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#WednesdayWalkabout Series: Special Edition

We interrupt this program for a special message

This week we kicked off our presence at some exciting events to discuss ongoing issues facing city, country, public safety, and defense leaders across the globe.

We are at a unique point in the evolution of our world and industry. Each of us is becoming more reliant on digital technologies, unleashing new and exciting opportunities for change, yet creating an ever-growing critical need for heightened safety for communities and countries, and locked-down security for data and cyber networks.

Going digital at #dsei2015 and #SmartCitiesWeekDC

In this week’s special edition post, our digital citizen has had the unique opportunity to join important discussions at Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) and Smart Cities Week.

First, our citizen will touch down in London to visit DSEI and the joint Cisco and Intel booth (N10-150) that is anchoring the newly launched Communications Zone.


Our citizen’s first days at the show were a mix of discussions with customer delegations, strategic partners, and analyst groups that focused in on the secure communications and innovative technologies that underpin all public safety, national security, and defense operations at home and abroad. Our citizen is able to visit with partners like Forfusion to talk about mission-critical communications, in particular gaining key insight to the CTO’s unique perspective. Stopping by any of the Cisco plus partner demonstrations and theater sessions in the Communications Zone is gleaning awareness and understanding to digitally enabled defense network and communications capabilities.

A quick hop to the other side of the pond, and our digital citizen is now at the Washington DC hosted Smart Cities Week.

The Smart+Connected Communities conversation is attracting a lot of event goer traffic, showing the possibilities for end-to-end connectivity across city cyber and physical environments. Our citizen was able to stop for a quick (or not-so-quick) chat with a city manager, touching on the rapid change of community culture impacting the importance of local governments and city leaders in adopting technology strategies. Meaning that elected leaders really must begin to watch trends to remain relevant and to be reelected.  Also, in summary, with each year comes a new generation of voters that dramatically changes the conversation from “what if” to “why not.”  The millennial generation has grown up as a group of digital natives and has different expectations in terms of what’s possible and what is needed, pushing the boundaries of traditional government.

Public Safety session

Many of the conversation trends picked up on the show floor focused on the importance of how technology can enable better communication and collaboration with citizens to make communities and countries safer. Emphasizing, of course, how technology will not replace officers or military, but rather, enable agencies to more effectively use personnel where it’s needed most. In both cases, city and country leaders are discussing strategies for using innovative technologies to improve outcomes across safety and security, like reducing crime and minimizing danger when disaster strikes.

Capping off the week in London will bring you theater presentations on Connected Defense, Military at the Connected Edge, Cisco and Partner solution demos, and much more. And in Washington, D.C., Cisco’s Cliff Thomas will be telling the story of Barcelona’s digital transformation and talk about how technology convergence is driving digitzation that enables new efficiencies, revenue streams, and engages citizens in unique ways.

Next Stop

Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s post to discover more on human health and wellness in the digital world. And be sure to check back each week as we explore new themes, challenges and observations.

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Additionally, you can click here and register now to get answers to your questions on how to digitize public safety and security.

Finally, we invite you to be a part of the conversation by using the hashtag #WednesdayWalkabout and by following @CiscoGovt on Twitter. For more information and additional examples, visit our Smart+Connected Communities page and our Government page on Enjoy the Wednesday walkabout!

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#WednesdayWalkabout Series: Appointment Day with the CIO

Citizen-centric Services in the Digital Era

Governments today face a challenging and rapidly changing environment. Ambitious reforms and revenue generating operations are taking precedence, even while a trend of cost cutting and budget tightening is taking effect. This is presenting a re-envisioned opportunity to truly bring public service to the 21st century. And these transformative efforts are coalescing around governments embracing the digital age.

The oncoming future of citizen services is less and less in the hands of governments alone. The onslaught of digital technologies has empowered the evolution of long-held government practices. The move to citizen-centered services that have been redesigned around the needs of the community user is upon us.

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#WednesdayWalkabout Series: A Day on the Bay

The influence of the Internet is often overlooked considering its ubiquitous presence in all facets of our lives today. But we have entered a new era in the life of the Internet and it begs the question, what role will it play in the future? The Internet of Everything is paving the way in to the digital era, bringing with it the proliferation of network-connected objects, processes, living things, and mountains of data that will truly change our world.

Let’s then take a look at a concept of the connected port and the capacity of far-reaching payoffs for the cities that house them, port operators, their business customers, and the end consumers. Today’s ports play a critical role in the global economy, and are at the heart of world trade and the movement of goods. Ports in the United States alone move over $1.3 trillion in cargo annually. With that, any disruption – whether it is a criminal act or a case of simple operational inefficiencies – would be a detriment to the global economy.

As city port authorities face increased safety and security regulations and mandates, they also need to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Additionally, things like real-time data collection and exchange across vessels, ports, cargo and land logistics are providing new revenue streams. Local businesses can gain a competitive advantage and cities can open new economic and trade markets by embracing the Internet of Everything on its digital transformation journey.

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#WednesdayWalkabout Series: Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

Highways, bridges, railways, mass transit, ports, airports, and their cyber networks are all a part of critical transportation infrastructure, which is essential to the daily function of 21st century society. As urban population centers grow, so does the demand on transportation infrastructure. More and more commuters are shifting from using roadways to rail, bus and other means of public transportation.

This shift is changing the role of public transportation systems and the station hubs that support them. Commuters demand full connectivity – transportation operators must assume that everything and everyone needs to be connected to a network. But the growth of connected devices within transportation ecosystems dramatically increases the number of potential attack vectors. And as we open our transportation networks – both physical and digital – to more points of connectivity, concerns of vulnerability to increasingly sophisticated direct and indirect cyber attacks are on the rise.

The Internet of Everything is forming the foundation of the digital transformation of connected roads, rails, buses, airports, and ports being built all around the world. Improving global transportation systems increases mobility and improves safety and security for millions of people, in an environmentally conscious manner. Transportation agencies and organizations are approaching digital strategies that are changing the overall passenger experience, improving productivity, and generating new revenue streams; changing the traditional of the industry.

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#WednesdayWalkabout Series: Smart Parking and Lighting Make All the Difference

Let there be light…and parking spots!

There’s nothing like the quiet (or in my case, not-so-quiet) desperation of circling a few city blocks, over and over again, looking for a spot to park. You can almost feel your sanity slipping away. The search for a parking space is not only terribly frustrating; it is also a major contributor to traffic congestion and carbon emissions.

And we all love the classic case of walking home at night, tripping every few steps because, unbeknownst to you, no streetlights seem to cooperate and come to life in your neighborhood. For municipalities, street lighting is an essential maintenance effort to help improve public safety and the overall citizen experience, influencing a city’s ability to create a lasting environment for business and tourism. Unfortunately, community lighting is also a major energy and cost drain.

Of late, there is a consistent slashing of public budgets that must somehow be managed, while still meeting the growing demands from communities under the pressure of rapid urbanization. However, cities around the world are overcoming these challenges with the Internet of Everything.

In particular, communities are developing digital strategies to better address parking and city lighting needs, yielding a widespread and shared benefit. For example, with easier access to parking, citizens are facing less traffic, saving money on fuel, receiving more convenient payment options, and experiencing an overall improvement in quality of life. On the flip side, civil servants can better detect and report parking violations, increasing community revenue. Similarly, smart lighting management can contribute to a safer community. And city officials can reduce energy consumption, cost, and maintenance, all while positively contributing to the environment.

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