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Tech Trends That Will Change How People Conduct Business in 2014

March 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm PST

As technology evolves, people who conduct business continue trying to keep up, implementing it in all facets of their industry to improve and increase efficiency. Whether these technologies have been around for some time and developed, or they were recently introduced and applied, there’s no doubt they’re revolutionizing commerce.

With that said, here are six tech trends that’ll change how people conduct business in 2014.  Read More »

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Introducing FindIT, Cisco Small Business Automated Software Delivery Service

March 11, 2014 at 8:43 am PST

Hello again, Marc Nagao and the Cisco Small Business Team.

Over the weekend, my family and I were in Indian Wells to watch the world’s best tennis players play at the BNP Paribas Open. I have to say, watching them play live, at competition speed, is something to behold. It’s difficult to comprehend the speed, power and consistency out of these players.

Speaking of Speed and Power, recently, my brethren Product Manager, David Harper, finished up development of a new release of the Cisco FindIT Network Discovery Utility that uses the Cisco Automated Software Delivery Service to provide easy speedy access to Small Business firmware. This new service tool is simple to use, intuitive and a snap to get started. It will let you know when there’s a new firmware update and in seconds that firmware can be loaded up on your Cisco Small Business device. I even conned Dave into doing a demo for you all! But the best part, it is FREE.

Take it away Dave:

Hello Everyone, Today I want to talk about Cisco FindIT. FindIT is a web browser plugin that you can use to discover all Cisco Small Business branded devices on your network, and then you can easily view device information, click to open the administration GUI, or click to access support resources. We have just released version 1.1 of FindIT, and this version automatically notifies you about firmware updates for the devices on the network and then lets you click to download them to your PC. I’ve attached a short, five minute video below that show how FindIT works and how you can use it when you are installing a new network.

For more information or to download FindIT, go to www.cisco.com/go/findit.

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Cisco Small Business Extending Services and Support in Latin America

March 5, 2014 at 10:12 am PST

Happy Wednesday!

Did you watch the Academy Awards this week? It sure would been great to get my mug in Ellen’s selfie shot. I could have been Bradley right? ..and a slice of pizza would have been great with Julia, Harrison, and “Marty”. Certainly this year’s Oscars was the best one in years.

Speaking of good shows -- as Master of Ceremonies here at Cisco Small Business, I wanted to pass along some fantastic news from another brethren Product Manager, Robin Penn. Her Cisco Small Business Services and Support team has been making a good showing recently by adding 15 additional Latin American Countries where folks can purchase Cisco Small Business Service. For some time, we have received requests from partners, customers and team members to extend our Award Winning coverage to more Latin American countries. As you can imagine, many folks are quite happy about this.

But wait… what exactly did Robin do?  We already sold Small Business Support Service in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. And now…the envelope please to see the new entrants: Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. And all are winners

Customers now can purchase (through their partners) the value-priced Cisco Small Business Support Service:

  • Three Years of Award-Winning Technical Support
  • Advanced Product Replacement - either Same Day Ship or Next Business Day**
  • Unlimited telephone support with Cisco Certified engineers, 24 hours daily in English, business hours in other languages
  • Major and minor software releases

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 2.32.58 PM

So now, in more and more countries, especially Latin America, Cisco’s Best-in-show Small Business products can be purchased with the award-winning Cisco Small Business Support Service. So as Robin would say, buy/sell the best Small Business products with the Industries’ Best Service and Support, all in the one shot.

Thanks for hanging out with the Cisco Small Business Team -- make it a good rest of the week.

Resources:
Small Business Support Service At-A- Glance in English

Small Business Support Service At -A- Glance in Spanish

Small Business Support Service At-A-Glance in Portuguese

For more info on Small Business Support Service features and benefits or questions…  Check out www.cisco.com/go/sbs or contact smb-services-team@cisco.com

And to see where is Small Business Support Service is available: check out www.cisco.com/go/sbsavailable

**Questions about Same Day Ship or Next Business Day Logistics?  Contact your partner or latam-tm@cisco.com.

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“Wow, I had no idea Cisco had these products”

As the product owner, one comment I get most of all is “Wow, I had no idea Cisco had these products“. This is the case even though we ship well over 20 million switch ports delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year in this portfolio – to customers in all geographies, markets, verticals, and customer types.

Which products are we talking about? It’s the Cisco SMB portfolio.

See what independent testing agency, Miercom, found when they compared Cisco 300 Series Switches (SG300) to other switches in the market from competitors -- Miercom lab test report.

Cisco was top performer in the test in Performance, Energy Efficiency, Usability, Capacity/Scale, Feature/functionality, and was the most Economical. For further dialog around this report, see the following link for more details: Competitive dialog on the Miercom test report.

