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Exam Code: 500-052 Practice exam 2022 by Killexams.com team
500-052 Deploying Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCXD)

Exam Number : 500-052 UCCXD
Exam Title : Deploying Cisco Unified Contact Center Express
Duration : 60 Minutes (45-55 questions)
Available Languages : English
Register : Pearson VUE

The Deploying Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (500-052) exam is a 60 -minute exam with 45 - 55 questions. This exam tests a candidate's knowledge of the design, implementation, and operation of Cisco Contact Center Express version 11.0 deployments. Candidates can prepare for this exam by taking the Deploying Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCXD) version 6.0 course, which is based on the UCCX version 11.0 release.
The following subjects are general guidelines for the content likely to be included on the exam. However, other related subjects may also appear on any specific delivery of the exam. In order to better reflect the contents of the exam and for clarity purposes, the guidelines below may change at any time without notice.

Design a Unified Contact Center Express System Deployment (32%)
- Perform customer capacity planning
- Determine customer required features
- Evaluate and recommend different configuration options
- Identify available configuration and ordering tools

Implement a Unified Contact Center Express System (40%)
- Describe the process for installing Unified Contact Center Express software and hardware
- Describe the process to configure Unified Contact Center Express software and provision the users to meet customer requirements
- Describe the process of using the Unified Contact Center Express Application Editor
- Examine the Cisco Business Edition 6000 competitive landscape

Operate a Unified Contact Center Express System (28%)
- Identify basic Unified Contact Center Express user tasks
- Identify process and tools available for troubleshooting Unified Contact Center Express
- Identify process and tools available for monitoring system operations in Unified Contact Center Express
- Identify process and tools available for patching, upgrading systems, and license additions for Unified Contact Center Express

Deploying Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCXD)
Cisco Deploying learner
Killexams : Cisco Deploying learner - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/500-052 Search results Killexams : Cisco Deploying learner - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/500-052 https://killexams.com/exam_list/Cisco Killexams : APAC organisations warm to cloud networking

The growing adoption of cloud computing across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is driving a groundswell in demand for cloud networking services, particularly in the wake of the pandemic where organisations are relying more on cloud networking to ensure employees can securely access networks and resources from home.

In fact, the post-pandemic landscape will place an even greater emphasis on both cloud-centric networking and seamless networking across clouds, according to Brad Casemore, vice-president of research for datacentre and multi-cloud networks at IDC.

“Cloud is an undeniable force that exerts tremendous influence across all facets of networking, but this is especially true for datacentre and multi-cloud networking, which necessarily deal with providing the network infrastructure and resources that are integral to applications and workloads,” he says.

In APAC, organisations across telecommunications, government and defence, financial services and manufacturing, as well as sovereign cloud providers have been the most receptive to adopting cloud networking, according to Vish Iyer, vice-president for architectures at Cisco Asia-Pacific, Japan and China.

Citrix is also seeing the biggest adoption of cloud networking among IT and OTT (over-the-top) service providers, retailers, healthcare organisations, and in cloud projects in government and regulated markets in the region.

What is cloud networking?

In general, cloud networking refers to hosting or using someone else’s network and resources. With cloud networking, the network can be either cloud-enabled or entirely cloud-based.

“In cloud-enabled networking, the network is on-premise, but some or all resources used to manage it are in the cloud. Core network infrastructure – packet forwarding, routing, and data – remains in-house, but things like network management, monitoring, maintenance, and security services are done through the cloud,” says Parag Arora, vice-president of Citrix Asia-Pacific and Japan.

Cloud networking also includes the use of technologies such as virtual routers and virtual firewalls, as well as more advanced technologies, such as zero trust network access (ZTNA) and secure service edge (SSE), to secure workloads as they move into public cloud.

In cloud-based networking, the entire network is in the cloud. This includes network management resources and physical hardware. Cloud-based networking is used to provide connectivity between applications and resources deployed in the cloud.

The use of cloud networking is also changing the way organisations in the APAC region manage and consume networking services.

Cisco’s Iyer notes that in today’s hyperconnected, cloud-first environment, the responsibility of managing the network no longer solely lies with the network team. Instead, it requires collaboration across multiple groups in the organisation where NetOps, SecOps, CloudOps, and DevOps need to work together.

“A well-executed networking strategy holds a myriad of benefits, from simplifying application lifecycle management to reducing operating costs and time-to-market for a service rollout. Most application interactions begin at or terminate beyond an organisation’s own network, so cloud networking is becoming the new enterprise norm,” he says.

Benefits of cloud networking

The most obvious benefits of cloud networking are lower costs compared to on-premise networking as well as improved productivity as network administrators don’t have to perform hardware and software upgrades or maintain the cloud networking service.

The scalability, flexibility, reliability and ease of deployment benefits of cloud services also apply to cloud networking. Moreover, cloud networking suppliers have started to build artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into their offerings to simplify management, detect anomalies and even fix problems that may occur.

Lee Ming Kai, APAC vice-president of systems engineering at Juniper Networks, notes that cloud-delivered, AI-enabled networking can help organisations deliver reliable, secure and high-performing services.

“In a region like APAC where many organisations are experiencing strong growth and are moving forward with post-pandemic recovery plans, cloud networking can play a vital role in addressing growing infrastructure needs and regional expansions,” he says.

Service providers, for example, can use AI and cloud-delivered network automation services to simplify day-to-day workflows, deploy services more quickly, reduce trouble tickets and accelerate time-to-service restoration. This increases productivity significantly, allowing network engineers and operators to accomplish more, which is critical for employee satisfaction and retention.

For enterprises, Lee notes that cloud network management services can assist in automating key tasks and proactively address and solve networking issues before operations are impacted.

“These services can also provide detailed insight into user, device and application behaviour, as well as network traffic, which will help maximise the value of network infrastructure and streamline day-to-day operations,” he adds.

Common types of cloud networking

The types of cloud networking services deployed by organisations are often determined by their level of IT maturity. In APAC, most organisations deploy cloud-enabled networking, but Cisco is also seeing more customers build cloud-based networking to provide connectivity between resources, applications and the datacentre via a cloud backbone.

Iyer notes that businesses with a presence in APAC are also likely to leverage a public cloud’s local cache to enhance rich media delivery.

However, they need to comply with their respective country’s data sovereignty requirements, including the need for sensitive data to reside within the home country. “This requires a cloud networking capability that can connect on-premises customer records to front-end services deployed in the public cloud,” he says.

To facilitate remote work, organisations will also need to provide employees with reliable and secure access to the data and applications they use every day. To that end, Citrix’s Arora notes that traditional application delivery controllers (ADCs) and load balancing are no longer sufficient for delivering apps in a hybrid and multi-cloud world.

“Technologies like SD-WAN [software-defined wide area network] can help aggregate all types of networks to deliver a consistent user experience, whether users are at a branch office or home, or on any other network,” he adds.

According to Bjarne Munch, senior principal analyst at Gartner, more organisations in the region have been adopting SD-WAN, driven partly by the need to save money and move traffic away from expensive MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) links as they start to use more cloud applications.

“Enterprises now use multiple cloud services, so they need something that is better than a router to do forwarding and achieve better control on performance – and SD-WAN can definitely assist strongly in that scenario,” he said.

With applications moving to the cloud, organisations are also more vulnerable to internet-based attacks. To address this issue, organisations are moving away from the model of “connect first and then authenticate users” towards a secure digital perimeter.

Arora says with a secure digital perimeter – one that encompasses ADCs, web application firewalls, and secure web gateway components – organisations can authenticate users before granting access based on who the user is, where they’re located, and even what device they’re on.

The hybrid cloud challenge

While a hybrid cloud environment can deliver unprecedented flexibility for organisations, it often introduces challenges such as increased complexity, decreased visibility and security risks within the network.

According to Juniper’s Lee, one of the ways organisations can bolster the resilience and security of their networks is to use a combination of virtual firewalls and virtual routers in their public and private cloud environments.

“These solutions can provide advanced security services, robust networking and automated lifecycle management to both service providers and enterprises. In terms of technology selection, it is critical that organisations look at cloud-agnostic solutions that allow them to deploy these network management, control and security functionalities across multiple public and private cloud infrastructure seamlessly,” he says.

And when building a hybrid cloud architecture across private and public cloud datacentres, Lee says organisations can tap automation so that IT teams can meet the dynamic needs of virtualised, containerised and cloud environments, while providing increased visibility into the network.

To address issues at the network level when managing various private and public cloud segments in the overall enterprise network, Cisco’s Iyer advises organisations to adopt cloud-neutral, full-stack observability offerings to manage their infrastructure and applications.

“Telemetry and machine learning are essential to identifying network anomalies and reducing mean time to identify [MTTI], effectively cutting down unplanned downtime,” he says.

Plugging the skills gap

Cloud networking is a new frontier in IT infrastructure and requires collaboration across multiple teams.

According to Iyer, the learning curves associated with operating multiple public cloud environments are a key issue for companies, noting that businesses need cloud networking services that can provide a single point of policy orchestration across hybrid environments, giving them operational consistency using the same tools and processes.

“In general, most customers have the ready capabilities to connect instances and services in the public cloud with documentation provided by their respective public cloud providers,” he says. “The challenge comes with the heavy investment of time and efforts in translating the application intent across multiple cloud targets in a consistent and timely manner and finding resources that can be provisioned across different cloud targets.”

One way to plug the skill gap is to work with a supplier that can help simplify how you deploy and manage the network, along with leveraging AI capabilities.

“Through combining the capabilities of AI and cloud networking, network operators can reduce the risk of network change errors, which are frequently the leading cause of downtime,” says Juniper’s Lee.

“Essentially, by bringing simplicity, reliability, and security to the network with AI, IT operations teams can focus on higher level tasks and users can benefit from superior experiences – all without the need to hire AI experts.”

