Interop was made more fun for us this year since we got to be on stage. Most of what we usually do is on camera of course…but presenting in front of people is the best.
Since we started TechWiseTV 7 years ago, we have tried to always get better at our on-camera skills. This has involved diligent effort not just improving our own skills but also how we can make it easier for others to shine with us. In other words, hosting.
It was Cisco’s Enterprise Networking team that asked if we would like to host a few stage spots during this years Interop show. Heck yeah we said. Mainly because it was a chance to ‘work an audience.’ You can certainly work a camera but what sucks is that the camera really never gives anything back.
Even the dullest audience will provide at least one nodding head or small smile. That alone can fuel an entire presentation. So we mixed it up this time. We had our A-Team for the camera crew so we were able to divide and conquer.
All of our stage appearances were quite free-form, but they did have a structure even if it was not apparent to those present. It was built around work pioneered by Marlowe Fenne. Marlowe is actually a day one veteran with TechWiseTV who has continued on his own path building bridges between customer problems and Cisco solutions. He had put together what I called a ‘MOC NOC’ for Interop. Customers were able to see first hand how their top challenges (as determined by multiple focus groups) were mapped to Cisco technologies and solutions. Easier than it sounds, let me assure you. Marlowe is such a good presenter, we were able to leave our crew with him while we did our song and dance on stage..then all Jimmy Ray and I had to do was record an intro and a close.
Challenges in the NOC: Wired and Wireless
Four ‘success factors’ were gleaned from these focus groups:
Don’t miss Bridging the App Gap where I will interview multiple Cisco customers and even Cisco itself. Fully understand all the Application Experience has to offer.
Our first day of presenting overlapped just a bit as Jimmy Ray was previously committed to one of his popular TechWiseTV workshops that he had to give from his Mandalay Bay hotel room. He did his usual pre-presentation technology checks to make sure all was working well. This was even more important this go-round as the hotel wireless was so bad it felt purposeful..as in…why are you on the Internet? Get down to the casino! Who knows. Well try as he might, he could not get a consistent connection wired or wireless in the hotel room.
Backup plan A was a higher powered wirelesss card that he tried to use and acces wireless from the adjacent Luxor hotel…but that was not holding steady either. So fallback plan B involved something I would never have guessed: An acoustic coupler. Fancy (but accurate) term for a modem.
If you don’t know what this is, go ask your parents…this is how we all used to get on the network. (I hesitate to say Internet). Plan B goes into action at a blazing 28.8 baud and another workshop goes off without a hitch..the audience was never even aware. Anyone else out there hosting Webex on a modem? I didn’t think so.
With more users and devices being added to your network every day, unified access and central policy control have become critical needs. Your organization isn’t alone.
Attend our next live workshop on May 15th to hear how organizations in education and healthcare rely on Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) to provide the identity enforcement and secure access control that allow employees, contractors, students, faculty, and guests (choose the user) to use their own devices on the network. Read More »
Mobile Device Management or MDM is ideal for addressing many challenges inherent to our ‘Bring your own Device’ culture. MDM can help enforce policy for mobile devices but when you look closer, you begin to realize it does not solve everything. The challenge is when we ask our MDM technology to make policy decisions out of context.
Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) offers centralized policy and network intelligence as an MDM compliment for a complete security solution
This is where Cisco comes in with ISE or the Identity Services Engine. We did a Fundamentals of ISE awhile back that still serves as a great backdrop for getting your head around it. ISE is frequently lauded for its ability to provide a single repository for all the potentially complex rules and regulations we need on our network. The point right now however is ensuring we know where ISE begins/ends in reference to MDM. Neither can act completely alone and accomplish everything most customers are hoping for in a BYOD solution especially. But where do we begin and end?
When Cisco integrated our Identity Services Engine (ISE) platform with leading mobile device management (MDM) systems, it was clear from the start that we had struck a chord among IT administrators trying to wrestle with the onslaught of employee-owned mobile devices accessing their networks. First and foremost for IT organizations was gaining visibility to all mobile devices — rogue or authorized — that were present on the wireless network. Cisco ISE delivered that capability, providing IT staff with a detailed view of what types of mobile devices were on the network. Coupling that with ISE’s native BYOD enrollment capabilities or the active management capabilities of MDM platforms — as well as network intelligence from the Cisco Wireless Network — was key to gaining full control over this Wild West of mobile devices
Employees, and many business, want to allow personal devices to be used at work, and potentially for work. However, balancing that with corporate policies for information security, clear rights-of-use, liability, and then bounding it within an acceptable IT cost structure is no small feat. Cisco joined forces with leading MDM vendors to link together a solution that starts at day zero – when an employee first buys a new device and tries to use it at work. It includes self-service onboarding to the network, offering a choice of using a device as a guest or work asset, and forced enrollment in (and compliance with) MDM when business policy must be enforced.
Citrix recently acquired Zenprise to add top-tier MDM to their mobile workspace and application management solution. The good news is Zenprise is an early MDM partner with Cisco, and Citrix inherits the integration work. The tight linkage of Cisco’s Unified Access Solution, and the Cisco Identity Services Engine, to what is now Citrix XenMobile MDM, is a powerful combination for customers to deploy since it brings quite a bit more to the table than standalone MDM.