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Why Web 2.0? Why Now?

A big part of what we do in the IT Customer Strategy and Success organization is talk to customers. They’re drawn to the Cisco on Cisco message, specifically what they can learn from our own experience deploying Cisco products and solutions. I’d say about 80 percent of the customers we talk to are struggling with how to leverage a Web 2.0 platform in the enterprise and how they can use it to conduct business more efficiently.

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Evaluating MPLS VPN in North America

Cisco IT’s global WAN has a two-tiered architecture.  Tier 1 is a DWDM/SONET/SDH-based global backbone that connects 22 Cisco facilities and WAN aggregation hubs in 11 countries.  Tier 2 regional WANs connect at the hub sites.  The regional WANs are built based on the most appropriate technology for the region, including MPLS VPN in several locations.  In North America the regional WAN is currently a TDM-based private-line network with eight WAN aggregation hubs in the United States and one in Canada which we recently evaluated for  possible migration to MPLS VPN. 


Our evaluation highlighted the fact that MPLS VPN service offerings and cost models vary from region to region across the globe.  Conditions that make MPLS VPN the WAN technology of choice in one part of the world do not necessarily apply elsewhere.  In 2001, when we reviewed our SONET/ATM/Frame Relay/TDM-based WAN in Europe, we found that a service-provider-based MPLS VPN network solution was the best option for us.  We were able to increase our WAN bandwidth by more than a factor of four for about the same cost.  We were also able to meet our requirements for QoS for real-time voice and video applications, and native multicast needed for streaming Cisco TV broadcast of companywide and other meetings.   (We support seven QoS classes, as described in Cisco IT case studies on QoS  and Medianet.)

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The IT Challenges of Enterprise 2.0

March 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

The meteoric rise and popularity of Web 2.0 tools and technologies presents several business and technical challenges for corporate IT. Before the benefits of Web 2.0 can be fully realized in the enterprise, IT needs to accept and embrace them. Following are what I see as the four overarching IT challenges from a business perspective.


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Reducing Long-Distance PSTN Costs at Cisco

In early 2009, I was asked to form a virtual, global team within Cisco IT to figure out how we could reduce international long distance calling expenses at Cisco. As a result of adding 28 TEHO routes we were able to avoid future PSTN costs of approximately $4 million per year.

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Finally, from Phones to Click-to-Connect Conferencing with Cisco Unified Personal Communicator

At a global company like Cisco a lot of our meetings are held as conference calls with people all over the world.   These meetings can last an hour or more, so a company phone is useful especially after hours or when you’re traveling. For me, that’s when a softphone on my laptop is the best solution. It uses the power of the corporate network to make low-cost business calls (and they’re free to me). Many people at Cisco use Cisco IP Communicator, which is a great softphone. My preference is Cisco Unified Personal Communicator because it combines the softphone with presence information, instant messaging, and very recently a new feature called “click-to-conference” WebEx. 

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