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Leveraging the SMB Market with Managed Service Offerings

This is the latest in a series of posts featuring partner success stories where partners share how they’re helping customers achieve their goals by using Cisco technology. This week we’re pleased to feature Scott Alexander, President of Wireless, Alexander Open Systems (AOS).

Effective customer service stems from anticipating and understanding a customer’s needs. Working with customers ranging from the State, Local Government and Education (SLED) verticals to the Small and Mid-sized Business (SMB) market, our company strives to meet the needs of a unique customer base.

Alexander Open Systems (AOS) covers a 10-state region spanning from North Dakota to Texas. With locations in northwest Arkansas and central Missouri, this midwestern locale generates a major component of business with the SMB market which often, in both budget and staff, requires unique positioning to take advantage of the offerings provided through our technology partners, including Cisco. Managed services have played a pivotal role in accommodating the needs of our customers on a scale that is most beneficial to their organization. Read More »

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Inside the Branch: UCS E-series 101

Recently, I was chatting with Hugo Vliegen, Director of Technical marketing, Enterprise Networks, and he was telling me all of the questions he had been getting from customers about the Cisco UCS E-Series.  Questions such as:

  • What’s this rumor I’ve heard that Cisco has a server that sits on a branch router?
  • You’re telling me the UCS E-Series is enterprise-class? What does that even mean?
  • What’s new on the Cisco ISR series?

So I suggested we do an interview series with Hugo – something short and fun where he could get the Cisco experts on the record and help our customers learn a little more about the UCS E-Series. Read More »

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Beyond Today’s Productivity and Efficiency: Enterprise Mobility Enables Long-Term Growth

One of the basic tenants of enterprise mobility is its direct influence on “now”.

When organizations implement mobile policies like BYOD and virtualized desktops, day-to-day operations can immediately improve. In most cases, the rate of return on seeing change is direct. However, the impact of enterprise mobility is not short-lived.sixsteps

Recently, we counted down the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility.”  Throughout the series, we provided a guide for enterprises to follow to implement broader mobility. We discussed how businesses could benefit now by untethering their global workforce and increasing productivity. The series highlighted a tactical approach to mobility, yet we would be amiss not to discuss the long-term transformational impact mobility can have on businesses. How can mobility be a catalyst for organizational growth and innovation?

Last week, I read an IT Web article by Johannesburg-based Lebo Mashiloane that discussed how BYOD and mobility are fueling enterprise growth. The article brought up a concept that is always important to keep top-of-mind: How today’s technology solutions are changing the landscape of tomorrow. Read More »

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Wearable Tech: At the Nexus of IoE, with a Sense of Style

Science fiction writers have often mused about the merger of humans and machines. But while RoboCops and bionic superheroes aren’t likely to fight evil anytime soon, some exciting wearable smart technologies are already here. They may not match Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit, but they are enabling ordinary people to interact with the wider world — and the Internet of Everything (IoE) — in intriguing (and sometimes stylish!) ways.

So, if you think your smart device is generating and processing a lot of data today, get ready for an even closer connection with your personal technology in the near future. Wearables are infusing sensors into bands, watches, shoes, shirts, bras, glasses, earrings, necklaces, and helmets. And these technologies are ready to generate reams of data — as well as real-time insights — about the ways in which we live, play, learn, work, exercise, maintain health, you name it.

I expect wearables to be a core topic of conversation at the Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona later this month. As a further evolution of IoT, IoE is all about connecting people, processes, data, and things in amazing new ways. And while we often hear about IoE’s potential to transform supply chains, factories, retailers, and assorted megaprojects, wearables are a good reminder that the people element of connecting the unconnected is paramount. Armed with these new technologies — and the ability to connect via the key pillars of IoE, such as cloud, mobility, video, and analytics —individuals will be able to monitor and quantify their lives like never before. Wearables add another dimension to the Quantified Self movement, which I covered in a previous blog.

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Mobility: No Longer a Risky Business?

Risk. It’s not just a strategic board game; in business it’s the analysis that determines the potential for loss.CiscoSecurity

In today’s organization, the consumerization of IT has led to groundbreaking developments in the mobility space. The broad deployment of BYOD, coupled with the availability of corporate data and applications, have challenged how we define security. And with recent news reports citing the rise of mobile hacking and network threats, the security of mobile technology and the data it carries seems to be at risk.

Fortunately, all is not lost.

Mobility gives employees and providers options for the workplace and creating a mobile experience that is efficient and innovative. It is also helping businesses save and make money. Today, employees in any place on any device can access any application across any network in any cloud. As a result, there are challenges associated with implementing a comprehensive BYOD policy that encompasses a proliferation of devices connecting to a network.

Even though mobility can cut costs and increase productivity, 60 percent of IT professionals recently surveyed believe mobile devices in 2013 present more of a risk to their organization than they did in 2012. And even with the growing concerns over mobile security, it still appears that only 60 percent of organizations require security technology for mobility plans. Why isn’t that number higher? After all Android Malware grew 2,577 percent in 2012 alone.

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