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The Strategic Network: Music to My Ears

What do CEOS, market makers and Lady Gaga all have in common? The wisdom to know that to get ahead, or stand out, you need to drop any instincts of being reactive in favor of innovation.

In the world of technology, that means getting creative about how you use the network. Not just to keep business humming, but to create experiences. Take Lady Gaga, for instance. As Forbes reported this past week—and the New York Times reported recently—Lady Gaga is using the network to create a seamless and  compelling experience for her fan base from online to offline, wherever they are.  In fact, as Lisa Arthur reports in Forbes, “ Lady Gaga was the first artist to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. She has about 35 million Facebook fans. And, most recently, she made headlines as the first Twitter user ever to reach 10 million followers.” And the impact? According to Arthur’s article, Gaga sold 1,108,000 copies of her latest album in the US in its first week; 60 percent of those first week sales were digital downloads.

When you consider, as I mentioned in a recent blog, that  the number of devices connecting to the Internet will climb to 25 billion by 2015, that’s a lot of potential fans or customers.

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Devices, Devices, Everywhere [INFOGRAPHIC]

Imagine a world where the number of mobile-connected devices nearly equals the number of people on the planet. It’s closer than you might think, with one forecast calling for 7.1 billion devices accessing the mobile network the by 2015.  It’s not just the mobile network that’s growing.  When you also consider other things (PCs, laptops, tablets, etc.) connecting to the Internet, forecasts jump to 25 billion that same year and to 50 billion by 2020.  This kind of growth will put a tremendous load on networks globally.  But there’s more to it than that. What we really need to prepare for, aside from the sheer number of interactions, is the quality of those interactions.

Why? Let’s take a closer look. The network has to support everyone in the ecosystem, from the enterprise itself to employees and customers. When people go online, they want to use their preferred devices to get there, and they want to share information with anyone, anywhere, and at any time. And, of course, it all needs to happen securely, reliably, and seamlessly.

Having the right infrastructure in place lets IT departments meet all these requirements. They can do more than just keep pace with the number of devices accessing the network — they can deliver better interactions with higher levels of security and reliability. They can address the changing dynamics between employees, the enterprise, and their customers, to meet evolving expectations.


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3 Easy Tools to Protect Your Data BEFORE Your Device Gets Lost or Stolen

I was the recently on the wrong end of a 488. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the California penal codes, that’s a petty theft. My laptop, PS3, and iPad are gone, taken from me. At this point, I can only hope that my things broke in the act of the robbery and are rendered useless.

Unfortunately, hope and $3.50 will get me a café latte and that latte cannot secure my precious data at this point; my saved passwords, tax returns…the keys to the castle. Our devices are increasingly holding more important information and when these devices get compromised, so does our sensitive data.

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Live Interop Session: Customer Case Study, Take Control of Mobile Devices on Your Network

Tablets and mobile devices are driving massive change in the IT world. We are seeing a few key shifts that need to be addressed:

The user to device ratio has changed, while IT resources stay the same:

  • Early 1990s: Each user has one device on a wired connection.
  • Late 1990s: Users have gone mobile with laptops and other local devices.
  • Today: Employees require anytime, anywhere access with multiple devices per person.

IT is struggling to secure, manage and support employee-owned devices in the workplace, bringing it’s own set of challenges:

  • Classifying managed vs. unmanaged endpoints.
  • Ensuring proper identification and authentication of devices.
  • Associate each user with the proper host.

It all comes down to this: when your employee brings an iPad into work, how can you centralize access and policy management, without adding IT resources?

Join our session to learn how the Cisco Identity Services Engine and Cisco Prime Network Control System offer the solution. Timothy Abbott, Senior Network Engineer, CCNA, CCNP will be on-site to present a case study from his experience at the San Antonio Water System.

We hope to see you Wednesday May 11th, 11:15am – 12:00pm in the Mandalay Bay L conference room. Learn more.

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iPads on Your Network? Take Control with Unified Policy and Management

Users are increasingly carrying their iPads, iPhones and Android smartphones into the workplace. These mobile devices and tablets introduce new security threats and IT management challenges.

Join us for the third in our series of webinars to learn about new Cisco innovations that will help you identify the devices, apply policies and enable user management across wired and wireless networks. Featuring special guest speaker Dan Larkin, Director of Strategic Operations for the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) who will share the new threat vectors introduced due the influx of mobile devices. Take control of your network now.

Live webcast Wednesday, May 4th from 10:00 – 11am PDT (12:00 – 1:00pm EDT)
Register now!

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