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As part of my work at Cisco, I get to talk to customers very often. Through these conversations, I learn what works for them and what concerns them. Lately, I’ve been hearing a common theme from a lot of customers: in many organizations IT staff is small and not growing while they are being asked to do more to meet the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) challenge.

BYOD has drastically changed the technology landscape as users bring many different types of personal devices to the networks of schools and colleges, hospitals, financial agencies, enterprises and other organizations. One university IT team, including their chief technology officer and their IT administrators, recently told me that they had 200% network user growth and 300% endpoint device growth over the last several years. As for their network, they used to have less than 100 wireless access points (APs). Guess how many they have today? Over a thousand. And they are planning to deploy several hundred more APs in the coming months. How about their IT headcount growth? As you might have guessed, it’s not grown at all.

To support the rapid growth of endpoints and the network, and to provide the best user experience, operation efficiency has become a top priority for the IT community. Good operational efficiency is not an easy task. Think about how many tools you’re using to manage your wired network, to manage your wireless network, to troubleshoot user problems and to pull network compliance reports? I’ve been hearing consistently that IT teams are looking for ways to consolidate, to automate and to streamline these operations. I’m sure that you’re working on the same effort.

A consolidated management platform such as Cisco Prime Infrastructure can help you support both wired and wireless infrastructure. In addition to deployment simplification of new wired and wireless devices and services, you can also automate a lot of your management operations for the existing infrastructure. Furthermore, the information and data provided by a central management platform will give you deep visibility and intelligence into your network’s behavior and user activity. Such insight will help you quickly identify the root cause of user issues, whether they’re due to endpoint device malfunction, networking device misconfiguration or violation of your BYOD policies. Finally, you can improve your compliance efforts when you have network inventory, policy implementation, and compliance reports all available from a central source.

Cisco Unified Access with One Policy, One Management, One Network provides comprehensive lifecycle management, performance assurance and compliance for wired and wireless networks. With the Cisco One Management approach, delivered by Cisco Prime Infrastructure, you can simplify network management, automate operational processes, and validate your policies against organizational standards and industry regulations. One of the Cisco customers, St. Joseph Health, has done just that. 

The IT team at St. Joseph Health was using disparate management systems and even manual processes to manage their network. They struggled to maintain a single and accurate view of their network. Their solution? With Cisco Prime Infrastructure which gave them the network-wide visibility, they were able to make faster decisions when equipment needed a refresh as they had a full view of their infrastructure. Their achievements had important implications. In addition to the technical ability to do a full network inventory scan in 30 minutes, they were able to improve the care offered as medical staff had improved access to mission critical apps and improved WiFi for both staff and patients who bring their own mobile devices. You can read more about their story here.

Cisco Unified Access helps you to move forward with your BYOD initiatives. Expect more Cisco Unified Access excitement in the coming weeks.   In fact, you can register for our webinar, Is Your Network Ready for BYOD?

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