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Updating your Cisco Small Business Router Firmware

Hello all,

Hope you all are enjoying a productive week. This week I thought it would be prudent to talk about upgrading router (+switch and wireless access point) firmware. The firmware is software that is embedded on the router. This firmware is normally updated to include new features and enhancements to the device. All of our firmware upgrades are FREE.

So take a look at a quick Knowledge Base article (based in our fabulous support forum) on upgrading the firmware on the new RV130 and RV130W:

You will need to download the firmware to your computer and connect an ethernet cable from computer to your router.

Side note: We have an option, yes there is another way. Check out this blog on FindIt.

Make it great rest of the week.


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Cisco and Junior Achievement Partner on STEM Mentoring Event in RTP

Today, Cisco and Junior Achievement teamed up to host a Job Shadow Day as part of Cisco’s series of STEM mentoring events being held throughout the week. Fifty students from the Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School – a group of first generation college attendees, English as second language (ESL), and under-represented minorities and low-income students –participated in the day’s activities.

The event featured Rene Daughtry, Cisco Project Manager and Chairman of NCCU Advisory Council, who offered a keynote highlighted the job opportunities that the Internet of Everything will create for STEM professionals.

Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to participate in speed mentoring sessions,  tour the Technical Assistance Center,  experience TelePresence technology and learn about personal finance management during a Junior Achievement session lead by Cisco Finance employees.

This is part of a series of STEM mentoring events taking place all week at three of Cisco’s campuses – Richardson, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Silicon Valley.  Nearly 200 students and 200 mentors will participate in these events.

For almost two-decades, Cisco has made it a top priority to build a talent pipeline prepared to meet the challenges of a modern economy and a workforce that generates the next wave of innovation. And by 2018, there will be 1.2 million open jobs in the United States in the fields that make up STEM.

Cisco invests in programs from kindergarten to college and beyond that are preparing a diverse generation of talent for careers in STEM and is a founding partner of US2020, an initiative that connects STEM professionals with girls and students from underserved communities from kindergarten through college. By 2020, Cisco has committed that 20% of our US employees will provide at least 20 hours of STEM mentoring per year.

Every student should have the opportunity to prepare themselves for the rapidly growing job opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math – and Cisco is committed to building the lifelong skills that will enable North Carolina’s youth to have careers in the workforce of tomorrow.

All in all, today’s event was terrific.  We had a great interaction with the students in each session.  Hopefully, we’ll see more than a few of them choose careers in STEM down the road. 

Unlock Location-based Engagement with the CMX SDK

Location-based applications have endless use cases—simply tapping into the users’ whereabouts can provide useful information such as movies playing, surrounding restaurants, friends’ favorite spots, etc. Still untapped, however, is the many potential uses of a location-based service, because while the apps may get the user to a location and allow them the opportunity to “check-in,” these apps do little else to engage the user while they’re within the physical venue they’ve been directed to.

Retailers, grocery markets, car shops, hospitals, museums, hotels, basically any physical venue, could leverage location-based services to engage their patrons through mobile devices. Rather than having a store full of texters, Facebookers, Tweeters, etc. a retail store has the potential of actually getting in front of and engaging the actual shoppers by providing them with wifi, special deals, style suggestions, in-store directions, etc. Exploring this largely uncharted world of location-based engagement can be made possible through our Cisco Mobility Experiences (CMX) SDK.

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Evolution of the Super Administrator

Large enterprise organisations are traditionally siloed from an IT perspective. You have the Server Team, the Network Team, the Storage Team, the Security Team, the Application Team; you get the idea.  There are usually politics involved, where the IT Division resembles a kindergarten with playground arguments and disagreements.

THE GAME IS CHANGING!  With the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), Hyper-Convergence, the “Goldilocks Zone” and Network Virtualisation, you are seeing the rise of the “Super Administrator” – the one person who has the skills that span every silo.  That individual can lay cables, install hardware, configure a router or switch, install a hypervisor, configure directory services, build a VM, configure Windows Server, carve a LUN, zone fiber-channel, configure application firewall rules, manage a hybrid cloud, troubleshoot VDI and present a NAS share. Read More »

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Field Support for New Workers with Mobile video Collaboration – Wherever They Are

Holding onto “Tribal Knowledge”

Recent data from the Department of Energy (DOE) indicates that approximately 60% of electric utility workers will be eligible for retirement in the next five years. The impending loss of the most skilled and knowledgeable workers in the industry has put many utility companies on red alert.  This potential workforce crisis means that companies have just a few years to transfer what’s often referred to as, “Tribal Knowledge” from those retiring to those who will have to fill their shoes.

Many utility workers hold positions within their companies for nearly 30 years, so one can easily imagine the amount of intangible knowledge and varying experiences that each worker has. What companies really need is a way to tap into the experienced worker’s knowledge while traveling in the field.  Better yet, they would like to find a way to limit travel in the field; traveling hundreds of miles to analyze and solve problems poses its own set of risks, from driving hazards to on the job injuries. When something goes wrong on the grid, lives are at risk.

Challenges in the Field

Much of the information and knowledge needed by today’s utility worker is stored in a computer or in the cloud, and is not accessible in the field by the organization’s workers. Because of this, institutional knowledge and expertise decreases. Many companies today are purchasing collaboration solutions, including web meeting software, video and Internet-based phone systems. This package is intended to upgrade collaboration across business units, address the issues of lost tribal knowledge, increase workforce effectiveness and manage company priorities arising from their aging workforce. Challenges faced include a slow, sub-optimal rollout plan, forced by lower company revenues. Analysis points to automation of capture and storage of knowledge, utilities could take advantage of their expert employee’s skills and leverage their knowledge for less experienced workers in the field, thereby giving a good return on investment for early deployment of mobile collaboration.

There are three immediate problems to resolve: access to Tribal Knowledge, better utilization of experts for training, and improving safety for the mobile workforce traveling in the field.  Companies remind us on a regular basis that training a utility lineman can take 10 years or more – and the average age of the current power lineman workforce is 47-years-old.  Utilities are also focusing on retention of younger employees, who are generally more technologically savvy and who expect work access to tools they use outside the workplace, like smart phones and other wireless technologies.  In fact, new or younger workers prefer to work in an area with new technology. Mobile devices such as smart phones and ruggedized tablets can be especially useful in the field where workers can get access to advice from experts in real-time or even start a meeting – all to create increase access to institutional knowledge.

One component of Cisco’s solution is expert locator software. Employees such as line workers and technicians would have the ability to be connected anytime or anywhere via a five-product Enterprise Collaboration solution: Expert Locator, IP call control with video IP phones, web meeting (Webex), an immersive video solution (TelePresence) and ruggedized mobile video (Librestream Onsight).

New technology can change the way utilities conduct business

Workers would use mobile video in the field to show details of problems to experts throughout the company, senior workers could provide advice and support for repair of damaged equipment in the field without having to travel to the field. Experts can also quickly convene and escalate meetings to resolve a problem via the web and Telepresence. If a worker is on-site and there are challenges with a device, the worker can start a meeting, have the ability to share and give/get advice in real-time. Because of this, repair times go down while safety goes up.

How can Cisco help your organization support new collaboration and create a mobile workforce? Find out more by visiting our solutions page and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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