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Is My Company Using IT to Our Best Potential?

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

Certain things in life are absolutes. You can’t be sort of pregnant, for example.

But Information Technology is not one of those absolutes. You can have a little or a lot. You can use it for all it’s worth, or you can just use the basics. You can have everything optimized to your specific circumstances, or you can make do with things as they come out of the box. You can buy the products that best meet your needs, or you can decide not to buy them and just use the next best thing.

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This Week at Cisco Live 2011: Networking, Cloud, Virtualization, and More!

July 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm PST

I’m here in Las Vegas and aside from enjoying a frosty beverage or two by the pool and betting my next paycheck at the Black Jack tables, I’m attending Cisco Live 2011. This annual education and training event is like the World Cup of networking events, where IT, networking, and communications professionals join Cisco experts and partners to learn, connect, and collaborate.

There are so many different sessions and keynotes taking place at Cisco Live this week, but don’t worry if you can’t attend every event. I’ll be posting daily recaps here on the Channels blog, talking to partners at the conference, covering the big news, as well as sending out live tweets.

Cisco Live 2011 officially kicks off tomorrow with a keynote and welcome address from Chairman and CEO John Chambers. John is slated to discuss the future of networking and communication technology, and the ways it will transform business practices, education, and social relationships.

What else is taking place at Cisco Live this week? Read More »

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Should I invest in IT When the Economy is Down?

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

There are times when budgets are relatively flush, and the decision to invest in the business comes relatively easily. Then there are times like we’ve seen recently. “Do we really need to buy this box of paper clips? Hmm. Better call a meeting.”

And with plenty of speculation about the direction of economic things to come, IT purchase decisions are being made as carefully as ever. To a certain extent, pent-up demand has loosened the flood gates. But sales and refresh cycles are still a bit long in certain circles, and the emphasis is constantly upon how the recommended investments will either pump up the revenues or trim back the expenses. That’s not a bad thing. That’s just good business in the post-bubble world.

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Transforming Seattle Children’s Hospital with UCS and Desktop Virtualization

June 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm PST

One of the key takeaways I heard consistently at the recent Citrix Synergy conference was the fact that you shouldn’t just do IT for IT’s sake: Your top consideration should be the end user experience. That’s one of the key lessons Seattle Children’s Hospital learned when it recently deployed Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) blade to support a 3000-plus deployment of virtual desktops and zero clients. This deployment and Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) as a whole was the topic of a panel discussion at the conference.

The panelists included Aaron Cockerill, Senior Director of Product Management at Citrix; Doug Dooley, Director of Product Management for Desktop Virtualization at Cisco; Jake Hughes, the Chief Technical Architect at Seattle Children’s Hospital; and Harry Labana, VP and CTO of AppSense. Aaron and Doug offered up their thoughts on the Cisco-Citrix partnership, and how Cisco is leading virtualization charge with its end-to-end solution. Harry provided insights around desktop virtualization and AppSense’s role in creating flexibility and a rich user experience. Jake, as a customer who has implemented virtual solution, discussed the nuts of bolts of implementation, and talked about key points to take into consideration when contemplating a deployment.

I chatted with the panelists after the session, and they each offered up their top takeaways from the discussion.

Want to learn more about the details of the panel discussion? Read on for tips and lessons learned around implementing a virtual desktop solution. Read More »

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Still Worried Cisco Collaboration Solutions Are Beyond Your IT Skill Level???

Are you responsible for IT or voice services in a mid size company? Do you have 300 or fewer employees? Is your existing voice collaboration solution nearing its end of life, or no longer supported by the original manufacturer? Have you considered a solution from Cisco Systems? Yes Cisco! We are is proud to announce a new foundational voice solution specifically built for companies like yours, the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Business Edition 3000 (Unified CMBE 3000).

Cisco entered the IP communications in the late 1990’s and soon became a market leader. Cisco’s unified communications and voice products historically have been designed for a large majority of the market’s segments.  Cisco’s Unified Communications 300 and 500 series products were designed for businesses with under one hundred users.  The more capable Unified CM Business Edition 5000 and 6000 have more advanced features for organizations with 100-1000 users. Comparatively, the Cisco Unified Communications Manager scales up to 30,000 users per cluster.

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