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The Foundation for a Business Relevant Network

With the growing influx of new mobile devices, connected things, bandwidth intensive applications and more data, the network is more relevant to business success than ever before.  Back in June of 2012, Cisco saw that we needed to move away from multiple network systems loosely linked together to an agile and simple infrastructure, streamlined policy and centralized management would be needed to support new business demands. We called it Cisco Unified Access and we aligned the solution to three pillars: One Network, One Policy and One Management.

For the last few years, we have focused on delivering new products and functionality under this Unified Access model. Below is a timeline of products released as part of the Unified Access framework. Cisco lead the way in delivering gigabit 802.11ac Wi-Fi., converged wireless control in access switches and through the acquisition of Meraki – a complete cloud-managed network solution.

foundation

The timeline above doesn’t represent every feature and function we have delivered, but it shows Cisco’s commitment to this Unified Access model, both from a cloud-managed and on-premise solution perspective.

Today, Cisco is announcing a number of new products and new functionality to existing products that will help mobilize the workforce, secure the business and increase IT agility. The announcement includes the following: Read More »

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Improving Email at Cisco Part 2 – The Employee Process Side

I’d mentioned earlier (see Improving Email at Cisco Part 1 – The IT Technology Side) that email has its ugly side:

  • Too many
  • Most of them are a waste of time
  • Emails will, occasionally, carry virus payloads (or link you to sites that have worse); and yet
  • I can’t live without it Read More »

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Security: Front and Center at Cisco Live Cancun 2013

November 12, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

This year I was honored to be able to present and participate at Cisco Live Cancun, which took place last week. Many attendees from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean came to discover innovative ways that networking technologies can help them reach new markets and understand which solutions are right for their specific challenges.

Security was a hot topic this year!

Customers were able to connect with numerous experts for guidance and advice on security IT challenges that their company may be facing. Maintaining an appropriate security posture in “Bring Your Own Device” (BOYD) environments can be a challenge. This year I delivered a presentation about BYOD Security and Cisco’s TrustSec in an 8 ½ hour session titled “Bring Your Own Device – Architectures, Design and Operation” (TECRST-2020). Implementing BYOD requires a comprehensive solution that ensures the security and reliability of the network while enhancing user experience and productivity. The exponential growth of consumer devices and the need to maintain continuous connectivity to corporate and Internet resources has brought new challenges to corporate networks. Network managers struggle to provide adequate connectivity to employees while protecting corporate data. This session focused on the architecture and framework required to deploy the proper network infrastructure, security components and device management to support different endpoints, each with unique permissions into the network. A combination of lectures and live demos provided the information needed for customers to build an effective BYOD solution. The latest Cisco Validated Design guide (CVD) 2.5 for BYOD was covered highlighting different BYOD use cases, including TrustSec, converged access and the integration with Mobile Device Managers (MDM) to receive device posture information. Read More »

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A Financial Service Organization Speaks Out on Secure Access

October 14, 2013 at 9:41 am PST

Are your finances secure with your financial institution? Vystar Credit Union in Florida, USA speaks out on one of their recent efforts to ensure highly secure access at their institution. With the pressures of compliance and the need to protect their institution’s network and assets, Vystar deploys ISE and AnyConnect with great success. Most recently coming from Gartner IT conference in FLA I had a chance to speak with other organizations that expressed secure access concerns. Read More »

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BYOD with Flair – Cisco Customer Vitra AG has Designs on Manufacturing.

September 13, 2013 at 9:20 am PST

 

Having just moved into a new house, my wife and I are looking to see how all our old furniture can be re-used -- with her eye on the best design (she’s a designer by trade), and my eye on cost. We’ll end up somewhere in the middle I expect, slightly geared towards ‘design’ if past experience is anything to go by!

An example of Vitra design -- the VitraHaus

Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra pulls off both objectives -- providing customers with great design, AND managing to reduce cost in the organization, How? With Cisco of course!

Take a visit across the Swiss border into Germany and you can visit to the VitraHaus location, its flagship store. Visiting Vitrahaus is like taking a trip through design history, but it also offers the opportunity to encounter the work of leading contemporary designers. Furnishings and objects from the Vitra Home Collection are arranged in a variety of settings for both living and working.

Communications and collaboration are central to bringing these concepts to life. Vitra has been partnering with Cisco for over a decade, evolving its IT infrastructure and expanding wireless LAN deployments. The biggest concentration of wireless access points, more than 70, is at Weil am Rhein. The latest stage of that IT strategy intends to make wireless a key enabler for business transformation.

“Improving guest Wi-Fi access was very important,” says Marco Gersbacher, head of IT infrastructure services at Vitra, “while we also wanted to make sure the business was fully prepared for bring-your-own-device.

Although Vitra had no formal bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, a growing number of employees were using personal smartphones and tablets alongside company laptops in the workplace.

Vitra Style - style is pervasive in all that they do.

Vitra Style -- style is pervasive in all that they do.

This trend created problems with device recognition and password reset requests. Certain devices could connect only over the wired network, others just to Wi-Fi, and some not at all. So, a robust BYOD framework was a strategic priority. Without visibility of devices, however, the company was unable to guarantee network performance and security.

A validated Cisco® Borderless Network design has helped enable Vitra unify access across all network domains: wired, wireless, and VPN. The solution was installed by NextiraOne and includes the following components: Read More »

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