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Customer Spotlight: Alabama Dept. of Transportation Reduces Travel Expenses with Video Solution

One of the biggest issues state governments face in their day-to-day governing is the sheer size of the state itself. Even in average sized states, it can take quite some time to get from place to another, and it’s particularly burdensome for state government workers who live and work in cities far from the state capital. It can be difficult to effectively communicate with other employees in the capital and in other cities, and employees spent precious time and money traveling all across the state.

One such state with this issue is Alabama. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) manages all forms of transportation in the state, including one of the longest navigable inland waterways in the nation, six commercial airports and a large seaport on the Gulf of Mexico. To ensure these multiple forms of transportation run smoothly, ALDOT has over 5,000 employees spread out across the state. Its large number of employees and their geographic sprawl, however, meant ALDOT was having trouble getting everyone to meet in one location for mandatory training sessions.

While training was the main issue, ALDOT generally needed a more sustainable way to host meetings with employees scattered across the state. Years ago, ALDOT division chiefs from distant corners of the state would have to drive to Montgomery, Alabama, every Monday to attend one meeting, which was not a productive use of time and incurred costly travel expenses. Clearly, it needed a cost-effective solution to make it easier for the department to host trainings and meetings for its far-flung department. Read More »

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Cisco’s Solution Framework for the Digital Journey

Every country, city, industry, and business is becoming digital in order to leverage the unprecedented opportunities possible from rapidly expanding connectivity around the globe.

Digitization requires customers to rethink their business, operations, and technology strategies. Cisco’s research, along with countless business experts, forecasts that 40% of today’s leading businesses will be displaced by competitors disrupting the market with new approaches— digitization is an imperative for business survival.

I am excited about today’s announcement of Cisco’s Digital Solutions for Industries. This showcases our unique approach to help customers capture the promise of digitization.

Tony Shakib news conference

Digital transformation necessitates a combining of business and IT strategy that connects everything, embraces analytics, and takes a holistic approach to data security that spans technology and operations. According to the 2014 Digital Transformation report by the Altimeter Group, 88% of companies report undergoing a digital transformation — however, only 25% have mapped the digital customer journey and have a clear understanding of new or under-performing digital touchpoints. Read More »

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IoE and Managing Assets in Motion: Making Better, Smarter, Faster Organizations

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is connecting everything everywhere — on the land, in the air, and even on the sea. Cisco recently helped a competitive yacht crew win regattas using the IoE to provide the competitive edge. The vessel was outfitted with an IoE ruggedized platform combining boat sensor data; GPS, wind, and weather information; and a local Wi-Fi network to help the crew make critical decisions almost instantaneously.

Tony Shakib Blog Pic

I’m particularly excited about this implementation of Cisco’s Mobile Asset Management. The program highlights our ability to connect data from billions of things so people can make smarter decisions about how to live, work, and play. This is a perfect example of the immense power of the IoE to solve real-world problems through connectivity, insightful data and analytics.

The most impressive attribute of the Mobile Asset Management Suite is that it applies to all industries. It helps customers identify, track, control, monitor, and secure IT and non-IT assets across buildings, remote sites, retail locations, manufacturing facilities, and more.

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#InternetOfEverything Accelerates Critical “Air Care” for CALSTAR

I’ve been blogging a lot lately about how smart organizations in all industries need to embrace a digital transformation in order to innovate and compete at the blistering pace of the Internet’s next wave—the Internet of Everything (IoE). The pace of digital disruption is affecting the transportation industry in significant ways. The IoE is driving safety, mobility and efficiency efforts across the industry. And, while streamlining operations is critical to the success of any agency, it’s even more important when inefficiency can mean the difference between life and death.

The California Shock Trauma Air Rescue’s (CALSTAR) is an example of an organization that is driving its own disruption by embracing Internet of Things (IoT) innovation. Operational efficiency is vital to CALSTAR and seamless communication between hospitals, medical personnel, flying crews and CALSTAR dispatchers is something the company has also always envisioned. When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) updated its operational control guidance for air ambulatory operators, CALSTAR re-examined its own air-to-ground communication systems. They saw this as an opportunity to not only comply with FAA changes, but to ensure that transportation was the only concern its flight crews had to consider when transporting patients.

Digital Transformation in Transportation from Cisco Business Insights

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Data Analytics: Transforming Journeys

It’s dawn and I’m catching the fast train from Amsterdam to Paris. Three days of meetings and a view of one of the most fantastic cities in the world. While stepping onto the train, I had a déjà vu moment that took me back to being a student when I traveled around Europe with a train ticket in my back pocket.

nic villa blogTrains have not changed much. Same rails, similar seats, just a different color fabric. Even the people are the same—as diverse as always, each with a slightly different reason for stepping onto the train. What has changed is the whole experience around the journey. Waking up in the morning, I consulted my smartphone for the weather forecast in Paris, which by the way, the alarm function also woke me from a deep sleep. Using an app I chose a taxi by the number of people who “liked” that particular driver with the Eastern European look. Then my phone paid the taxi fare and alerted me that the train was going to depart within five minutes, well before the announcer at the station did. Just enough time for a good coffee. I plan to get the same taxi service in Paris – just Michelle instead of Piotr.

Connectivity has become part of our everyday life. A life in which information follows – and sometimes proceeds us. Our smart devices proactively give useful information; in my case, the cheapest and quickest way to get to the office as well as a mechanism to build a personal connection with my taxi driver; all before stepping into the vehicle. Read More »

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