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Smart Trade: Cisco Is Helping Revolutionize Legacy Trade Practices Around the World

Trade (also known as “commerce,” “financial transaction,” and “barter,” among other terms) involves the transfer of ownership for goods and services from one person or entity to another by receiving something in exchange from the buyer. A network that allows trade is called a market.

Trade originated with the start of communication in prehistoric times. Trading was the main facility of prehistoric people, who bartered goods and services long before the introduction of modern-day currency. Peter Watson traces the history of long-distance commerce to 150,000 years ago (source: The Mediterranean in History, David Abulafia, Getty Publications, 2011).

Practices in modern cross-boundary/country trade have remained relatively static for the past 150 years. The only widespread implementation of technology to facilitate trade has been the advent of phone, fax, and (since 2002) EDI – Electronic Data Interchange (source: “Integration of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): A Review,” Gengeswari, K. and Abu Bakar Abdul Hamid). More recently, widespread use of email has augmented phone- and fax-based communications.

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Right-Sizing Network Solutions for Small Businesses

This is a guest blog post from Cisco Product Manager Marc Nagao. Marc has spent close to two decades in high tech, with a mix of storage, managed services and of course networking. He is currently managing the Small Business RV Series Routers.

Network connectivity is a pretty big concern for any business, let alone a small, growing business. How many small business owners do you know that have turned to IT-savvy Cousin Jimmy for help, or called a “computer expert” they found on Yelp, or tried to find the right network solutions doing only a few quick Google searches? Picking the right network solution can be a daunting task.

But that’s where right sizing a small business’ networking solution comes into play – it saves money now and saves more money in the future. Small businesses have the benefit of being nimble; a successful, single-person business can very quickly transform into a multiple-person small business, with an office and a warehouse and a dozen or even a few dozen folks. But that business’ network connectivity solution doesn’t seem to move as quickly. A consumer wireless router could probably do the job for a single person home office adequately. But for a business looking to use its network for more than just accessing the Internet, the choice is not so obvious.

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Cisco’s New Wall Access Point Helps Hoteliers Deliver In-Room Wi-Fi Access

Hotels and guests have had a love-hate relationship with Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi has become an expected service, not just a luxury, leaving hotels struggling to find the right setup that is both cost-effective and meets visitor needs. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of mobile devices being used in the market, resulting in guests arriving with laptops, tablets and smartphones all ready to connect to speedy and reliable Wi-Fi. And when Wi-Fi isn’t operating smoothly, the complaints come through loud and clear.

In this constantly connected world, how can hotels provide the service and reliability that their guests are depending on, while keeping costs down?

Cisco Wall Access Point (AP) – Better Service and Cost Savings

Cisco’s new Aironet 702W Series Access Point is a wall AP, which solves several problems at once. In the past, bulky hardware switches and access points have been installed in the hallways, which isn’t ideal for in-room Wi-Fi access, nor is it visually appealing. The Wall AP combines hardware switches and access points into a single unit, about the size of a dollar bill, making it much more aesthetically pleasing and less obvious to guests. Cisco Aironet 702W Series is a compact access point, designed for ease of mounting to numerous global wall-box standards. In addition, the Wall AP features a dual radio, running two frequencies at once and allowing for both older and newer devices to connect easily and with less interference. Read More »

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Supporting Veterans in Transition to Civilian Life

Within the next five years, more than 1 million armed forces personnel are expected to transition from U.S. military to civilian life. As our veterans return from deployments such as Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them will need new jobs to support their families – and additional training to get those jobs.

Unfortunately, our veterans typically experience higher unemployment rates than the national average and sometimes have difficulty matching their skills and training with jobs in the private sector. That’s why Cisco established a corporate veterans program in 2011 to support veterans and their spouses. We provide funding, training, technical expertise and technology to help them through what can be a difficult transition period. Read More »

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Introducing the Cisco IT eStore and a Service Catalog for BYOD

Cisco IT has always encouraged employees to use the tools that help them work most efficiently from anywhere on any device.

As the range of IT services we offered has increased, we noticed that the process of acquiring the various tools became complex and confusing. We had a number of different internal sites (aka “stores”) within Cisco, each offering different systems for employees to request services.  This complexity impacted the user experience and productivity of these employees.

In order to simplify the employee experience with Cisco IT, we made the decision to consolidate all these different systems into a single online service catalog – effectively a unified e-commerce storefront for our IT services – where our employees could find services they needed to do their jobs.

We thus created Cisco IT’s “eStore”.

Our goal was to improve employee satisfaction, decrease support costs, and increase employee productivity. We had to find a way to increase adoption and transparency of our existing IT services.

Cisco IT knew that a platform to consolidate these services into one unified service request system could be built on top of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, our own end-user portal and service catalog solution. This solution provides enterprise IT management capabilities that enable entitlement, approvals, service taxonomy control, and even chargeback.

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