Cisco and FCM raise awareness of sustainable communities

Cisco and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities have entered into an agreement to help develop leading cities and communities in Canada and enable them to meet the challenges of the 21st century using technology.

Thought leadership, tools and support will be provided by Cisco to the 2,000 FCM members to educate them on the technological opportunities for productivity, growth and sustainable transformation. This education is based on Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities framework, and once members go through the program, both organizations will work collaboratively to promote the benefits of managed IT services to the surrounding community residents and businesses.

FCM chief executive officer Brock Carlton said the organization looks forward to working with Cisco to help create sustainable cities and communities that drive Canadian growth.

“Municipal governments are on the front lines in meeting the challenges of the 21st century and as a result have a tremendous impact on the daily lives of Canadians,” Carlton said. “That makes municipal government the right place to start implementing technologies that can make our communities more livable, competitive and sustainable.”

According to Cisco’s website, the Smart+Connected Communities initiative aims to create connected communities with the capabilities to realize sustainable economic growth, improve local quality of life and utilize resource management and operational efficiencies to enable environmental sustainability.

A number of communities have already been involved in Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities program, including St. Albert, Alberta; Vancouver, British Columbia; Stratford, Ontario; and Fredericton, New Brunswick. These areas experienced multiple benefits from Cisco’s program, including the implementation of high speed network infrastructure designs, services to provide enhanced energy efficiency, increased citizen engagement and community-wide wireless networking solutions.

Rick Huijbregts, vice president of Smart+Connected Communities, said the group applauds FCM for their efforts to utilize technology as a future-enabler.

“Together, we believe we can provide thought leadership and real-life examples to FCM members that can immediately be used in their own municipalities to foster economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social prosperity,” Huijbregts said. “Our unique partnership celebrates the formation of a nationwide public-private ‘human’ network that will help advocate and accelerate innovation and productivity for Canada.”

Goals of the agreement
Through the initiative, Cisco and FCM aim to develop new and innovative solutions to issues experienced by municipal governments and communities. The groups also want to increase technology use to foster participation and productivity among community residents and companies.

The organizations also hope the program will empower local communities to further economic development as well as social and environmental sustainability.

Cisco Canada president Nitin Kawale said the company very strongly believes in the ability of technology to improve economic development.

“We continue to build strong relationships within the private and public sectors in order to facilitate the positive transformation of our communities, regions and country,” Kawale said. “FCM’s members are looking for ways to operate more efficiently and sustainably while improving the quality of life and economic competitiveness of their communities. Through our new relationship, Cisco will help them meet this challenge.”

Municipalities and businesses seeking technologically improved systems can turn to FlexITy, Canada’s leading provider of voice, data and managed services. FlexITy’s experts can help implement a connected infrastructure system for a smart building, as well as ensure the performance of underlying technology infrastructure. FlexITy’s expertise and experience guarantee such a system will boost profit margins and last within an organization.