Tue, 09 Aug 2022 15:35:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.computerweekly.com/feature/APAC-organisations-warm-to-cloud-networking
Killexams : Opinion: Making Cloud Environments Work for Education
In higher education and K-12, there probably has never been a more crucial time to ensure your teaching and learning environments are safe and secure, while at the same time maintaining a high degree of engagement. The safety and security of your environment can affect the physical, psychological and emotional state of faculty, staff and students who work and interact with each other. Creating ideal educational environments requires the proper selection and implementation of technology, particularly when considering appropriate cloud-related options.

Today there are six main factors which affect our ability to create safe and secure learning environments, including:

  • the pandemic
  • workforce monitoring and management
  • space occupancy monitoring and utilization
  • cloud management of devices, data and networks
  • cybersecurity
  • robust emergency management and notification

THE PANDEMIC


Certainly, in the past several years, the pandemic dramatically reshaped our work landscape. Since employees successfully transitioned to a remote environment, today a substantial number of them want to work remotely. While not all jobs are conducive to remote work, many positions in higher education and technology fields can be done effectively or efficiently while working from home. In fact, a 2021 survey from the staffing firm Robert Half found that nearly one third of people working from home said they would look for a new job if required to return to the office. Another survey of 1,000 U.S. hiring managers by the freelancing firm Upwork projected that nearly 28 percent of Americans will be working remotely by the year 2026. Hiring and retaining staff may become much more difficult. However, providing an effective cloud-managed environment could help ensure the necessary access and resources for remote work.

WORKFORCE MONITORING


Another area of need is our ability to monitor our workforce with appropriate management, particularly in a remote environment. This is where cloud-enabled technologies can help. Cloud technology can help track both remote and on-site environments. It would also provide the ability to track the travel time and location of employees on a campus, city, or even in a different country. It could also be used to mitigate employee risks, monitor potential invalid compensation claims, and help to prevent fraud.

MONITORING PHYSICAL SPACES


In both education and corporate environments, cloud technologies can effectively monitor space and occupancy utilization. Sophisticated applications can remotely monitor people to ensure safety and maximize space and availability in areas such as libraries or labs. Facility monitoring of buildings and rooms can be time-tailored for cleaning or for the decontamination of environments based on occupancy or immediate need. The National Center for Educational Statistics and the Institute of Educational Sciences have been tracking institutional safety and security measures used in U.S. public schools. Their surveys have shown that from 2009-2020, over 90 percent of schools determined controlled access to buildings during school hours was most important. The use of security cameras to monitor schools jumped from 61 percent in 2009-2010 to over 90 percent by 2019-2020. Certainly, the need for cloud-related control of these devices is accelerating.

The use of surveillance cameras is a crucial component to ensure safe and secure teaching and learning spaces. It is important to migrate analog cameras to digital, ensure you have the proper level of resolution, and remotely control your entire camera network. Automated cloud management of the recordings and their safe and secure storage is essential. Cloud-managed technologies of all appropriate institutional devices, data and the network are all part of the safe and secure ecosystem.

A screenshot of the feed from Cisco-Meraki cloud-managed cameras.

A screenshot of Cisco-Meraki cloud-managed cameras.

IOT AND CLOUD MANAGEMENT


As networks continue to grow and evolve, coupled with the continued proliferations of IoT, cloud-related management of devices becomes crucial in education and is typically provided as a software-as-a-service model. This includes your underlying infrastructure, servers and storage. Using cloud-managed technology ensures anytime-anywhere access to operational resources and processing within established standards.

As Sean Michael Kerner wrote in TechTarget, “Cloud-based network management reduces the burden on an organization to set up and maintain its own on-premises network management deployment. Cloud-based network management also offers potentially improved reliability, as it is provisioned and maintained on a network other than the network that it is monitoring.”

CYBERSECURITY


Cyber threat protections in a cloud-based system have a variety of important advantages, namely the ability to provide 24/7 proactive cybersecurity MDR (monitoring, detection and response). This can be scaled to match your specific needs based upon resources and staffing. Additionally, data held in the cloud can be less subject to employee theft. Cloud providers survive on redundancy. Protecting your network and data against growing security threats while optimizing learning is essential in any environment.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT


Cloud technology can provide robust systems which can include visitor management systems, remote entry control, intruder alerts, and management of metal detectors and X-ray machines, ensuring you have appropriate emergency management and notifications.

Joey Lemonier III, a sales manager at Cisco-Meraki, said in a latest webinar, “while traditional networks were not managed in the cloud, today they can be more effective in leveraging our technology.” One innovative area to keep environments secure and safe is the use of smart cameras. Lemonier said, “We are giving people visibility of what people are doing on the network during school hours and shaping traffic at the Wi-Fi level.” For example, in a K-12 environment, students can be directed to only use the appropriate application for a teaching lesson without being distracted to a computer game.

Today smart cameras can store and process data internally, which eliminates complex separate storage, servers and analytics. Lemonier said, “We can understand how people move through spaces, use sensors to know when people are in a doored area, how students move through campus and even train cameras to track license plates, if people are wearing COVID masks, or to recognize firearms.”

A screenshot of a Cisco-Meraki cloud-managed dashboard.
A screenshot of a Cisco-Meraki cloud-managed dashboard.

Cisco-Meraki

The Cisco-Meraki dashboard illustrates the potential of cloud technologies to make learning environments safer and more secure. The dashboard provides options to track institutional devices, people, wireless access, sensors and cameras. You may also monitor environments through heat-mapping sensors. In the camera area in the cloud application, you can determine a location, time and date and precisely scroll to monitor or review discrete events anytime, anywhere worldwide.

Schools, colleges and universities today must constantly look for ways to lower operational costs and become more efficient to maintain safe and secure teaching and learning environments. Cloud-managed systems can provide the necessary technology to reduce the complexity of your IT infrastructure and systems, more effectively manage remote environments, and provide a wealth of anytime-anywhere data.

Jim Jorstad is Senior Fellow for the Center for Digital Education and the Center for Digital Government. He is a retired emeritus interim CIO and Cyber Security Designee for the Chancellor’s Office at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He served in leadership roles as director of IT client services, academic technologies and media services, providing services to over 1,500 staff and 10,000 students. Jim has experience in IT operations, teaching and learning, and social media strategy. His work has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Forbes and NPR, and he is a recipient of the 2013 CNN iReport Spirit Award. Jim is an EDUCAUSE Leading Change Fellow and was chosen as one of the Top 30 Media Producers in the U.S.

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 04:07:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.govtech.com/education/higher-ed/opinion-making-cloud-environments-work-for-education
Killexams : Cisco TelePresence Service Launches in Tunisia

Cisco announced today that its Tunis office has become the first business premises in Tunisia to offer Cisco TelePresence(tm) exchanges. Unveiled in Cisco's Tunis offices last week, the Cisco TelePresence solution offers a live, face-to-face experience that enables people from different offices and cities around the world to meet virtually using the power of the network. Cisco TelePresence meeting participants can share content, create high-quality video recordings of events, consult with experts, and deliver powerful personalized services, all using the network for an immersive in-person experience.

In Tunisia, Cisco TelePresence technology offers more than a virtual meeting experience for businesses. Health care professionals, for example, will be able to collaborate more easily, regardless of location, thereby improving both the timeliness and the quality of care delivered. Patients will have access to physicians and certified from remote locations. The Cisco TelePresence infrastructure is also ideal for applications of telemedicine such as specialist or radiologist consultations. Likewise, for educational establishments, Cisco TelePresence Classroom will help transform the learning environment, providing a means to bring education to remote locations and also connect with colleges, institutions and tutors from around the world.

Highlights / Key Facts:

Setting up a Cisco TelePresence meeting is as simple as making a phone call, and when participants sit down at the conference table in a Cisco TelePresence room, other participants appear to be sitting across the table, in life size, no matter where they are in the world.

The Cisco office in Tunis has been installed with the Cisco TelePresence System 1300 Series. With a streamlined, elegant design, one screen, and three cameras, the Cisco TelePresence System 1300 Series can support meetings with up to six people in a regular conference room. Built-in lighting produces high-quality, natural-looking video by eliminating facial shadows. Nearly any conference room with its existing table can be used. Built-in support for audio conferencing and display for presentations provide extra value, while bandwidth needs are reduced to a single video stream of the active speakers for optimized return on investment.

For businesses in North Africa, Cisco TelePresence technology will bridge geographical divides, by enabling highly secure virtual meetings with multiple locations inside or outside the corporate firewall. Ultimately, the solution will help to save costs and boost productivity by reducing travel and will facilitate a greener company environment by reducing its carbon footprint.

The 'real-life' meeting experience provided by Cisco TelePresence technology is delivered through ultra-high-definition video that reveals subtle facial expressions conveying nonverbal reactions. Spatial audio allows the transmission of every nuance of the conversation and enables participants to interact as they would in person.

As other businesses in Tunisia adopt Cisco TelePresence solutions, an expert on investment products based in a Tunis bank, for example, will be able to have face-to-face private meetings with customers in Mahdia and Sousse without having to travel a long distance. Similarly, a geological data analyst for an exploration company will be able meet face-to-face with several teams in London, New York and Bangalore in one day and still attend to personal commitments.

Executive Quotes:

Adel Dahmani, general manager for Cisco Tunisia
"In today's climate, when companies are looking at better ways to conduct business efficiently whilst also keeping a firm control on travel costs, Cisco TelePresence technology offers the perfect solution. Cisco employees in Tunis are already enjoying the benefits and cost savings that a Cisco TelePresence solution offers, and we aim to also utilize this installation in our Tunis offices as a pilot to allow our business partners and customers across the region the opportunity to experience the power of Cisco TelePresence technology. We are confident that in the very near future many more organizations in Tunisia and across North Africa will be deploying the Cisco TelePresence solution."

