The Journey to the Cloud

The Journey to the Cloud represents a transformational evolution in the IT industry. It is changing the way we all work and manage our systems, regardless of industry and size. Along with SaskTel, we would like to introduce our first coauthored blogging series discussing Cloud services. Stay tuned and hear from Cisco Canada and SaskTel industry leaders monthly.

In our first blog we interview Patrick Skinner, Technical Sales Consultant/Client Technology Manager, SaskTel and here is what he had to say about the journey to the Cloud…

Q1. What types of public cloud services are being adopted most by customers in the markets that you serve?  Continue reading

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Kangaroo Farts and the Teachable Moment

Not only are they cute, but marsupials like kangaroos produce eco-friendly farts that intrigue scientists battling climate change.

Not only are they cute, but marsupials like kangaroos produce eco-friendly farts that intrigue scientists battling climate change.

Author:  Sabrina Greupner is the Ontario Science Centre’s Cisco Science Fellow for Innovative Learning Technologies. This is Cisco’s first museum-based fellowship.

As any adult who’s ever tried to hold the attention of a group of children knows, nothing can derail focus faster than a fart. One minute you’re discussing geography, and the next, it’s all about the groans and giggles.

When you’re connecting with students, you learn to roll with the olfactory punches, as it were. So, when the gas obviously passed in a Nunavut classroom during a recent Cisco Connected North telepresence session with the Ontario Science Centre, Educator Russell Zeid jumped on the chance to turn it into a teachable moment.  Continue reading

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Behind the TO2015 Games: Creating the Most Digital Games in History

This post is last in a series taking readers behind-the-scenes of how Cisco technology is powering the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

During these series we’ve taken you deep inside the technology powering the TO2015 Games, which ended this weekend with an incredible closing ceremony that Canadians will remember for years to come.

Our goal was to make these the most digital Games in history. I’m proud to say we did just that. Let’s look at the facts and figures.

Wifi Usage Over the Games Continue reading

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Behind the TO2015 Games: Facilitating Remote Media Interviews with Cisco TelePresence

This post is fifth in a series taking readers behind-the-scenes of how Cisco technology is powering the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

In our exclusive look at the technology behind the TO2015 Games, we’ve talked a lot about the technology fans will see and interact with this summer. But now I’d like to truly take you behind-the-scenes for a glimpse at technology only media will see during the Games.

Argentina Men's Coxless Fours - Bronze Medalists

TO2015 Bronze Medalists from Argentina speak with media via Cisco TelePresence.

The Games are host to hundreds of international (and local) media eager to cover participants representing their respective countries. This can be challenging for reporters during the Games when competitions occur, simultaneously, across 50+ venues and hundreds of kilometres. Continue reading

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Behind the TO2015 Games: Cisco Connected Healthcare Mobile Clinic

This post is fourth in a series taking readers behind-the-scenes of how Cisco technology is powering the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

When we talk about the TORONTO 2015 Games being the most digital in history, we mean it.  The technology solutions in place at the Games go far beyond wifi access points (although there are more than 2,000 of those) and fan access to video screens (although we have those too).

How far beyond? Well, we have lots of experience working with organizations to create technology solutions that meet the needs of their industry, and we knew that we could create a remote healthcare solution at these Games that was first of its kind.

A Telemedicine Cart from Cisco and Avizia is installed in the Emergency Room of the Medical Command Centre in the CIBC Athlete’s Village Polyclinic.

A Telemedicine Cart from Cisco and Avizia, as well as a Cisco SX20 video solution,  is installed in the Emergency Room of the Medical Command Centre in the CIBC Athlete’s Village Polyclinic.

And we did. Continue reading

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Behind the TO2015 Games: Cisco TelePresence Powers Virtual Help Desk

This post is third in a series taking readers behind-the-scenes of how Cisco technology is powering the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

For our next look behind the Games (see parts 1 and 2 in this series here and here) I wanted to highlight how we are using Cisco TelePresence video conferencing technology to provide fans with seamless, face-to-face, high-definition video interaction with a Games Expert.


If you aren’t familiar with the technology, Cisco TelePresence is a high-definition video solution that is available in a variety of form factors – everything from an immersive room experience to personal video screens.

Continue reading

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Behind the TO2015 Games: Cisco I CAN Learn STEM & I CAN Develop Programs

This post is second in a series taking readers behind-the-scenes of how Cisco technology is powering the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

Although Cisco technology is powering the TO2015 Games, it is our people that are truly the driving force behind it.

But it may surprise you to know that not every technician and technology expert making these Games a success are Cisco or TO2015 employees. In fact, many of them are volunteers giving their own time for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

And of those volI Can Develop Studentsunteers are 350 incredibly talented, driven people that I’m proud to work beside. They are our Networking Academy instructors and students, working at 31 different venues during the Games including the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome, CIBC Hamilton Soccer stadium, Oshawa Sports Centre and – during the Parapan Am Games – the Whitby Abilities Centre.

Continue reading

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Behind the TO2015 Games: How Cisco is Powering the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games

This post is first in a series taking readers behind-the-scenes of how Cisco technology is powering the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

Cisco and TORONTO 2015 are creating the most digital Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in history, with superior network connectivity and technology working in concert to deliver an exceptional fan experience. We’ve already seen this in action over the first weekend of competition, with thousands of spectators sharing images and video from venues on their mobile devices.

