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Last week, Cisco sponsored Gartner ITxpo in Orlando. By all accounts the event was a success, with around 7000 attendees, over 1000 of whom were CIOs. In John Chambers’ keynote session, Gartner’s Ken Dulaney said that he liked Borderless Networks and it set Cisco on a good course. However some customers felt that it lacked “meat.”  A few other analysts, reporters and industry writers have also indicated that they had trouble “getting it.”

I think that part of the problem is that many people understand things better when provided with concrete examples than when presented with high level statements such as “Connect anyone, anywhere, on any device.”  With that in mind, let’s look at some customer stories.

Bob is a white collar worker at a large enterprise. When he goes to work and logs into his laptop, Wi-Fi connectivity is provided by Cisco Aironet access points. Cisco CleanAir technology ensures connectivity even in environments with a lot of interference, and TrustSec provides Identity Aware user and device access. This means that Bob, who is in marketing, gets access to datasheets and show plans, but he does not have access to engineering servers or accounting systems. Guests are given access to the internet but nothing else and the IT group can even easily find rogue devices with their Cisco Unified Wireless Network infrastructure. Together all these capabilities help deliver secure, reliable and seamless connectivity.

But it doesn’t stop there. Bob’s company has supplied their telecommuters and home office workers with Cisco Virtual Office kits. The kits are self provisioning, so they are pretty much plug and play. CVO integrates a secure router that provides VPN connectivity back to headquarters, with local Wi-Fi coverage and an IP phone that lets people calling the same number reach Bob at work or at home. Bob gets pretty much the same connectivity and access from his home office that he has at work, but he does it without the carbon/energy hit to the environment. Even better, he saves 90 minutes not driving back and forth to work while getting a little more time for important things at home – like barbeques!

Tomorrow we will be back with another post, this one looking at how Borderless Networks adds meat on the road.

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