Anthony Vonsee, managing director for Cisco North Africa Levant
"The deployment of Cisco TelePresence technology can now be increased significantly throughout the sub-Saharan African region with the arrival of submarine cables, which now offer high bandwidth at attractive prices. Cisco's vision is to be the leading enabler of ICT and broadband acceleration in emerging markets through innovative, scalable, high-value technology offerings and solutions. This Cisco TelePresence solution will not only transform the way business is conducted in North Africa but also help make vital services like health care and education more accessible to those who need them most." 

Mon, 18 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.albawaba.com/news/cisco-telepresence-service-launches-tunisia
Killexams : Oloruntimehin: Government Needs to Lower Bandwidth Cost

Cisco Nigeria Country Manager, Mr. Kunle Oloruntimehin, speaks on the increased volume of data usage since COVID-19 and how organisations should leverage technology for sustainability. Emma Okonji presents the excerpts:

Businesses are facing challenges that are threatening their survival, occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19. What are some of the economic effects of COVID-19 on businesses and how best can they be addressed?
What we have seen so far in three core business areas, occasioned by COVID-19, is the need for businesses to be resilient and to maintain business sustainability and continuity. To address the negative effect of COVID-19 on businesses, Cisco looked at key support around three core areas like: Overall employees’ experience; Transformation of the work place; and Customer experience. For the employee experience, we have seen companies migrate at very short notice to working from home. Cisco staff for instance, have been working from home since the lockdown was introduced. Other technology companies have moved 100 per cent of their staff to start working from home. Cisco was able to achieve this feat by deploying secured connectivity solutions. Cisco, for instance, is using its online platform called Webex to hold online meetings with staff, while working from home. Since we started using Webex, we have seen increase in the volume of data growth, to three and a half times between February and June, 2020. The increase in data usage is as a result of Cisco, supporting customers across multiple segments, including small business through the collaboration of Webex tools. We also have security tools to provide for secured connectivity like Bank Verification Number (BVN). The second one is the work place evolution and transformation. After the lockdown, most companies asked their workers to return to office and Cisco is providing the right technology that will enable such company workers to maintain all safety precautions like social distancing among others. In the Cisco WiFi system, there is something called the DNA spaces that we use to leverage the WiFi networks as a censor to ensure that people are properly spaced when they are on work place environment. For customer experience, we look at key areas like contact centre environment. Cisco provided a lot of capabilities to allow for greater insights and leveraging the cloud to achieve effective cloud calling, in order to Improve customer experience.

What is your view on the availability and affordability of broadband, since broadband connectivity will drive the new normal where people can work from home and hold business meetings online?
Government, no doubt, has a lot to do in order to ensure ubiquitous broadband access at affordable rate, since everyone, including organisations need broadband connectivity to survive the new normal. We are partnering with various governments on this, to ensure cheap and available broadband for all. The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami is aware of the need for easy broadband access and he is in talks with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to ensure reduction in the cost of Right of Way (RoW) that will enable telecoms operators roll out broadband across the country at cheaper rate.
From the economic point of view, there has been increased demand for broadband because the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled more people to stay at home and work from home using internet connectivity, and broadband connectivity is not cheap. But as more people connect to the internet, the cost is internet broadband will reduce. To ensure availability of bandwidth, government must be willing to drive down the cost of bandwidth and I can see such willingness in this government. With what the NCC is doing in the area of licensing Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to roll out broadband infrastructure, will again help to deepen broadband penetration across the country. Cisco on its part is democratising the use of technology by making technology available to everyone, irrespective of their status, which will further help to deepen broadband penetration in the country.

How has Cisco impacted businesses in Nigeria since the inception of its operations in the country?
Cisco has been in the forefront of providing solutions from a Business-to-Business (B2B) point of view and we have been very relevant in the enterprise space. Specific to Nigeria, we are relevant in supporting businesses in the entertainment and small business spaces, helping them to be able to go through the digital transformation drive of the federal government and to providing relevant services to customers. We have also taken the line of success to small businesses in latest times by offering specific services around security, collaboration and in providing secured access for small businesses, thus giving small businesses the same experiences we are also offering enterprise businesses.

How can Cisco eliminate challenges that organisations face in digital network experiences?
We at Cisco are addressing organisational challenges in different ways. Most organisations in the country are already taking the part of the digital transformation journey. Cisco is taking them through that journey by working closely with them, by looking at organisational imperatives and marching it with technology interventions to deliver those imperatives and outcomes for organisational growth. We are also giving organisations the opportunity to adopt the best of technologies. There are evolving technologies that are world-class, but it takes the right technical skills to adopt the right technology and maximise its potential to the fullest. The support from Cisco will help organisations realise their returns on investments, while they still remain in business.

Cisco is implementing a new automation innovation for businesses. Can you supply update on the implementation exercise and how businesses stand to gain from it?

Cisco is an innovative company and we have grown our portfolio through multiple acquisition over time. The latest acquisition that we recently announced was the ThousandEyes Inc., which is a company that gives us additional capabilities around visibilities into the network. Over and above visibility, we are leveraging the simplification of the network and leveraging other technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and transversing of our networks, including the automation of our processes, have helped us to segment our network for the benefits of our customers.

In terms of network segmentation, what are your plans to successfully deliver on this?

Network segmentation is both technology and policy imperatives, including compliance imperative, depending on what sector of the industry we are discussing. Cisco helps to provide guidance and capacity building from the people point of view. All our network technology allow us to maintain network segmentation for data centre traffic, and we look at it from three prompt approaches: people’s skills, technology and the processes. It all gears towards making organisations to become compliant and productive, even in hash economic situations.

How will you describe staff motivation on the increased demand for data services, occasioned by the effect of COVID-19?

There is need for organisational motivation for any serious minded organisations that is desirous to grow and be successful. I had earlier mentioned that digital transformation and digital services are key function of that. Access to data is necessary and must be readily available, which will increase productivity and organisational motivation. So the COVID-19 pandemic has just accelerated the demand for more data by data users.

COVID-19 has forced organisations to cut down on staff strength and there are reports that some small businesses are folding up as a result of the harsh business environment caused by the pandemic. What is your advice for organisations at this critical period?

Organisations must device means to survive the adverse effect of COVID-19 on businesses. They must focus on a couple of things to survive and remain relevant in business. The people in any organisation form the bulk of significant factors driving the organisation.They need to focus on employee welfare to sustain business continuity. Companies must find a way of retaining experienced staff that drive productivity in the organisation.

Technology is said to be the only alternative that will drive business productivity in post COVID-19. What is advice for organisations who still see deployment of technology as expensive and will rather want to avoid it?

I use it to tell people that technology is now essential commodity for every organisation that wants to remain in business in post-COVID-19. Companies must be able to define what their purpose and mission are, in terms of being successful. Technology intervention is a means to an end, which every serious organisations must take seriously to deploy. First of all an organisation must define its business outcomes to enable it understand the kind of technology they want to deploy and how to deploy it. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have witnesses increased investments in technology solutions by organisations who hitherto were reluctant in investing in technology. So, organisations must learn how to invest in technology in order to survive.

What are the new technologies that Cisco is introducing this period to sustain businesses?

I had earlier mentioned some of our new acquisitions in latest times, whose services will support businesses to survive in post COVID-19. We acquired ThousandEye that will help us in the area of business visibility. A Thousand Eyes is giving us added visibility across existing networks and network types. We also acquired Fluidmesh Networks in latest times that gives us better insights to Internet of Things (IoT) environment and these are key. In the area of collaboration, we have our Webex and we have added national security features to our Webex tool, which is used for online meetings and communication. We have added the Digital Assistant device that helps to supply command to perform certain functions like taking notes and highlights of conferences, and these innovations are driven by AI.

What is Cisco’s contribution to the support of local start-ups in Nigeria?

We have mentor programme for start-ups, where volunteer within the Cisco family, which include employees and partners come together to
mentor start-ups. I have joined other Cisco employee to mentor start-ups in Nigeria and across African countries. Cisco has the African Prize for Innovation, which is held on a yearly basis, and it is organised to help start-ups develop technology solutions that are commercially viable. Cisco have several global programmes to support start-ups.

Sat, 06 Aug 2022 11:59:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2020/07/16/oloruntimehin-government-needs-to-lower-bandwidth-cost/
Killexams : EdTech and Smart Classrooms Market Analysis by Size, Share, Key Players, Growth, Trends & Forecast 2027
EdTech and Smart Classrooms Market Analysis by Size, Share, Key Players, Growth, Trends & Forecast 2027

“Apple (US), Cisco (US), Blackboard (US), IBM (US), Dell EMC (US),Google (US), Microsoft (US), Oracle(US),SAP (Germany), Instructure(US).”

EdTech and Smart Classrooms Market by Hardware (Interactive Displays, Interactive Projectors), Education System Solution (LMS, TMS, DMS, SRS, Test Preparation, Learning & Gamification), Deployment Type, End User and Region – Global Forecast to 2027

MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global EdTech and Smart Classrooms Market to grow from USD 125.3 billion in 2022 to USD 232.9  billion by 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.2% during the forecast period. The major factors driving the growth of the EdTech and smart classrooms market include increasing penetration of mobile devices and easy availability of internet, and growing demand for online teaching-learning models, impact of COVID-19 pandemic and growing need for EdTech solutions to keep education system running.

