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Florida Department of Highway Safety at Cisco Live!

This week at Cisco Live!, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spoke on a government customer roundtable. Rob Fields, the CIO for the Department provided insight into the challenges that he faced with legacy equipment, the organization’s technology vision and plans for the future.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety had purchased lowest bid, low-quality networking equipment prior to Fields’ appointment as CIO. He knew that before he could accomplish any of his technology goals he had to rebuild the network with Cisco from the ground up.

Around this time the State of Florida imposed a travel ban, which was negatively affecting personnel throughout the department. Fields and his team had already been looking at video solutions following the network upgrade, but the travel ban gave them an even greater sense of urgency. “We installed video solutions at 15 locations and began conducting Florida Highway Patrol command staff meetings, remote interviews, and field manager meetings, over video and immediately saw ROI. It was a huge success,” said Fields. Read More »

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The Collaboration Evolution – A Strategy for Transforming Education

For today’s digital generation, collaborative learning is no longer a novelty – it’s an expectation.  Students are consuming information in new and different formats – video, Internet, virtual classrooms.  These are all tools that are changing the face of education.  To make this transformation a reality, students, faculty and administrators need to reliably connect with the people and resources they need whether they’re using their desktop or mobile device, at home or in the classroom.

As more schools offer a comprehensive and collaborative learning experience, they are seeing vast benefits. To transform the delivery of education Katy Independent School District deployed Cisco Unified Workspace, adding mobile capabilities and immersive video. The decision to invest in these collaborative solutions resulted in improved test scores, increased student, teacher engagement and ease of IT administration.

For schools looking to take the plunge like Katy ISD, what’s the best approach to take?

As I discussed in this recent blog post about collaboration strategies for government organizations, the best approach is looking at the problem with the big picture in mind.

With Cisco Unified Workspace, schools can build a scalable and secure network that will serve as a strong foundation for the future. Watch the video below to see how Cisco’s solution is designed with utility to unify voice, video, data and secure access on any device and at any location.

Equipped with Cisco’s smart collaboration strategy schools can combine voice, video and mobility to create a classroom that allows faculty and students to collaborate efficiently and securely.

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Extreme Weather Ramps up Need for Federal Teleworking

February 26, 2013 at 11:55 am PST

From super storms to snow storms, the U.S. has experienced its share of extreme winter weather over the past few months -- evidenced today by the revelations from my family in #Snowklahoma. The damage left by recent blizzards, Hurricane Sandy and the Nemo Storm has businesses and residents rethinking ways to ensure continuity during severe weather.

For government agencies, businesses and even schools in some cases, teleworking (or telecommuting) is a popular solution that allows continuity of operations (COOP) while keeping employees out of harm’s way during natural disasters. In contrast to the Yahoo announcement today, many agencies, organizations and teams rely on telework to keep employee productivity high regardless of weather, travel delays or other conditions. Read More »

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Realize the Promise of BYOD with the Next Generation Education Workspace

February 6, 2013 at 8:33 pm PST

Can 1 +1 really = 3 (or more)?  Consider the opportunity presented by the thoughtful convergence of BYOD and virtual desktop technologies.

BYOD is one of the most important trends in education technology today. However, many BYOD initiatives are limited to providing personal devices with basic network connectivity via the campus Wi-Fi network. Traditional virtual desktops (VDI) are not new in education. Historically, VDI has allowed the delivery of non-persistent desktops, primarily to thin clients.

Through the Cisco Unified Workspace for Education, schools, colleges and universities can now provide next generation education workspaces that are virtual, social, mobile and collaborative. The Cisco Unified Workspace for Education integrates the Cisco BYOD and Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) Smart Solutions to provide students, faculty, and staff with the flexibility of using any device to access any information, any application, and any expertise—from anywhere.

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Cutting Through The Techno-Babble

The Cisco Aironet 3600 features the Highest 802.11n performance with Cisco CleanAir™ technology and is the industry’s first 4 x 4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) access point with three spatial streams. It has add-on options for 802.11ac or Wireless Security and Spectrum Intelligence (WSSI) Module and standard 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) .

All right. Who is still awake? Show of hands?

One of the challenging things about working for a technology company is avoiding getting lost in the details.  There’s a time and place for technical specifications, to be sure.  But I believe that most people really want to know “How will all this technology make my life better?”. 

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