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Staying Ahead of the Curve With Next Gen Skills

 While more than 99 percent of things in the physical world today are still not connected to the Internet, the phenomenon called “The Internet of Everything” will soon wake up everything imaginable. As the network evolves and changes, becoming more sophisticated, the job roles and education requirements of network engineers also continue to change.

Gartner Research forecasts that worldwide IT spending will reach $3.7 trillion in 2013. In order to maximize the ROI of IT solutions, education is imperative. Companies require properly trained IT professionals to deploy, support and troubleshoot new and emerging technologies.

To enable our global community of partners and customers to realize the benefits of new networking solutions, we are pleased to announce the redesign of the Cisco Associate-level career certification programs and the evolution of the CCNA certification to CCNA Routing and Switching certification. Check out the video below to learn more about the changes:

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Apprenticeships Fill the Skills Gap in the UK

Apprenticeship programs can be an effective way to employ new IT talent as well as train and develop current IT staff with relevant skills for business success. For most companies, improving business processes at all levels, from manufacturing to sales, is contingent on efficient implementation of technology. Possessing an innovative, well-trained IT staff can become a source of competitive advantage.

Check out this short video about how apprenticeship programs can help develop the necessary IT talent required by companies today and into the future.

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Unified Fabric : Cisco Technology Executives Are Answering Your Questions

October 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm PST

On October 25 at 9:00 am PST/ 12:00 pm EST , join a very special webcast  “Evolutionary Fabric. Revolutionary Scale “ with customers, analysts and Cisco executives and experts for conversations about the benefits of Cisco Unified Fabric .

I asked the other day our favorite bloggers Omar Sultan, Brian Gracely and Shashi Kiran to tell me why they think this webcast is important for our customers

“There is a lot going on in the data center these days – There is a continue expansion of virtualization , we see broader adoption of cloud and we see emerging trends, big data being the newest and trendiest of the hot data center topics – So there are folks out there who will tell you, you know what each of these needs special equipment, they have unique requirements , your regular infrastructure will not be able to handle these requirements So what we do believe is that each of these requirements, big data, cloud have their own specific needs , we truly don’t believe that you need purpose built hardware , at least if your infrastructure is built the right way “ Omar Sultan

So this webcast is really about learning how Cisco’s fabric-based approach delivers architectural flexibility across physical, virtual and cloud environments for any application.

For Brian Gracely the equation is simple to remember  : Cisco Unified FABRIC is Fast, Agile, Best of breed, Resiliant, Innovative, Cisco-based

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Sustainability 2.0 – Driving Sustainability Engagement through Social Media (Part 1/2)

October 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm PST

Sustainability 2.0 involves the employment of social media tools to initiate, maintain and monitor sustainability engagement.  Companies and institutions are increasingly turning to social media channels to grow corporate social responsibility initiatives of all categories, including sustainability.  Sustainability 2.0 involves two components for optimal engagement across any large-scale enterprise organization, or even university campus: 1. promotion and 2. analysis.

Promotion of sustainable actions via social media:

According to a 2011 study by Sustainable Life Media and Zumer, social media is used at 50 global companies to promote sustainability on various engagement levels.    Professor Nigel P. Melville of the University of Michigan delivers an action-based summary of the report’s findings on 4,000+ social web posts:

  • “76% of sustainability professionals interviewed believe that their investment in sustainability-themed social media will help gain market share, increase the size of the overall market, or, ideally, both.”
  • “Companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dell and Toyota (all profiled in case studies) have unearthed the enormous potential of combining social media and sustainability to gain market share and acquire customers in new and growing markets.”
  • “Social media is impacting the way leading corporations are planning and executing their business practices.  As an example, companies have been able to increase internal recognition of their sustainability goals, on average,  by 10-15% through the use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This is resulting in greater compliance with energy, waste and water efficiency strategies.”

Why select “social media” as a channel for driving environmental activism? People are influenced by social media conversations.

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The Social Soap Box: Lady Gaga, Social Media and B2Bs

March 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm PST

I was at the Lady Gaga concert at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA last night in what initially was another routine concert outing (I average about five concerts a year) that quickly turned into my own personal tour on how Miss Gaga does social media. Even before the Oracle Arena opened its doors to her loyal fans, Gaga participated in an interactive Q&A session at Google HQ earlier which garnered approximately 40,000 questions after days it was announced via her YouTube channel.  

At the concert, the two massive digital screens displaying a  live Twitter stream of tweets from fans were expected, but to top that off, she used text messaging to raise awareness and money for her favorite charities. While on stage, she called one fan who attended the concert to personally thank him for the donation.  I even conducted my own impromptu poll with a handful of excited fans. Surprisingly however, most didn’t know she was hip on social media or followed her on Twitter or Facebook. I’m sure if I polled at least half of the concert goers, the results would differ dramatically. The numbers don’t lie. Gaga is still the most socially networked star.

Given all the coverage on Gaga’s use of social media, it’s no surprise that more celebrities are jumping on the social media band wagon to give their personal brands a major social boost.  But can the same social media playbook that helped elevate these personal brands be used for B2B brands?  To enlighten us, I turned to social media expert and blogger for ZDNet, Jennifer Leggio for her candid thoughts.

Despite Lady Gaga’s extreme physical presence, she’s maintained a level of approachability with her fans online. She treats them as if they are a part of her success, rather than merely the reasons for her success. People are fans generally because they want to feel included in something bigger than themselves and Lady Gaga gives hers an opportunity to do that by showing her true self — behind the wigs, 10-inch platforms and make-up — digitally.

I absolutely believe that B2B companies can learn from Lady Gaga and her online presence success. I think, to boil it down, companies need to stop being afraid of their customers and allow them to feel as if they are a part of the company. Despite the advances in social media over the last few years, many companies are still afraid to invite their customers in via blogs or online communities, and they don’t realize how that might alienate otherwise loyal customers. Companies, considering disclosure issues of course, should also be as open with their customers as possible. Allow their executive teams to be real – Cisco’s own Padmasree Warrior is a great example of that. This not only establishes thought leadership but also a human factor that draws in customers and partners.

- Jennifer Leggio

Well said, Jennifer! And since I rarely get to blog about music for Cisco but often share my favorite SOTD (song of the day) with friends on Facebook and Twitter,  I’ll leave you with my Gaga SOTD. Enjoy!

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