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Funny Thing Happened on the Way Past the Casino


Interop was made more fun for us this year since we got to be on stage. Most of what we usually do is on camera of course…but presenting in front of people is the best.

Since we started TechWiseTV 7 years ago, we have tried to always get better at our on-camera skills. This has involved diligent effort not just improving our own skills but also how we can make it easier for others to shine with us. In other words, hosting.

It was Cisco’s Enterprise Networking team that asked if we would like to host a few stage spots during this years Interop show. Heck yeah we said. Mainly because it was a chance to ‘work an audience.’ You can certainly work a camera but what sucks is that the camera really never gives anything back.

Even the dullest audience will provide at least one nodding head or small smile. That alone can fuel an entire presentation. So we mixed it up this time. We had our A-Team for the camera crew so we were able to divide and conquer.

All of our stage appearances were quite free-form, but they did have a structure even if it was not apparent to those present. It was built around work pioneered by Marlowe Fenne. Marlowe is actually a day one veteran with TechWiseTV who has continued on his own path building bridges between customer problems and Cisco solutions. He had put together what I called a ‘MOC NOC’ for Interop. Customers were able to see first hand how their top challenges (as determined by multiple focus groups) were mapped to Cisco technologies and solutions. Easier than it sounds, let me assure you. Marlowe is such a good presenter, we were able to leave our crew with him while we did our song and dance on stage..then all Jimmy Ray and I had to do was record an intro and a close.

Challenges in the NOC: Wired and Wireless

 

Four ‘success factors’ were gleaned from these focus groups:

  1. Maintain or enhance user satisfaction
  2. Bring in projects on time and on budget
  3. Maintain or enhance security/compliance
  4. Create new business

The technologies highlighted for getting this done across both the areas of BYOD/Unified Access and Cloud included Cisco PRIME, ISE , AVC , ISR-AX Catalyst 3850 ( Fundamentals of Converged Wired and Wireless and more.

Don’t miss Bridging the App Gap where I will interview multiple Cisco customers and even Cisco itself. Fully understand all the Application Experience has to offer.

Funny Story

Our first day of presenting overlapped just a bit as Jimmy Ray was previously committed to one of his popular TechWiseTV workshops that he had to give from his Mandalay Bay hotel room. He did his usual pre-presentation technology checks to make sure all was working well. This was even more important this go-round as the hotel wireless was so bad it felt purposeful..as in…why are you on the Internet? Get down to the casino! Who knows. Well try as he might, he could not get a consistent connection wired or wireless in the hotel room.

Backup plan A was a higher powered wirelesss card that he tried to use and acces wireless from the adjacent Luxor hotel…but that was not holding steady either. So fallback plan B involved something I would never have guessed: An acoustic coupler. Fancy (but accurate) term for a modem.

If you don’t know what this is, go ask your parents…this is how we all used to get on the network. (I hesitate to say Internet). Plan B goes into action at a blazing 28.8 baud and another workshop goes off without a hitch..the audience was never even aware. Anyone else out there hosting Webex on a modem? I didn’t think so.

Thanks for watching!

Robb


Twitter: @TechWiseTV, @robbboyd

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On The Edge: How can Network Managers win at Interop Las Vegas?

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”   Alexander Graham Bell

Sometimes it seems like our senses are being assaulted by product pitches from virtually everywhere. Most of these pitches have one thing in common – they assume you’re interested. What if someone actually took the time to find out what’s important to you before proposing anything? What if they figured out how you can be more successful, and started from there?  Well, that’s exactly what we did.

Over the last few months, we’ve interviewed hundreds of IT experts in many different roles at dozens of organizations worldwide. Our mission was to find out what their most important business and technology initiatives are, and how people in various IT roles – Network Manager, Server Manager, Storage Manager, Applications Manager, CIO, etc. – define success for their specific roles. Read More »

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Win a Trip on Cisco and the Borderless Networks Week in Review

Blog PicIf you had US$15,000 to take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?  I’ve always wanted to visit Perth, Bangalore, and Brasilia myself, but sadly, I’m not elligable to win the Unified Access Challenge.  However, if you’re reading this – you probably are!  Basically, you watch an accelerated TechWiseTV episode with JimmyRay Purser, Robb Boyd (with a short Ike video too), and then answer a few questions about Unified Access.

The challenge is open for three more weeks and there are a few versions you need to choose from. If you’re a Cisco Partner you need to take the Partner version.  If you don’t know whether you’re a partner or not, you’re probably not, so don’t fret.  Because for non-partners we have the challenge in both English and Spanish: Read More »

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series: Connecting “The Last Frontier”…

While Alaska is the largest state, it’s the least densely populated. With local government agencies and departments dispersed across more than 600,000 square miles, creating a reliable and efficient statewide IT infrastructure is no easy feat.

When Corey Kos became the state of Alaska’s enterprise architect in 2010, he set out on a mission to create an infrastructure that would deliver IT services via private cloud, reducing overall expenses and allowing Alaska’s government employees to work efficiently. Three years later Kos has exceeded his objectives and successfully connected ‘The Last Frontier.’ Read More »

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Telework as we know it

As I sit in my home office, surrounded by amazing technology, I’m struck by how different telework is today from just a few years ago.

A few years ago it started with a second phone line and the company VPN.  Today my laptop is plugged into a workstation connected to a Cisco router, as is my Cisco IP phone.  When someone calls my work phone it rings in multiple places at once.  And my computer monitor is huge, which makes my high-definition videoconferences all the more interesting. I can even access the corporate network with my iPad, at home or on the go.  For me, it’s all seamless.  Everything I do is connected, and easier, thanks to Cisco. Read More »

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