Download PDF Brochure: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/pdfdownloadNew.asp?id=1066

Interactive Displays segment to hold the highest market size during the forecast period

Interactive displays helps to collaborate teaching with tech boost social learning. As per a study it has been discovered that frequent group activity in classrooms, often aided by technology, can result in 20% higher levels of social-emotional skill development. Students in these classes are also 13% more likely to feel confident contributing to class discussions. Interactive display encourages the real time collaboration. SMART Boards facilitate the necessary collaboration for students to develop these skills. Creating an audience response system on the interactive display allows students to use devices to participate in class surveys, quizzes, and games, and then analyse the results in real time. A large interactive whiteboard (IWB), also known as an interactive board or a smart board, is a large interactive display board in the shape of a whiteboard. It can be a standalone touchscreen computer used to perform tasks and operations on its own, or it can be a connectable apparatus used as a touchpad to control computers from a projector. They are used in a variety of settings, such as classrooms at all levels of education, corporate board rooms and work groups, professional sports coaching training rooms, broadcasting studios, and others.

Cloud deployment type to record the fastest growth rate during the forecast period

Technology innovation has provided numerous alternative solutions for businesses of all sizes to operate more efficiently. Cloud has emerged as a new trend in data centre administration. The cloud eliminates the costs of purchasing software and hardware, setting up and running data centres, such as electricity expenses for power and cooling of servers, and high-skilled IT resources for infrastructure management. Cloud services are available on demand and can be configured by a single person in a matter of minutes. Cloud provides dependability by storing multiple copies of data on different servers. The cloud is a potential technological creation that fosters change for its users. Cloud computing is an information technology paradigm that delivers computing services via the Internet by utilizing remote servers, database systems, networking, analytics, storage systems, software, and other digital facilities. Cloud computing has significant benefits for higher education, particularly for students transitioning from K-12 to university. Teachers can easily deliver online classes and engage their students in various programs and online projects by utilizing cloud technology in education. Cloud-based deployment refers to the hosted-type deployment of the game-based learning solution. There has been an upward trend in the deployment of the EdTech solution via cloud or dedicated data center infrastructure. The advantages of hosted deployment include reduced physical infrastructure, lower maintenance costs, 24×7 accessibility, and effective analysis of electronic business content. The cloud-based deployment of EdTech solution is crucial as it offers a flexible and scalable infrastructure to handle multiple devices and analyze ideas from employees, customers, and partners.

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Major EdTech and smart classrooms vendors include Apple (US), Cisco (US),  Blackboard (US), IBM (US), Dell EMC (US), Google (US), Microsoft (US), Oracle(US), SAP (Germany), Instructure(US). These market players have adopted various growth strategies, such as partnerships, agreements, and collaborations, and new product enhancements to expand their presence in the EdTech and smart classrooms market. Product enhancements and collaborations have been the most adopted strategies by major players from 2018 to 2020, which helped companies innovate their offerings and broaden their customer base.

A prominent player in the EdTech and smart classrooms market, Apple focuses on inorganic growth strategies such as partnerships, collaborations, and acquisitions. For instance, in August 2021 Apple launched Mobile Student ID through which students will be able to navigate campus and make purchases using mobile student IDs on the iPhone and Apple Watch. In July 2020 Apple partnered with HBCUs to offer innovative opportunities for coding to communities across the US. Apple deepened the partnership with an additional 10 HBCUs regional coding centers under its Community Education Initiative. The main objective of this partnership is to bring coding, creativity, and workforce development opportunities to learners of all ages. Apple offers software as well as hardware to empower educators with powerful products and tools. Apple offers several applications for K-12 education, including Schoolwork and Classroom. The company also offers AR in education to provide a better learning experience. Teaching tools helps to simplify teaching tasks with apps that make the classroom more flexible, collaborative, and personalized for each student. Apple has interactive guide that makes it easy to stay on task and organized while teaching remotely with iPad. The learning apps helps to manage schedules and screen time to minimize the distractions and also helps to create productive learning environments and make device set up easy for teachers and parents. Apple has various products, such as Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, wearables, and services. It has an intelligent software assistant named Siri, which has cloud-synchronized data with iCloud.

Blackboard has a vast product portfolio with diverse offerings across four divisions: K-12, higher education, government, and business. Under the K-12 division, the company offers products such as LMS, Synchronous Collaborative Learning, Learning Object Repository, Web Community Manager, Mass Notifications, Mobile Communications Application, Teacher Communication, Social Media Manager, and Blackboard Ally. Its solutions include Blackboard Classroom, Collaborate Starter, and Personalized Learning. Blackboard’s higher education division products include Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, Analytics for Learn, Blackboard Intelligence, Blackboard Predict, Outcomes and Assessments, X-ray for Learning Analytics, Blackboard Connect, Blackboard Instructor, Moodlerooms, Blackboard Transact, Blackboard Ally, and Blackboard Open Content. The company also provides services, such as student pathway services, marketing, and recruiting, help desk services, enrollment management, financial aid and student services, engagement campaigns, student retention, training and implementation services, strategic consulting, and analytics consulting services. Its teaching and learning solutions include LMS, education analytics, web conferencing, mobile learning, open-source learning, training and implementation, virtual classroom, and competency-based education. Blackboard also offers campus enablement solutions such as payment solutions, security solutions, campus store solutions, and transaction solutions. Under the government division, it offers solutions such as LMS, registration and reporting, accessibility, collaboration and web conferencing, mass notifications and implementation, and strategic consulting. The company has launched Blackboard Unite on April 2020 for K-12. This solution compromises a virtual classroom, learning management system, accessibility tool, mobile app, and services and implementation kit to help emote learning efforts.

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Killexams : FG Approves Cisco Networking Academy in Federal Unity Collegesc

Emma Okonji

The federal government, through the Federal Ministry of Education, has approved the Cisco Networking Academy Programme as well as the establishment of six Internet of Things (IoT) innovation centres across the Federal Unity Colleges in the six geo-political zones of the country.

The initiative is part of Cisco’s strategic partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education to provide access to quality ICT education in the country. The project is driven by one of Cisco’s Networking Academy Support Centres, UNITeS and so far, two IoT Innovation Centres have already been established at the Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba and at FGC, Bwari, Abuja.

Speaking at the official opening and inauguration of one of the Innovation Centres at Queen’s College, Lagos, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu represented by the Director of ICT, Federal Ministry of Education, Ifegwu Orji, said: “Qualitative education in the modern world is intrinsically tied to the development and deployment of ICT in education. This initiative by Cisco is highly commendable as it will train our students to become global problem solvers and to become competitive on a global level. It is my earnest desire that this centre will produce great minds that will make a difference Nigeria.”

The minister also approved all other Cisco long-term CSR programmes, even as he urged all stakeholders in the sector to partner the government in order to salvage the education system of the country towards the attainment of sustainable development, towards a digital economy.

CSR Programme Manager, Cisco Nigeria, Imoh Akpan, said: “The establishment of these centres is one way that Cisco encourages the adoption and the application of technology. Our aim is to boost the education sector, ensuring more students are exposed to skills for the digital economy, in the current 4th Industrial Revolution, thereby enhancing Nigeria’s global competitiveness, boosting socio-economic development as well as promoting employability.”

The Unites Internet of Things Innovation Centre is the first in sub-Saharan Africa, designed to serve as a centre for research and development that will provide solutions to social challenges and developmental problems, and transform Federal Unity Colleges into smart schools for teaching and learning. The intervention will provide students with a competitive edge when entering higher education or the labour market.

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2018/03/22/fg-approves-cisco-networking-academy-in-federal-unity-collegesc/
Killexams : Review: Cisco Umbrella Offers Full-Coverage Cloud Security

Education leaders have taken a strong focus on preventing cyberattacks, especially with so many users learning and working from home during the pandemic.

Attackers have taken advantage of the latest chaos, launching more attacks than ever. Even before the pandemic, ransomware attacks on universities had become increasingly common. In 2019, 89 U.S. universities, colleges and school districts were victims of major attacks, according to latest data, and even more fell prey in 2020.

Cybercriminals have grown more sophisticated with their ransomware attacks. But paying the ransom doesn’t ensure their data will be returned. The best defense is always to prevent the attack in the first place.

To that end, there is Cisco Umbrella. Testing revealed it to be particularly effective for universities and colleges looking to protect their networks by blocking traffic at a Domain Name System level, which ensures contact with an infected website is halted.

Cloud Coverage That Is Simple for Administrators to Manage

Umbrella is a cloud-based security platform, which makes it simpler to implement and maintain than most other enterprise solutions. Even if a school has a large campus, or several different sites, the entire platform can be managed from the cloud. The interface is also user-friendly. Some technical knowledge is required, of course, but you don’t have to be a top-level expert to manage Umbrella.

By drilling down on data collected by Umbrella, network administrators can identify and restrict access to websites based on the needs of the institution. The Investigate feature also simplifies threat hunting within a school’s network. When conducting threat ­hunting, Umbrella provides network administrators with critical information, such as IP addresses, domains and malware hashes. It’s an impressive tool for veteran threat hunters.

 

New and Improved Version of the Cyber Tool

Several years ago, Cisco rebranded OpenDNS enterprise security products as Cisco Umbrella. Having reviewed the solution before as OpenDNS, and now as Umbrella, I was surprised by how it remains one of the most comprehensive security solutions for schools to administer, even as it adds new features, such as cloud-based deployment and management, and an improved user interface.

More important, the easy deployment of the solution and its simplicity to manage remain intact, placing it among the most crucial tools for keeping school networks safe. Also, by providing this solution in a cloud-delivered security architecture, Cisco adds the ability to provide security that scales with any changes to the academic environment. It’s no longer a problem to add students, classes or even whole campuses and expand the protection umbrella.

Another improvement is that Umbrella requires little maintenance after setting up the initial configuration and policies. It’s intuitively built to do most of the heavy lifting itself with little to no human intervention. Just under 10 minutes after configuration, Umbrella will be protecting any devices with access to a school’s internet.

RELATED REVIEW: Ensure advanced security with VMware Carbon Black Cloud.

