Today it was my pleasure to participate in one of the most exciting announcements so far this year: Toronto has been selected as the location for one of four global Cisco Internet of Everything (IoE) Innovation Centers, and will serve as a global hub for thought leadership and solutions development that will capture the value and imagination of IoE.
Our new IoE Innovation Center will be located in Oxford Properties’ RBC WaterPark Place, scheduled for completion in spring of 2015, and will take up approximately 15,000 square feet. Our space in the brand new hyper-connected and LEED Platinum building in the Toronto waterfront revitalization will consist of a 5,000 square feet solutions lab environment and a cutting edge experience and demonstration centre. In this, Cisco Canada will invest more than $100M over the next ten years which will include the relocation of our Canadian headquarters to the same Oxford Properties’ site.
This new IoE Innovation Center will succeed our current Smart + Connected Communities Innovation Center that we opened in June of 2012. Until now, our innovation center has primarily been used to collaborate closely with our partners and industry to co-create scalable and repeatable networked solutions and proof of concepts for smart buildings in smart cities. Together with a new eco system of partners and our existing value-added-reseller community, we have pushed for the transformation of an industry that only now starts to accept IT and IP networks as instrumental to the shaping of our built environment. Continue reading
Posted in Canada Perspectives, Cisco, Government, Internet of Everything, Smart + Connected Communities
Tagged Cisco, cisco canada, innovation, Innovation Centre, Internet of Everything, Oxford Properties, Province of Ontario, Rick Huijbregts, S+CC, Toronto, value at stake
By all accounts, the Cisco Business Edition 6000 is an incredible product. Able to handle 1,000 users, 100 contact centre agents and up to 50 remote branch offices, the Cisco Business Edition 6000 simplifies our unified communications and collaboration portfolio for mid-sized companies – literally putting it in one box.
The Cisco Business Edition 6000 is a single server and fully virtualized environment – embedded services include Cisco’s world renowned Unified Communications Manager, Unity Integrated Voice Messaging, Instant Messaging and Presence and Cisco’s Integrated Video Communications Solution. The Cisco Business Edition 6000 also supports various 3rd party applications that can be running co-resident on the same Cisco Business Edition 6000 server, saving customers the headaches of buying additional servers and maintenance to host them.
To create a seamless experience for customers, the Cisco Business Edition 6000 can be specifically configured to your business’ environment. As you can imagine, with a solution that offers this many options, there are a lot of choices to make. Continue reading
Posted in Cisco, Collaboration, Partners, Small and Mid-size Business, Video
Tagged BE6000, Cisco, Cisco Business Edition 6000, cisco canada, Collaboration, CTO Service, Dave De Abreu, Mid-size business, partners, Unified Communications, Unified Communications Manager, video
“We initially went looking for a phone system, but we found a lot more with the Cisco Business Edition 6000. We now have the tools we need to truly align business communications with our values of promoting excellent customer service and environmental sustainability, while enhancing employee work experiences.” Sandro Ragogna, director of finance and IT at Genuine Health.
I’ve been in the Networking and Communications industry for over 25 years and it’s amazing to me how our customers’ table stakes have evolved as it relates to their company’s communications systems. Ten years ago, we heard things like “I need a DID (or a dedicated number) and voice mail”. Now we are hearing things like “I need single number reach for all my phones and devices, I need unified access for my voicemail, I need Mobility, I need Instant Messaging”. Table stakes are not changing every decade, they are rapidly evolving each year. This is a dynamic time and it’s exciting for us to work with organizations that are embracing the speed of innovation and investing in sophisticated “collaboration platforms”. Continue reading
Posted in All Posts, Small and Mid-size Business, Technology
Tagged BE6K, cisco business edition, Cisco Business Edition 6000, cisco canada, Cisco Systems Canada, collaboration platform, DID, increased video, Mid-Market, Mobile workforce, mobility, multiple devices, phone system, Rod Scotland, small business, smallbiz, SMB, UN, Unified Communications
When I was a sales executive ‘way back in the day’, I recall an opportunity where a successful sales deal originated by the demands of one my IT customer’s HR department wanting to build an intranet for their employees. I had the opportunity to fly to California head quarters to meet with the Human Resource Vice President to discuss his requirements. As rudimentary as the net was back then, it was a great example of IT and the Lines of Business (LOB) working together for a common goal.
Fifteen years ago this was deemed a unique one off use case. Nowadays it’s a common story. LOB’s are demanding support from IT departments in this new cloud/mobile era. Business requirements have evolved and made collaboration technology benefits more quantifiable in the areas of productivity, innovation and growth.
