Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Collaboration

Clouds Are Everywhere, But Which Cloud for Collaboration?

Which cloud is best for Collaboration?  Simple – the one that fits your needs. With so many cloud options out there offering a variety of different services, it’s easy to get confused. When making a decision, consider what is essential to collaboration in your business. How do users want to experience the services? What are their needs?  Let’s break it down using me as a use case:

  • Conversations & Conferencing – I am heavily reliant on voice and video. I need it on all my devices, with no compromises on availability, security or quality.  About 40% of my day is spent in web or video conferences, with one or many people  (I guess this is why WebEx is the second largest business SaaS service!).  For me, I must have a reliable service that performs regardless of how it is deployed.  If my company has chosen the cloud for strategic or financial reasons then that is kind of irrelevant to me – I just want it to work…  and work well.
  • Email, IM and Content – IM enables me to get information when I need it.  If not, I typically get it from a document sharing space.  Happily, I am spending less time in email these days.  So for these types of collaboration tools I am more interested in what the cloud has to offer.  Decisions made by IT have a material impact on me and my working environment.  Here at Cisco I jump at the chance to be on a trial or pilot of a new technology.  Not only do I get to play with all the new toys, I get ahead of the pack and get access to new productivity tools that make me more effective…  they help me.
  • Customer Services – I like to choose how and when I interact with people.  I also like to help myself first, and then call out for help as required.  So I like to do business with organizations that allow me to do this.  If they don’t, I generally try to avoid doing business with them.

For most organizations, Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to the 7.4 MD Software Release

As the famous saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait”. Delayed gratification – person’s ability to forgo a smaller reward now for a larger reward in the future – has been linked to better life outcomes as demonstrated by the often cited Stanford Marshmallow experiment and others. In most cases though, it requires a degree of self-control not easily achievable in today’s fast paced, ever-changing world with new mobile devices, protocols and technologies.

If you are one of the Cisco Wireless customers currently deploying Release 7.0 MD and waiting for the next Cisco Wireless Software Maintenance Deployment Release, the wait is over!

Release has achieved Maintenance Deployment (MD) status.

Release is the recommended MD release for all non-802.11ac deployments. For 802.11ac deployments, Release (Release 7.6 Maintenance release 1) is the recommended release.

For additional details on Software Release Recommendations and Guidelines, see Guidelines for Cisco Wireless Software Release Migration

Below are top 10 reasons (in no particular order) to upgrade from the current 7.0 MD release to the latest 7.4MD Release.

10. FlexConnect (improved and rebranded H-REAP) with efficient AP upgrade across WAN, BYOD policies support, Flex ACLs and split tunneling. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Introducing FindIT, Cisco Small Business Automated Software Delivery Service

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Partner Voices: ePlus Provides Key Benefits with FlexPod Solution

In our ongoing Partner Voices blog series, we always look for interesting solutions provided by our partners using Cisco technology or services. As such, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with many Cisco Partners about some of the more interesting solutions they have provided for clients. It’s always nice to talk about the “fun” stuff, and this latest Partner Voices blog is no different.

I recently spoke with several folks at ePlus about a FlexPod deployment they installed for Exostar. This solution is covered in depth in a full case study that is well worth your time to read. I wanted to make sure we took the opportunity to highlight that success story in our Partner Voices blog too, as there were some significant benefits delivered to Exostar with this deployment.

Exostar powers secure business-to-business information sharing, collaboration and business process integration. They handle the needs of many leaders in aerospace, defense and the life sciences. As you can imagine, this creates the need for a highly secure environment for that information. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Virtual Bankers Save Hours and Dollars

We are looking forward to an exciting 2014 where many are predicting this is the year of the Internet of Everything. We foresee this trend affecting the banking industry as well.

As most consumers get connected using their latest version of a smartphone, mobile tablet, or gaming system, these technologies are changing how consumers interact in every aspect of their lives. For example, consumers are getting more accustomed to instant, intimate video conversations with friends and family from their homes, so the next logical step is to add these features outside the home.

Many banks are looking into using video conversations to engage more effectively with customers. UMB Bank, a retail bank based in Kansas City, has transformed how they interact with customers by using Cisco’s video conferencing solution and Syngrafii’s LongPen Solution that resulted in 500 transactions conducted via video with a virtual banker…saving nearly 150 hours for bank personnel. 

These time savings grew wallet-share by enabling UMB to meet with and call an additional 1,000 customers and helped the branches increase revenue by nearly 50 percent.

(Source: St.Louis Dispatch, Dec. 20, 2013)

(Source: St.Louis Dispatch, Dec. 20, 2013)

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,