To Live and Collab in L.A.

This year Collaboration Summit was set in sunny Southern California and although I’m sad I couldn’t be there, I thought I would hop on the Cisco Canada Blog to review the major announcements. So without further ado, let’s take a look at Project Squared, the Cisco Business Edition 6000 coming to the mid-market and the new look three-screen TelePresence units.

Project Squared

Project Squared

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Cloud Computing, Coming to an Oil and Gas Company Near You

For many in the Oil and Gas industry cloud computing might seem like a confusing IT buzzword with very little substance. Trying to wade through the complexities of all its offshoots (public, private, on-premise cloud) without understanding the base concept probably just makes things worse. So is this just technology for technology’s sake or are there some real benefits to cloud computing for Oil and Gas?

The answer is unequivocally yes. Cloud computing will significantly change the way the Oil and Gas industry will use IT, and, in fact, the change is already underway.

Brad - Cloud in Oil - Nov 19

Not so new after all
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Who is your Hidden Hockey Hero?

As Canadians, hockey is in our blood.

It’s a passion that brings us together like nothing else, and at Cisco we’re proud to offer the technologies that help Canadians balance their commitments from home, the office and at the rink.

That’s why today I’m proud to announce the launch of our Hockey’s Hidden Heroes contest, a call to Canadians across the country to tell us about their hidden hero. Whether it’s a coach who works long hours but always seems to be at the rink, or a parent who runs the team carpool and finds time to work from the stands, we want to hear your stories.

Tell us how your hero balances work and life and why they should be nominated for a chance to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of $20,0001 for their hockey club.

- Even if you’re not nominating anyone you can still get involved by voting for your favourite entries on our Facebook page

- Entries will be accepted until January 23, 2015. For full contest rules and regulations, go to www.hockeyshiddenheroes.ca

Enter the Hockeys Hidden Heroes contest now

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The Results Are In: Cloud Traffic Will Quadruple in Four Years

This week Cisco released its fourth annual Global Cloud Index, covering 2013 – 2018. We provide the study as an industry resource to IT professionals but its results have implications for just about everyone.

Excerpt from Cisco's Global Cloud Index Infographic

Excerpt from Cisco’s Global Cloud Index Infographic

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Cisco on Cisco: The New Workspace in Action in our Canadian Headquarters

By: Chris Wheeldon, Industry Manager – Smart + Connected Real Estate, Cisco Canada

Over the past few months, we’ve heard from a variety of participants who are helping to build the modern workplace. Increasingly, interior designers and technology providers are working together to provide occupants with the best experience possible. It’s no longer viable to assume that the role of either one or the other is sufficient to yield good results. Both parties have to collaborate to deliver an optimal experience.

Cisco has been developing and improving its Connected Workplace for about seven years now. Although it is continually evolving and being refined, there are several consistent expectations of our workplaces:

- Work anytime, anywhere
- Collaboration spaces and technology
- Demand-based usage
- BYOD and flexible working

Many people are involved in this effort, from both within and outside of Cisco. Continue reading

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True Growth, Strong and Free, in Canadian Municipalities

The first True Growth Summit, held on October 6th in our Toronto office, was a great success. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, curators from the communities of Winnipeg, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, Waterloo, Newmarket, Toronto, Kingston, Saint John, Moncton and Halifax took part in a day-long discussion about their experiences implementing True Growth and the power of collaboration.

I’m proud to announce it was agreed during the session, we all could accomplish our goals more quickly and effectively by establishing a National True Growth Ecosystem – one that is true to its founding principles of transparency, common projects, collaboration and celebration.

Before I share more about the outcomes of the first True Growth Summit, let me explain True Growth in more detail. All of the communities present at our Toronto Summit are currently implementing True Growth, which is defined by a six-step process:

  1. Map the Network – using the True Growth Map
  2. Identify Key Sectors – both economic and social
  3. Do a Gap Analysis – who else needs to be part of the Network
  4. Develop Sector Working Groups – identify a common goal and projects that will result in reaching the goal
  5. Develop Project Teams – set priorities and build a project plan
  6. Curate the Network – promote collaboration within and among the project teams.

