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20 Years Teleworking: $291,200 Savings and 435,200 Pounds of Pollutants Spared

Cisco, in partnership with Mobile Work Exchange, is eager to kick off the third-annual Telework Week from March 4-8. Telework Week 2013 is a global effort to encourage agencies, organizations, and individuals to pledge to telework anytime during this week. I plan not only to pledge to telework that week, but also to continue in my career of teleworking.

I have worked for companies based in San Jose, Tucson, Phoenix, Washington DC, Boston, and now San Jose again… all without leaving my beautiful home state of Ohio.  I adopted telework in 1993 and as Telework Week 2013 approaches, I wanted to share my story about my years as a teleworker. Let me start by saying I would not change a thing.

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Telework Pros and Cons… But Are They Really Cons?

Do I miss having lunch with my colleagues? Sure. However, my dogs are pretty good companions because they never complain. Plus, the food in my kitchen is a lot better than any cafeteria food. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve missed being able to celebrate the milestones taking place in my colleagues’ lives in person, but I’ve made sure they always get a baby gift or a wedding gift.

What I don’t miss is the daily commute. Driving in rush-hour traffic or in snowstorms aren’t especially fun or productive and through telework, I’ve been able to get to work on-time every day. Also, my checkbook likes my lower insurance rates. On top of all of that, I am able to work in pajamas or sweat pants if I feel like it. For big projects that require more focus and concentration, I appreciate not having people dropping by to chat about their weekend.

Sometimes, people tell me I have it so easy working from home, being that I can come and go as I please. However, any teleworker will tell you it just doesn’t work unless you have regular office hours. My schedule still fills up with meetings just like my colleagues’ working from an office. What many people don’t know though is that it seems a lot harder to end the work day when your office is just a few steps or clicks away. Read More »

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Cisco’s 2012 Education Retrospective

December 18, 2012 at 7:48 am PST

AM71308At the beginning of 2012, we saw three major trends emerging in the education space, but we had no idea that they would all be converging: Flipped Learning, BYOD, and Shared Collaborative Platforms.

This time last year, I was sitting at an old, high-top biology lab table with my son’s AP Biology teacher, asking him to explain this whole “Flipped Classroom” thing and why his classes’ AP bio scores were so high.  Lo and behold, Flipped Learning became the mantra of the year.

Sal Khan and the Khan Academy became the best-known content-feeder into this phenomenon, and I started voraciously consuming his videos on pre-calculus, statistics, and world history.   So did teachers and students as they turned to Khan as a source of pre-packaged lectures, new flipped learning models, and emerging information on different assessment measurements.  Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann even wrote a book about it, The Short History of Flipped Learning, and they joined us as guest speakers at the 2012 ISTE show.

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Re-Imagining Collaboration

December 13, 2012 at 7:52 am PST

Mary Meeker’s “2012 Internet Trends Report put just about every industry on alert: her persuasive argument urged leaders to re-imagine nearly everything about their businesses in no uncertain terms--from advertising, to mobile to media consumption.” – Forbes, August

When Mary Meeker speaks, people listen. When she releases her annual report, people really listen. Count me on that list. Meeker, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, recently released the updated version of her report. In it she covers the high points on the trend front, including:

  • The dominance of Windows in the operating system world is diminishing (covered in a previous post)
  • The number of people using the internet now includes 34% of the global population.
  • Worldwide smartphone subscriptions of 42% promises to increase penetration beyond its current 17% of the mobile market.
  • Global shipments of Android phones have grown nearly six times as fast as iPhones since their respective launches.
  • 29% of adults in the United States own tablets or e-readers compared to 2% in mid-2009.
  • Global mobile data traffic is increasing while fixed network traffic is decreasing.

I have a good left-brain, right-brain thing going. I like graphs, charts, and data. But I also like to look at how trends translate into what we do and how we do it. Meeker calls it a “re-imagination of nearly everything.” Essentially, devices, connectivity, and user experience are creating change in how we do – well — nearly everything.

Meeker quotes Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on a similar angle: Read More »

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NBA Gets a Slam Dunk with Cisco TelePresence

Telepresence is travelling outside of the boardroom and onto the basketball court—not only changing how the NBA conducts business, but also how its fans consume sports information.

Similar to the transformation happening in the workplace, the rise of mobile devices and online access is changing how we experience and interact with sporting events. Attuned to these changes, the NBA is committed to collaboration technologies--like Cisco TelePresence and WebEx--to enable new forms of effectiveness and innovation, while positively transforming the fan experience. And they are making an impact; NBA TV had its highest viewership ever during the 2011-12 season, and NBA.com and its team sites already have more than 140 million video streams this season.

How’d they do it? By providing fans with the best experience possible and creating compelling content. Each week, NBA TV communicates with sports analysts, journalists, experts, and players via telepresence, allowing them to bring fans the latest news and updates from around the league. These video interviews are then loaded to NBA.com for fans to view on demand. Read More »

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Making it Easier for You to do Business with Us – Fixed Price Professional Services from Cisco

November 22, 2012 at 5:33 am PST

Professional services, Consultancy Services, Advanced Services -- call them what you will.   I can hear you say:   “On No!  Complexity”.  “Now I need to work a Statement of Work”.  “I need help to get my project on time, can’t this get easier?”  “I need to get my legal contracts team involved.”  “Why can’t you just tell me a price?”

Common reactions from some of you who will engage any (and I mean any, not just Cisco!) professional services organization (for example,  Cisco Services or one of our many partners) to help bring additional experience, expertise and resources to your projects.  The good news is, where appropriate to your requirements, this complexity has been substantially reduced, with Fixed Price services from Cisco, available now for many of our most popular products and solutions.

I will confess: this is not new  – in fact we (quietly) first released such Fixed Price services back in 2009, to support the Cisco Unified Computing System deployments! – and if we’re honest, we’ve not talked much about them and how successful they’ve become, with many, many customers taking advantage of these quick-to-engage expert services.

These services have really made it easier for customers and partners to do business with Cisco, delivering a number of significant advantages to our customers and partners, as illustrated below.

 

Cisco Fixed Price Services - Characteristics

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