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Cisco Networking Academy Students Participate in “Workforce Olympics”

Olympic athletes train hard year round to be the best in their sport. Every 4 years we have the chance to watch them give it their all and compete on a global level.

Did you know that a similar event takes the most talented, skilled workers from around the world to compete head-to-head for a world title?

Welcome to the WorldSkills Competition, what a Cisco executive once described as the “Olympics of the skilled trades.”  This event is hosted by different host countries every 2 years:  this year Germany is the proud host and in 2015 it will be held in Brazil.

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Live from HITEC – BYOC and the Future of In-Room Technology

We’ve had a great time at HITEC so far!  One of the common themes we’ve seen throughout the conference is the importance of an end-to-end connected hotel and the emergence of BYOC.  What’s BYOC?  It’s the result of BYOD.

Today, one quarter of mobile users own more than one mobile device, with an expectation of being constantly connected.  And with their own devices, they bring their own content (BYOC).  In the past few years, as mobile devices and content have flooded the market, hotels have seen revenues from content services such as pay-per-view drop significantly, as guests connect to their own content instead. Whether it’s already downloaded or streaming through Netflix, they want to be able to easily access their content when they want it.

Embracing BYOC

Make it easy for guests to BYOC and enjoy their own content to enhance the guest experience. This is an opportunity to create a new revenue stream with tiered access to wifi.  By offering basic, low bandwidth wifi for free and streaming, high bandwidth wifi for a premium (or as a perk for elite members), hotels can provide guests the option to easily access their own content while creating a revenue source.  In some cases, the model for BYOC is already there, it just needs to be presented to the guest in a different way: Do you want to just check your email and social sites?  Or do you want to stream videos on Hulu? Read More »

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Metageek Chanalyzer Pro + Cisco CleanAir = Powerful RF Visualization

As I partake in Cisco Live! activities, I wonder how the network team handles the thousands of geeks with their 3-4 geek toys each connecting to Wi-Fi from anywhere around the convention center.  I know a thing or two about how they went about planning, but hey, there is always Murphy’s Law that creeps up and nothing (always) works as planned…surprise surprise… think about the size of this conference and the World of Solutions (trade show floor) where so many of the partners want to show off their latest and greatest capability by setting up their own network. BAM: you have interference of all kinds all over the place. It’s a good thing the AP’s that are deployed have Cisco CleanAir® Technology to automatically classify and mitigates the interference. But wouldn’t it be great to be able to visualize the interference and the RF?

Enter visualization and Metageek.

It doesn’t take long for someone in the wireless industry to know that Metageek’s geeks know a thing or two about giving sizzle to RF and packets. We’ve certainly been around long enough, so that’s why we’ve been working with Metageek to cook up the Chanalyzer Pro with Cisco CleanAir® , the industry’s most advanced spectrum intelligence technology with the industry’s most visually captivating and comprehensive RF analysis tool. Perhaps you caught yesterday’s press release?

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The Internet of Everything…A Small World After All?

It’s summertime. For most people, the warmer temps and holiday weekends are the perfect excuse for a vacation. But have you ever traveled to an amusement park or exotic destination only to wait in line for hours for the hottest ride or trendiest restaurant? Or perhaps your coolness factor would skyrocket if you didn’t have to keep track of ticket stubs, receipts and maps? Well, the ups and downs of amusement park experiences may be able to be saved for the roller coasters. Could the Internet of Everything be changing how we experience…experiences?

Just recently, I stumbled across an article on All Things D by Bonnie Cha titled, Tomorrowland Today: Disney MagicBand Unlocks New Guest Experience for Park Goers. The article highlights new technology that Disney World Resort in Orlando has been using in trial phases and hopes to have broad implementation soon. The technology, called MagicBand, is a connected band (bracelet) designed to be an all-in-one device connecting park goers to everything through Radio Frequency technology. Visitors will be able to access the theme park and hotel rooms, purchase food and souvenirs and add extra options via My Disney Experience website.

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Women Have the Skills to Stand Out in STEM Fields

This blog was initially published on the Huffington Post

This week, my boss, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, is being recognized at the U.S. STEM Solutions Summit as one of the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

This is a great recognition for Cisco’s efforts in developing talent for the technology field. On the other hand, the list of Fortune 100 CEO’s is disappointing because of what’s missing – women. Only 18 of the 100 leaders listed are women.

In the United States and around the world, there are far more technology-oriented jobs than candidates to fill them. According to the National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI), jobs in U.S are projected to grow 45 percent between 2008 -2018 in computer systems design and related services, a math intensive field.

Further, a new study from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program says 20 percent of all jobs in the United States require a “high level of knowledge” in at least one STEM field. Half of these jobs don’t even require bachelor’s degree, yet they pay $53,000 on average—10 percent higher than jobs with similar educational requirements.

Clearly, the computer technology represents a good career choice with strong possibilities for employment and professional growth. Yet it appears that this message isn’t reaching a broader audience of women.

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