My favorite feature on the new Umbrella-branded platform is the dashboard, which allows administrators to view the threats Umbrella thwarted and where those attacks were trying to land. You do not need an advanced degree to understand what is happening in terms of security. You get real-time access to a host of information about your network’s security posture right from the main interface.

Just like its older versions, Umbrella makes it simple to view and modify your threat protection. Users can even submit their own requests to the administrator to review a site they want unblocked, or something they think might be suspicious, making security more like a community endeavor.

Before the Umbrella branding, most of the OpenDNS tools that folded into this platform were highly accurate, but they weren’t always easy to use. You could also run into problems trying to monitor all of them at the same time. By folding everything under Umbrella and improving the interface, Cisco has created a security product that is much more than the sum of its parts. And that is just what busy schools and universities need in this increasingly hostile threat environment.

MORE ON EDTECH: Protect higher education with Bitdefender.

Cloud Security With Safer Navigation Features 

Three key features of Umbrella are striking. First, Cisco provides a high number of predefined lists that are constantly updated for effectiveness, which can help institutions reduce overall costs.

Second, Umbrella empowers IT security teams with a platform that effectively blocks malware and phishing attempts from the web. This could allow schools to eliminate and consolidate some of their other security tools.

Finally, Cisco Umbrella provides real-time monitoring on all network devices, including roaming users within the network. This ensures that everyone operating a device on a school’s network is safely navigating the internet and remains protected.

SPECIFICATIONS

Hosted Service Type: Software as a Service
Model: Insights
On-Network: Connects to any network device (e.g., router, DHCP server)
Off-Network: Available for laptops that use Windows, macOS or Chrome OS, and Apple devices running iOS 11.3 or higher
Recommended Topology: Cisco AnyConnect, Cisco routers (ISR 1000 and 4000 series), Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers and Meraki MR or MX

Sun, 26 Jun 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Carlos Soto en text/html https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/higher/k12/k12/article/2021/04/review-cisco-umbrella-offers-full-coverage-cloud-security
Killexams : People Behind CSR at Cisco: How Communications Can Strengthen the Humanitarian Response

By Shelley D. Harper

Northampton, MA --News Direct-- Cisco Systems Inc.

When a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis occurs, Cisco Crisis Response (CCR) provides connectivity, a critical form of aid, just like food, water, shelter, and medical care. Working with nonprofit agencies, local governments, and communities, the CCR team helps them prepare for, respond to, and sustainably rebuild from crises. A network of 400-plus trained Cisco employees has supported the team with technical expertise, field deployments, equipment preparation, logistics assistance, training, and outreach.

One of the CCR team members is Joe Harrison. Joe always wanted to be a writer and wrote his first book in 5th grade, “The Turtle that Lost its Shell.” Over time, he realized that what drew him to writing was learning and understanding new things and communicating information to others. He also knew he wanted to help people. With his role at CCR, he can do both. Learn more about his journey working for a humanitarian aid organization, the impact he is making on the CCR team, and his passion for how communications can transform lives.

How did you first get involved with the Cisco Crisis Response team?

Joe: A few years ago, I worked at Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization with the mission to Improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations. While at Direct Relief, I was an international program manager and frequently worked in the field, responding to dozens of disasters. A friend and longtime Cisco employee contacted me with an idea for helping Syrian refugees in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The Syrian civil conflict was in full swing, and as Direct Relief’s program manager in the Middle East, I was closely involved in various aid initiatives. This experience put Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility program on my radar. I looked into it and stumbled across an article about the Cisco Tactical Operations team (one of the groups that merged into Cisco Crisis Response in 2021), and I was intrigued. Years later, my future wife took a job in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Cisco and Tactical Operations quickly came to mind. Shortly afterward, a position opened on the team. Call it serendipity.

What are your current responsibilities as the CCR global partnerships and communications manager?

Joe: I do a little bit of everything except for engineering — I have no engineering skills, but thankfully, we have incredible folks on the team dedicated exclusively to engineering innovative crisis response technologies. One of my focus areas involves cultivating strategic partnerships with governmental agencies, nonprofits, and non-governmental agencies (NGOs). I try to understand their needs, and match them with resources, share relevant information, outline processes for collaboration, generally build effective relationships. Our partnerships are essential to carrying out our work.

I’m also focused on communicating our work. This involves drafting relevant blog posts, circulating situation reports during crises, updating our SharePoint site, building our regular newsletter, “The CCR Situation,” engaging our CCR Community volunteers, creating informational collateral, and more. The communication piece is really about advocating for those we serve and highlighting the efforts of those we partner with to help make it happen.

Can you tell me more about the CCR Community volunteer program?

Joe: The CCR Community is the foundation of Cisco Crisis Response.

I’m inspired by people who unapologetically and unabashedly do what they love. Seeing people pour themselves into their art or trade, whatever it might be, is magic. And that’s really what the volunteer program is – over 400 Cisco employees who dedicate their time and energy to their passion. Volunteers lend their expertise in a lot of different ways. They consult on innovative tech solutions, advise on cybersecurity improvements for NGOs, manage and deploy emergency communications equipment, provide logistical support during crises, connect us with local non-profits and help build the communications capacity of those non-profits, represent the team at events, conferences, and training exercises. The possibilities are endless.

CCR Community volunteers provide a perspective that serves as an undeniable force multiplier. CCR in turn provides specialized humanitarian crisis response training and unique ways to give-back.

I’m actively trying to engage our CCR Community volunteers by exploring ways to make the program more fulfilling for the Community while scaling impact globally. I feel fortunate to be able to play that role in the program.

Side note: Deploying with the CCR Community volunteer program allows employees to supply back to the community without using their paid time off or Time2Give (Cisco’s paid time off for volunteering) hours.

Why is communications technology so critical to humanitarian aid?

Joe: Everything is online now: applying for a job, registering for healthcare, finding a doctor, enrolling in classes, paying bills, and connecting with loved ones. Nearly everything revolves around and relies on the internet. That doesn’t change when you’ve lost your home in a wildfire or are forced to flee to another country. Wherever disaster strikes, establishing or re-establishing access to reliable, secure internet service is even more vital than ever; lives and livelihoods depend on it.

Given our reliance on the internet on a day-to-day basis, it’s not hard to imagine how vital internet access is to individuals and families for communication and news updates during crises. It’s of equal importance to the emergency management agencies and organizations that provide essential services to those directly affected by natural disasters and civil unrest, such as food, shelter, or cash. They require secure internet connectivity to manage their inventory, facilitate cash transactions, offer goods and services, manage requests for support, and to conduct research for situational awareness.

Who are some of the partners CCR collaborates with?

Joe: Partnerships are a key part of our work, and each one is unique. We work with nonprofit NGOs directly and with NGO consortiums like NetHope. We collaborate with UN agencies like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Program’s Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC). We collaborate with FEMA and many regional and state-level emergency management agencies in the United States. We work closely with multinational associations like the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). CCR collaborates with telecommunications companies, internet service providers, satellite technologies and services companies. Partnerships are vital to this work.

Impactful collaboration begins with effective communication. What have you learned while at Cisco?

Joe: People matter. Cisco knows this. It’s clear that when you listen to people and put people first, everyone wins. Of course, I had reservations about going from a small nonprofit to a massive corporation. Still, I quickly learned that the company is full of unique individuals, and every employee’s voice is relevant and invaluable. It doesn’t matter the size of the company or the nature of the venture; respect every individual, and you’ll foster a family.

You’ve been doing this type of work for nearly 15 years. Does anything surprise you anymore?

Joe: I’m surprised that war still exists. We’ve been actively responding to the war in Ukraine, cycling four teams in Poland, and working alongside the UNHCR to connect Blue Dot hubs that provide services to Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, and elsewhere – from psychosocial support to daycare to cash. Several months later, I’m still surprised that the ruthless, senseless, ignorant, heartbreaking war continues. There’s got to be a better way.

What’s one thing you would like our readers to take away about the power of communications in the humanitarian field?

Joe: What transcends all our work is actively and genuinely listening and taking the time to process what you heard. Cisco Crisis Response facilitates communications and sets up connectivity, enabling people to communicate with each other. Many organizations and agencies recognize that communications and internet connectivity are vital, but to better serve people, we need to ask, ‘how do we become better listeners?’ If we can better understand the experiences of people going through a crisis, we can work better together and help strengthen communities.

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Killexams : IBM Research Rolls Out A Comprehensive AI And Platform-Based Edge Research Strategy Anchored By Enterprise Use Cases And Partnerships

I recently met with Dr. Nick Fuller, Vice President, Distributed Cloud, at IBM Research for a discussion about IBM’s long-range plans and strategy for artificial intelligence and machine learning at the edge.

Dr. Fuller is responsible for providing AI and platform–based innovation for enterprise digital transformation spanning edge computing and distributed cloud management. He is an IBM Master Inventor with over 75 patents and co-author of 75 technical publications. Dr. Fuller obtained his Bachelor of Science in Physics and Math from Morehouse College and his PhD in Applied Physics from Columbia University.

Edge In, not Cloud Out

In general, Dr. Fuller told me that IBM is focused on developing an "edge in" position versus a "cloud out" position with data, AI, and Kubernetes-based platform technologies to scale hub and spoke deployments of edge applications.

A hub plays the role of a central control plane used for orchestrating the deployment and management of edge applications in a number of connected spoke locations such as a factory floor or a retail branch, where data is generated or locally aggregated for processing.

“Cloud out” refers to the paradigm where cloud service providers are extending their cloud architecture out to edge locations. In contrast, “edge in” refers to a provider-agnostic architecture that is cloud-independent and treats the data-plane as a first-class citizen.

IBM's overall architectural principle is scalability, repeatability, and full stack solution management that allows everything to be managed using a single unified control plane.

