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With High-Frequency Trading, Financial Firms Face New Challenges

In recent years, the financial industry has witnessed a revolution. To discuss, debate, and seek a bit of consensus on the crucial issues impacting the industry, I met earlier this year in New York with a team of experts at the Electronic Trading Innovation Council. For the event, Cisco partnered with the founders of the council, Julio Gomez and Clay Booma. I was joined by my Cisco colleagues Aron Dutta, co-managing director for financial markets, Cisco IBSG; Chris O’Connell, Cisco’s head of strategy for alternative investment markets; and Dave Malik, Cisco’s technology & architecture lead. The other participants represented a wide range of financial and tech-based firms, including BNY Mellon, Citi, Credit Suisse, Lazard Freres, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, State Street, UBS, Equinix, Savvis, and Tervela.

It was a great team, and the roundtable meetings benefited from a vast body of knowledge and a high level of participation. Read More »

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Take a Look Inside Cisco IT – Our Newly Redesigned Website

March 5, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

Have you ever wondered how Cisco IT overcomes the challenges of deploying products and technologies in a large-scale, global enterprise – the same challenges that your customers face everyday?  Or how Cisco IT is transforming into a sharply competitive, services-centric organization? Cisco on Cisco: Inside Cisco IT shares our journey and lessons learned on these and many other fronts.

We’ve just redesigned our website from the ground up to make it easier and faster to find Cisco IT content relevant to you and your customers.  Head over to the Cisco on Cisco website to benefit from our IT Success Stories that include case studies, best practices, videos, and interactive content.

The new site focuses on content that YOU are looking for:

  • How does Cisco build a highly secure network that connects anyone, anywhere, on any device, at any time? Check out our Borderless Networks page.
  • How does Cisco enable collaboration, boosting productivity and enhancing myriad business processes?  Visit our Collaboration page.
  • Want to know more about the cloud, virtualization, service-oriented infrastructure, and unified computing? Our Data Center page can help.
  • How does Cisco IT achieve greater workplace efficiencies and help solve business process problems?  Learn more on our Business of IT page.
  • Click on our Events page to see when and where you can engage with the Cisco on Cisco team at industry events.

Take a look Inside Cisco IT today at  http://www.cisco.com/go/ciscoit.

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Smart City ICT Master Planning in Action

There have been numerous advancements in city planning methodologies over the last couple of decades — perhaps few were debated as enthusiastically and vigorously as the Smart City model.

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Telegraph vs. Internet: Which Had Greater Impact?

2012 is the bicentennial of the War of 1812.  You may remember just two things about this period from your high school history class.  First, in an act of ignominy for the Americans, the British burned down the capital.  Second, the war ended with the resounding defeat of the British by the heroic General Andrew Jackson in January 1815, in what was the war’s only set-piece battle between the opposing sides.  Jackson eventually rode this victory into the Presidency.

There is only one problem with this battle.  It took place after the war was over.  The previous month, in Europe, the two sides had agreed to peace.  But in those days, communications was so slow that word of the peace didn’t reach New Orleans until February 1815.

Fast forward, approximately forty-eight years later, to the Civil War.  In the period between these two wars, in 1831, Morse thought up the idea for the electronic telegraph.  The Union Army had mastered its quick deployment, so that in 1863 while sitting in Washington, President Lincoln could read almost real time reports from the battlefields many miles away.

book cover

This was a dramatic increase in the speed of communications.  Not all that many decades later, telegraph lines and cables would unite the world.  Yet this did not fundamentally change the way people worked or lived or governed themselves.

So consider 2011, when the US Navy Seals got Osama Bin Laden.  There was a tweet about helicopters within several minutes, but the author didn’t know why the helicopters were nearby.  The first tweet with some confirmation came about forty-five minutes before President Obama made his announcement.

Now think back about forty-eight years before to November 22, 1963 and the assassination of President John Kennedy.  The news was out quickly all over television and radio and newspapers.  Walter Cronkite famously told the viewers of CBS News that the President had died thirty-eight minutes before.

Unlike the 19th century examples, there was no dramatic speed up in the reporting of these two more recent events separated by roughly forty-eight years.  While we may have more sources of information in more places now than in 1963, word doesn’t get out all that much faster.  You could argue that the Telegraph had a greater impact on communications than the Internet.

Yet many of us have the feeling that our world has been changed by this communications.  Why is that?

I think it has to do with the changing nature of the work we do.  In the mid-19th century, more than three quarters of Americans made things or grew food.  In 2011, less than a quarter do so and the rest of us provide services — and increasingly intangible services, including ideas, knowledge, entertainment and the like which is delivered digitally.  Because better digital communications directly speeds up the delivery of these services, we see the impact more.  It’s the increasing availability of high quality communications, in conjunction with these significant socio-economic trends, which will continue to change our lives.

Please share with us how you’ve seen the confluence of these two trends? Reply here and visit the Cisco Public Sector Customer Connection Community.

[picture credit for Battle of New Orleans http://www.frenchcreoles.com/battnozz.jpg]

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10 Technology Trends for 2012

Hollywood’s once high-tech future fantasies are not far off. Much of the technology depicted in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey is now reality, and smart houses like Eureka’s  S.A.R.A.H. might be sooner than we think.  But what will we see this year? Here are my top ten best guesses:

1. Old technology being used in a new way

This year will be about going back and using technology we already have in new ways. For instance, the new Ford Escape is reducing wind noise with pre-WWII technology.   Many items that showed up at CES like the Nest, used old technology (thermostat) and applied new technology (internet connectivity and new interface) to create a gadget that has flown off the shelves.

2. Internet-capable features dominating the television market

With the popularity of devices like Roku and Apple TV, this will put more pressure on innovation in the world of television manufacturers. The next natural step will be for simplifying the connectivity for smarter and easier connected entertainment.

3. Near instantaneous media streaming

Current “4G” is considerably faster than 3G and is making headway towards the low-bandwidth, high-information capability of ITU’s official 4G standards.

4. Second Screen Experiences- a household term

With our attachment to mobile devices and The Sundance Film Festival’s introduction of “The New Frontier Story Lab” last year, it is likely we will see more films made for the second screen experience.

5. Cloud-based networking expansion

Cloud is not just for businesses anymore as seen this year at CES. Many companies are switching to cloud-based networks for accessibility and safety. To help pave the way, Cisco is delivering powerful innovations in its switching portfolio.

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