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Many of us in the IT world are at Interop New York this week and we’re very excited. Tablets and smartphones enable new and innovative ways to engage employees, guests and customers; the technology tantalizes with the promise of business transformation. More organizations are allowing mobile and personal devices for work use. But there are also many challenges for IT during these technology transitions.  IT is struggling to keep up with the latest mobility trends.

As you know, we first launched Cisco Unified Access about 3 months ago at Cisco Live in San Diego.  Now at Interop New York, we are announcing a number of significant enhancements to the Cisco Unified Access solutions. These enhancements enable IT to spend less time running the network and more time collaborating and innovating with the lines of business.  If IT organizations want to have a seat at the table and impact the business, a strong and agile IT platform is required. This platform can become a business differentiator and will enable business transformation.  This is what Cisco’s Unified Access is all about -- One Policy, One Management, One Network, enabling the IT to discover what is possible with the business.

Today, I’m excited to share with you the latest Cisco Unified Access innovations that we are announcing at Interop New York.

Let’s first start with One Policy. The latest Cisco Identity Service Engine (ISE) Release 1.1.1 manages policy across wired, wireless and VPN access.  Yes, that is One Policy!   As part of this announcement, we have new Secure Group Access (SGA) capabilities that provide automated, intelligent and role-based access control enforcement across wired and wireless networks, based on context such as user, device, and location.  The new self-provisioning portal (“My Devices”) allows users to onboard and manage their devices through a self-registration workflow, so IT can focus on broader business needs.

Next, with One Management, new Cisco Prime Infrastructure 1.2 delivers a converged platform for integrated lifecycle management and visibility of applications and services across wireless, wired, campus and branch network infrastructure. Yes, that is One Management!   New integrated workflows are organized around lifecycle processes: Design, Deploy, Operate, Report and Administer for simplified management across wired and wireless technologies. Product functionality is aligned with the way network operators do their jobs rather than with specific network technologies.

Finally, One Network, many new offerings in our WiFi and networking product portfolio give you a smarter and faster access layer to handle the onslaught of new devices and applications. We are introducing a new line of Cisco Aironet 1600 and 2600 Access Points (APs). These complement the Cisco Aironet 3600 Access Point and complete the 2nd generation of 802.11n access points. The new Cisco Aironet 1600 & 2600 Access Points are extending enterprise features at new attractive price points without compromising on RF performance enablers like CleanAir, and client acceleration with ClientLink 2.0 accelerating a/g/n clients. The 2nd generation 802.11n access points provide 30-60% more upstream performance than off-the-shelf silicon based products.

Additionally, the Cisco Aironet 3600 series is the industry’s first enterprise grade Access Point with 802.11ac investment protection built in – they can be field upgraded with a 802.11ac module. We are also setting a new industry standard for wireless LAN controller scalability by introducing the new Cisco Wireless 8500 Series Controller. The new controller is designed for service providers and large enterprises, offering the highest scalability (6000 APs and 64,000 Clients) in a 1-RU platform.  The new sub-second Access Point stateful switch over (AP-SSO) for wireless controller capability helps achieve mission-critical uptime, enabled by the new Cisco Wireless 7.3 Software Release.

To address BYOD (bring your own device), the network must onboard devices and provide user/device authentication.  In access switching, Cisco is introducing context-aware access security features like TrustSec (SGT/SGA) for the Cisco Catalyst 3560-X and 3750-X  series switches (Cisco IOS Software Release 15.0(2)SE ), with the features coming to the Catalyst 4500-E  series switches in mid 2013.  This complements existing Device Sensor functionality for onboarding and identity functionality for authentication.

I invite you to visit the Cisco Unified Access web site to discover what is possible with Cisco Unified Access.

 

 

PS: The Cisco Unified Access Launch Video!

 

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