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How much does telecommuting save, anyway? (Hint: LOTS)

Rely on the trusty Internet Business Services Group within the Cisco to come up with insightful research nuggets on how we all really work.  Their latest IBSG Horizons Study, “The Everywhere Employee“,  gives some fascinating detail on the dollars and sense underlying the idea of working “your way”.

Most interesting to me, of course, is the part about telecommuting.  Did you know that 44% of knowledge workers telecommute at least one day a week?  And that this one day a week alone saves companies $2,400 a year per employee?

So let’s do the math (my favorite part).  In a 10,000 person company, 4,400 employees work one day a week from somewhere else, which translates to a whopping $11 million a year.  Enough to pay for some nice executive bonuses!

This pairs nicely with the findings of a study Stanford University professors published in November 2011, “Does Working from Home Work?”.  They gave an emphatic “yes” and also ran the numbers specific to their use case (which examined full-time telecommuters), located in Appendix A4.

So how does this relate to video? In every way possible. Not only can you use a nice, sleek EX90 TelePresence unit on your home office desk, you can use Jabber video on your tablet. Or take your laptop into the neighborhood coffeeshop and join the video-based Webex meeting (just please remember to mute: coffee grinders are loud).

See you on video!

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Connecting Judicial Leaders at the International Peace Palace

This week I have the privilege to attend the fifth annuaInternational Association for Court Administration (IACA) conference in The Hague, Netherlands.

The IACA conference theme is The Challenge of Developing and Maintaining Strong and Just Courts in an Era of Uncertainty.

Three hundred and forty judicial leaders from 42 countries around the world are attending including Chief Justices from Afghanistan, Australia, Republic of Georgia, Iraq, Indonesia, and Nigeria, judges, court system officials and practitioners, justice ministry leaders, justice-sector academics, and representatives of international development and rule of law organizations.

During this conference, I am capturing highlights from the workshops with video interviews with selected keynote presenters and panelists.

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A new Application recognition paradigm – Flow metadata (Part 1)

Flow metadata allows an application to explicitly signal any arbitrary attributes to the network from node to node. This avoids the pitfall of data not being visible for deep packet inspection due to increasing use of encryption and obfuscation.

Tradition network classification solution using deep packet inspection technology is localized as classification may not be available along the path. How can network element enforce policies if they do not have uniform view of traffic to apply consistent enforcement of network policies ? Flow Metadata is reusable across network nodes by allowing sharing of flow attributes amongst network nodes. This allows appropriate and consistent policies to be applied at each hop, end to end, improving the quality of experience.

The flow metadata component of medianet allows the application to convey information to a set of network nodes. This makes it easy for management software to report information in a more meaningful way.  For example, “John from finance is having quality issues with his Jabber desktop video” is much easier to diagnose than obscure IP addresses and protocol numbers. Imagine  extending  this meaningful application context information to network policies such as QoS, routing, and  SLAs.  The medianet flow metadata feature enables granular policies based on application context and not limited to network attributes. For example, with flow metadata, it is now possible to easily prioritize scheduled sessions over ad hoc sessions. 

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Announcing Media Services Proxy

Medianet Media Awareness enables the network to become application and rich-media  context aware end to end. Media Services Proxy is one of the techniques to detect different types of endpoints, media and application types (Telepresence, video surveillance, desktop collaboration and streaming media) in order to deliver the best experience.

Media Services Proxy Components

Media Services Proxy

Identification

Media Services Proxy, an IOS technology, uses light weight deep packet inspection techniques to snoop standard based signaling protocols. It uses a variety of standard signaling protocols (SDP, H.323, H.245, RTSP, mDNS, etc.) to learn about the characteristics of endpoints and applications from legacy systems.

Proxy Services

Once the endpoints and application types are known, MSP can apply a number of services on behalf of the endpoints and flows. For example, MSP detects a video surveillance camera, it  applies Auto Smartports by automatically configuring the switch port for a camera to significantly simplify deployment. When MSP detects the flow type, it can apply QoS or bandwidth reservation on behalf of the flow. More importantly, MSP can share flow attributes amongst network nodes thereby allowing  policies to be applied end to end.

Where to find Media Services Proxy today

Media Services Proxy is best positioned at user edge (e.g. access switch) and resources edge (e.g. internet edge). MSP is first introduced in IOS 03.03.00.SG.151-1.SG on Cisco Catalyst 4000 series switches and in IOS 15.2(3)T on ISR-G2 routers. Over time, more products will be implementing Media Services Proxy.

Learn more:

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We don’t just explore new markets. . . we win them.

Jack Welch famously said, “When you’re number four or five in a market, when number one sneezes, you get pneumonia. When you’re number one, you control your destiny.

Well we’re the big boy in the toddler room, and we’re passing around the germs.  The market is the digital signage market — small and young, yes, but with enormous potential.  As in more than $1.1 billion last year and growing at a 13.3% CAGR.

Frost and Sullivan recently published their highly-anticipated annual “Global Digital Signage Systems Market“, and it pegs Cisco at number one in the market with 14.2% of the market.   And this excludes displays used for corporate communication applications.  Here are a few more delectable tidbits:

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