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Creating a Smarter Oil and Gas Industry, Part 4: Conclusion

In parts one, two and three  of this series I discussed today’s Digital Oilfield, and how Cisco technology is helping transform and impact the oil and gas industry. From “Field Enablement” to enabling “field Automation,” connecting the unconnected through the Internet of Everything will be critical to evolving the Digital Oilfield.

The concept of the Digital Oilfield can be described best as ‘the end-to-end real-time interaction from down-hole in the reservoir to the sales meter, from a field engineer in a remote location to the Geoscientist in the head office’. Imagine people, process and technology all interacting in real-time for the purpose of extracting hydrocarbons cleaner, safer and more cost-effectively. It ultimately is a vision, not a destination, and there is a lot of value yet to be realized.

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“Our vision is to create a digital oilfield, where all of our assets and people – both onshore and offshore – could be linked using the network as a platform to create a secure, converged IP infrastructure. By bridging the digital divide, we aimed to enable the paradigm of taking the problem to the expert rather than the expert having to travel to fix the problem.”

—Massimo Insulla, Drilling and Work Over Deputy General Manager, Petrobel

Collaborating within the Digital Oilfield is not new, but immersive and remote collaboration (anywhere, any-time, any-data, any-device, any-application) will be instrumental in addressing the challenges Canadian oil and gas companies face.

We have the opportunity to enable that vision with the Internet of Everything.  We just need to call it the Digital Oilfield.

It’s an exciting time to be in the oil and gas industry in Canada. Stay tuned for my four-part series on cloud computing and the impact it will have on the Canadian oil and gas industry, and leave a comment below.

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Shopping in a Digital World: A Q&A with Derek Dykens at Cisco

We live in an ever-changing world. As the lines between physical and digital continue to blur, the retail landscape has changed dramatically as a result. New customer expectations, transformed shopping behaviors and the boom of data has retailers struggling to keep up. Bell Canada asked Derek Dykens, Retail Practice Advisor at Cisco, to share his perspective on where the industry is heading.

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Q:  What key industry trends are you seeing across retail globally?

Dykens: Delivering an omnichannel customer experience has been top of mind for retailers the past few years and will continue to be an area they heavily invest in. Leveraging analytics and loyalty programs are bringing personalized mobile experiences to life while seamlessly connecting the ecommerce platform in store. Additionally, new pressure has been placed on supply chain operations to enable flexible product fulfillment options for the customer. Ship from store, 2-hour delivery, curbside pickup, SmartLockers and other options are allowing the customer to receive products based on personal preference. The role of the in-store associate and customer contact centers are also evolving. A shift is occurring where customers are doing research online and coming to the store with more knowledge than ever before. Associates need to have the technology tools and proper training to continue providing value to the customers. Continue reading

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How the Quebec Technology Association is Transforming with Technology – Part 3

In part one of this series I shared the story of L’Association québécoise des technologies (AQT), or the Quebec Technology Association, and the struggle it faced to connect and engage with disparate members. In part two I revealed how AQT is conquering this struggle and transforming itself with technology.

In the conclusion of this story today, I’ll look at how AQT’s decision to deploy a Cisco TelePresence solution – as well as WebEx and Jabber – has changed how AQT operates and what the future has in store.

AQT has used the Cisco video collaboration solutions (TelePresence, WebEx and Jabber) for a handful of events and the feedback from members has been positive. Members who couldn’t attend events previously were suddenly able to join via video and finally participate in discussions. The simplicity of Jabber was also praised.

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The Future of Collaboration

This month, we announced major bold and beautiful updates to our WebEx meeting platform. Now more than ever, WebEx is a one-stop-shop for meeting, conferencing and collaborating. As a tech addict and avid WebEx user what excites me most about this announcement goes beyond the updates to the web, audio and video offerings. Our new Collaboration Meeting Room service will bring our immersive brand of virtual collaboration to anyone, anywhere while maintaining an element of personalization and ease of use that really takes the user experience to new heights.

To learn more about the announcement, check out this excerpt from Cisco’s Collaboration lead Rowan Trollope’s blog post below.

What kind of a world will you live in three years from now? How about five? Will your personal robot pour you a drink after your self-driving car delivers you home? That’s where we’re headed, and it’s a pretty quick trip: self-driving cars are already on public roads and you’ll soon be able to buy that humanoid robot. Continue reading

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