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Cisco Smart Solutions: What Makes Them So Smart?

Here at Cisco, we believe that Smart Solutions are game changers: a way to start new conversations with your customers and expand your sales. Now is the time to make sure you understand the Smart Solutions conversation so we can build new business opportunities together.

What is a Smart Solution?
The Smart Solutions concept is designed with two goals in mind: first, how do Cisco and our partners make it easier for our customers to achieve their business objectives by leveraging the full breadth of the Cisco portfolio? Second, how will we scale these solutions, especially through a Partner Led approach, where sales and full life cycle support is provided exclusively through partners?

The simple answer is that a Cisco Smart Solution integrates, pre-tests, and validates Cisco products for how they work together. In some cases, these Smart Solutions include third party technology which is also tested as a part of the whole offer. The idea is to include intellectual assets such as design guides, implementation guides, and customer use cases that partners can use to build a practice and accelerate pilot to profit. Cisco includes a full suite of pre-sales tools such as sales enablement and demand generation programs. Soon we will offer customer intelligence, including market insights and information on buying behaviors to help partners prospect and qualify customers.

What does it mean for the partner community?  Read More »

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series: State/Local Government & the Internet of Everything

There’s an increasing drumbeat of news about the “Internet of Everything” (IoE)— the confluence of people, process, data, and things that makes networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before.

IoE comprises the ubiquitous ways that billions of people and numerous devices on the Internet communicate and report on their status and location. This covers everything from the location of your smartphone, to where a package might be, to the rate of your pulse or your arrival on a street corner, to the condition of a highway.

The Internet of Everything isn’t way off in the future. Today, the number of physical devices connected to the Internet is already six times the number of people on the Internet, even though there are 2 billion of those people. By 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices.

These devices will come to dominate the “cloud.” Of course, the complexity of a global system that connects all these devices and people is mind-boggling. This global system has the potential for unpredictable and perhaps disastrous behavior. That alone should get the attention of public leaders.

Read More »

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Video – It is a Buyer’s Market

Enterprise Connect Crowd at Collaboration BoothAs I walked the halls of Enterprise Connect last week for the 7th or 8th year in a row (who’s counting??), I noticed that video is still one of the key themes across many of the vendors.  A few years back, it was introduced as the “next killer app” and while some think the sizzle has gone down, I would argue it is just heating up. Look at initiatives like WebRTC, one of the hot topics at the show.  You couldn’t go to a panel or discussion without hearing or seeing how video will play a major role in the development of this space.

The reality is, our buyers are demanding more and more when it comes to video.  It is no longer about meeting or boardroom-based video endpoints, it is now about getting video on any device a user has access to, being able to integrate the video experience with more traditional conferencing experiences, delivering video-based content across an organization, and oh yeah, doing all of this without killing my network and for an affordable price.

Read More »

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“Your call is important but we’re not in right now – leave a message…”

This is the fifth in a series of blogs comparing and contrasting the Microsoft and Cisco approaches to providing enterprise collaboration in the post-PC world. The first blog discussed the differences between a purpose-built architecture and a desktop-centric approach that needs third party extensions to make a working enterprise-class system. The second blog discussed how the two companies are approaching the trend towards “Bring your own device” (BYOD) to work. The third  blog discussed how the two companies deliver voice and video. The fourth blog examined true cost to deploy. Today’s blog addresses enterprise class support.


These days, workers at enterprise organizations depend on real-time collaboration solutions to get their jobs done.  The solutions need to work 24/7, and if something goes wrong, it’s imperative things get fixed fast. In a world where customers view 100% uptime as the only acceptable Service Level Agreement (SLA), solid customer support means everything. While we could all live without email for a day or two, few businesses could function without working telephones for that long, or would trust ‘crossed-fingers’ while the CEO meets with an important customer over a video link.

At Cisco, we feel that support for business critical solutions should not become a guessing game of “who you gonna call”.  In fact, we think the right way to handle support is to offer the option of ‘”one-stop” responsibility for the entire system — from the software to the endpoints, switches, gateways, security and compute hardware, and other technologies as required.

After all, given the vast array of offerings today from a multitude of vendors, the chances are slim that the wide range of components used in collaboration will all have the same management interfaces, diagnostic, and testing routines to determine where an issue lies when a problem arises. We also know that even if you are able to track down the root cause of the problem, some third parties may have very limited specialist support staff and escalating issues can be incredibly challenging. We prefer that our customers spend their time driving their business, versus spending countless hours trying to resolve problems where finger pointing is the name of the game.

As my colleague Rowan Trollope blogged recently, we feel Microsoft’s approach is very different. First off, a Microsoft Lync enterprise deployment requires Read More »

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Announcing Cisco Unified Access Webinar Series

The ever-increasing number of devices and applications coming into the workplace poses complex challenges for the enterprise. As a result, IT must adapt the ways in which they enable, manage, and secure end-user access.

  • How will the network handle increased demand for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and mobility?
  • How can IT maintain raised expectations for wired devices, while improving the end-user experience?

To solidify IT as a key contributor in driving better business processes, IT teams must shift from maintaining the network to delivering innovative, connected experiences. The key to success is to simplify the network, and Cisco Unified Access does just that.

Mark your calendars for our five-part webinar series to learn how to create an effective, unified access strategy. Find out how to transform IT to better address the demands of BYOD and next-generation technology.

  • Wednesday, April 3: Activate the IT Transformation <–Register NOW!
  • Wednesday April 17: One Network Part 1: Deploying Unified Access
  • Wednesday May 1: One Network Part 2: Simplifying the Network Infrastructure
  • Wednesday May 15: One Policy: Centralized Policy, Control and Enforcement
  • Wednesday June 5: One Management: Converged User Access Management

You will learn how to: Read More »

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