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#CiscoChat Recap: World Youth Skills Day?

Though it sounds cliché, technology seemingly does move at the speed of light. And as a result of these rapid evolutions that define the industry, “tech talent” is in extremely high-demand. Yet the number of technical-related positions continues to trend higher than the actual number of individuals available who can fill them.

But the industry is making changes! And against the backdrop of the United Nations’ World Youth Skills Day, our latest #CiscoChat celebrated the event, sparking meaningful conversation on how to encourage the passion and interests of young people who can actually fill these tech roles.

During our #CiscoChat, poignant questions from host Cisco Networking Academy  and participant insights reignited hope for our increasingly connected economy and the generation whose skills can fulfill its promise.

To kick-off the discussion, understanding just how connected our world is becoming was key.

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New #SocialRoundup: How New Live-Streaming Video Applications are Changing Views on Content

It’s estimated that nearly three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be in the form of video content by 2019, with an expected 13-fold increase between 2014 and 2019. And more than half of the mobile devices connected to the network will be “smart” ones. As mobility continues to expand, Cisco, like many brands, is exploring the most innovative ways to integrate real-time video with our social media to engage with customers, influencers and employees.

YouTube and Google+ Hangout On Air have been steady options. But newer tools like Periscope and Meerkat allow users to share and watch live video broadcasts around the world using a mobile device. And these tools are changing the way we use live-streaming video apps.

Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, is an app we at Cisco have already begun using to share our content. At our recent Cisco Live! IT education and training conference in San Diego, Read More »

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#CiscoChat: Coming Out Ahead in Oil and Gas with Digital Technologies

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The oil and gas industry has been digitized since the 1960s – perhaps longer than any other sector. From digital computers to digital oilfields, the industry has evolved from a monitor and react model, to one of real-time and predictive decision making.

Now, change is coming to the industry. Some compare the scale of this change to what was seen in the Industrial Revolution, one of the most pivotal technological shifts in in history. In that transition, new processes and innovative techniques caused industries to change literally overnight.

Today, we are in the midst of a digital revolution. And once again, industries across the board are on the cusp of radical changes to how they operate and innovate.

During our next #CiscoChat on Tuesday, July 28, 9-10 a.m. PST, we’ll take a deeper look at how the oil and gas industry has embraced this digital revolution, why digital technologies are making companies more competitive, and what it means for the future of the industry.

Digital oil fields, with their sensors and industrial control systems, are a marvel to be proud of. Yet, oil and gas leaders increasingly recognize that this model is plagued with process silos that add expense and cripple agility.

The oil and gas companies that see opportunity are integrating IT, industrial controls, and business processes end to end. They’re breaking silos. They’re defying bandwidth constraints by bringing computing to the data deluge being generated in remote locations.

They’re making sure everything is secure end to end, from board room to well head. They’re using digital technologies to communicate better, keep people safer, and collaborate more effectively.

They’re getting immediate data and better information to make better decisions, faster. And they’re looking toward tomorrow, bridging the talent gap and setting the foundation for an even more amazing digital future.

“How is all this possible?” you ask. This #CiscoChat is where you’ll find the answers.

During our #CiscoChat, @EnergyCisco will be joined by Nicolaas Smit, director of Cisco’s Energy Industry Global Industries Center of Expertise, along with Luis Gamboa, oil and gas market development lead at Rockwell Automation, and Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst of ZK Research. Our panelists will answer questions and provide insight into how an oil and gas firm can transform to be a digital integrated organization through the Internet of Everything. Read More »

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CiscoChat Recap: How Do We Continue to ReDefine Ourselves?

Cisco Chat Banner logoNow we know why one participant tweeted that they couldn’t wait for a “kick-a**” #CiscoChat with Cisco Live keynote speaker and award-winning CNN analyst Mel Robbins. The chat was one of the most inspirational and honest discussions of our #CiscoChat series with nearly 70 participants engaging on the theme: How Do We Continue to ReDefine Ourselves?

During the chat, Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (Cisco EWN) founders Anuja Singh, Rima Alameddine & Priscila David, along with Mel Robbins, explored the “ReDEFINE Tomorrow, Today” theme that began at Cisco Live. Analyzing the definitions of leadership, networking, innovation and success, Cisco EWN’s forum empowered every attendee and provided ample insight into how they can redefine what these words personally mean to them.

The passionate commentary and authentic advice shared was so impactful that we wanted to keep the conversation going. If you missed the live forum or just want to recapture key discussion points (like the meaning of the “5 Second Rule” or how to be a contender vs. a competitor) take a look at some of our #CiscoChat highlights.

