Nov 18, 2020

Cisco: Virtual court connections

Cisco
virtual
Technology
Legal
Janet Brice
3 min
Law Court
Order in court! Secure remote hearings taking place in the new normal are being made possible by Cisco Network Infrastructure...

Order in court! Secure remote court hearings taking place in the new normal are being made possible by Cisco, CEO Chuck Robbins told virtual delegates attending the recent Cisco Partner Summit.

During his keynote address, Robbins said 2020 was the year in which everything changed and revealed how Cisco Network Infrastructure is assisting in secure remote court hearings to help legislatures and judicial operations adapt in this new era. 

Robbins said that WebEx Legislate will help governments around the world continue to function and deliver on their commitments, even while they are not able to get together in person.

The new Connected Justice Solution for courts and correctional facilities will help to serve a similar function for the judicial system. Cisco has partnered with Cloverhound and TRACKtech for the Connected Justice Solution, providing real-time video and remote check-ins among other key capabilities.

“Every customer I talk to says one thing that has become clear out of this pandemic and that is that we all have to accelerate the innovation we are delivering,” said Robbins who pointed it was critical to be future ready.

He outlined examples of how different aspects of society have been impacted by technology during the pandemic. Few healthcare professionals were open to the idea of virtual visits, but that is now the new normal. In the education sector, he said that a billion and a half students around the world have adopted a hybrid education model, seemingly overnight.

During a Q&A with press and analysts, Robbins was asked what the biggest change was likely to be because of the pandemic.

"I think the most prominent one will be the acceleration of delivering our capabilities as a service," Robbins said.

He explained moving to an 'as-a-service' model is not just about taking a router and putting a wrapper on it via Cisco Capital and selling it to somebody. It is more about taking the core functionality and seeing if that can be delivered in software, as a service a customer would subscribe to.

In terms of how long it will take to shift the Cisco portfolio to a service subscription model, Robbins said that some customers will be quick to adopt the approach while others will take a while to embrace it.

Todd Nightingale, SVP and GM, Cisco Enterprise Networking and Cloud detailed a series of new innovations including the new Intersight cloud operations platform. 

The platform includes Intersight Kubernetes Service which helps automate the lifecycle of cloud-native workload deployments. It also has enhanced integration with AppDynamics to help improve user experience, and with Intersight Workload Optimiser, administrators now benefit from improved application resource management.

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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