Friday, September 09, 2005

Cisco Mobile Network on Wheels & Converged Technology Showcase


Wednesday night, I got the wonderful opportunity to check out Cisco's Network on Wheels van and Techology Showcase, set up on their San Jose campus. It was part of the SilcWIT Technology Showcase & Product Demonstration event put on by Silicon Valley Women in Technology group. The evening started off with the chance to check out the booths of technology businesses associated with the Women's Technology Cluster.

There was a range of products from keyboards and mice designed for children, KidzMouse, to a charitable organization, GivingGlobal. I chatted with the folks at three of the booths. Clairvoyante has a very cool product. They are able to get super sharp images, Liquid Crystal Displays, for device LCD panels. It's like seeing 8 megapixel digital pictures on a space smaller than my Motorola Razr screen. Of couse my phone looked primative, pixelated and bulky next to the wafer thin demo screen. I can't wait until it's readily available. ClipShack and LucidLink were the other booths I stopped to check out.

The Cisco Systems Moblie Showcase, also know as the Cisco Network On Wheels (now) is a 25-foot mobile self contained vans are loaded with the latest Cisco networking technologies designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Inside of Cisco NOW Van

Inside of Cisco Network on Wheels (NOW) Van

Outside of Cisco NOW Van

Outside of Cisco Network on Wheels (NOW) Van

The van was full of end to end network equipment and peripherals, like IP phones, PDAs and servers. As long you can dial into the company VPN, you are hooked into everything you can get in the office. Including getting your desk phone calls on your laptop. The van's a great idea, worth copying by other companies since it can get places those tractor trailers that park in front of places like Fry's can't get to. Plus it's less intimdating.

The evening ended with a tour of Cisco's Converged City, a showcase of voice, data and video solutions designed especially for small-to-medium sized businesses. Part of a building on Cisco's campus was set up as a series of rooms with different Cisco technology implementations. It was a like a physical use case where your whole body accomplishes tasks rather than only your brain.
Cisco Logo
Just pick an industry, think of a task that needs to be done then you could go to that room and get a look oat how you could set it you using Cisco. For example, one area showed how a retail store clerk could check inventory or look up information about an item from a PDA they carry around. Even ring up a credit card purchase without having to go back to the cash registers. Of course Cisco had bleeding edge stuff in the showcase, so I was happiy.

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