Reflecting on her “ReDEFINE Tomorrow, Today” closing keynote, CEWN founders Anuja Singh, Rima AlameddinePriscila David and a host of our #CiscoChat followers were more than excited for Mel Robbins to re-join the conversation.

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The Internet of Things: Retail without Boundaries at Synergy

Last week I was in Orlando attending NCR’s Synergy Conference, which, this year focused on “Inspired Commerce.”  At the show I heard a lot of dialog with retailers and technology partners about how the Internet of Things and the integrated use of mobility in our day-to-day lives is changing how retailers engage with consumers. I addressed this topic in my session at the show, but wanted to mention a few highlights in hindsight.

First, the use of mobile devices during the shopping journey is no longer for millenials and early adopters only. They are certainly the heaviest users, but across the board in the US, 55% of shoppers are making use of retailer-specific applications, and 34% are using independent shopping apps such as Groupon, Zulily, etc. More than 40% of consumers want to receive their loyalty points/perks and discounts in real time, while shopping in the store, vs. receiving the same information in snail mail or in email.

Second, mobile is becoming integral to the shopping process. Retailers are facing demands for greater convenience, transparency, and interactivity with their consumer base that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. (As a side note, this is extending into other industries as well, such as healthcare and financial services.)  Consumer expectations are evolving, and with this, retailers need to be able to offer new and effective engagement opportunities with their brand.

Other disruptors include fast-changing technologies such as social media use (not just Facebook and Twitter, but now Pinterest and Instagram) and the need to aggregate social sentiment data; unstructured data such as photos, posts, Tweets; and structured data coming from legacy systems such as CRM, SCM, and POS to make real-time decisions at the edge of the network – in the store or online where the rubber meets the road.

So – high volumes of structured and unstructured data, exponentially growing sophisticated consumer demands, and the growing use of mobile devices in the shopping journey. How does the retailer leverage all of these opportunities to make the most of this evolution?

With billions of connections, sensors and devices lighting up the Internet of Things, the aggregation of structured and unstructured data to deliver real-time analytics on mobile devices for store associates and mobile engagement via apps aimed at consumers, the opportunities are endless.  Retailers that can deliver hyper-relevance – which, according to Cisco’s research, is increasingly what consumers prefer during the shopping process – will be the ones who stand out.  Hyper-relevance delivers to me, the consumer, what I want, when and how I want it, in the context where I am at that particular moment.

To succeed in this new paradigm, retailers must earn consumers’ trust and deliver consistently as a brand to get access to the data that lets them provide a truly relevant real-time experience. Once consumers are willing to share a certain amount of personal data – at Cisco, we call this the “trust cliff” – retailers can use real-time analytics to turn that data into actionable insights.

We have identified three key attributes that retailers must possess to deliver hyper-relevance and build a dynamic infrastructure and processes:

  1. Hyper-aware: By implementing and automating edge technologies such as sensors, cameras, beacons, and RFID tags, retailers can capture value from the intelligence and automation that is now available to them. This is the way to begin to gain true visibility into what the customer is experiencing in the store, how they are dwelling in the store, where they need help with the shopping process.
  2. Predictive: By overlaying intelligence and analytics on top of these edge technologies, retailers can gain real-time anticipatory insight into what is happening, what to expect, and how to meet customers’ real-time needs. If retailers can more systematically determine peak timeframes and loyal customers’ shopping patterns, they can anticipate the staffing needs to speed up the shopping process and assist customers through the checkout process faster.
  3. Agile: Agile, solid infrastructures, adaptive business processes, and associate training capabilities are critical to being able to deliver the kinds of dynamic experiences discussed here. When business processes can change dynamically and associates trained to respond and do what’s best for the customer, all while leveraging technology and insights gained from integrated systems, the customers’ shopping experience can delivered in an excellent manner.

This is obviously not as easy as it sounds.  Implementing a hyper-aware, predictive, and agile network to respond to your customer demands is very difficult.  We in the Cisco Business Transformation Team work with customers to help them explore where they are today and where they want to take their business in the future, and work arm-in-arm with them to look at what it would take to get from where they are today to this desired future state.

We recommend the following steps:

  1. Forget everything you thought you knew about the digital consumer – all the old paradigms are melting away and “segmentation” no longer applies
  2. Go to the edge for visibility into what customers are experiencing at that moment
  3. Build a dynamic infrastructure and create agile processes that to support the customer experience
  4. Develop new business models that drive innovation and enable hyper-relevance

If you would like to download the white paper from Cisco Consulting Services that I’ve referenced, please click here.

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