IBM’s Red Hat platform and infrastructure strategy anchors the application stack with a unified, scalable, and managed OpenShift-based control plane equipped with a high-performance storage appliance and self-healing system capabilities (inclusive of semi-autonomous operations).

IBM’s strategy also includes several in-progress platform-level technologies for scalable data, AI/ML runtimes, accelerator libraries for Day-2 AI operations, and scalability for the enterprise.

It is an important to mention that IBM is designing its edge platforms with labor cost and technical workforce in mind. Data scientists with PhDs are in high demand, making them difficult to find and expensive to hire once you find them. IBM is designing its edge system capabilities and processes so that domain experts rather than PhDs can deploy new AI models and manage Day-2 operations.

Why edge is important

Advances in computing and storage have made it possible for AI to process mountains of accumulated data to provide solutions. By bringing AI closer to the source of data, edge computing is faster and more efficient than cloud. While Cloud data accounts for 60% of the world’s data today, vast amounts of new data is being created at the edge, including industrial applications, traffic cameras, and order management systems, all of which can be processed at the edge in a fast and timely manner.

Public cloud and edge computing differ in capacity, technology, and management. An advantage of edge is that data is processed and analyzed at / near its collection point at the edge. In the case of cloud, data must be transferred from a local device and into the cloud for analytics and then transferred back to the edge again. Moving data through the network consumes capacity and adds latency to the process. It’s easy to see why executing a transaction at the edge reduces latency and eliminates unnecessary load on the network.

Increased privacy is another benefit of processing data at the edge. Analyzing data where it originates limits the risk of a security breach. Most of the communications between the edge and the cloud is then confined to such things as reporting, data summaries, and AI models, without ever exposing the raw data.

IBM at the Edge

In our discussion, Dr. Fuller provided a few examples to illustrate how IBM plans to provide new and seamless edge solutions for existing enterprise problems.

Example #1 – McDonald’s drive-thru

Dr. Fuller’s first example centered around Quick Service Restaurant’s (QSR) problem of drive-thru order taking. Last year, IBM acquired an automated order-taking system from McDonald's. As part of the acquisition, IBM and McDonald's established a partnership to perfect voice ordering methods using AI. Drive-thru orders are a significant percentage of total QSR orders for McDonald's and other QSR chains.

McDonald's and other QSR restaurants would like every order to be processed as quickly and accurately as possible. For that reason, McDonald's conducted trials at ten Chicago restaurants using an edge-based AI ordering system with NLP (Natural Language Processing) to convert spoken orders into a digital format. It was found that AI had the potential to reduce ordering errors and processing time significantly. Since McDonald's sells almost 7 million hamburgers daily, shaving a minute or two off each order represents a significant opportunity to address labor shortages and increase customer satisfaction.

Example #2 – Boston Dynamics and Spot the agile mobile robot

According to an earlier IBM survey, many manufacturers have already implemented AI-driven robotics with autonomous decision-making capability. The study also indicated that over 80 percent of companies believe AI can help Improve future business operations. However, some companies expressed concern about the limited mobility of edge devices and sensors.

To develop a mobile edge solution, IBM teamed up with Boston Dynamics. The partnership created an agile mobile robot using IBM Research and IBM Sustainability Software AI technology. The device can analyze visual sensor readings in hazardous and challenging industrial environments such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, electrical grids, waste treatment plants and other hazardous environments. The value proposition that Boston Dynamics brought to the partnership was Spot the agile mobile robot, a walking, sensing, and actuation platform. Like all edge applications, the robot’s wireless mobility uses self-contained AI/ML that doesn’t require access to cloud data. It uses cameras to read analog devices, visually monitor fire extinguishers, and conduct a visual inspection of human workers to determine if required safety equipment is being worn.

IBM was able to show up to a 10X speedup by automating some manual tasks, such as converting the detection of a problem into an immediate work order in IBM Maximo to correct it. A fast automated response was not only more efficient, but it also improved the safety posture and risk management for these facilities. Similarly, some factories need to thermally monitor equipment to identify any unexpected hot spots that may show up over time, indicative of a potential failure.

IBM is working with National Grid, an energy company, to develop a mobile solution using Spot, the agile mobile robot, for image analysis of transformers and thermal connectors. As shown in the above graphic, Spot also monitored connectors on both flat surfaces and 3D surfaces. IBM was able to show that Spot could detect excessive heat build-up in small connectors, potentially avoiding unsafe conditions or costly outages. This AI/ML edge application can produce faster response times when an issue is detected, which is why IBM believes significant gains are possible by automating the entire process.

IBM market opportunities

Drive-thru orders and mobile robots are just a few examples of the millions of potential AI applications that exist at the edge and are driven by several billion connected devices.

Edge computing is an essential part of enterprise digital transformation. Enterprises seek ways to demonstrate the feasibility of solving business problems using AI/ML and analytics at the edge. However, once a proof of concept has been successfully demonstrated, it is a common problem for a company to struggle with scalability, data governance, and full-stack solution management.

Challenges with scaling

“Determining entry points for AI at the edge is not the difficult part,” Dr. Fuller said. “Scale is the real issue.”

Scaling edge models is complicated because there are so many edge locations with large amounts of diverse content and a high device density. Because large amounts of data are required for training, data gravity is a potential problem. Further, in many scenarios, vast amounts of data are generated quickly, leading to potential data storage and orchestration challenges. AI Models are also rarely "finished." Monitoring and retraining of models are necessary to keep up with changes the environment.

Through IBM Research, IBM is addressing the many challenges of building an all-encompassing edge architecture and horizontally scalable data and AI technologies. IBM has a wealth of edge capabilities and an architecture to create the appropriate platform for each application.

IBM AI entry points at the edge

IBM sees Edge Computing as a $200 billion market by 2025. Dr. Fuller and his organization have identified four key market entry points for developing and expanding IBM’s edge compute strategy. In order of size, IBM believes its priority edge markets to be intelligent factories (Industry 4.0), telcos, retail automation, and connected vehicles.

IBM and its Red Hat portfolio already have an established presence in each market segment, particularly in intelligent operations and telco. Red Hat is also active in the connected vehicles space.

Industry 4.0

There have been three prior industrial revolutions, beginning in the 1700s up to our current in-progress fourth revolution, Industry 4.0, that promotes a digital transformation.

Manufacturing is the fastest growing and the largest of IBM’s four entry markets. In this segment, AI at the edge can Improve quality control, production optimization, asset management, and supply chain logistics. IBM believes there are opportunities to achieve a 4x speed up in implementing edge-based AI solutions for manufacturing operations.

For its Industry 4.0 use case development, IBM, through product, development, research and consulting teams, is working with a major automotive OEM. The partnership has established the following joint objectives:

  • Increase automation and scalability across dozens of plants using 100s of AI / ML models. This client has already seen value in applying AI/ML models for manufacturing applications. IBM Research is helping with re-training models and implementing new ones in an edge environment to help scale even more efficiently. Edge offers faster inference and low latency, allowing AI to be deployed in a wider variety of manufacturing operations requiring instant solutions.
  • Dramatically reduce the time required to onboard new models. This will allow training and inference to be done faster and allow large models to be deployed much more quickly. The quicker an AI model can be deployed in production; the quicker the time-to-value and the return-on-investment (ROI).
  • Accelerate deployment of new inspections by reducing the labeling effort and iterations needed to produce a production-ready model via data summarization. Selecting small data sets for annotation means manually examining thousands of images, this is a time-consuming process that will result in - labeling of redundant data. Using ML-based automation for data summarization will accelerate the process and produce better model performance.
  • Enable Day-2 AI operations to help with data lifecycle automation and governance, model creation, reduce production errors, and provide detection of out-of-distribution data to help determine if a model’s inference is accurate. IBM believes this will allow models to be created faster without data scientists.

Maximo Application Suite

IBM’s Maximo Application Suite plays an important part in implementing large manufacturers' current and future IBM edge solutions. Maximo is an integrated public or private cloud platform that uses AI, IoT, and analytics to optimize performance, extend asset lifecycles and reduce operational downtime and costs. IBM is working with several large manufacturing clients currently using Maximo to develop edge use cases, and even uses it within its own Manufacturing.

IBM has research underway to develop a more efficient method of handling life cycle management of large models that require immense amounts of data. Day 2 AI operations tasks can sometimes be more complex than initial model training, deployment, and scaling. Retraining at the edge is difficult because resources are typically limited.

Once a model is trained and deployed, it is important to monitor it for drift caused by changes in data distributions or anything that might cause a model to deviate from original requirements. Inaccuracies can adversely affect model ROI.

Day-2 AI Operations (retraining and scaling)

Day-2 AI operations consist of continual updates to AI models and applications to keep up with changes in data distributions, changes in the environment, a drop in model performance, availability of new data, and/or new regulations.

IBM recognizes the advantages of performing Day-2 AI Operations, which includes scaling and retraining at the edge. It appears that IBM is the only company with an architecture equipped to effectively handle Day-2 AI operations. That is a significant competitive advantage for IBM.

A company using an architecture that requires data to be moved from the edge back into the cloud for Day-2 related work will be unable to support many factory AI/ML applications because of the sheer number of AI/ML models to support (100s to 1000s).

“There is a huge proliferation of data at the edge that exists in multiple spokes,” Dr. Fuller said. "However, all that data isn’t needed to retrain a model. It is possible to cluster data into groups and then use sampling techniques to retrain the model. There is much value in federated learning from our point of view.”

Federated learning is a promising training solution being researched by IBM and others. It preserves privacy by using a collaboration of edge devices to train models without sharing the data with other entities. It is a good framework to use when resources are limited.

