. Here is a screenshot of the app experience:


Utilizing the Connected Mobile Experiences solution, which includes the REST APIs provided by the Mobility Services Engine (MSE), we were able to show the children where the Santa team was in relation to them – with a Santa icon where Santa’s video crew was and a smiley face showing the child’s current location. Read More »

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When Your Collaboration Infrastructure Starts Making Odd Noises

If your car is overdue for a tune-up, it may let you know in unexpected (and unsettling) ways — rough handling, sluggish acceleration, and even an odd (“that can’t be good”) noise from under the hood. If you’re like me, you don’t want to find yourself waiting on the side of the road for a tow truck. You schedule your car for regular tune-ups to make sure your tires aren’t worn, the wheels are aligned, no fluids are leaking, and the engine is performing to the right specifications.

Just like your car, a collaboration infrastructure needs regular tune-ups. In fact, just like your car, a collaboration infrastructure will let you know that it’s not running optimally. But by the time you actually notice the performance problems with collaboration applications, the odds are that those problems have already started causing issues with your end-users.

Traditionally, optimization has been looked at (even by Cisco in the early days) as the final step in the deployment cycle. But IT projects queue up so fast that optimization for the last project may not happen because the next project is already underway. Today, however, we look at optimization in an Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – November 22, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

As the Vice President of Worldwide Services Partner Organization at Cisco, Raja Sundaram’s team develops and executes Cisco Services partner programs, go-to-market strategies, and sales engagement models. This week on the Channels Blog, Raja started a new series of blogs about the huge industry disruption taking place and how partners can capitalize on it through professional services.

Raja realizes there are big challenges around cloud, virtualization, big data, programmable networks, new consumption models and changing buying centers. He takes a look back at Partner Summit 2013 and how everything must come together to deliver the Internet of Everything (IoE). Read More »

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Virtualization: Can We Deconstruct the Problem and Opportunity?

This was the title of a November 19 2013 panel that I had moderated in Washington D.C. at the MPLS-SDN Isocore Conference.

The abstract for this conference was designed to be a bit provocative, specifically:

“ Virtualization as a concept is not new. However, in the context of Software Defined Networking,the virtualization discussion has been focusing on overlay functions e.g networking. What about virtualization overlays and interworking with existing architectures?   What are the implications to performance and management?   Are we speaking the same language?

The panelists will have an opportunity to articulate the virtualization problem space for the industry and the opportunity for the industry to address.”

My panelists included the following individuals: Read More »

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Capitalizing on Today’s Market Disruption with Professional Services

This is the first of a series of blogs that I plan to publish to start a dialog with our partner community. In these blogs, I’ll discuss the huge industry disruption now taking place, how Cisco Services is transforming itself to respond to that disruption, and how current and prospective partners can profit from the lucrative opportunities this disruption is creating.

In our industry, we see major disruptions every 20-25 years. Inflection points occur, platforms shift, and customer needs change dramatically. Today, we find ourselves well into the next major market evolution, one of unprecedented scale. To learn more, click here to view an online seminar where I discuss these trends with Chris Barnard, IDC AVP EMEA Network Life Cycle Services, and Leslie Rosenberg, IDC Research Manager, Worldwide Network Life Cycle Services.

Together, we are addressing the challenges — and tremendous opportunities – related to cloud, virtualization, big data, programmable networks, new consumption models, and changing buying centers. Some of our existing partners are executing on these opportunities and evolving their practices to compete, win, and ultimately enable innovative business solutions for all our customers. At the same time, we are attracting new partners into our ecosystem: ISVs, industry vertical players, and consulting firms, to name a few. Read More »

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