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Drawing on the parallels between business and sport

There’s a common theme between world class athletes in training for medal success at the Games and business people working towards winning business. They both have an inherent desire to succeed and look for the best solutions to help them achieve their goals. 

One example of this is the use of video. As the role of technology has evolved, so has the use of video, to the point where it has now become a vital tool in the performance kit bag. 

Not only is video now used to develop skills and improve technique, it can also help to prepare, plan and put in place the strategies they need to achieve success – from the locker room through to the boardroom. 

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NBA Fans Point, Shoot, and Score

“In basketball – as in life – true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment,” says former LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson, and sports fans couldn’t agree more. Today’s followers of the NBA are more present and informed, every minute of every game, than ever before.

In general, the NBA’s outreach, including its websites, mobile apps, TV, and radio broadcasting, saw dramatic increases in activity over the last year.. In 2011, about 75 petabytes of video was posted. Not surprisingly, NBA.com is now the #3 sports site on the web for video streams. Read More »

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Watch the NBA D-League Score with Cisco WebEx [video]

Sixteen teams in different locations participated in this year’s NBA Development League Draft using Cisco WebEx as their connection to players and coaches to see and be seen! From California to Texas, to Nevada to Maine, everyone was connected either by computer or mobile device to experience the excitement of the draft.

The draft was held on November 3, 2011. It was a two hour event with eight rounds and a total of 128 picks. Participants joined WebEx from their homes, office and a few were at draft parties in restaurants. Those with webcams were able to share their reactions while others could watch from their computer or mobile phones -- even iPads!

The event opened with Read More »

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Cisco Delivers Next Generation Mobility Experience for Fans at Sports and Entertainment Venues

By David Holland
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Sports & Entertainment Solutions Group

According to Nielsen’s May survey of mobile consumers in the U.S., 38 percent now own smartphones. And 55 percent of those who purchased a new handset in the past three months reported buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone, up from 34 percent just a year ago.

It projects an interesting scenario for the sports and entertainment industry and service providers. With the proliferation of Smartphone and other mobile devices on 3G/4G networks, tens of thousands of fans attending these events expect the same ubiquitous and consistent data service coverage they are used to receiving elsewhere.

Many venues and service providers have turned to Wi-Fi access to provide cost-effective 3G/4G offload and focus their cellular resources on voice and text services. However, standard Wi-Fi deployments do not sufficiently address these challenges. Careful placement of the access points, use of specific antennas, and unique radio frequency tuning are required.

Today, we are announcing Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi to help stadiums, entertainment venues and service providers significantly increase wireless performance in high-density areas. This solution also helps monetize the delivery of personalized mobile services, demonstrating the fundamental role of the network to enable business transformation.

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5,6,7,8… Cisco Step Challenge – encouraging UK employees to get involved in the Olympics

Two weeks ago I shared my interview with Sue Hunt, Director of Strategic Programmes at London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games on the subject of Inclusion and Diversity – what Inclusion and Diversity means to LOCOG and how they encourage it while faced with the challenge of an immovable deadline.

As part of our role as proud supporter and network infrastructure provider of London 2012, Cisco UK is involved in a couple of internal activities to encourage its employees to get involved in the Games. One of these activities is the Cisco Step Challenge, a 4-week challenge to encourage people to take the internationally recommended 10,000 steps per day. Providing you walked the minimum 70,000 steps per week, you were put into the prize draw for a pair of tickets to see a Paralympic Games event.

Employees across the UK joined together to formed teams and participated in the challenge. It wasn’t about fundraising or getting sweaty and struggling to find time to fit in extra exercise. It was about participation, improving your health and well being, team work and above all, having fun. A Facebook page and internal community was set up for participants to share words of encouragement and “top tips” for their fellow steppers such as park further away from your office building, use the stairs and not the lift, dancing burns more calories than walking and if you walk with children you walk more steps as you have to go back to get them every 200 yards!

The Step Challenge was very successful in engaging a large number of employees across the UK to participate in a sports challenge and raising awareness about how far you have to walk to achieve the recommended average of 10,000 steps. And one of the great things about it was that you could participate regardless of your age, gender, fitness levels, ethnicity, religion and belief or sexual orientation.

Inclusion and Diversity is a key component of Cisco’s culture and we believe that a truly inclusive and diverse workforce is critical to the success of our company and our people. The Step Challenge was advertised as “a challenge for everyone” and strongly encourage that everyone who wished to attend did so. Unfortunately we did not have anyone with a visual disability participate in the challenge and the team intends to look into this as a key area of focus for us next year. I think this is a real lesson for us all, that it’s not enough to open an opportunity to everyone -- we need to actively encourage Inclusion and Diversity and incorporate it into our strategy for success.

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