Dealing with limited resources at the edge is a challenge. IBM’s edge architecture accommodates the need to ensure resource budgets for AI applications are met, especially when deploying multiple applications and multiple models across edge locations. For that reason, IBM developed a method to deploy data and AI applications to scale Day-2 AI operations utilizing hub and spokes.

The graphic above shows the current status quo methods of performing Day-2 operations using centralized applications and a centralized data plane compared to the more efficient managed hub and spoke method with distributed applications and a distributed data plane. The hub allows it all to be managed from a single pane of glass.

Data Fabric Extensions to Hub and Spokes

IBM uses hub and spoke as a model to extend its data fabric. The model should not be thought of in the context of a traditional hub and spoke. IBM’s hub provides centralized capabilities to manage clusters and create multiples hubs that can be aggregated to a higher level. This architecture has four important data management capabilities.

  1. First, models running in unattended environments must be monitored. From an operational standpoint, detecting when a model’s effectiveness has significantly degraded and if corrective action is needed is critical.
  2. Secondly, in a hub and spoke model, data is being generated and collected in many locations creating a need for data life cycle management. Working with large enterprise clients, IBM is building unique capabilities to manage the data plane across the hub and spoke estate - optimized to meet data lifecycle, regulatory & compliance as well as local resource requirements. Automation determines which input data should be selected and labeled for retraining purposes and used to further Improve the model. Identification is also made for atypical data that is judged worthy of human attention.
  3. The third issue relates to AI pipeline compression and adaptation. As mentioned earlier, edge resources are limited and highly heterogeneous. While a cloud-based model might have a few hundred million parameters or more, edge models can’t afford such resource extravagance because of resource limitations. To reduce the edge compute footprint, model compression can reduce the number of parameters. As an example, it could be reduced from several hundred million to a few million.
  4. Lastly, suppose a scenario exists where data is produced at multiple spokes but cannot leave those spokes for compliance reasons. In that case, IBM Federated Learning allows learning across heterogeneous data in multiple spokes. Users can discover, curate, categorize and share data assets, data sets, analytical models, and their relationships with other organization members.

In addition to AI deployments, the hub and spoke architecture and the previously mentioned capabilities can be employed more generally to tackle challenges faced by many enterprises in consistently managing an abundance of devices within and across their enterprise locations. Management of the software delivery lifecycle or addressing security vulnerabilities across a vast estate are a case in point.

Multicloud and Edge platform

In the context of its strategy, IBM sees edge and distributed cloud as an extension of its hybrid cloud platform built around Red Hat OpenShift. One of the newer and more useful options created by the Red Hat development team is the Single Node OpenShift (SNO), a compact version of OpenShift that fits on a single server. It is suitable for addressing locations that are still servers but come in a single node, not clustered, deployment type.

For smaller footprints such as industrial PCs or computer vision boards (for example NVidia Jetson Xavier), Red Hat is working on a project which builds an even smaller version of OpenShift, called MicroShift, that provides full application deployment and Kubernetes management capabilities. It is packaged so that it can be used for edge device type deployments.

Overall, IBM and Red Hat have developed a full complement of options to address a large spectrum of deployments across different edge locations and footprints, ranging from containers to management of full-blown Kubernetes applications from MicroShift to OpenShift and IBM Edge Application Manager.

Much is still in the research stage. IBM's objective is to achieve greater consistency in terms of how locations and application lifecycle is managed.

First, Red Hat plans to introduce hierarchical layers of management with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management (RHACM), to scale by two to three orders of magnitude the number of edge locations managed by this product. Additionally, securing edge locations is a major focus. Red Hat is continuously expanding platform security features, for example by recently including Integrity Measurement Architecture in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or by adding Integrity Shield to protect policies in Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management (RHACM).

Red Hat is partnering with IBM Research to advance technologies that will permit it to protect platform integrity and the integrity of client workloads through the entire software supply chains. In addition, IBM Research is working with Red Hat on analytic capabilities to identify and remediate vulnerabilities and other security risks in code and configurations.

Telco network intelligence and slice management with AL/ML

Communication service providers (CSPs) such as telcos are key enablers of 5G at the edge. 5G benefits for these providers include:

  • Reduced operating costs
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased distribution and density
  • Lower latency

The end-to-end 5G network comprises the Radio Access Network (RAN), transport, and core domains. Network slicing in 5G is an architecture that enables multiple virtual and independent end-to-end logical networks with different characteristics such as low latency or high bandwidth, to be supported on the same physical network. This is implemented using cloud-native technology enablers such as software defined networking (SDN), virtualization, and multi-access edge computing. Slicing offers necessary flexibility by allowing the creation of specific applications, unique services, and defined user groups or networks.

An important aspect of enabling AI at the edge requires IBM to provide CSPs with the capability to deploy and manage applications across various enterprise locations, possibly spanning multiple end-to-end network slices, using a single pane of glass.

5G network slicing and slice management

Network slices are an essential part of IBM's edge infrastructure that must be automated, orchestrated and optimized according to 5G standards. IBM’s strategy is to leverage AI/ML to efficiently manage, scale, and optimize the slice quality of service, measured in terms of bandwidth, latency, or other metrics.

5G and AI/ML at the edge also represent a significant opportunity for CSPs to move beyond traditional cellular services and capture new sources of revenue with new services.

Communications service providers need management and control of 5G network slicing enabled with AI-powered automation.

Dr. Fuller sees a variety of opportunities in this area. "When it comes to applying AI and ML on the network, you can detect things like intrusion detection and malicious actors," he said. "You can also determine the best way to route traffic to an end user. Automating 5G functions that run on the network using IBM network automation software also serves as an entry point.”

In IBM’s current telecom trial, IBM Research is spearheading the development of a range of capabilities targeted for the IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation product using AI and automation to orchestrate, operate and optimize multivendor network functions and services that include:

  • End-to-end 5G network slice management with planning & design, automation & orchestration, and operations & assurance
  • Network Data and AI Function (NWDAF) that collects data for slice monitoring from 5G Core network functions, performs network analytics, and provides insights to authorized data consumers.
  • Improved operational efficiency and reduced cost

Future leverage of these capabilities by existing IBM Clients that use the Cloud Pak for Network Automation (e.g., DISH) can offer further differentiation for CSPs.

5G radio access

Open radio access networks (O-RANs) are expected to significantly impact telco 5G wireless edge applications by allowing a greater variety of units to access the system. The O-RAN concept separates the DU (Distributed Units) and CU (Centralized Unit) from a Baseband Unit in 4G and connects them with open interfaces.

O-RAN system is more flexible. It uses AI to establish connections made via open interfaces that optimize the category of a device by analyzing information about its prior use. Like other edge models, the O-RAN architecture provides an opportunity for continuous monitoring, verification, analysis, and optimization of AI models.

The IBM-telco collaboration is expected to advance O-RAN interfaces and workflows. Areas currently under development are:

  • Multi-modal (RF level + network-level) analytics (AI/ML) for wireless communication with high-speed ingest of 5G data
  • Capability to learn patterns of metric and log data across CUs and DUs in RF analytics
  • Utilization of the antenna control plane to optimize throughput
  • Primitives for forecasting, anomaly detection and root cause analysis using ML
  • Opportunity of value-added functions for O-RAN

IBM Cloud and Infrastructure

The cornerstone for the delivery of IBM's edge solutions as a service is IBM Cloud Satellite. It presents a consistent cloud-ready, cloud-native operational view with OpenShift and IBM Cloud PaaS services at the edge. In addition, IBM integrated hardware and software Edge systems will provide RHACM - based management of the platform when clients or third parties have existing managed as a service models. It is essential to note that in either case this is done within a single control plane for hubs and spokes that helps optimize execution and management from any cloud to the edge in the hub and spoke model.

IBM's focus on “edge in” means it can provide the infrastructure through things like the example shown above for software defined storage for federated namespace data lake that surrounds other hyperscaler clouds. Additionally, IBM is exploring integrated full stack edge storage appliances based on hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), such as the Spectrum Fusion HCI, for enterprise edge deployments.

As mentioned earlier, data gravity is one of the main driving factors of edge deployments. IBM has designed its infrastructure to meet those data gravity requirements, not just for the existing hub and spoke topology but also for a future spoke-to-spoke topology where peer-to-peer data sharing becomes imperative (as illustrated with the wealth of examples provided in this article).

Wrap up

Edge is a distributed computing model. One of its main advantages is that computing, and data storage and processing is close to where data is created. Without the need to move data to the cloud for processing, real-time application of analytics and AI capabilities provides immediate solutions and drives business value.

IBM’s goal is not to move the entirety of its cloud infrastructure to the edge. That has little value and would simply function as a hub to spoke model operating on actions and configurations dictated by the hub.

IBM’s architecture will provide the edge with autonomy to determine where data should reside and from where the control plane should be exercised.

Equally important, IBM foresees this architecture evolving into a decentralized model capable of edge-to-edge interactions. IBM has no firm designs for this as yet. However, the plan is to make the edge infrastructure and platform a first-class citizen instead of relying on the cloud to drive what happens at the edge.

Developing a complete and comprehensive AI/ML edge architecture - and in fact, an entire ecosystem - is a massive undertaking. IBM faces many known and unknown challenges that must be solved before it can achieve success.

However, IBM is one of the few companies with the necessary partners and the technical and financial resources to undertake and successfully implement a project of this magnitude and complexity.

It is reassuring that IBM has a plan and that its plan is sound.

Paul Smith-Goodson is Vice President and Principal Analyst for quantum computing, artificial intelligence and space at Moor Insights and Strategy. You can follow him on Twitter for more current information on quantum, AI, and space.

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.

Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and tech industry analyst firms, provides or has provided paid services to technology companies. These services include research, analysis, advising, consulting, benchmarking, acquisition matchmaking, and speaking sponsorships. The company has had or currently has paid business relationships with 8×8, Accenture, A10 Networks, Advanced Micro Devices, Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Ambient Scientific, Anuta Networks, Applied Brain Research, Applied Micro, Apstra, Arm, Aruba Networks (now HPE), Atom Computing, AT&T, Aura, Automation Anywhere, AWS, A-10 Strategies, Bitfusion, Blaize, Box, Broadcom, C3.AI, Calix, Campfire, Cisco Systems, Clear Software, Cloudera, Clumio, Cognitive Systems, CompuCom, Cradlepoint, CyberArk, Dell, Dell EMC, Dell Technologies, Diablo Technologies, Dialogue Group, Digital Optics, Dreamium Labs, D-Wave, Echelon, Ericsson, Extreme Networks, Five9, Flex, Foundries.io, Foxconn, Frame (now VMware), Fujitsu, Gen Z Consortium, Glue Networks, GlobalFoundries, Revolve (now Google), Google Cloud, Graphcore, Groq, Hiregenics, Hotwire Global, HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Honeywell, Huawei Technologies, IBM, Infinidat, Infosys, Inseego, IonQ, IonVR, Inseego, Infosys, Infiot, Intel, Interdigital, Jabil Circuit, Keysight, Konica Minolta, Lattice Semiconductor, Lenovo, Linux Foundation, Lightbits Labs, LogicMonitor, Luminar, MapBox, Marvell Technology, Mavenir, Marseille Inc, Mayfair Equity, Meraki (Cisco), Merck KGaA, Mesophere, Micron Technology, Microsoft, MiTEL, Mojo Networks, MongoDB, MulteFire Alliance, National Instruments, Neat, NetApp, Nightwatch, NOKIA (Alcatel-Lucent), Nortek, Novumind, NVIDIA, Nutanix, Nuvia (now Qualcomm), onsemi, ONUG, OpenStack Foundation, Oracle, Palo Alto Networks, Panasas, Peraso, Pexip, Pixelworks, Plume Design, PlusAI, Poly (formerly Plantronics), Portworx, Pure Storage, Qualcomm, Quantinuum, Rackspace, Rambus, Rayvolt E-Bikes, Red Hat, Renesas, Residio, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Semi, SAP, SAS, Scale Computing, Schneider Electric, SiFive, Silver Peak (now Aruba-HPE), SkyWorks, SONY Optical Storage, Splunk, Springpath (now Cisco), Spirent, Splunk, Sprint (now T-Mobile), Stratus Technologies, Symantec, Synaptics, Syniverse, Synopsys, Tanium, Telesign,TE Connectivity, TensTorrent, Tobii Technology, Teradata,T-Mobile, Treasure Data, Twitter, Unity Technologies, UiPath, Verizon Communications, VAST Data, Ventana Micro Systems, Vidyo, VMware, Wave Computing, Wellsmith, Xilinx, Zayo, Zebra, Zededa, Zendesk, Zoho, Zoom, and Zscaler. Moor Insights & Strategy founder, CEO, and Chief Analyst Patrick Moorhead is an investor in dMY Technology Group Inc. VI, Dreamium Labs, Groq, Luminar Technologies, MemryX, and Movandi.

Mon, 08 Aug 2022 03:51:00 -0500 Paul Smith-Goodson en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/moorinsights/2022/08/08/ibm-research-rolls-out-a-comprehensive-ai-and-ml-edge-research-strategy-anchored-by-enterprise-partnerships-and-use-cases/
Killexams : People Behind CSR at Cisco: How Communications Can Strengthen the Humanitarian Response

By Shelley D. Harper

Northampton, MA --News Direct-- Cisco Systems Inc.

When a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis occurs, Cisco Crisis Response (CCR) provides connectivity, a critical form of aid, just like food, water, shelter, and medical care. Working with nonprofit agencies, local governments, and communities, the CCR team helps them prepare for, respond to, and sustainably rebuild from crises. A network of 400-plus trained Cisco employees has supported the team with technical expertise, field deployments, equipment preparation, logistics assistance, training, and outreach.

One of the CCR team members is Joe Harrison. Joe always wanted to be a writer and wrote his first book in 5th grade, “The Turtle that Lost its Shell.” Over time, he realized that what drew him to writing was learning and understanding new things and communicating information to others. He also knew he wanted to help people. With his role at CCR, he can do both. Learn more about his journey working for a humanitarian aid organization, the impact he is making on the CCR team, and his passion for how communications can transform lives.

How did you first get involved with the Cisco Crisis Response team?

Joe: A few years ago, I worked at Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization with the mission to Improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations. While at Direct Relief, I was an international program manager and frequently worked in the field, responding to dozens of disasters. A friend and longtime Cisco employee contacted me with an idea for helping Syrian refugees in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The Syrian civil conflict was in full swing, and as Direct Relief’s program manager in the Middle East, I was closely involved in various aid initiatives. This experience put Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility program on my radar. I looked into it and stumbled across an article about the Cisco Tactical Operations team (one of the groups that merged into Cisco Crisis Response in 2021), and I was intrigued. Years later, my future wife took a job in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Cisco and Tactical Operations quickly came to mind. Shortly afterward, a position opened on the team. Call it serendipity.

What are your current responsibilities as the CCR global partnerships and communications manager?

Joe: I do a little bit of everything except for engineering — I have no engineering skills, but thankfully, we have incredible folks on the team dedicated exclusively to engineering innovative crisis response technologies. One of my focus areas involves cultivating strategic partnerships with governmental agencies, nonprofits, and non-governmental agencies (NGOs). I try to understand their needs, and match them with resources, share relevant information, outline processes for collaboration, generally build effective relationships. Our partnerships are essential to carrying out our work.

I’m also focused on communicating our work. This involves drafting relevant blog posts, circulating situation reports during crises, updating our SharePoint site, building our regular newsletter, “The CCR Situation,” engaging our CCR Community volunteers, creating informational collateral, and more. The communication piece is really about advocating for those we serve and highlighting the efforts of those we partner with to help make it happen.

Can you tell me more about the CCR Community volunteer program?

Joe: The CCR Community is the foundation of Cisco Crisis Response.

I’m inspired by people who unapologetically and unabashedly do what they love. Seeing people pour themselves into their art or trade, whatever it might be, is magic. And that’s really what the volunteer program is – over 400 Cisco employees who dedicate their time and energy to their passion. Volunteers lend their expertise in a lot of different ways. They consult on innovative tech solutions, advise on cybersecurity improvements for NGOs, manage and deploy emergency communications equipment, provide logistical support during crises, connect us with local non-profits and help build the communications capacity of those non-profits, represent the team at events, conferences, and training exercises. The possibilities are endless.

CCR Community volunteers provide a perspective that serves as an undeniable force multiplier. CCR in turn provides specialized humanitarian crisis response training and unique ways to give-back.

I’m actively trying to engage our CCR Community volunteers by exploring ways to make the program more fulfilling for the Community while scaling impact globally. I feel fortunate to be able to play that role in the program.

Side note: Deploying with the CCR Community volunteer program allows employees to supply back to the community without using their paid time off or Time2Give (Cisco’s paid time off for volunteering) hours.

Why is communications technology so critical to humanitarian aid?

Joe: Everything is online now: applying for a job, registering for healthcare, finding a doctor, enrolling in classes, paying bills, and connecting with loved ones. Nearly everything revolves around and relies on the internet. That doesn’t change when you’ve lost your home in a wildfire or are forced to flee to another country. Wherever disaster strikes, establishing or re-establishing access to reliable, secure internet service is even more vital than ever; lives and livelihoods depend on it.

Given our reliance on the internet on a day-to-day basis, it’s not hard to imagine how vital internet access is to individuals and families for communication and news updates during crises. It’s of equal importance to the emergency management agencies and organizations that provide essential services to those directly affected by natural disasters and civil unrest, such as food, shelter, or cash. They require secure internet connectivity to manage their inventory, facilitate cash transactions, offer goods and services, manage requests for support, and to conduct research for situational awareness.

Who are some of the partners CCR collaborates with?

Joe: Partnerships are a key part of our work, and each one is unique. We work with nonprofit NGOs directly and with NGO consortiums like NetHope. We collaborate with UN agencies like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Program’s Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC). We collaborate with FEMA and many regional and state-level emergency management agencies in the United States. We work closely with multinational associations like the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). CCR collaborates with telecommunications companies, internet service providers, satellite technologies and services companies. Partnerships are vital to this work.

Impactful collaboration begins with effective communication. What have you learned while at Cisco?

Joe: People matter. Cisco knows this. It’s clear that when you listen to people and put people first, everyone wins. Of course, I had reservations about going from a small nonprofit to a massive corporation. Still, I quickly learned that the company is full of unique individuals, and every employee’s voice is relevant and invaluable. It doesn’t matter the size of the company or the nature of the venture; respect every individual, and you’ll foster a family.

You’ve been doing this type of work for nearly 15 years. Does anything surprise you anymore?

Joe: I’m surprised that war still exists. We’ve been actively responding to the war in Ukraine, cycling four teams in Poland, and working alongside the UNHCR to connect Blue Dot hubs that provide services to Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, and elsewhere – from psychosocial support to daycare to cash. Several months later, I’m still surprised that the ruthless, senseless, ignorant, heartbreaking war continues. There’s got to be a better way.

What’s one thing you would like our readers to take away about the power of communications in the humanitarian field?

Joe: What transcends all our work is actively and genuinely listening and taking the time to process what you heard. Cisco Crisis Response facilitates communications and sets up connectivity, enabling people to communicate with each other. Many organizations and agencies recognize that communications and internet connectivity are vital, but to better serve people, we need to ask, ‘how do we become better listeners?’ If we can better understand the experiences of people going through a crisis, we can work better together and help strengthen communities.

View original content here.

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