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Why no Wi-Fi at Fenway? – Missed Opportunity to Show Off

It is true I have become so dependent on having wireless access everywhere, that when I don’t have it I feel completely disconnected and no longer know how to socialize with my friends. Last Sunday I went to my beloved Fenway Park, one of the oldest baseball parks in America, and its age is showing.

Let me explain. For Father’s day I took my two-year-old son to Fenway Park for the first time, a pinnacle in any Boston Father’s life. To my surprise the opening ceremony included the new “Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins” driving around the park in the locally famous “Duck boats”. A Duck Boat is an amphibious vehicle used to tour Boston on the road and in the Charles River. But over the last 11 years their secondary purpose has been to support the parades of Boston and New England’s championship teams.

Now one thing you need to know is I am NOT a Hockey fan, but I have several friends who live and die by the Boston Bruins. Many of them went to the celebration parade the day before and couldn’t get closer than 20 yards from the Stanley cup. And here I was about 15 feet from it. Here is my view.

So there I am with my phone snapping pictures away and generating some really thought provoking e-mails about how my friends are missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime and I WAS THERE!!!

I sat in the stands, expecting the jealous responses I was bound to get (some not fit for publication!), but one thing stood in my way. Poor cellular network coverage and no Wi-Fi! Boston is notorious for having patchy cell coverage, and when an open wireless network wasn’t available my plans were foiled. I appreciate that the Red Sox management wants to maintain the old-time feel of baseball, but it’s times like these I realize just how dependent we all are on being connected. While sharing a moment with my friends may not be the most important use of the network, the ability to share them is powerful. If for nothing else than to support a dedicated fan, maybe Fenway should look into our Connected Stadium solution!

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Cisco Partner Invite Reminder – Context Aware Solutions

As part of the Manufacturing Impact Series, here’s a reminder not to miss the Context-Aware Solutions for Manufacturing Webinar set for Tuesday 21st June, 2011. It’s essential viewing and listening if you’re a Cisco resale or systems integration partner, or a partner looking to build a Manufacturing Practice and provide solutions to Manufacturing Industry Customer Care-abouts.

This seminar will focus on Context Aware Solutions. Within today’s manufacturing environments, tracking assets and people is crucial for promoting efficiencies in business processes and ultimately reducing costs and time to market. The AeroScout Visibility System accurately locates and tracks valuable assets such as equipment or people. By operating over Cisco® Unified Wireless networks, AeroScout solutions minimize the incremental cost for the communications network and enable greatly enhanced visibility throughout the enterprise. The solution can scale to include tens of thousands of tags, without affecting other traffic on the network.

Click here to register for the Context-Aware Solutions for Manufacturing Webinar

Date: Tuesday 21st June, 2011; Time: 11.00 am — 12.00 pm Eastern Time; (8:00 am Pacific) Place: Online.

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Cisco Partner Event: Industrial Intelligence for Manufacturers

As part of the Manufacturing Impact Series, here’s a reminder not to miss the Industrial Intelligence for Manufacturers Webinar set for Thursday 16th June, 2011. It’s essential viewing and listening if you’re a Cisco resale or systems integration partner, or a partner looking to build a Manufacturing Practice and provide solutions to Manufacturing Industry Customer Careabouts.

Industrial Intelligence is a multi-billion dollar opportunity growing at approximately 20% per year over the next five years. Much of the growth is driven by the proliferation of smart devices globally, and Cisco partners have a unique opportunity to provide the technology to connect an estimated trillion devices by 2020. In this “how to” workshop, the speakers will  introduce the Cisco Industrial Intelligence for Manufacturers market opportunity, target customers, solution portfolio, case studies, and sales tools to help partners succeed.

Click here to register for the Cisco Industrial Intelligence for Manufacturers Webinar

Date: Thursday 16th June, 2011; Time: 11.00 am – 12.00 pm Eastern Time; (8:00 am Pacific) Place: Online.

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Is the new Wembley in Kansas?

Robb Heinemann, the CEO of Sporting Club in Kansas City certainly thinks so.  He joined Cisco’s David Holland this week to launch the brand new LIVESTRONG Sporting Park stadium on Tuesday ahead of Sporting Club’s first home game of the season tonight (Thur June 9 at 7pm PT, 9pm CT, 10pm ET on ESPN2).

Cisco’s Sports and Entertainment Solutions Group has been working to build technology into the very fabric of the stadium over the course of the construction and tonight’s game promises to give fans a wholly new experience.   The stadium is equipped with Cisco’s new Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solution which brings high-speed wireless capabilities to fans and staff throughout the ground. The idea is to ‘offload’ data traffic from congested cell phone networks to allow fans to watch video replays right from their seats while keeping the cell phone network freed up for making calls and texting.

Throughout the venue, Cisco’s Stadium Vision solution will also provide live and recorded video on over 300 HD digital signs deployed throughout the club’s restaurants, bars, suites and open areas.  For the first time, fans in the executive suites will also be able to control the angle of the shot and change what content they view on the screen using an iPad application. Cisco has opened up the API to its Stadium Vision solution working in collaboration with Sporting Club to enable this first of a kind innovation in the MLS.

Sporting Club is also the first MLS venue to deploy Cisco’s Unified Computing and Nexus 7000 platforms to deliver virtualized network services.  Now the network is truly the platform for this next-generation experience in Kansas and Sporting Club will also be using the Stadium Vision platform and API to support their social networking solutions for members of the club.  Incidentally, Sporting Club is also offering club members free tickets to away games for this season.

You can watch a replay of the press conference below, and here are a couple of the media reports on the Stadium opening in the Kansas City StarSports Business Journal, in Bloomberg BusinessWeek and on ESPN:

The stadium will also be hosting national games as early as next week with the USA national team taking on Guadaloupe and Panama playing Canada in the CONCANAF Gold Cup on Thur June 14th (USA is currently heading up Group C as of June 9th).  And for Bay Area soccer fans, the San Jose Earthquakes travel out to Kansas next Friday, June 17.

What do you think – now that the US has an iconic stadium in Kansas designed specifically for soccer, could this be another step in helping the sport break through in popularity in the US?

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Cisco Partner Invite Reminder – Mobile Video Webinar Recording

STOP PRESS:  Here’s the recording of this Webinar for those folks who couldn’t attend! Very worthwhile for Cisco Partners! Click the link: 

Cisco Manufacturing Mobile Video Collaboration Solution

The Just a quick reminder for Cisco Partners to attend the Cisco and Librestream Partner Webinar tomorrow (9th June 2011) at 8.00am Pacific. Find out about the exciting new solution that’s being adopted worldwide by customers like Boeing, GE and FIAT.

Remember how I told you I was really excited by this new Cisco and Librestream MMVC solution. Lots of information out on the web, and lots of questions so I thought I’d put a brief video together to give you an introduction and to see if we can get a discussion going and also to see if we can answer some of the questions for you. It addresses what really matters to many customers. What are the pain-points that manufacturers and industry have today? How do they get hold of the right people to fix things if something goes wrong, and how can they say ‘I see what you mean now’ — and really mean it? My original blog gave lots of information.

If you are a Cisco Partner and interested in building a manufacturing industry practice, this webinar is for you!

Register here: Cisco Manufacturing Mobile Video Collaboration Solution. Remember, it’s just one hour starting at 8.00 am Pacific, 12.00pm Eastern – lots of opportunity to ask questions!  Read More »

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