But it’s taken thousands of hours from our dedicated team – and the incredible team at TO2015 – to get us where we are today, with 18,000 network ports, more than 2,000 wifi access points and over 100,000 meters of cable connecting the Games.

It’s in this spirit that I’m proud to introduce this blog series, which will take you behind the TO2015 Games as we share the highlights, facts and figures of the technology powering these experiences this summer. Continue reading

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A Torch Bearer is a Local Hero

Torch Bearers represent individuals that have proven to be a local hero. What are some of the challenges you had to overcome?

My name is Brianna Buckle and I’m 1 of 200 people in the world with the rarest heart disease called Truncus Arteriosus.  It’s a disease where I had no pulmonary artery, so my heart wasn’t connected to my lungs.  I’ve had 4 major open heart surgeries. Life hasn’t always been easy or kind.  My biggest challenge was when I was 20 days old during my first heart surgery; in recovery I was 24 hours away from dying, even though I don’t remember, I know I fought to live! I remember the surgery when I was ten. I was frightened in the operating room and I remember in the recovery room not knowing where I was or what was going on.  At home, stairs were incredibly difficult and I couldn’t do anything. Going back to school was worse, staff and students would treat me like I was a snowflake.

At beaches or pools I would wear a bikini, but feel people staring at my surgical scars and this saddened me because I’m proud of them, they’re my battle-scars.  I am a fighter. I even joined the cross country team, while I knew it would be difficult to compete and I was discouraged, I proved that I am no quitter. I finished the season and was awarded “Athlete of The Month”.  I find the positive in all the challenges I have faced and so has my family.  After gym class, it’s difficult for me to cool down and I walk around with a rosy face a little longer than other students, but my parents say it just gives me a more beaming smile, and they are right!

What does being a Torch Bearer mean to you? 

It’s an incredible privilege and honour to be chosen to carry the Pan Am Games torch on behalf of Sick Kids Hospital and Cisco Canada. I was ecstatic when I found out I would be a part of this once in a lifetime event where a unique group of individuals were selected to participate. I view this as an opportunity to participate in an amazing event and proudly represent Sick Kids as a very proud Sick Kids Ambassador! I am a fierce competitor and I don’t like to quit. Being a torchbearer provides me and lots of other kids a unique opportunity.  There are many of us who suffer from some type of illness and we want to show everyone what we are made of.  Running in this event allows me to run on behalf of all of kids who were treated by Sick Kids Hospital, to show that we are strong, determined and fierce. Even though we have major health issues that we must battle with every day we are not defined by our problems.  I refuse to allow my heart problem to slow me down and I will represent other children sitting in hospital beds wondering when they are getting out.  I am carry this torch for them!  I want this torch to bring hope, inspiration and courage to my fellow Sick Kids Ambassadors – because as I carry it for me, I proudly carry it for all of them.

20150425_113327My name is Brianna and I am the second of five children.  In my family, I am known as the miracle child after having survived multiple open heart surgeries, the first at 21 days old, for a very rare heart condition.  I have been an Ambassador for The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto since I was four years old,  sharing my story and the heroic efforts of the medical team that continue to support my condition and keep me alive.

I am currently in grade 9 and I love to read, run, swim and skate.  I also love to participate in soccer, archery and most of all street hockey with my 6 year old brother.   I know I have been given the gift of life and I intend to help others with it!  I am truly thankful and blessed for every day!

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Representing Canada by Carrying the Torch

How does it make you feel being an athlete and representing Canada by carrying the torch? 

Being a torch bearer to me is symbolic of the experiences: the trials and tribulations, the wins and losses, the love and strife of not only me, but of my family, my neighbors, and my home of Canada. Words cannot express my gratitude, appreciation, and love of being an athlete, a student, a citizen and representative of Canada for this occasion and hopefully many more. Being a torch bearer has been one of the greatest honors I have ever been granted in life and as an athlete as it symbolizes Canada’s appreciation and recognition of me as an athlete, of everyone who has aided and guided me to where I am. To me, this torch is literally the weight and fire of all of the hard work us athletes pour into our passions and of the love and dedication our parents and teammates give on a daily basis. Every step on this torch run will be symbolic of the millions of steps I have taken while training for a competition. Passing the torch represents that I am passing the torch onto the younger generation that I hope to be a positive role model for. As a citizen of a nation whose livelihoods rested upon the bodies of men and women who have worked hard and given much effort to raise us, I, too, am appreciative of the value of whole-hearted dedication in doing my best for my country, win, lose or draw. It is for the sake of preserving the honor of those who have sacrificed to give me these opportunities.

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Author:  Adam Tomlinson

Born in Toronto, Adam has been enrolled in the martial art and Olympic sport of Taekwondo at his parents business since a very young age. In 2012, he participated in his first national championship; he finished in second place but felt inspired and fortunate to have accomplished such a huge step in his life. From that moment forward, his love for taekwondo and patriotism for his country exploded and with his new ambition and increased drive, he won his first Canadian championship in 2013. Later that same year he successfully prepared for his first Pan- American Championship in Mexico, while balancing his high school academics, and won gold with the support of his father, coach and teammates. In 2014 he won his first senior national championship, bringing him closer to his dream, to participate in the Olympics. Adam won a gold medal at the 2015 nationals as well as his first quarter final finish at the 2014 senior PanAm championship in Mexico. To Adam, it isn’t the glory in itself of winning but the struggle, the pushing forward, the journey to represent Canada and the love for the sport and his country that truly makes him happy along his journey of being an athlete.

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