Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Perspectives

Plan to Be Secure; Secure to Your Plan

The routine goes something like this. First a breach of security occurs somewhere in the enterprise, it could be something as small as a single computer getting infected or it could be a massive data loss. It seems like that’s a wide range of events, but often the reaction in an enterprise is the same. The IT executives have a meeting to determine fault and then the analysts and engineers are given the task of making sure that that particular incident never happens again. The analysts and engineers then reply with budget requests for new software and hardware from their favorite vendors. Unfortunately the end result is generally that money is spent and security is only moderately improved, if at all.

In the midst of reacting, everyone forgets that technology doesn’t configure itself and that the weakest link are the people. Instead of ramming in the latest and greatest in technology, we should be leading our company to review, create (if necessary) and rewrite our security policies. Without a policy, security tools are like unguided missiles that we hope hit their target. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

How Cisco Certifications Landed Me the Coolest Job in South Florida; Literally

When I started with my first Cisco router back in 1995, I never would have imagined I would someday be the technology lead for an ice arena of an NHL team. I also would never have predicted the impact that having a Cisco certification would have on being recruited to that position.

Most of my career up until now was spent working in the small and medium business space, primarily on ISP and telecom space working with voice and networks with some software and infrastructure design in the middle. Cisco was a large part of everything that I did from routing and switching to voice over frame relay followed by voice over IP, with a large emphasis on small bandwidth efficiency and signalling. I’m even the lead inventor on an issued patent relating to intelligent rerouting of fax traffic on VoIP systems.

I never thought much about certifications. I have a BA in Economics which has served me well as a business owner and largely found all my work via word of mouth. There were not a lot of people who understood VoIP payload and signalling tuning, starting from the MC3810 and up through the as5300/as5800 series. This was primarily in international carrier / wholesale VoIP traffic and engineering.

As VoIP became more of a commodity good and the cost of equipment came down, this market dried up. In hindsight, I should have paid more attention to Cisco exiting that market, which proved to be a good decision. As my clients and partners moved on to other ventures and I was forced to begin prospecting.

Suddenly, here I was with 30 years since I’d written my first program and roughly 20 years of internet and Cisco experience and I was struggling. I had a lot of experience, but didn’t have a portfolio of work that included any big names, mostly small businesses that no one had heard of. I needed a way to give new clients the confidence to call me. I knew that once I started the conversation, I could close the deal. Before that, however, I needed to actually get that call or email. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 7. Creating videos & podcasts as IT professionals

CiscoChampion2015200PX#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’ll be talking about creating videos and podcasts as IT professionals

Listen to the Podcast.

Learn about the Cisco Champions Program HERE.
See a list of all #CiscoChampion Radio podcasts HERE.

Cisco Champion SMEs
John Welsh, (@samplefive), Unified Communications Engineer
Ryan Adzima, @radzima, Wireless Network Engineer
Josh Kittle, @ciscovoicedude, Unified Communications Engineer
Nick Howell, @that1guynick, Virtualization Solutions Architect

Moderator
Rachel Bakker, @RBakker Read More »

Tags: ,

The We’re Listening Blog Series: It’s Easier than Ever to Select SW Images on Cisco.com

We’ve heard you say that choosing the right software releases on Cisco.com is too complex. It’s too difficult to narrow down your options and know whether you’re really getting the software that meets your needs.

Now imagine that you have a “configuration cheat sheet” for all Cisco software updates that tells you exactly which release will best suit your memory, reliability and system resource needs. Would that simplify your experience?

This is exactly how the SW Research Tool on Cisco.com works. Using the tool, you enter your requirements for hardware and software features, and access and download the right Cisco software that meets your needs immediately, all in one place, with a few simple clicks.

SW_research_tool

The tool has been live on Cisco.com since September 2013. Today, you can access release suggestions for 47 product groups (including high-end routers and switches and our newer products) via the SW Research Tool. The same suggestions are also available from the SW Download site, so you can continue to use the download venue of your choice. The current statistics show that 65 percent of all downloads via Cisco.com are for Cisco “Suggested” software versions. Our back-end metrics show both an increasing adoption rate and an improved quality experience for those versions.

SW_download_site

Here’s what people are saying about their recent experiences…

“I often get software version recommendation questions from customers. This tool cut down the time this task took tremendously. The feedback has been very positive.” – Cisco Systems Engineering Manager, Americas

“Early adopter reviews help us a lot before we push out new code.” – Cisco Partner

“After reviewing the Software Research application I’m very impressed with the features offered.  No doubt that when the product list grows more complete we’ll be using the tool regularly.” - Cisco Customer

Watch a brief video on the SW Research Tool for more information, or read our quick tips guide.

Have you used the SW Research Tool? Tell us what you think, and help us fine-tune the process for an even better experience doing business with Cisco.

Tags: , , , ,

Software Defined Contact Center

If you are a technology professional, then chances are that you are aware (maybe to the point of annoyance) that everything is getting defined in software these days. We have Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), Software-Defined Storage (SDS), and the list goes on and on. Software defining anything has become such a powerful trend that we now have a generally accepted name and acronym for just that: “Software-Defined Anything” or SDx for short.

Despite the widespread nature of the trend, Software-Defined Contact Center (SDCC) is nowhere to be found amongst the Software-Defined goodness that floods our social media feeds on a daily basis. Software-Defined Contact Center is so absent from the online world that if you search Google for the term you get only articles that reference Software-Defined Data Center, seemly because 3 out of the 4 words are common to both. If you search for the #SDCC hash tag on Twitter you will find yourself at the official account of the San Diego Comic Con. This raises the question, why isn’t SDCC “a thing?” This question is particularly relevant since Cisco’s Intelligent Contact Management (ICM) has been allowing us to build Software-Defined Contact Centers since the late 1990s. Let’s take a look at how ICM delivers on the Software-Defined paradigm for Contact Centers. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,