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Proud to be a National Leader in Veterans Employment

On April 23, Cisco was honored to be part of the 4th anniversary and expansion of the Joining Forces Initiative, a White House project sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to support service members, veterans, and their families through wellness, education, and employment opportunities.

Cisco first partnered with the Joining Forces Initiative in 2013 on the IT Training and Certification pilot program, which resulted in over 380 transitioning service members getting high demand IT training.  Eighty eight percent of those who got a new job indicated the program contributed to them getting a new job. The program is being expanded through state partnerships, starting with North Carolina.

During last week’s event, held at Micron technology in Manassas, Virginia, the First Lady called out Cisco for our commitment to hire and train veterans and military spouses. Thanks to Mike Younkers, Senior Director of Systems Engineering and Gena Pirtle, Corporate Affairs Program Manager, who represented Cisco.

Cisco appreciates the support of the Joining Forces initiative and their partnership on our Veterans Program, which helps service members, spouses, and veterans get training leading to career employment.

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Oil and the Smart Pipe – Article on The Network, Cisco, by Scott Gurvey

Scott Gurvey (the famous New York bureau chief and senior correspondent of the PBS broadcast Nightly Business Report for more than 20 years) has written a thought-provoking piece on “The Network” (Cisco’s Technology News Site).

Safety is the key in the Oil and Gas industry. Whether it’s people, infrastructure, or the environment, the industry is grappling with sometimes controversial issues.

Scott talks about the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline, new technology and the relative safety of different oil transport methods. He quotes James Stafford, the editor of Oilprice.com, as saying that even though moving oil through pipelines is generally considered safer than the alternatives of rail or truck transport, the number of pipeline accidents reported each year remains “unacceptable”

That’s where the new technologies of the Internet of Things comes in. The Operational Technologies (OT) requirements have been different to the IT needs in the past. In my view that’s because of several reasons. The different technologies used for each area gave rise to concern that folks have had about security between networks is one.

Read the latest Thought Leadership for Oil and Gas

Read the latest Thought Leadership for Oil and Gas

Another is that there was also a lack of visibility, and it was difficult for parts of an organization to collaborate with another to sense problems in real time and deliver the right resources to solve them. That’s changing as IT and OT converge. Probably not fast enough for most people’s liking, but that’s owing to the cultural changes needed.

Back to Scott’s article. I’m not going to steal his thunder on ‘Pigs’ (well, Smart Pigs, but still not the kind in your hot dog!), drones (the peaceful kind), or the Analytics challenge the industry faces today. You’ll have to read his article for that.

But I do want to give a plug for the recent thought leadership in the oil industry that Cisco recently conducted (A New Reality for Oil & Gas: Complex Market Dynamics Create Urgent Need for Digital Transformation), which I was proud to contribute to. In it the analytics issue comes to the forefront and IT/OT convergence and Collaboration are seen as essential catalysts for change, with an overarching emphasis on ensuring end-to-end cybersecurity. Read it to see the details. Some might surprise you.

As always, you can learn more about Cisco in Oil and gas here: www.cisco.com/go/oilandgas, and read the latest Secure Industrial Networks with Cisco White Paper (don’t worry, it’s only 3 pages!), by clicking on this link: Secure Industrial Networks with Cisco.

And I almost forgot – if you’re interested in Cisco’s relevance to oil pipelines and that part of the industry, here’s something to whet your appetite: Cisco Connected Pipelines At-a-Glance.

Happy reading! And remember, stay safe out there!

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#CiscoChat: Why the World Needs More Girls in Tech

Did you know that women account for only 30 percent of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) workforce? Or that they earn 57 percent of all U.S. undergraduate degrees, but only 18 percent of undergraduate computer and information sciences degrees?

Though shattering the glass ceiling is almost always never easy, women around the world have made great strides in forging careers in fields previously dominated by men. From healthcare and politics to the automotive and financial services industries, women continue to make headlines for ascending to coveted corner offices and executive suites. However, women continue to remain highly invaluable – yet grossly untapped – resources within the ICT industry.

#ciscochat

As Cisco prepares to participate in this year’s international Girls in ICT Day and encourage young women to embrace ICT careers, answering the question of why the world need more women in tech has become one that needs answers. We have our thoughts and we want to hear yours.

We’re hosting a #CiscoChat to discuss this very topic. Be sure to join us on Tuesday, April 14 from 10 to 11 a.m. PST and share your ideas, solutions and real-world experience to help us answer the question “Why the World Needs More Girls in Tech?”

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Bringing clarity to cloud usage: a must-do for shaping more effective IT strategies

Shadow IT isn’t anything new; it is part of human behavior and started with the first mini-computers in family homes. People will always choose the tools that help them do their jobs in the simplest and most efficient way. Unfortunately, when that means using unsanctioned technologies, well intentioned selections can have unintended and potentially dangerous consequences for the company.  These can include: increased security risks, diminished productivity, and increased costs. Additionally, when users select their own cloud services, they inadvertently create silos of information that IT is not unaware of, and potentially create data compliance issues.   By purchasing cloud services on an ad hoc basis, users limit the company’s ability to negotiate volume pricing.

IT leaders and other executives need to make it their responsibility to find out which cloud services are being used, and come to a mutual understanding of which cloud technologies are best for the business. Only through a clear understanding can IT leaders devise cloud strategies that benefit users—and ultimately drive business advancement. At the very least, IT leaders need to become informed brokers. Even better, they may want to establish their own cloud services and merchandize them to reduce costs and better meet user needs.

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Continuous Delivery – realizing fast IT

For those following trends in the software industry, Continuous Delivery (CD) has been all the rage. What is it? Simply put – continuous delivery is the ability of a SaaS application to push new software into production multiple times per day. Typically, only the cloud software components are updated at this rate. Client code – either browser code or mobile applications – are updated at a pace between once a week and once a month.

As a software development team, continuous delivery is very exciting. But as the IT person that is the ultimate customer of SaaS applications, do you care about continuous delivery? The answer is -absolutely.

Rowan Trollope recently blogged about the importance of moving fast and innovating quickly. That is the essence of fast IT, and continuous delivery is the key to unlocking fast IT. This is because continuous delivery delivers three essential ingredients that make fast IT possible.

First, continuous delivery means better quality.  A SaaS application with continuous delivery will be able to measure and improve upon the performance, reliability and speed of the application in the hands of your own users. Every day you will see it get a little bit better. With continuous delivery, quality isn’t just about defect counts. With continuous delivery, Read More »

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