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Cisco House and its Partners Earn ‘Gold’ at Summer Olympics

Courtesy of Sean Ebsworth BarnesAs you can well imagine, Cisco is excited and proud to be the Official Network Infrastructure supporter to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. But you know what else we’re proud of? Cisco House, our 20,000-square-foot connected business showcase. It’s taking our customers to new heights—literally. And our technology partners are central to its success.

Throughout the games, customers are touring the “house,” which is perched above the entrance to Olympic Park. We’re engaging visitors with a multi-media, business transformation journey, where Cisco is uniquely relevant in a landscape where organizations, cities, and even entire countries are transforming to thrive in an increasingly connected world.

And the message is coming through loud and clear. It’s not just what Cisco makes. It’s what we make possible. And sharing this not-so-futuristic story wouldn’t be possible without the help of our incredible technology partners.

So hats off to Citrix, EMC, Intel, SAP, and Schneider Electric. They’re playing an invaluable role as we highlight a portfolio of customer- and public-facing technologies such as Videoscape, Stadium Vision, iServices, and my personal favorite, the Virtual Shopper experience. That’s worth its weight in ‘Gold.’ Read More »

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How the National Cancer Institute Helped a Researcher Keep His Mentoring Program Alive

As budget cuts take their toll on healthcare research funds, some organizations have developed resourceful strategies to keep critical projects alive.  When a research professor from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) no longer had the funds to travel the country and mentor young researchers, NCI’s lead computer specialist Todd Cox made sure the researcher could maintain his existing mentee relationships without getting on a plane. Cisco collaboration technologies enabled the professor to have face-to-face video meetings with his students during which he discussed the microorganisms they were observing on his microscope.

We were lucky to have Todd present at this year’s Cisco Federal Collaboration User Forum and to hear first hand how NCI leveraged Cisco’s video technology in a creative way to continue its cancer research. Check out the video below for an excerpt from his presentation. His full presentation can be found here: http://www.slideshare.net/CiscoPublicSector/nanotechnology-10.

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Get the Most from Telepresence with Cisco Unified Call Control

Ensuring seamless, secure connections over telepresence and video, Cisco Unified Call Control offers a scalable and pervasive collaboration solution. It includes the following:

  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM), which delivers key aspects of core call control; and,
  • Cisco TelePresence Video Communication Server (VCS) Expressway, which enables advanced telepresence applications such as secure B2B communication, remote access and firewall traversal capabilities;
    • VCS Expressway also supports H.323 for interoperability and interworking to maximize customers’ investments.

Check out the video below from InfoComm 2012, where I  gave a short overview of how CUCM and VCS Expressway operate together to streamline and simplify the telepresence experience.

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London Mayor Only Gets Work Done in the Office?

Boris Johnson, London’s Mayor, recently went on a tirade about working from home, criticizing the work ethic and the “general malingering” of a teleworker.

Coming from a company where telework is widely practiced, I couldn’t disagree more with Mr. Mayor. The world is on the cusp of the next revolution in how people work and this next phase must create deeper relationships and spur more effective communications and a sense of “connectedness” that we’ve been missing. Telework has not only been proven to make for a more efficient workforce but it also has resulted in happier employees.  More than 80 percent of employees claim a better work/life balance since working remotely and 73 percent say they are more willing to put in extra time at work without their commute.

Organizations that provide flexibility are also more likely to attract new talent. Cisco surveyed college students and young professionals working around the world to determine the influence mobile device protocols, remote work opportunities, and Internet policies have on their employment decisions. And it matters — 42 percent of college students and recent graduates said they make career decisions based on companies that provide the best work/life balance. This request for balance came before more money (26 percent) or advancement potential (23 percent).

Read More »

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Extending Global Communication

In real estate, location, location, location is the most important thing to remember.  It doesn’t matter the condition of the house, the color of the walls, or whether or not there are stainless steel appliances. All of that is cosmetic and unimportant, as long as you are in a desirable neighborhood with safe streets and a grocery store nearby.

The only downside is that once you buy that house, you are locked into one location for the life of your mortgage payments.  The thought is daunting and requires quite a commitment.   Location can be a blessing or it can be something that holds you back.

For the 194 member states of the United Nations that participated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), however, location was not a cause for concern.  For their 17th annual Conference of Parties (COP17), member countries from across the globe gathered to debate climate change strategies with a goal of coming to a global political deal between all attendees. 

Committed to their mission of reducing impact on the environment, the United Nations chose Cisco to provide HD and quality video communication tools and web conferencing capabilities for its expected 20,000 attendees to participate.  With trust in Cisco’s stable and secure communications network, attendees were able to engage face-to-face in conversations with each other from telepresence rooms and via desktop video from all around the world.

COP17 represents a milestone in the ability of the international community to work together on climate change by leveraging virtual collaboration capabilities as the parties agreed to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change by 2015.  Disparate locations could have limited the UN’s ability to effect transformation in global sustainability, but instead, TelePresence enabled each participant to bring his or her perspective from all across the globe to make change.

Read more about COP17 here.

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