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Partner Voices: Cloud, Data Security, and Business Continuity with Cisco Cloud-Powered Solutions from TekLinks

November 20, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

Well we’re deep into football season, so I decided what better time to chat with David Powell, TekLinks Vice President of Managed & Cloud Services, than when his beloved Alabama Crimson Tide are fighting for a spot in the College Football Playoffs. (Meanwhile, my Wake Forest Demon Deacons are mired in their sixth straight losing season.)

In short, I thought a little distraction for David would be good for him, and he agreed to give me some insight into how TekLinks is ramping up data protection for their customers using Cisco Cloud-Powered Solutions.

Natural Threats

With all of the malware attacks in the world today, sometimes Mother Nature is still the biggest threat to data security. When a deadly tornado outbreak in April 2011 occurred, Peoples Bank of Cullman, AL, experienced firsthand how important it is to have a backup data center location for their core infrastructure. The TekLinks’ networking team was already watching the tornado’s activity via Skycam when they were alerted that the connectivity at all of the Peoples Banks in Cullman had gone out simultaneously.

The team’s suspicions were confirmed when they received word that the bank’s entire second floor was gone. However, the bank’s primary servers were still intact. Early the next morning, the bank’s CTO and technical staff transported the servers to one of TekLinks’ Birmingham data centers, where an entire team of TekLinks engineers were waiting to get their core servers re-cabled, properly powered up, and reconnected to the network. The TekLinks team worked around the clock with the bank’s IT staff to get the bank’s environment and online customer services back up in less than 36 hours after the incident. Read More »

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Now’s the Time to Deploy Wireless in the Factory

tony shakib connected factory banner pic

Since manufacturers around the globe constantly have to adapt to ever shifting market conditions, any technology that lends a competitive advantage can be a game changer. Implementing wireless on the factory floor can be just that. And our announcement with Rockwell Automation this week at Automation Fair, will make this a no-brainer. The announcement covered enhancements to our joint architecture with Rockwell Automation called the Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE). The Cisco branded version, called Connected Factory, is a portfolio of validated, proven architectures, capabilities and market-leading technologies and services for industrial markets. Factory Wireless is the latest solution offering in this portfolio and delivers unified wireless for industrial applications. Read More »

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Connected Contact Centers in the Era of the Internet of Everything

November 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm PST

The contact center came into being nearly 25 years ago and is now the de facto communication channel for organizations to connect with their customers. A lot has changed since then. And there’s much more change to come with mobility, big data, collaboration, and the Internet of Everything making their collective mark on the user experience.

Recently Paul Stockford, founder and chief analyst of Saddletree Research, and I discussed the evolution of the contact center and our predictions for what’s next. You can listen to the Future of IT podcast episode via iTunes.

Our top predictions: Read More »

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Industry First: h.264 Video endpoint calls Firefox via Webrtc-enabled Project Squared

Yesterday on stage at Cisco Collaboration Summit, I demonstrated an industry first – the first non-transcoded video call between a webRTC application and an existing video endpoint.

Why is this significant? WebRTC is an exciting new technology, enabling real-time voice and video calling natively in the browser. Up until now WebRTC-enabled applications have not been able to connect to existing video collaboration gear that companies may own, from room systems to desktop video endpoints.

Today, Cisco has broken the barriers that previously prevented browser-based collaboration from connecting with existing video hardware. Companies that have invested in video collaboration can now extend that collaboration to the browser, enabling their users to collaborate from anywhere, at any time.

Yesterday, Andreas Gal, the CTO of Mozilla, joined me on stage. He called a simple SIP URI on a Cisco video endpoint, which instantly rang my Project Squared client running in Firefox. By leveraging WebRTC and Cisco’s OpenH264 binary module integrated into Firefox, we had a great voice and video call, without  plugins, complex and cumbersome browser downloads, or expensive transcoding gear in the cloud. Check out a demo of what we did onstage here:

Read More »

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How I Manage a $4B Business from my Phone

I don’t use my laptop to run my business.

It’s not that I don’t like my laptop. It’s just that I really love using my mobile device — for everything. My mobile is incredibly convenient, small, and functional. Let’s face it: we’re lucky to be in the era of the smartphone when one device can do almost everything. And best of all, I actually can run my business with just this device.

Two years ago, when I started at Cisco, it was not possible for me to run my business with a smartphone. Something was missing. I used email and SMS and voice/video on my phone, but it wasn’t quite enough. I realized that I needed one place to stay connected to the work we were doing and to stay connected to the people I needed to work with. And do it both in real-time, and non real-time.

That need is pretty obvious to other people too, as it now seems every week there is a new messaging app targeting mobile workers like me. What all of these apps are missing is a way to connect real-time collaboration with non real-time conversations. Most of these apps treat this problem as an afterthought, but we didn’t. So while everyone is running in one direction, we’re going a different way. A better way.

Today, I’m excited to tell you that Cisco has developed that very tool and we launched it today: Project Squared built on our new Cisco Collaboration Cloud.

Project Squared is our brand-new enterprise business collaboration application. Read More »

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