When I was little, my father kept our family car in tip-top shape. He overhauled brakes, rebuilt engines, tuned carburetors, and swapped out suspensions. He could do just about anything, and he knew every component, inside and out.
From an early age, I enjoyed “helping” my father whenever there was a chance. I handed him wrenches, brought him cool glasses of water on hot summer days, and held the flashlight when the repairs went late into the night. Perhaps he could have managed without my help, but we both enjoyed our time together. Even more importantly, I learned from an early age how a little help could make a big difference.
At Cisco, we believe in the power of people helping people. We believe everyone could use a little help sometimes to save time, energy, and to get the most out of what they already have. We may not have a cool glass of water to offer, but we can hand you a useful tool or two while you’re working “under the hood” of your network. This is why we created Cisco Active Advisor.
Out here in Southern California, in a town called Huntington Beach, is a growing Auto Shop called Auto Union Tuning.
It is a special place where the owners, Dave and Raz specialize in car care, maintenance and tuning of VW, Audi and Porsche automobiles. On any day, you will find a combination of these three car makes on the lifts and in the garages. From quick VAG-com checks to complete engine rebuilds, you name it, this shop can take care of most work.
There is one specific car they specialize in is the Audi B5 S4. This particular model is sought after by Audi enthusiasts for the tuning potential. This S4 was manufactured between 1997 and 2002, which sported a twin-turbocharged 2.7 liter inline 6 cylinder engine. Some key upgrades can make a 10+ year old car beat new Nissan GTR’s, Supercharged BMW M3’s, Supercharged Corvette’s, Vipers, Shelby’s etc. down a quarter mile.
But alas, that is another story.
I first met Raz back when I was in search of someone to work on my own B7 Audi S4 Avant. Thankfully, I met Raz and he worked on my baby until I sold her to a gentleman that flew out from Salt Lake City and bought my Audi S4 site unseen. This largely because of a conversation I recommended my buyer to have with AUT. Yes, AUT did a good job not only maintaining and caring for my then car. But it is the countless other AUT customers who told others about their experience in how AUT handled their customers and their customers cars. Simply, the they did a great job in running a great business. In the few years I have known the owners, I have seen their business being born, move into a small shop, expand into neighboring units, then move into their current facility, which I must say, is impressive.
With all of this growth, Raz and Dave has seen their network needs and requirements evolve. At first, basic network connectivity using a consumer all-in-one router did it’s job obediently for the first few years, but once they moved into the new facility, things had to change. Simply, the networking strategy had to grow up.
Fast Forward to today, there’s now a total of two new mechanics, office employees, three new workstations and a new ticket writing software that needs to be available on multiple workstations. No doubt new employees and more requirements on their network will be coming in the future.
Yes, Raz and Dave have planned for growth. The new waiting room and front office now houses new couches and a TV. New wheel displays are set-up, vendor banners are hung, and the walls are newly painted.There is a bunch of exhaust and performance parts displayed around the room.
But this planning also included a new need for wireless guest access and of course a secure network where Auto Union Tuning Employees can access secure files and applications, such as the new ticket software. With some discussion, and some assistance, Team AUT procured new Cisco Small Business product, including one of Ivor’s 300 Series PoE Managed Switches, and a pair of Nasser’s WAP551 wireless access points. All of the workstations are hard-lined into the 300 Series Switch, and the WAP551’s are set-up and deployed with a guest network and secure internal network and they are now providing blazing performance in the office and garage workspaces. The entire deployment was said to be under 30 minutes. Much of the time savings was due to the WAP551’s Single Point Setup. The team has some cleanup work, cable management, mounting the wireless access points, but most of the heavy lifting work is complete. The AUT Team is happy with the new network and greeting new customers every day.
Auto Union Tuning’s Owners: Raz and Dave
Auto Union Tuning is but one example of how a small business can literally take off from day one and transform and evolve into a growing, thriving business. With honest, good old fashioned hard work comes success and growth. With this growth comes the necessity for it’s networking infrastructure to be flexible and scalable.
We think you will find that the Cisco Small Business portfolio fits this model rather well.
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.
We won’t hide the fact that we think the new WebEx Meetings (it’s free) is a great back to school app.
You can jump online and video conference with two other people, view each others’ computer screens so you can collaborate on projects or ideas and record the whole thing so you can share it with other people. It can be used for teaching and it’s also great for studying together.
We found some great articles that round-up other apps that can make going back to school easier on students and teachers. We hope these help as you start pulling things together for the coming year.
From the Chicago Tribune: These Back to School Apps Get Straight As
a combination of both to provide a behind-the-scenes look at your business
Then, once your WebEx is recorded, post it to WebEx Channels, our online library of content on almost any topic! WebEx Channels is available to everyone and will help increase the chances of your content being picked up by search engines. It’s also a great way to host your content that’s fast and easy and doesn’t require touching your existing website.
Here are a few tips to make recording a success. Read More »