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Picking a Networking Solution for a Fast-Growing Small Business

June 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm PST

Network Connectivity is a big concern for any size of business, let alone a small, growing business. Picking the right solution to address  growth is a key decision.

There are countless options available to small business owners ranging from asking cousin Jimmy, calling a “computer expert” you found on Yelp, or even a quick Google Search. No doubt, this experience can be a daunting one.

All jokes aside, choosing the right solution can save some money now and in the future. That is where right-sizing your network solution comes into play. It does not take long for a successful, single-person business to transform into a growing small business.  A consumer wireless router could probably do the job for a single person home office adequately. But if you are looking to use your network for more than just accessing the Internet, then the choice is not so obvious.  Now or in the future, you may want to access local network resources remotely and securely, use Voice over IP, or segment your network to securely support guest access.  Moreover, as you grow, business applications become more critical.  They need to be readily available, dependable and always on-line.

This is where the new Cisco Small Business Wireless Access Points and RV Series Router come into play.

 

Cisco AP551

Part of a growing small business portfolio, the all-new Cisco WAP551& 561 are perfect wireless solutions for your small business These access points enables small businesses to deliver high-capacity wireless N connectivity and guest access, securely and reliably. Simple yet powerful, it delivers business-class features such as Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with PoE, a captive portal for customized guest access, multiple SSID, VLAN’s and more…

Makes sense right?

But wait! How does the network connect to the WAP’s? First, you need a router. The business-class RV320 is the new flagship in the Cisco Small Business RV Series portfolio.

The Cisco RV320 is a powerful, yet highly secure business class router, offering strong networking performance throughput. Add in business-class features such as dual WAN’s for fail-over and load balancing, an intelligent user interface, USB 3G/4G Broadband failover, and you have a router that will provide years of reliable service.

The last piece of the puzzle is a Cisco’s business class switch that offers power-over Ethernet (PoE) functionality, allowing Access Points to be flexibly optimized for placement. The Cisco SG300 Series of PoE switches offer PoE functionality, with the Security, Quality of Service, Scalability, and Reliability to deliver the best experience for your users. These switches are available in 10 to 52 port configurations.

Cisco SG300 Series

The bottom line is this: Cisco Small Business Products are changing the way you connect your business to the world.

 

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Keeping the Momentum with Business-Relevant Wi-Fi Solutions

Can you remember life without Wi-Fi? Mobility is an integrated part of our daily lives – from how we operate as a mobile user or consumer to how we conduct business. And as Cisco continues to focus on architectures and solutions that transform our customers’ businesses, our Wi-Fi business soars: in last week’s Q3 earnings, we reported a 27 percent increase in year-over-year revenue and a 200% increase in sales of Service Provider Wi-Fi. We’ve now seen 6 out of 7 quarters of Wi-Fi growth, and we continue to be the clear industry leader.

We’ve made exciting new announcements in wireless – the industry’s first edition of the 802.11ac module; extending our portfolio for a cloud-managed offering with the acquisition of Meraki; and unveiling several marquees customer deployments.

One of the truly differentiated ways Cisco is delivering business-relevant solutions is extending the Unified Access architecture through the Connected Mobile Experiences solution. This solution embodies Cisco’s commitment to deliver relevance to line of businesses by shifting the network to a revenue enabler that creates meaningful Wi-Fi user experiences and increases business efficiency.

The Connected Mobile Experiences solution uses Cisco Wi-Fi infrastructure– access points, controllers, Mobility Services Engine (MSE), and management – to detect, connect, and engage end users and to provide unique insight to venue owners through location analytics.

cmx1 Read More »

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Learning from Others: Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012

“One of the most valuable things any person can learn is the art of using the knowledge and experience of others”

- Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

I learned to swim in a day. I remember I was standing by the side of the pool, watching the various ways people propelled themselves through the water. The butterfly stroke seemed too hard, but the Australian crawl seemed simple enough. Being very young at the time, my sense of adventure outweighed my sense of self-preservation, and I jumped in and began flailing away. To my great surprise, it worked. It’s a lesson I have carried forward in life: You can learn a lot by just watching what other people do.

With that in mind, I am very pleased to be hosting a panel at this year’s Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012 on the topic of “A Mobility Strategy for Business Success”.  Joining me on the panel will be three IT leaders with three very different approaches to mobility. They are Barry Libenson, CIO at Land O’ Lakes Inc, Ron Gilson, CIO of Johnsonville Sausage, LLC and Bhavani Amirthalingam, Vice President of IT at World Wide Technology Inc.

Just from talking to them beforehand, I was struck by the diversity of business reasons that went into their individual mobility strategies. I’ll be asking them to share some of their decision-making process, best practices and lessons learned from their mobility roll-outs. We’ll also be exploring how they have provided superior customer, partner, and employee experiences without compromising the security or policy of their respective businesses.

If you will be attending the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012 in Orlando, I hope you can join us and add your own perspective to the discussion. The panel will be on Monday, October 22nd, from 3:30 – 4:30 PM in Swan 1-4. With the proven experience of these three IT leaders to draw upon, it should be an engaging and thought-provoking session.

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Using Video to Grow Your Small Business – Melinda Emerson @SmallBizLady Shares Tips

Melinda Emerson, aka “SmallBizLady” is a veteran entrepreneur; small business expert and social media coach who specializes in helping small businesses thrive. Today hosted a WebEx offering tips for using video to help grow your business.

Watch her on-demand webinar on using video for your business.

Why should you use video?

Here are a few interesting stats about video Melinda shared with us:

  • Online video is expected to grow 55% this year and is the top format for content marketing.
  • Videos have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text context.
  • 58% of consumers ages 18-34 who follow brands on social media would watch a video posted by that brand.
  • 57% of Smartphone users polled say they’ve streamed video on mobile.
  • Videos are integral to the success of any SEO strategy.
  • 90% of web traffic is predicted to be video by 2014.

With all that good news, there’s one important point Melinda makes about using video: don’t waste people’s time. To be effective, keep it short. 88% of people say they would watch a video that educated them for at least one minute.

Use video to create a deeper relationship with your customer.

Here are 12 ways you can use video to market your business (be sure to watch the on-demand presentation to learn more).

1. Blog content. 5. Video training. 9. Live video streaming.
2. Customer testimonials. 6. Interviews. 10. Webinars.
3. Product demos. 7. Commercials. 11. Viral video.
4. Email video. 8. Video news release (VNR). 12. Product reviews.

Melinda went on to explain how to create videos that are interesting to customers. Read More »

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Online Meetings Solve Lots of Different Problems

Ever wonder how some people are using online meetings?

We talk a lot about the value of using video conferencing to solve business problems, but sometimes the problem is a little out of the ordinary. Here are three different ways folks are using online meetings like WebEx to communicate in a new way.

Get your free WebEx basic account today.

Making Government Accessible: Live Video plus Social Media Improves Communication

In Illinois, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is hosting an online town hall meeting to improve communication with local constituents. During the forum, Cook County residents can share ideas with Preckwinkle on the county budget, which will then be discussed by the board in coming weeks. There will be video of the town hall streaming live online and viewers can submit questions at the “Tell Toni” page of her website or via Twitter using the hashtag #TellToni.

Working with a Mentor -- Online

US News and World Report offers a story about the way learning online Read More »

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