It’s almost Summer—the season of road trips. And recently I had the privilege of driving across the country. While some might fear loss of productivity with a trip like that, I was actually able to work quite productively, mile after mile—thanks to a WiFi hotspot, Cisco’s VPN, and a laptop charger that plugged into the cigarette lighter. Of course, it helped having someone else do the driving. From Oakland, California to New York City, I participated in Webex meetings, wrote and edited documents, and generally got stuff done. But enough about me.
In Salt Lake City, I met up with kindred spirit Mike Sumsion, chief information officer for iTransact, which helps businesses accept customer payments via credit, debit, and gift cards, as well as electronic checks. “I’ve spent the last 10 years making sure our company could be productive from anywhere,” said Mike. Clearly, he’s one who likes to stay ahead of the curve: A blog post from last month cited a Cisco report that said 46 percent of people surveyed expect to be able to access their corporate network from their personal mobile devices.
Mike’s company employs 50 people. While it keeps customer service employees onsite, sales people can work from home with their same IP office phones and computers that they use in their cubicles. The company is also looking to extend this flexibility to other employees.
In a nutshell, iTransact offers services that let merchants accept transactions without a lot of heavy lifting. Its service is offered directly to customers and their trusted advisors, like accounting firms, banks, and others. A dashboard interface lets them log in to check on the status of accounts billable, as well as manage real-time interactions remotely.
Given the sensitivity of the information that’s exchanged with each transaction, iTransact’s top concerns are compliance and security. So when it comes to working in the Cloud, things are still evolving. As an interim measure, the company uses Dropbox to make sure employees have updated documentation to share with everyone in real time. Each new employee is set up with a Dropbox account, providing instant access to all necessary documents for his/her role. Since Dropbox is Cloud based, employees who are traveling or working remotely can access the documents from wherever. Plus, it simplifies the information management. Even though the document repositories are managed by a single individual, all employees receive instantaneous updates.
Looking ahead, iTransact does see more Clouds on the horizon. “We’re building a gateway 2.0. that will absolutely use the Cloud. We’ll be able to drop a node anywhere in the world, fire up a virtual machine and have it accept transactions,” notes Mike. “We’ll be able to scale geographically, and offload geographically as needed, to the server that makes most sense,” he adds. And the icing on the cake: All the databases and self-contained software will allow for 100% uptime. This becomes especially important as they cater to smaller businesses, with transactions and updates happening constantly.
So what does a fast-moving small business see for its future? “It’ll be more mobile,” says Mike, without hesitating. “Look around you—increasingly, anyone can buy anything from anyone at any time. We need to manage the data, accordingly. The dashboard we built—that will become a mobile app; our internal employees will update records via their phones and customers’ transaction processes will become more mobile than they are now,” he adds.
Amen to that. As one who thrives on traveling—and getting stuff done regardless of where I am and regardless of whether I’m a customer or an employee—I think the future looks absolutely sunny. With a few clouds, of course.
To learn more about how Cisco can help your small business, click here.
Tags: cloud, iTransact, mobility, productivity, small business
It’s that time of year again when we all gather for Cisco Live US to share the latest and greatest in the world of IT and networking. This year the event is being held in San Diego, and there are 17,000 in-person attendees—a new record! One of my favorite things about Cisco Live is that I have a chance to interact one-on-one with customers, partners, and analysts. When I do, the topic of the cloud invariably is on their minds.
Of course many already know about the Cisco CloudVerse strategy and solution set, which is based on the Unified Data Center, Cloud Intelligent Network, and Cloud Applications and Services, all of which are supported by Cisco and partner professional services. What they might not know about, however, are all of the advancements Cisco has made to make cloud networks truly intelligent since last December when we originally announced CloudVerse.
Yesterday here at Cisco Live, we announced Cisco Cloud Connected Solution as the latest innovation in the Cloud Intelligent Network. This solution adds a host of capabilities to your already existing network infrastructure, allowing you to take full advantage of cloud computing. A number of new capabilities were introduced, but my personal favorites are the Cloud Connectors and the new Read More »
Tags: #CLUS, cisco live, cloud, Cloud Connected Solution, Cloud Connectors, Cloud Service Router, CRS, Hybrid Cloud, San Diego, Service Provider
Earlier today we had a brief press conference introducing our Cloud Connected solutions that enable you to connect users to the cloud with confidence. And you can get the meaty detail tomorrow [June 13 @ 8am PDT] when we have a special episode of TechwiseTV on CiscoLive365 with Jimmy Ray Purser and Robb Boyd showcasing these new solutions, doing a technical deep dive, and kicking the proverbial tires. You can get a sneak peek here as Jimmy Ray took a stroll through our CiscoLive demo space. As you can see in the picture to the right, Robb is very excited for these new solutions! [He said I could post this picture, muahaha] Read More »
Tags: application, AppNav, cloud, cloud services router, cloudconnected, control, CSR, ISR G2, router, UCS-E, visibility, waas
Are you ready for the biggest Cisco event of the year? We’ve been working on demos, speaking sessions, and social events for the conference – and it’s finally here.
The Intelligent Automation team are converging in force on San Diego for Cisco Live. Our solutions will be covered in more than a dozen conference sessions and several theater presentations – featured in topics ranging from cloud management and big data to BYOD and VXI.
And here are our demos featured in the Cisco data center booth at the World of Solutions expo:
- Tidal Enterprise Scheduler on Hadoop – this demo shows how to increase the value of big data environments through better information flow.
- Network Services Manager – a flexible, policy-driven approach to managing and controlling network services in a multi-tenant data center.
- VXI Orchestration – provision virtual desktop services on-demand with Intelligent Automation, in minutes instead of days or weeks.
Intelligent Automation for Cloud and Network Services Manager will also be featured in the CloudVerse area, highlighting our Unified Management capabilities for cloud orchestration and automation.
Our cloud solutions will be featured in theater presentations at the VCE and NetApp booths, as well as a demo in the VCE booth. Some of our other Intelligent Automation technology partners like Comptel, rPath, and Zenoss – as well as channel partners including Presidio and WWT – will also be at the event showcasing our collaboration. See VCE’s press release featuring Intelligent Automation for Cloud.
To make it easy for you to help you pinpoint the Intelligent Automation team and navigate through the conference, here are some tips for your agenda:
Read More »
Tags: Cisco Unified Management, ciscolive, ciscolivevirtual, cloud, intelligent automation, Intelligent Automation for Cloud, private cloud, starter edition, unified management
Earlier this week, Amy Lewis told us all about Cisco Live DCV Social Media Activities. There are some exciting data center services activities going on too. Unfortunately, no bacon included.
So I know services aren’t big shiny objects, let alone tangible at all, but there are lots of nifty activities going on at Cisco Live San Diego on June 10-14th where you can learn more about how services can help you reach your data center goals.
Here are some highlights you don’t want to miss:
- Cloud Partner Pavilion: Cisco staff including Debbie Abbott will be showcasing the Cloud Profile Tool and offer a future complimentary Cloud Readiness Assessment through a Cisco partner. Earn points by trying the Cloud Profile Tool and meeting with the 14 partners at the pavilion to enter to win prizes including 28 iPad3s.
- Advanced Services Whiteboard Area of Data Center booth: our services experts including Arup Chakravarty will be armed with a whiteboard to answer your toughest questions on Nexus, UCS, SAN, Cloud automation (CIAC), virtualization, enterprise cloud design, data center migration, and more.
Read More »
Tags: cisco live, cloud, data center services, San Diego, vdi