Today’s work is more interconnected than ever before. See below for some facts on today’s collaboration technologies.* Continue reading
Cisco shares the passion for a greener and more sustainable future, and we have been the proud event sponsor for Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Sustainable Communities Conference for several years now. Canada is poised to be a nation of innovation by capitalizing on the many positive opportunities around us, and we see cities playing an instrumental role in this transformation.
Event: Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Cities are the foundation—and are at the intersection of: urban innovation, economic prosperity, social and cultural qualities, and environmental sustainability.
We appreciate that municipalities have a daunting task in a rapidly changing world full of new expectations and political pressures while budgets are shrinking. Despite the challenges and obstacles Canada’s municipalities have to overcome on a daily basis, it is good to see there is plenty optimism about the future. Continue reading
Posted in All Posts
Tagged @AlexSteffen, Alex Steffen, cisco canada, Cisco Systems, FCM, future, Internet of Everything, Internet of Things, IoE, IoT, Rick Huijbregts, Sustainable communities conference, tech industry, technology, tomorrow starts here
The Presidents Innovation Challenge took place on January 11th, 2014 at Sheridan College. The challenge invited Sheridan College students from multiple disciplines to participate in an initiative aimed at developing a new innovation that will help build smart connections and enhanced experiences between the 2015 Games, the province of Ontario, and the fans.
I had an opportunity to discuss with our winning team, Fantastic Four, what they felt about the challenge and here is what they had to say:
The ‘Fantastic Four’ accepting their winning certificates!
We wanted to clarify our educational background for you. We are all classmates in the Interactive Multimedia Postgraduate program at Sheridan College. The course focuses on mobile technology, user experience design, and front-end responsive web development. We are graduating in April 2014. Continue reading
For my inaugural blog post, I think it’s only right to tell you a bit about me and my position at Cisco. As vice president of services, I lead a team across Canada that works with customers to build and support innovative IT solutions to help those customers compete more effectively. To put it concisely, I help our customers get the absolute most out of their technology.
As a 14-year veteran of Cisco, and having spent 6 months as services lead for Canada, I genuinely believe that this is a truly incredible time to be in services. Why? Because every box, every switch and every IP phone has a lifecycle.
For example, when a new Cisco IP phone is placed on your desk, there is an entire process behind it getting to you – licensing and applications and infrastructure, to start – and services is at the heart of that process, making sure the phone, license and applications are optimized for your business. Continue reading
Through a random selection process, I was recently invited by Transport Canada to participate in the Canadian Vehicle Use Study. The objective was to better understand how Canadians use their vehicles. This study uses a Canadian manufactured, autonomous logger (a sensor) that easily connects to your vehicle and collects data directly from the engine.
During my three weeks of having the logger in use, each trip delivered data points that you would typically get from an onboard car computer. But I found that the logger also displayed time spent idling, my exact fuel usage and cost per trip.
On an individual level, I was intrigued with the cost per trip and often it felt I was driving my own personal taxi! Through the real-time capabilities of the logger, the overall experience gave me further pause to think about the environmental impact of my drive and how unproductive my time spent sitting in traffic truly is.
My logger in use during the Study. It cost $10.51 in fuel and nearly 47 minutes in time to drive 36 kms during rush hour.
It also reminded me how Canadians can benefit through Smart + Connected Cities enabled through the Internet of Everything (IoE). Continue reading
Four first-year students in Sheridan College’s Interaction Design program were chosen as the winners of the People’s Choice Award for the Presidents’ Innovation Challenge.
The team, going by the name Work in Progress, consists of Ali Tayyebi, Riley Co, Deron Li and Kaye Mao.
Their winning idea is to develop an opinion aggregator by way of a voting app for an attendee’s smartphone. Users will use the app to vote on athletes at the Pan Am Games in terms of their sportsmanship and all around likability. That data would then be collected and provided to the athletes, to then be exhibited to potential sponsors as a means of quantifying their worth to those sponsors. Continue reading
Last week we released the 2013 update to our annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Forecast and it contained some interesting data points on the Canadian market. For those of you not familiar with the forecast, it’s a report that examines trends and projections for global mobile data traffic. I’ve written about the VNI report in the past and I think the findings are helpful to anyone involved in the service provider industry.
For Canada, one of the big findings this year was that our mobile data traffic doubled in 2013 from 2012. That’s a big jump. Why did this happen? There were a few reasons, including the expansion of 4G networks, a proliferation of smartphones and the growth of machine-to-machine traffic. Continue reading