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Moving Beyond BYOD: Connecting the ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ Workforce

With more than seven billion souls set to tote 10 billion mobile-connected devices by 2016, mobility has not just arrived, it’s taken over our schools, businesses and personal lives.

Just ask Mitch Davis, the CIO of Bowdoin College, a private liberal arts college in Maine. Before BYOD ever became a global IT trend, according to Mitch, the vast majority of college students were already bringing their personal devices into the campus environment.

These co-eds expected Bowdoin to fully embrace personal mobility, and, upon graduation, these same post-grads expect that their employers will do the same (this year’s Connected World Technology Report findings back this up, with more than 40 percent of recent college graduates/Gen Y employees choosing BYOD flexibility over higher pay).

Bottom line, the rules of the game are changing, and companies must move beyond basic BYOD connectivity to meet employee demands today and tomorrow. To help companies meet these demands, we’ve introduced a comprehensive approach that unifies policy, supports a better user experience and simplifies management to deliver an uncompromised user experience in any workspace. After all, Cisco wants to empower IT managers to allow employees to have their devices and use them too. That means delivering:

  1. A unified security policy across the whole organization – wired, wireless, VPN and now MDM – helping companies set and enforce policies;
  2. An uncompromised user experience over the entire wired/wireless network, across any type of device; and,
  3. Simplified operations and network management to understand application performance from a user’s perspective, accelerating troubleshooting and lowering operating costs.

Like Ray-Ban aviators, BYOD is here to stay. And done the right way, BYOD demands a comprehensive approach to allow current and future employees to work how they want, when and where they want, and on the devices they want – while still allowing IT the control and visibility to sleep at night.

Learn more about our announcement and new technologies here.

By the way, whether you’re a college student or have been working for 30 years, you’re eligible to take the BYOD Challenge and win a trip to 2012 London Olympics – good luck!

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Telework Set to Go Mobile: One Year Into the Telework Enhancement Act

The end of 2011 marked the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010. At the end of last year, Cisco partnered with the Telework Exchange to help convene a panel of telework experts, including federal agency leaders who have pioneered telework programs in their divisions, to hear the outcomes of these initial efforts and share insights into what the future of telework holds.

Reports from participating sections of the Library of Congress and the Treasury Department revealed workers experienced increased flexibility and job satisfaction as a result of having more opportunities to telework. The Treasury Department in particular saw higher productivity, improved emergency preparedness, and cost savings from reduced office space needs. Technology like telepresence has kept workers in disparate locations connected and allowed business to maintain—even enhance—its fluidity and efficiency.

Read More »

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“What If” Could Be Now: Truly Mobile Healthcare

Once upon a time in the days of Opie and Andy, doctors made house calls. I’ve seen it on TV, so it must be true. Now, a doctor visit usually requires that you do the visiting to a clinic, office, or hospital. An initial appointment may result in referrals for tests or to specialists – more visits, parking lots, waiting rooms. Sometimes your information gets transferred along, sometimes it doesn’t.

Mobile devices are showing up everywhere, healthcare included. There’s even a new word: mHealth. (We had e-everything in the early 2000s, then came along iSomething, so let’s now move further into the alphabet with mWords.) Read More »

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Evolving Beyond the PC

For at least the past two decades, knowledge workers have been firmly rooted in the PC era. Within enterprises of all sizes, that meant that the predominant operating system on the desktop – and often in the data center — was Windows.

We had unprecedented productivity gains during this time, no doubt, but I would now firmly assert that as Ray Ozzie suggested — and Steve Jobs was more than happy to reinforce — that we are transitioning to an era where PCs play a secondary role, if at all – this is the Post PC era. 

I believe we will now have more access to more information on more devices from more applications than ever before.

It’s not as if PCs are going away, so what do we mean by the “Post-PC Era”? PCs have their place. They’re still useful business tools. But it’s clear: We are rapidly evolving from a predominantly client-server world to one in which the Windows PC is just another device in a broad list of options.

We now have many choices in devices – even the option to perform the same tasks on different devices depending on our preferences at different times. Everything is anchored by persistent services that enable device portability and mobility

Once upon a time, I dreaded having to replace my mobile phone or PC. The transition invariably brought with it lost data, lost time, lost sanity… But I can now upgrade from one device to another fairly quickly without breaking much of a sweat. And I really need that ability if I want to keep up with the latest advances in technology.

Why is that? Because it’s cloud-enabled!

Although they’ve performed well for over two decades, traditional business tools and infrastructure based around the desktop PC and office-productivity software no longer exclusively fit the modern knowledge worker nor the global distributed form of 21st century work.

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What Happens When Mobile and Cloud Collide?

Mobility and cloud computing are colliding. So, what does this mean for the future of mobile devices? How soon will video-conference calls on our mobile devices become commonplace? How can service providers (SPs) enhance their competitive position by delivering cloud and managed services?

While research has been conducted on mobile and cloud computing as separate trends, to date very little data has existed on the impact of mobility and cloud together. To understand this dynamic market better, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) surveyed more than 1,000 business users to understand their current and future needs with regard to the mobile cloud.

The top findings may surprise you:

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