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UC on UCS – The Invisible Servers

Cisco IT completely changed our voice and video infrastructure in the data center – and nobody noticed!

We changed the systems that Cisco IT uses to run ALL our voice and video supporting:

  • 200,000 voice endpoints in 540 buildings around the world,
  • 87,000 voicemail boxes
  • 1600 TelePresence units
  • 8.6 Million Webex meetings per year
  • Our customer contact centers handling 22M calls / year

It was a big job, migrating all these services off of 574 Cisco MCS servers, and onto new Virtual Machines running on 191 Cisco UCS servers in 12 different data centers.  It took a while, but it was truly worth it, despite the fact that nobody noticed.

We reduced the amount of data center resources significantly – less space, less power, fewer cables. Even better, we now have all our voice and video running on virtual machines, making operations jobs and updates and growth a good deal easier, and faster. Best of all, though, we moved all our voice and video to a completely new server platform  — and nobody noticed!

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Will The Internet of Everything Change the Way Students Learn?

August 16, 2013 at 9:30 am PST

Think back to your favorite class in school. How would that class be different if it took place today? My favorite was a 7th grade art class. While it’s hard to imagine Mrs. Vincent in a modern classroom with a tablet or smartphone, I know she would be on the cutting edge of art education.

The dynamics of what a traditional classroom looks like have evolved from the old chalkboard and teacher-centered classrooms into connected technology hubs, with online lesson plans, virtual fieldtrips, flipped classrooms and MOOCs. As technology advances, it is changing the way students learn and access education.

In his recent blog post, Dave Evans examines what the future of education looks like through the lens of of the Internet of Everything (IoE). Students will experience a rich virtual classroom—attending lectures, asking questions, participating in real-time discussions with instructors anywhere in the world. Read More »

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ACE Network: Bringing the Power of Video Meetings to Mobile BYOD Users

I spend a big part of my workday in virtual meetings, as an organizer, participant, or both. When I’m in my office, I can join those meetings from my desktop video endpoint, a Cisco TelePresence EX90, and enjoy the benefits of video communications.

But work isn’t necessarily a place that you go to anymore. I often work outside of my office, so the ability to easily join a video meeting from one of my mobile devices is critical for productive collaboration with colleagues. Read More »

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Beyond Online Classes: How the Internet of Everything Is Transforming Education

Over the next few weeks, students will be heading back to school for the fall semester. In fact, my oldest child will be starting college for the first time, and I have another one not far behind. So naturally, I’ve been thinking about the future of education, and the opportunities and challenges 21st century technology might bring.

Technology has had an amazing impact on education in the last few years. But what we’ve seen so far is nothing compared to the sea change that will be created by the Internet of Everything (IoE) in the coming decade. The networked connections among people, processes, data and things will change not just how and where education is delivered, but will also redefine what students need to learn, and why.

When we talk about technology-enabled learning, most people probably think of online classes, which have had mixed results so far. On one hand, online courses can make higher education much more affordable and accessible. On the other hand, not all students can stay engaged and successful without regular feedback and interaction with their instructor and other students. Even the best online classes cannot hope to duplicate the rich spontaneous interactions that can take place among students and instructors in the classroom. Read More »

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Video Usage & Young Executives: A Survey of Tomorrow’s Leaders

Gen Y has been a new breed of worker that transformed the business world from the moment they stepped through the door (in Converse and jeans, to boot).  They are idealistic and digitally savvy; they value meaningful work and social media freedom; they’re hungry for interaction and thirsty for acknowledgment.

Fast forward to 2013 … Gen Yers are rising through the ranks and entering into management roles. They are poised to transform the business world yet again, but this time they’ll be making changes from the top and leading the workplace with collaboration and mobile technologies that have already proven integral to their daily lives.

As a collaboration connoisseur myself, I was excited to check out the results of a survey Cisco released today about one of the primary tech tools young executives will use to lead their organizations – business-class video. Some of the notable findings from The “2013 Cisco Global Young Executives’ Video Attitudes”survey are:

Video Usage and Young Executives: a survey of tomorrow's leaders- Three out of five management-track Gen Y leaders will rely more heavily on business-class video during the next five-10 years.

- 87 percent of respondents stated that a company’s video investment would significantly impact their decision when considering job offers.

- 94 percent of those organizations with less than 400 employees value video as a way to break down language barriers in the increasingly global marketplace

 

This doesn’t surprise me at all Read More »

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