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Tablets Welcomed: How Cisco IT created a mobile access policy for any device

Hope you found last week’s inaugural blog on the “Tablet Welcomed.” series interesting enough to come back.

Today, I am sitting down for an interview with Brett Belding, who was instrumental in designing a mobile device access policy for Cisco, in his role as the Senior Manager of IT.

I met Brett over Cisco Telepresence one early morning (when I typically I am still asleep, let alone in the office) to accommodate his Eastern time zone schedule. For the videophile readers, I should say that I pointed my camera directly to the Telepresence screen, which is why you may notice my reflection at certain points. However, this amateur video alone could be a case study for the quality of Cisco Telepresence.

Read More »

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7 Social Media Tips, Tricks and Stories from Silicon Valley Practitioners

June 30, 2011 at 6:00 am PST

According to Mashable, today is Social Media Day. Whether or not you think that social media should have its own day (#smday), a group of us, Silicon Valley practitioners thought we’d have some fun today anyway…social media style. We created 2 videos to celebrate the lessons we have learned over the years and remind ourselves of the effects social media has had on our lives….so far. I say “so far” because there’s more to come. If you’re new to social media, we hope you’ll walk away with some good conversation starters. If you’ve been doing this for a while, we hope to put a smile on your face – maybe because you recognize your own advice or maybe because you have a similar story.

Watch this video for some great social tips from Read More »

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Transatlantic TelePresence Chat with Guy Kawasaki #ideaimpresa

May 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm PST

I love it when technology helps connect people. I love it when I can finally see the person I’ve been talking to on the phone and via email for months. I love it when distance becomes irrelevant in sharing knowledge and opinions in real time….even when we’re continents apart.

That’s why I loved every minute of yesterday’s virtual event our Italian team (@CiscoItalia) hosted with Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki). The concept was simple: connect ~30 Cisco guests in Italy with US social media personality, Guy Kawasaki for an hour of social media pow wow. Did I mention without any travel? The event was delivered over TelePresence in 3 different locations: Milan, Rome and Santa Clara TelePresence Suites (@TelePresence) as part of the Italian team’s #ideaimpresa initiative. This program aims at showcasing new ways to collaborate – wherever we are.

Questions ranged from tips for small medium businesses (SMBs) to the ever-so-popular question: are we overwhelming our fans and followers with information? Guy had an interesting point of view Read More »

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Cisco and Rockwell Automation to Share Industry Best Practices

From joint reference architectures to education webcasts, the collaboration between Cisco and Rockwell Automation benefits manufacturers.  The partnership has empowered corporations globally and now industry experts from both companies are ready to share their best practices and lessons learned.

The upcoming RACES (Rockwell Automation and Cisco Education Series) educational webcast will focus on Securing Architectures and Applications for
Industrial Networks. 

Thursday, April 28
9:00 a.m. PST / 10:00 a.m. MST / 11:00 a.m. CST / 12:00 p.m. EST

Growing demands for greater information access accelerate the convergence of manufacturing and enterprise networks and help manufacturers make better business decisions. As critical control systems link to company-wide infrastructures and beyond, new risks emerge that can affect productivity, operational efficiency and functional safety. To ensure the benefits derived from plantwide convergence outweigh risks and threats, it is imperative to follow contemporary architecture design practices that can enhance network resiliency and help protect key assets and information. 

Learn From Industry Experts

Speakers Scott Johnston, Principal Consultant for Network & Security Services, Rockwell Automation and Bryce Barnes, Enterprise Vertical Solutions Architect for Manufacturing, Cisco, will discuss the solutions from Rockwell Automation and Cisco to address the challenges of network convergence. Learn the fundamentals and best practices for:

  • Securing manufacturing computing and controller assets
  • The value a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) brings to your manufacturing framework
  • How FactoryTalk Services and Applications such as FactoryTalk ViewPoint and FactoryTalk
  • Transaction Manager can be deployed within the manufacturing framework to leverage the DMZ

To register for this event or to learn more,please click here

About The Cisco and Rockwell Partnership

The Cisco and Rockwell Automation partnership consists of: Read More »

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Has Your Company Outgrown Your “IT Guy”

By Ken Presti, Contributing Columnist

It starts with a nagging suspicion that things aren’t in synch, and kind of grows from there.  Symptoms include long response times, an inability to scale, and sometimes just an all-out failure to keep things working.  At one time or another, every company faces the question of whether they have outgrown their IT guy.

The causes can be many, but typically fall into one of two buckets.  The most obvious one is the inability of said IT guy to keep up with the changes of the industry and grow with the job.  In these situations, the answer may be as simple as getting some additional training, as opposed to looking for someone new.  But very often, it’s far more complicated than that.  In some ways, Moore’s Law has now been applied to human resources.  Managers are expected to get more from the people they’ve got, and next quarter they are expected to get more still.  And if you think that’s bad, just wait til the quarter after that.  So very often, it is not a lack of ability or a lack of willingness on the part of the employee, it is simply a matter of trying to get too much done with too few bodies.

When faced with such difficulties with your IT support, there are a couple of different ways you can go.  The least advisable option is to keep bumping along with the situation you’ve got, due to the budget requirements at hand. Unfortunately, a lot of companies go this route, and they do so at substantial risk. The best choice, of course, is heavily dependent upon how much wiggle room there might be for that line item.  For example, you may be able to bring someone onto the team, either as a full-time employee, a part-time employee, or a contractor of some type.  In many cases, you may find channel partners in your area who are ready, willing, and able to either meet your IT needs, or at least add additional resources to the equation without increasing your headcount.

But the important part is that management recognizes the critical role that IT plays in the organization, and is willing to provide the extra support, and least as a defensive maneuver to help protect the company’s ability to deliver on business-level objectives.  In this situation, it may be necessary to make some pretty difficult choices.  But assuming that IT is mission-critical to the company, making such a choice is critical to the bottom line.

The good thing about working with a channel partner is that you can usually find some level of supplementary service that suit’s your company’s budget, whatever that might be. And sometimes the effects of just a little bit of help can far exceed the incremental cost.

Thus, with a little bit of planning, and a little bit of flexibility, you can bring a higher degree of IT efficiency, and oftentimes accomplish that goal while leaving your primary team intact.

Ken Presti has extensive experience in channel program analysis and development.  He is the founder of Presti Research.  His company  focuses on channel and go-to-market programs and strategies in order to help our clients build successful and profitable partnerships with compatible companies.

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