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A spot of Wi-Fi, dear?

Connectivity Underground!

After just one day in London, I began to take the Tube system of transportation for granted. It’s just so easy to zip from one side of town to the other – no traffic, continuous service and more destinations than any person can hit during one vacation.

I felt savvy and confident using the Tube given my previous experience commuting on the NYC subway for 7 years. But I had a moment of panic when I remembered that I was without an international data plan; could I really survive 5 days without my “data”? Not being able to make calls or to send or receive texts was scary enough, but finding my way around a new city without a mapping app in my hand? Unimaginable! Turns out the Tube was the solution to my problem. Wi-Fi was readily available, for FREE, in Tube stations around the city. Since I was constantly out and on the go, I actually found myself relying on my underground travel time to connect with friends, make plans, post to Twitter and Facebook and even buy a new book for my e-reader! Read More »

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Beyond BYOD: Supporting a Mobile Workforce

In my recent guest post, Mobilizing the New Collaboration Experience in the BYOD Era, I discussed the increasing desire for untethered collaboration as users bring personal devices and applications into the workplace. IT departments must make the decision whether to be the “proactive enabler” and embrace BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies that allow for mobile devices or to be the “passive supporter” and limit users’ choices to one or two devices.

However, the challenges of supporting a global, mobile, remote workforce go beyond BYOD policies. It’s about enabling your employees, customers and other stakeholders to get business done in any location, on any device, and for any workload.  A number of questions come to mind for me:

  • How can employees access information securely?
  • How do we enable better real-time knowledge sharing?
  • How do we do more with the same headcount?
  • How do we allow for maximum productivity anywhere, on any device?

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Poll: How many mobile devices do you typically bring to the office? You could win an iPad or AppleTV

Last week I polled, What’s the one place at work where you’d like better wireless connectivity? and was honestly a little surprised by the number one answer. The second-place place where people wanted better wireless coverage was conference rooms, which makes sense. At some of the smaller companies I’ve worked at conference rooms were usually on the perimeter of the building and the coverage was poor.  Even within Cisco just a few years ago, a common refrain in meetings was complaints about the spotty coverage. We knew what rooms had better connectivity, and which rooms were to be avoided. So this answer wasn’t much of a surprise.

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BYOD and Back to School…Already?

Popsicles, water balloon fights, fireflies and staying up past your bedtime. These summertime rituals haven’t changed since I was a kid. What has changed is technology and the buying cycle for back-to-school.  Last week in Target I saw an entire wall display of back packs.  My kids have been out of school for exactly one month and retailers are already pushing school supplies! 

Sunday I woke up brewed a pot of coffee and sat down with my iPad to check Facebook and peruse my email. Cisco has embraced Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), so I have secure access to my work email on my iPad at home. I checked a few work emails, but I just couldn’t resist the Red, White and Blue 20% off coupon in my inbox.  Had I not seen the back-to-school display last week and received the coupon in my inbox would I be buying khaki pants and blue shirts the 2nd week of July?  Shopping on a laptop is easy. Shopping on an iPad is just downright dangerous!  Consumerism was starting to take over, but in my mind I justified it as one less thing on my to-do list for August.

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Do I Really Need IPv6? Two Important Reasons to Make the Transition

My previous two posts have been about the address planning process and how to break into the IPv6 integration process. I’ve tried to show that IPv6 is a task that you should be interested in and that it is not an intractable problem. However, I know that some people are still questioning why they would ever want to take this task on. I typically hear comments along the lines of “IPv4 is working for my organization and we’ve got plenty of address space to grow the business. There is nothing interesting on the IPv6 Internet. We don’t need IPv6.” With the successful World IPv6 Launch and over 3500 web sites now IPv6 enabled, the IPv6 Internet has grown in size and demonstrated that IPv6 transport is a viable way to deliver content and services.

I won’t spend too much time discussing it here, but I will remind everyone that IPv4 address depletion is a very real problem. It is not something to be lightly ignored, and it will impact your business and the services you offer whether you like it or not. I see two areas where IPv6 is going to have to be a part of future plans: customer/partner interaction and security.

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