Almost identical results were found when comparing the Cisco 500 Series Switches (SG500) to other Stackable switches in the market from competitors – Results from Stackable Switch Lab Test Report.

 “We were impressed with the comprehensive set of features, performance, overall power efficiency, and ease-of-use of the Cisco switches”

– Rob Smithers, CEO, Miercom (Miercom report: DR120119C)

Over this last year, here’s a small sampling of additional features Cisco has added to the 300 Series portfolio in addition to what has been tested in the Miercom lab (a free software download for customers, I might add):

  • Web-based Authentication - Provides network admission control through a web browser to any host devices and operating systems
  • IPv6 First Hop Security – Protection against man-in-the-middle attack, malicious or rogue devices, and IP address theft
    • RA Guard
    • ND Inspection
    • DHCPv6 Guard
    • Neighbor Binding Integrity
  • UDLD - detect unidirectional links caused by incorrect wiring or cable/port faults to prevent forwarding loops and black-holing of traffic in switched networks.
  • Time-based POE - time-based shutdown of ports or POE for operational cost savings

Here’s a list 100+ intelligent features many/most of which are not present in the corresponding competitive products. Read it and decide for yourself: Detailed feature differentiators post.

 So more features means it costs more, right? Nope. These Cisco switches are actually just as affordable—and in many/most cases, even more affordable — than Competitive switches. See for yourself. Here’s a few examples of comparable products you can look up:

  • Cisco SG300-28 versus HP 2530-24G (J9776A) -- $513 versus $724
  • Cisco SG300-52 versus HP 2530-48G (J9775A) -- $910 versus $1,129
  • Cisco SG300-28PP versus HP 2530-24G-POE+ (J9773A) - $876 versus $1,218
  • Cisco SG300-52P versus HP 2530-48G-POE+ (J9772A)- $1,232 versus $2,324

(Prices collected on CDW Website on 2/20/2014) 

300 Series Family MR

 

But don’t stop there. Have a look at the features and pricing for rest of the Cisco Small Business portfolio. You will see very similar results in other parts of the portfolio as well (For example, compare Cisco SF500 switches against HP 2620 series). By the way, these Cisco switches come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which includes next business day (NBD) advanced replacement as part of the product – no need to purchase a separate Service contract to get this. We can only do this since we truly stand behind these products.

“Cisco has raised the bar for this product category”

Kevin Tolly, founder, The Tolly Group (See Link)

Bet you didn’t know many of these things as well. Awareness is the biggest problem for this portfolio. So, let’s change this to “Did you know Cisco had these products?”.

 

 

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Big News from the Cisco Small Business Team

February 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm PST

Happy Thursday all.

Yesterday, my brethren Product Manager, Ivor Diedricks announced his new 10 Gigabit Small Business Switch. This is the first 10 Gigabit Switch in the Small Business Series. This is an important announcement in that we are the only one (save one) to come to market with such a product for the SMB space. With its 10 Gigabit over copper interfaces, SMB’s can connect Servers and Storage devices cost-effectively for an optimal core deployment. This new switch has eight 10GBase-T copper, eight SFP+ slots and up to eight switches can be connected in a single stack. Ivor provides more color into the features of the new switch in his general availability release which also announced several new models for the 300 and 500 Series Switches which provide fantastic performance, ease-of-use, best-of-breed features and industry-leading warranty.

Thanks for taking the time to take a look today. Make it a great day.

KN48112

Here’s Ivor’s Announcement:

The Small Business product team is pleased to announce the immediate orderability of a new 10 Gigabit switch together with several new models of the 300 and 500 series switches. Small Business switches deliver great value for SMB customers with outstanding ease of use, best of breed features and peace of mind warranty. And we continue to evolve the portfolio with the constant software updates.

The new SG500XG-8F8T switch features 8 ports of 10GBase-T copper for cost-effective, high speed connectivity to Servers and Storage devices. Additionally, there are 8 SFP+ slots for 10 Gigabit long-range connectivity over fiber for backbone, stacking, or host connectivity. Up to 8 units can be connected in a single stack and may be paired with SG500X switches in the same stack. It comes with a rich feature set including VRRP Resiliency, IPv6 First Hop Security, Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), Auto Smartports, CDP, and numerous Time-based capabilities for enabling items such as POE, ACLs, and 802.1x according to a schedule.

The new POE models expand the 300 and 500 Series portfolio with support for higher density POE capability, together with all models supporting IEEE 802.3az (POE+). The 300 and 500 series switches now incorporates full and half power POE models, thereby giving customers the options to select the models which best meets their needs. The new switches comes with all the rich feature set available with these product families.

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